Hyperlocal marketing is a fast-growing method of marketing that's seen dramatic pick-up in recent years, in part because of advances in technology. All industries can benefit from going hyperlocal, and real estate marketing is no different.
Although the name hints at targeting a very specific geographic position, that's not the only way hyperlocal marketing can be used. Other areas that fall under this bracket are tactics like honing in on very specific factors, whether that's an audience's interests or the time of day you're sending out a message.
Targeting someone’s location is particularly useful with the proliferation of mobile phones. It was way back in 2015 that Google announced that mobile searches outnumbered desktop searches, and late in 2017 BrightEdge research found that 57% of all internet searches were done on a smartphone, so it's vital that we tailor our marketing to match user behaviour.
Ads by location
Another angle is to serve ads based on someone's phone GPS co-ordinates or the location they’ve set as home on Facebook. Although you won't be able to access the raw data, through your advertising network you can set ads to target a suburb and then set a radius around that point.
There are several ways you can use this feature - to highlight the property to nearby residents who might be looking to upgrade, to target areas full of renters who might want to buy a unit in a new development or to highlight investment opportunities to people who are investing and possibly from outside the area. The same can be done for commercial buildings, showcasing new office buildings to people working in areas full of startups, helping your real estate listing reach business owners ready to make the next step.
Ads by map
GPS tracking on phones helps give ads that immediate hyperlocal angle. On maps, it's most obvious in searches for something like cafes or restaurants 'near me', but it can easily spread to 'houses for sale near me', ‘new homes near me’ and so forth. Searchers might do this when people stumble upon a suburb they like or when they've finished walking around an area to get a feel for it. Being able to show a map with all your local properties makes it easy for buyers to start looking at your listings.
As far as generating strong leads, a business listing on Google Maps is an effective tool. You've got someone asking property or real estate related questions, or looking for a ‘real estate agency near me’.
Of course, there's no point just sending ads for property listings to everyone who's ever visited a suburb, so it pays to add extra parameters to your ads.
Hyperlocal property advertising doesn’t need to be restricted to a sharp focus on location, there are lots of smart ways to target your ideal buyers with a range of property marketing techniques.
Simply visiting an area doesn't mean that someone is looking to buy a house in that location, so it pays to have more data about your target audiences behavioural patterns and interests. To start with, you need some sort of indication that they're looking to buy. This can be something as simple such as the pages on Facebook that they like or interact with, the websites they're visiting or the Google searches they’re making.
Other buyer groups simply can't be targeted by location at all. Whether it's people in Sydney looking to invest in the Central Coast or overseas investors who want a piece of Australian property for their investment portfolio, it's their interests and demographics that you have to hone in on rather than their location.
There is also the argument that targeting something or someone too specifically can be a turn off. There are two main reasons for this.
The first is that it can be seen as creepy. There's a fine line between giving people ads that they want and getting too personal and serving ads that they didn't think their phones should know they wanted. There are plenty of debates online about whether our phones are listening to us, or whether devices like Google Home are eavesdropping and recording our every word. This would explain why some of the ads we receive seemingly read our minds!
The second is that going too deep – say on a suburb level – with ads can alienate some of your audience. Even though someone has visited a suburb and perhaps even searched for homes there, it’s not conclusive that they want to buy.
A study of Subway ads found that stores that advertised with the city name in them were most effective, followed by those with a regional term. More specific ads with suburb names came a distant third. The same may well be true of new apartments or houses, with people more likely to be interested in Sydney or the Inner West than say only Balmain.
Local offices need marketing freedom
There are many real estate corporations that have tight controls over the brand messages for all branches and staff across the country. Thankfully, brands are starting to allow more flexibility for local offices, and there are creative tools and systems, such as CAMPAIGNxpress, that can give you the flexibility to have both top level creative control alongside local level marketing freedom.
This is most obvious on a bigger scale, where an international company simply can't have one message for every country it has a presence in. Each nation, each culture, needs to be spoken to in a different way for marketing to really work.
The same is true on a national level, especially in real estate. People buying in Melbourne don't respond to the same message as people buying in Toowoomba, just like people buying in unit-heavy areas don't want the same messaging as those buying farmsteads.
For best results, local offices should be creating their own marketing material. While there can be help from the head office – logos and consistent branding go a long way to adding strength to a message, and a style guide can help keep things on track – really it's the people who have their feet on the ground that should know the best way to approach their customers. Even if they're not creating the marketing material themselves, their input should definitely be sought before anything is printed or published online.
That's where CAMPAIGNxpress comes in. To take advantage of this latest marketing trend, it's vital to give your teams around the country the chance to have their voices heard. By allowing them to plan, create and schedule their own digital and printed content, they can drive targeted traffic to their websites from both online and offline sources, allowing sales teams to sell more properties and use their marketing budgets in the most efficient way.