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Why Estate Agents Need to Market Towards First-Time Buyers in the UK

Friday 17th May 2019
Why Estate Agents Need to Market Towards First-Time Buyers in the UK

First-time buyers now make up the majority of home purchases bought with a mortgage in the UK. It has been many years since that last happened, all the way back in 1995!

2009 saw a huge dip with first-time buyers dropping down to 150,000, which was previously 400,000 in 2007! But in recent years we have been on a gradual increase with the numbers steadily rising year after year. Reaching strong heights of 372,000 in 2018. Potential reasons for the increase in home buyers could be due to the recent government incentives that help people get on the property ladder at a much cheaper price. With the likes of Help to Buy, Right to By & Shared Ownership.

According to the BBC first-time buyers now make up the majority of home purchases bought with a mortgage in the UK.

UK home buyers rising 2019

So what does that mean for estate agencies in the U.K?

Marketing Strategies Need To Change!

Your marketing efforts are most likely being wasted by advertising to the wrong demographic (Or by focusing too much attention on one specific demographic). I bet in the past few years your estate agency has been marketing towards people aged 40+, think to yourself how have you been reaching them?

Have you been relying on people visiting your office? Have you been sending out leaflets? Even the yellow pages are cancelling their printed directory after 2019. These are outdated marketing methods that are no longer efficient for agencies. They take too much time to get results and they cost too much money to be sustainable anymore. Look at it this way, in 1981 22% of homebuyers read newspaper ads to find a home. Now in 2018, 94% looked online first. And why wouldn’t they? 24/7 access to large property portals that showcase everything you need to know.

Consumers can now search for a whole host of property data before making a final decision on a property such as its previous sale price, current council tax band, average energy costs etc. Giving them all the information they need to feel equipped to approach the next stage. This can make them feel like they are in a stronger negotiating position when it comes to making an offer on a property. Where in previous years it has been dictated to them as they didn’t have access to any of this information.

We are living in a digital era that thrives with the use of mobile devices and online marketing. Did you know that the average age of first-time home buyers in 2018 stood at 30, why is that important? Well, we shall talk about that later.

Since the introduction of the Help to Buy scheme, from 2016-2018 170,000 properties were bought using Help to Buy, with the average age of buyers using the scheme standing at 27, which is notably younger than the national average of 30. Showing that this government incentive is getting younger demographics on the market.

So you need to remember that a large portion of the UK population buying a property for the first time are using the likes of social media and the internet to find & research about their new property as opposed to seeing listings in the newspaper or looking in the windows of estate agencies.

Top 3 marketing methods in 2019 for Estate Agencies

  1. Social Media
  2. Email
  3. Search Engine Optimisation

Social Media Marketing

Social media is THE biggest marketing platform in the world in 2019. With numbers hitting 3.484 billion users worldwide! Up 9% from the previous year. In 2014 there were only 1.8 billion users, so it shows how much this platform is growing at a rapid rate, and shows no sign of slowing down.

I bet you didn’t know that most social media users are around the age of 30? (Which is weirdly the same average age of home buyers in the UK), so that’s why this marketing platform needs to be utilised correctly. It’s not just teenagers and kids who use social media platforms, you can reach the highest converting demographics through the likes of Facebook & Instagram…How good is that!

If you want help with one of the most crucial marketing platforms then we can help! View our social media packages here

demographic of social media users in 2019

Response Times

People have access to a vast open of information & can contact virtually any business or estate agency at any time & any place. In the past, if people had an enquiry they would leave an email, which typically had a response time of 24-48 hours. Whereas now, with the likes of social media providing messenger options and direct contact the consumer’s expectations have changed. 80% of customers expect companies to respond within 24 hours on social media. However! On Facebook, 85% of customers expect a response from companies within 6 hours!

Tailor your content to mobile devices

With over 3.4 billion people using social media, 3.26 billion of those most commonly access it through their mobile phone. You need to make sure your content that you’re producing is adapted not only for desktop devices but also for mobile phones. Why? Because for the first time mobile users have surpassed desktop, so chances are people who are viewing your content are doing so on their phone. I bet you didn’t realise that we see over 700 adverts a day! So you need to make sure you’re making your estate agency stand out and getting your message across instantly. So no more long paragraphs, no more irrelevant content, people don’t have time to read a huge paragraph. They’re on the move, they want to digest content straight away.

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