The holiday season is a unique time for consumers, companies and brands. For consumers, there’s the elevated pressure to find the perfect gift, make a personal change, or get everything done, to name a few. For companies and brands, the holidays are often a “make or break” time during which the challenge of standing out in the busy online world is constant.

In particular, in the real estate industry, each season typically has its own unique characteristics, consumer behavior, and trends. The key to adapting and adjusting to holiday trends and getting the most out of your real estate digital marketing strategy is having a good understanding of what consumers want during this time. Keep reading for more insight into how consumer behavior shifts, and our top tips to grow your business, during the holiday season. 

Top 5 Real Estate Consumer Trends During the Holiday Season

  1. More time spent on mobile devices 
  2. Searching using an omnichannel approach
  3. Emphasis on convenience 
  4. Loyalty may switch 
  5. Looking to make a change in the new year 

More time spent on mobile devices

Mobile device usage has been one of the most popular methods of browsing the internet for several years now with more than 50% of web traffic coming from a smartphone. During the holiday season, that usage increases – in fact, 52 percent of users turn to their devices to research products and make purchases. People are searching online while they’re on the go and while they’re at home, so having a mobile responsive real estate website and a mobile-first lead generation strategy for real estate is essential. 

Searching using an omnichannel approach

In recent years, there’s been a shift to leveraging omnichannel marketing for real estate. Omnichannel marketing entails keeping your potential consumer at the center of your marketing efforts by delivering consistent and compelling messages across multiple channels such as social media, paid ads, and search engines. Omnichannel marketing also means maintaining that same message and providing a seamless experience offline, such as when your potential customers call you and meet you in person. And, consumers and brands alike are fully embracing this approach – especially during the holiday season. According to a recent survey, 60 to 70 percent of consumers report that they’re shopping using an omnichannel method. They’re turning to social media, ads on streaming services, search engine results, and even online reviews for research and inspiration. 

Typically, real estate companies decrease spending on ads during the holiday season because of the sharp rise in the cost of advertising due to other industries ramping up their spending. However, this presents itself as an opportunity in the real estate industry to stand out. By continuing to advertise as part of a broader omnichannel marketing strategy, you’ll stay top-of-mind, avoid overspending (multiple channels equals multiple opportunities to reach your potential customers), and also get a jump start on establishing a strong online presence ahead of the all-important spring market. As a bonus, because of your increased opportunities to stand out online, both the algorithms (think Google and Facebook) and your potential customers will learn who you are and what expertise you provide.

Emphasis on convenience

Because consumers are now shopping and researching online more during the holiday season, they’re prioritizing convenience and actively seeking out brands that reduce friction during the discovery and purchasing phase. For real estate, this may mean setting up showings or open house reminders via text, using click to call or click to book calls to action (CTAs), sharing out links and information via social media, and more. Whatever you can do to be seen as easy to work with will go a long way in both capturing and keeping your customers’ interest.

Loyalty may switch

Similar to people seeking convenience, the customer experience today is more important than ever. Customers are comparing you to their previous best real estate customer experiences, if they’ve worked with someone before, and also past customer experiences they’ve had in general. They expect a high level of personalization, a clear and defined purpose to be integrated into all your efforts, and that you leverage your online strategies and tools to create a friction-free journey. That being said, customers are willing to switch to brands or companies that don’t meet their needs with 76% of people changing their mind about a company or brand after searching them on Google. This means you have to constantly be adding value and engaging your past, current, and prospective customers to give them a reason to want to work with you, whether it’s for the first time or the fifth time.

Looking to make a change in the new year

The end of the holiday season also brings New Year’s Resolutions — a new opportunity for real estate companies to connect with prospective clients. Many aspiring or current homeowners have resolutions that may take the form of wanting a bigger home, wanting to downsize, changing location, buying a vacation home, and more. Less directly, they could be looking for a change in lifestyle, something that many have experienced in the past two years and seems likely to continue.

Prospective clients could begin their search heading into the holiday season (closer to when they decide their New Year’s Resolution) or be influenced to begin their search via consistent and direct marketing messaging talking about the benefits of buying now. Similarly, the start of the year often brings change that could influence homeowners to list their homes. Take advantage of shifts in consumer behavior and reduced emphasis on real estate marketing during this time of year and you could stand out and capture more interest simply by being where your potential customers are with a message that resonates with them.  

Just as the spring market is famous for being a time of intensity, the real estate industry has its own unique characteristics and consumer trends during the holiday season. In order to stay on top of the latest trends, having a deep understanding of the shifts that happen during this time and adjusting your digital marketing strategy is key.

Need help crafting a digital marketing strategy that helps you get the most out of these seasonal trends? Connect with us today to get specific recommendations to help grow your business.