A new report by Nielsen reveals that 83% of New Zealand consumers looking for a home use digital resources, with websites in the lead.
Nielsen’s 2015 Real Estate Report found that 337,000 people are planning to purchase or sell a house/flat in the next 12 months, up from 316,000 last year.
On average, consumers are visiting more than five websites to support their decision making and with mobile devices it has never been easier to conveniently research online.
Advisers need to embrace and understand social media and the importance of having a strong online presence, leading Australian aggregator eChoice told NZ Adviser’s sister publication Australian Broker.
The aggregator launched its Social Media Management Program in March and has since seen a substantial increase in broker engagement with customers and how useful social media can be for an adviser’s business.
“For any service industry where a sense of immediacy is paramount to be able to react quickly to market conditions, social media is an absolute must for reaching out to a large number of customers,” says eChoice marketing director Nancy Matar.
“However, advisers are either too time poor or intimidated by what they believe will be an onerous investment of time and money, when this is simply not the case,” she said.
“Our statistics have already shown that once a broker adopts a social program, they never look back. If used correctly, social media can be an effective acquisition and retention tool, allowing for a full circle of communication with clients.”
New Zealand brokerage Aspire Advisors has made the most of digital marketing and social media having a blog and active Facebook presence to accompany their website.
Aspire Advisors director Andrew Mackay told NZ Adviser that although initially averse to having a Facebook page, if the content is high quality and worth the client’s time, it is invaluable with keeping the brand top of mind with customers.
“Digital presence, as a company, I think works really well,” Mackay says. “It’s not hard to maintain at all - I think people get hung up with ‘likes’ whereas likes don’t mean business.
“What’s important to me is how many people have seen what I’m showing, not how many people ‘like’ me.”
He says the blog is the place where the company can continually answer those questions that a lot of people have but that nobody asks.
“What we’ve found is a lot of Kiwis that do have mortgages actually don’t know much about them,” says Mackay.
Facebook he has found particularly useful for maintaining the constant brand impression to the customer, particularly with quirkier or funny posts that are memorable.
“If somebody’s at a BBQ and they say ‘you should deal with the Aspire guys, they’ve got those funny cat ads - have you seen them on facebook?’, then they will google us and find our site.”
“As soon as you don’t remind people ‘hello, we’re here’, they just forget and go on to the next guy.”