March 26, 2021
Use Location to Better Target Your Customers
You’ve heard it before: the real estate business is all
about location, location, location.
Buyers need to know all the positives of the locale of their
potential new home: where it is and what it’s near.
But the property’s address can also be used to push your
advertising right to the customers who are more apt to act.
It’s called location-based marketing (LBM). Time to learn
Even if you haven’t heard of LBM, you most likely have at
least heard of two flavors of this type of advertising: geofencing and geotargeting. Both use a customer’s location data, but in a slightly
different way. Geofencing creates a virtual area on top of real-world
geography. When a customer enters this zone, they see prepared advertising.
Geotargeting delivers marketing to a stationary customer based on their
location. To put in into simplistic terms, you come to geofencing, while
geotargeting comes to you.
The question most people ask now is: how do they know my
location? From all the ways you are connected, of course. Your IP address,
cellular signal, GPS, and every other device and function that let you know
where things are let those things know where you are. Some of these broadcast
outwards, while others act as receivers ready to catch incoming signals. It
might sound scary, but it really
isn’t. Plus, the majority of the world will gladly trade data for
convenience. Research has shown that, globally, 80% actively want location-based
marketing delivered to them because this “convenience” is really nothing more
than location personalization.
Personalization in marketing can be as simple as an email
mentioning you by name in the subject line or as complex as recommendations for
products based on purchase history, store visits, local weather, and travel
history. And it is important because 72% (signup required) of consumers ONLY engage with personalized marketing.
Location personalization takes advantage, as mentioned
earlier, of all the ways devices and services use your location to deliver
geographically specific marketing. LBM ensures the marketing a potential
customer sees is as relevant to the customer as possible. A customer might, for
example, approach a store and be treated to advertising with a discount code as
an incentive to stop in. Conversely, a customer that frequents a national chain
won’t see advertising for specific stores on the other side of the country.
And location-based marketing is growing in use. According to
data from the Location Based Marketing Company’s Global
Location Trends Report 2020 (email required), there’s been a global
increase of 18% (2018-2020) in the use of location-based data and services.
Now, 95% of world-wide companies are using some form of location-based service.
This report also shows that over 20% of North American companies are using
location data to assist with customer service—which, if you think about it, is
one of the most organic, human, and personal forms of marketing.
Location-Based Marketing Advantages
LBM affords both consumers and businesses advantages. For
consumers, they get the convenience of location personalization. They will only
see marketing applicable to their area, they will feel more engaged with a
company that offers location-based incentives, and they will receive more-personalized
assistance when contacting customer service.
By using LBM to better connect to consumers, businesses can also
reap a host of benefits. In their 2019
Location-Based Market Report, Factual found that LBM can increase the
growth of your customer base by 86%. And not only are you growing your base,
you’re also keeping them more engaged (84%), which, of course, leads to an
increase in sales (89%). Wow.
Salesforce points out one more benefit (of geofencing in particular, but we’re rolling
that up into the bigger discussion of LBM in general since it still fits). When
customers come to your business, rarely do you have the time or resources to
discover how they all found your business. But with LBM and the use of unique
promotions, you now have very visible and actionable metrics about how your
sales are finding you. And metrics are a marketer’s best friend.
How Location-Based Marketing Helps Real Estate
There’s a reason builders post signs all over communities advertising
their for-sale homes, and it might be different than you think. The signs are
not really for people coming from out of town trying to find a listing they saw
online. It’s actually for you and all your neighbors who live near the new
homes for sale.
As illustrated in their 2020
Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, the National Association
of Realtors found that, on average, home buyers purchased their new home within
15 miles of their previous residence. Locals buying local. Those signs, then,
inform, remind, and sink into the brains of the current inhabitants of the
community, alerting them to the new-and-therefore-better homes just down the
road. Mobile searches for things on sale “near me” have been exponentially
YOY, for example, from 4/16-3/17 to 4/18-3/19), providing even more
evidence that the old “location, location, location” adage is true.
In Wave 2 of the fascinating AMERICA
AT HOME study, they reported that 50% of renters are now more likely to
want to own their own home: an increase of 4% from April 2020 to October 2020. With
this data, we now know to focus our LBM on a radius around a property for sale
(in the 15-miles “near me” zone), and also concentrate on those places where
nearby buyers will be more prevalent (i.e., rental properties in close
And this is the real key why LBM is so valuable for real
estate marketing. With just a few concentrated marketing campaigns targeting
specific locations around and near our properties for sale, we place more of our
advertising in front of the eyes of those who are most likely to respond. Which
is, if you think about it, the whole reason we do what we do!