While one of the oldest assets known to man is real estate, the way the real estate industry interacts with its component parts has evolved over the decades. The latest leap in this evolution has become synonymous with the digital age and new media. The idea of living in a ‘Global Village’ has never been more tangible and the same can be said of the connectedness of the people that inhabit it. How investors see the market as well as how property brokerages use new media and technologies to present offerings to clients opens new doors of opportunity.
Ryan Greeff, Director at Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate - City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard believes that technology should be embraced by the industry and that it is the next logical development in how property brokers interact with the market. “Property brokers at Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate have gone the extra mile in integrating technology into the way they do business. So much so, that it has become a natural extension of the way we communicate and the services we offer our clients. Technology has become such an ingrained aspect of people’s lives that it is almost impossible to imagine a world without social media, instant messaging and applications that simplify our lives. It is this simplicity that we are bringing to the market. We do the work for our clients and deliver viable options to their mobile phones and email.”
While the real estate industry traditionally utilised print media to advertise homes to potential clients, the internet revolution has seen the development of a multitude of property portals.
According to The UK Independent, there are officially more cellular phones on the planet than there are people and that is an excellent indicator of the penetration of mobile technology into global society. There are approximately 7.1 billion people in the world and approximately 7.3 billion mobile phones registered to cellular networks which means that the best way to reach the masses is to literally live in their pockets.
Sales Manager and Senior Broker Cedric Le Bon at Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate - City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard says, “Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate leverages a number of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn where we are able to strategically target purchasers of a certain demographic, age and area to view sponsored property listings that are highly relevant to their profile.”
Marthinus Botha, Managing Director at Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate’s City Bowl brokerage highlights the importance of understanding the new marketing tools that are available today, “Many companies are under the false premise that by having an active Facebook or Instagram profile with regular content programmes and aiming to grow their ‘likes’ or followers, are effectively utilising the respective platforms. The reality is that today, these are only the elementary steps of a winning digital marketing strategy.”
According to Botha, social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook roll out new advertising products on an almost monthly basis with increasingly sophisticated ways of targeting customers from all corners of the globe. Staying up to date with these new and improved options have become a key component to Greeff’s success in the City Bowl, “We have invested heavily in ongoing training of our marketing team so that we are at the cutting edge of the latest targeted advertising products from Google, Instagram and Facebook, which includes machine learning that dynamically adjusts ad campaigns based on information from continuous feedback loops. Our marketing team’s vision is to effectively reach every potential purchaser across the globe, for every one of the properties that we market. By successfully leveraging the penetration levels of these tech giants we continue to move closer to that point,” Botha added.
Le Bon further explained that, “Being able to reach your client base is easy enough to do, but the ability to truly understand them and their needs comes from the in-depth interpretation of user data.” The analytics of what various market segments are looking for, the ability to understand their online behaviour and to create bespoke messages that speak to these purchasers specifically, is what sets the tech-savvy real estate firm apart from the average. “Being hyper relevant in your digital marketing content has become of paramount importance in today’s world,” he added.
When looking at Greeff’s City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard agency analytics below, it is evident that their various marketing and content strategies yield tangible and consistent results which has allowed them to engage with a wider audience of purchasers compared to other estate agents operating in the area - which in turn adds significant value to final selling price achieved.
“This has resulted in us achieving a much higher conversion of qualified leads and ultimately getting our seller’s properties sold at premium prices,” Greeff concluded.