Technology is constantly changing every aspect of our lives, and digital innovations in the real estate industry are evolving at an accelerated pace. Lifestyle adaptations that were put in place during the pandemic have become the new normal for buying homes. With an increasing number of digital tools available, homebuyers have taken control over the real estate search, most often doing in-depth research before ever reaching out to a Realtor. Let’s take a closer look at some of the latest digital tools driving the industry.
1. Artificial Intelligence Chatbots
The recent developments of AI-driven technology are streamlining the digital marketing process, making it easier than ever to write blogs, code websites, compose ad campaigns, and much more. OpenAI’s ChatGPT is a website-based model that allows users to have human-like conversations with an AI technology-driven chatbot. With a few simple prompts, these tools are able to pull information from the web to create detailed drafts of the prompts given. Users can also reply with feedback to have it written in a different tone, share more details, or maybe include information that was left out in the initial message. After launching in November 2022, ChatGPT has quickly become the fastest-growing ‘app’ of all time, attracting more than one million users in its first week. This new technology, however, does have limitations, as ChatGPT can only access information up to 2021 and sometimes lacks the quality or level of refinement needed for marketing campaigns. However, even with a professional creating edits, these technologies can overall create a more productive and highly efficient work environment.
2. Giving Creators New Superpowers
AI technology, however, has not been limited to just chatbots. In March 2023, Adobe announced Firefly, a new AI model that empowers creatives of all skill levels to generate high-quality imagery. In this beta stage through Adobe Photoshop, the AI is focused on the generation of images and text effects and is designed to use expired Adobe Stock images that are public domain to generate unique content safe for commercial use. In the future, Adobe plans to expand its AI technology into every app, including generating logos in Illustrator, easily editing videos in Premiere Pro, content creation, 3D composition, and more.
3. Adaptive Website Experiences
According to iProperty Management, 89% of people interested in purchasing a home research it online first, and 51% found their homes online. As the digital environment continues to rise in demand, having a website with a unique name, URL, search engine optimization and interactive technologies has become more important than ever. AI-driven tools can analyze user behavior and preferences, enabling businesses to create customized delivery experiences based on the user’s IP address. A home page could have one message that caters to what residents in the local area enjoy, while national visitors can have a completely different layout. Additionally, with mobile devices accounting for an increasing share of web traffic, technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) will continue to gain prominence. These innovations aim to improve the mobile browsing experience by delivering faster page load times, offline functionality, and app-like features without requiring users to download a separate application.
4. Interactive 360-Degree Virtual Community Tours Rise in Popularity
For those unable to visit in person or who want to do their homework before they schedule an appointment, 360-degree tours of the community itself have become increasingly popular. In addition to focusing on a specific home, interactive tours of the amenities help potential homebuyers gain an appreciation for the lifestyle of the community. For private clubs, 55+ active-adult communities and amenity-rich communities, it’s a great way to showcase amenities allowing homebuyers to see what they’re missing from every angle, and at their own pace. Individual home virtual tours have become crucial for online viewings, and many homebuyers won’t even consider looking at homes unless virtual images are available. According to a Realtor.com study, listings with virtual tours received 87% more views than those without them.
5. Digital Multimedia Brochures
With interactive media at the forefront of digital marketing, businesses are using new formats to engage their audience in dynamic ways. Multimedia brochures have enhanced the delivery of video content in combination with traditional brochure information to enhance the storytelling experience. From current resident testimonials to residence walkthroughs, these brochures can share an authentic point of view that connects with buyers on a personal level while also delivering the necessary information. According to Forbes, 90% of customers say video helps them make buying decisions, and 65% of customers say that seeing a video of the home or other homeowner’s experience makes them more likely to buy. Combining the consumer’s passion with compelling visuals in a media-rich format has proven to be more relatable, more memorable, and has significant value to both search engines and homebuyers’ decision-making.
Leading the Way in Digital Real Estate Marketing
In every real estate market segment, from primary housing for first-time homebuyers to second and third vacation homes for the seasonal luxury resident, the most important focus should be developing integrated and targeting marketing programs backed up by facts. Cotton & Company’s daily monitoring of website traffic, time spent researching on websites, and the amount of social engagement received are used to generate a highly targeted ads approach. Combining these strategies with innovative technologies and an unmatched level of creativity has helped Cotton’s clients stand out from their competitors, creating more quality leads and closed sales.
Cotton & Company is a full-service digital real estate marketing firm specializing in the luxury segment. The firm boasts a portfolio of more than 1,700 communities, including luxury condominiums, country clubs, marina residences, resort residential, and master-planned communities. Visit CottonCo.com to learn more about their full scope of services that range from branding and website development to sales support, lead generation, and digital/social marketing.