In March, we gathered our panel of experts to discuss the future of property sales and marketing in 2021 and beyond.
With Alex Rose from Zoopla’s New Homes division chairing the event, our panel was chosen to cover each element of new homes sales and marketing. We had Adam Champion from The New Homes Group to give us a mortgage and Asset Management perspective, Lesley Roberts from ellare. brought her sales expertise and Vikki Walker from Southern Housing Group gave us an “on the frontline” perspective as our client panellist. Naturally, our very own Dan Jones was on hand to input from a property marketing stance.
You can watch the full panel discussion here:
However, here are our key takeaways.
- Things are looking good in the property sector at the moment
- Nurture your leads
- Keep your customers informed
- The selling process has changed, and it’s important you adapt
Finally, we had three other questions that came through that we didn’t have time to answer, so we put them to our panel after the event and here’s what they had to say.
What are the feared bumps in the long-term road ahead?
“With everything changing so rapidly, predictions for the future are difficult. Using what we saw at the presumed end of the Stamp Duty Holiday in April, we can assume there will be a similar tapering off in July and September. As Lesley and I discussed, the reintroduction of holidays abroad and increasing popularity of staycations will no doubt see a slowing of the market as the population’s priorities change over the summer period.” – Adam Champion
"I’m reassured that as a nation of homebuyers, homeownership is always a priority."
“I’m reassured that as a nation of homebuyers, homeownership is always a priority. As we’ve seen through the threat of a post-Brexit slump that never came to fruition, the media is always surmising what will be the next catalyst for a housing crash, but our market, ever-changing, has shown resilience; equal resilience in our sales mindset will be key to the next challenge.” – Lesley Roberts
How do you see virtual 360 tours being integrated into the sales process?
“Whilst our marketing suites and show homes offer limited pre-booked appointments, virtual tours are crucial in showcasing the homes we have available. It’s a great way for customers to explore the space before booking an appointment, which ultimately will lead to a higher conversion rate, as it’s the perfect opportunity to cater for those people wishing to shop around. It also gives prospective buyers the option to progress to an in-house appointment once they’re more invested in the decision-making process.” – Vikki Walker
As Dan mentioned during the virtual event, Focus on Media’s clients found great success with virtual online events, with virtual tours playing a big role in that. Integrating virtual tours into media assets such as Paid Social ads, Zoopla Listings and HTML5 banners are routes you can take to bring homes to life for customers during periods of lockdown and restrictions.
Vikki also noted that as an industry we need to be better at giving customers the ability to explore and learn about the products, as this is one of the biggest purchases of their lives.
“Captivating our target audience with vibrant digital assets that can be syndicated across earned, owned and paid media assets working to an omnichannel strategy is key to showcasing the homes we’re trying to sell. Quality photography, CGIs, brochures – both print and interactive – and video tours are all part of this discovery session.” – Dan Jones
Are there any concerns amongst the panel about bring people back to buying in city centres since COVID-19 has changed people’s priorities?
The panellists agreed that there are two key influences to consider regarding city-centre-based homebuyers. Firstly, the call back to office-based working. Although working from home has shifted priorities over the last 12 months, cities still remain key hubs for office working, and when the call comes to return to the office, as it inevitably will, cities will once again become desirable places to live. The lifestyle perks and benefits that come with city living must also be considered – the culture, entertainment and stress-free commuting.
“Cities have always been a calling for young professionals, and now post-lockdown, the bright lights of the UK’s cities will once again be able to offer the lifestyle they desire. Shared Ownership and private rental schemes will offer affordable and accessible options to this audience and assist in bringing people back to buying in city centres.” – Alex Rose
"the bright lights of the UK’s cities will once again be able to offer the lifestyle they desire"
In Dan’s most recent blog, he spoke about how property marketers could make use of the reopening of venues and events previously taken for granted pre-pandemic. Using incentives such as a year’s free pass to the local open-air cinema, would not only encourage potential buyers by highlighting the social and entertainment available to them within arm’s reach when living in the city centre, it would also support local businesses – something we hope will become a priority as things return to normal.