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Apply Google's 6 key trends for homebuyers

Here's what your customers are looking for

August 29, 2014
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This article is part of HW PartnerDirect™. What is this?

In my post last Friday, I expanded upon Peter Miller’s article titled “Would you bank with Google or Amazon?” where we looked at the stretch of a tech giant entering the mortgage space, which then led me to touch on what we could learn from them around customer experiences.

Less than a week later, Google publishes some information on 6 key trends of homebuyers, backed by some interesting stats. Now, I’m not trying to reinforce the concept of Google-going-mortgage. Rather, I’ve been watching the Think with Google site for a while now, hoping that they would share some insights relative to the housing industry, something everyone knows they’ve had stored in all those rows and rows of servers, along with the rest of the internet…LOL. If you’re not familiar with this site, it’s a digital candy store for analytics and trends junkies, where they’ve cleverly packaged content and their product offerings in an easy-to-consume format (kind of like that consumer experience thing I previously mentioned…).

For those who don’t wish to go through the article (although it’s a fairly quick read with some great charts and stats), here are Google’s six keys to unlocking opportunities with today’s homebuyers:

1. Every year, searches for real estate-related terms peak in July — a sign that people are out house hunting. Be there to meet this seasonal rise in demand. Remind them throughout the long process with remarketing.

2. Millennials are likely to make their long-awaited entrance into market soon. Understand what this audience cares about and appeal to them with relevant messaging.

3. More people (especially millennials) are relying on mobile devices throughout the process — from finding a home to financing it. Help them find what they’re looking for through mobile ads and extensions such as location and click-to-call.

4. Small and mobile homes are becoming an appealing option, even for high-income buyers. Think about ways you can address this new, growing market. Explore Search data to learn what else interests these consumers and use it to shape co-marketing opportunities, cross-promotions, creative executions and media buys.

5. While they’re looking for homes, people are also looking for interior design ideas, often turning to video for inspiration. Post home-tour videos to YouTube to make it easy for them to get an in-depth look at listings.

6. Vintage is all the rage in interior design. Help people get that retro, one-of-a-kind look with the products you offer and the content you create.

Let’s transition to the rest of this article with a question: How many of you in this industry also have experience with building and crafting digital solutions? It’s an important question, especially as the millennials get closer to increased participation in the market. Look at those six key points again and tell which of them you could solve without expertise in the tech arena. As such, let’s look at the bare bones of digital solutions you’d need in place to tackle those six points (keep in mind, we’re only talkin’ lead-gen at this point):

  • A multi-device capable (phone, table, laptop/desktop) website, with content and multiple communication methods
  • Other online sources that provide relevant content, also multi-device capable
  • Social media presences from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Flickr, and possibly Pinterest depending on the breadth/angle of your offerings
  • Some digital media spend to compete with the thousands of content sources already out there
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) efforts to leverage your site, content, social media and digital media investments

And that’s bare bones. Let’s look at some of the other areas of digital solutions you’d be looking to implement in order to get to rock-star status in this market, and exceed your competition:

1. Some sort of 1:1 digital marketing platform so you can not only track the effectiveness and ROI of your media/advertising spends, but also the journey of the consumer from anonymous to qualified lead

2. Possibly an app that provides enhanced capabilities around collaboration, notification, and sensitive data transfer delivery capabilities

3. A strategic, well-crafted user experience that unifies all of the efforts listed above, as well as cement your brand with the consumer

I can tell you from first-hand experience with digital marketing solutions, if you’re looking to target markets of around 300,000 people (an average size for today’s large-city suburban counties) you’re looking at $50k/year just for the digital marketing platform alone. 

So what if there was a solution that helped off-set some of the need to buy, implement, and maintain daunting, expensive digital solutions? Especially around collaboration and communication with the consumer and business partners.

I bet some of you already know where I’m going with this, but I’m talking about the solutions at Pavaso. Our Digital Close product is built on top of the Pavaso Platform, which not only addresses TILA-RESPA compliance, but goes beyond it to enhance the consumer’s experience with a secure, digital environment. The video we posted at www.digitalclose.com provides a great overview of a technology solution available today that can help your organization achieve that next level required in a digital transformation. Whether you’re looking for digital delivery and signing, online collaboration with consumers and business partners, or the capability to upsell and cross-sell to the consumer, Pavaso and Digital Close addresses and exceeds the consumer experience challenges lenders face in the digital era with TILA-RESPA changes around the corner.

And if you’re not quite ready to think about that big of a digital step just yet, visit the TILA-RESPA Knowledge Center where you can register for a free account to browse a knowledge base of articles and documents, or join conversations in the forums. 

All information and views expressed or implied are provided without warranty and are only the opinion of Pavaso, Inc. Each participant should seek legal representation for legal interpretation of the ruling and the CFPB directly for final instruction and interpretation.The final rule can be found here.

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