The average age of a first-time buyer (FTB) is now 30, according to Halifax, up from previous years as a result of high house prices, student debts and a rise in the age at which couples have children. These factors have also contributed to buyers opting for a longer repayment period of 30 or 35 years over the traditional 25 year mortgage. In 2006, just 36 per cent of FTBs opted for a term of over 25 years as found in the report by Halifax; in 2016, that figure had risen to 60 per cent. This indicates that many will still be paying off home loan debts into their retirement years, therefore it is more important than ever for them to choose the right first property to invest in.
There is no time like the present to target FTBs as the market for affordable homes is ever-growing, with £7 billion released in the government’s affordable housing programme. Additionally, more FTBs bought a home in 2016 than in any year since the financial crisis in 2007, which is good news for FTBs and in turn, estate agents.
Facebook’s business advertising platform also allows you to target Instagram users.
According to Statista, over 90 per cent of Facebook’s daily active global users access the site via mobile and almost 80 per cent of time spent on all social media platforms happens on mobile, as reported by comScore. It is therefore vital to ensure content is mobile friendly, and not just optimised for desktop. This will allow potential home buyers to browse at ease when searching for their first property and should result in a higher chance of a viewing.
TOP TIP Create short and snappy content for Facebook.
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Facebook is unsurprisingly the market leader on social media, currently housing 32 million UK users and expecting to reach 33 million by 2018, according to Statista. Last year 76 per cent of Facebook users visited the site daily and this is an important consideration when targeting FTBs.
They will expect fresh, engaging content daily, so it essential to produce this in order to break through the content noise and attract buyers. It is also important to note that 74 per cent of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing according to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Michael Stelzner. B2C marketers place greater importance on visual content than B2B marketers.
TOP TIP Post regular updates on your timeline of properties available. This will make it worthwhile for users to follow your accounts. Use a scheduling tool to post at the times your followers are online.
The average individual has five social media accounts and spends roughly 1 hour 40 minutes each day browsing, meaning to reach FTBs, estate agents will need to cover these platforms. The quickest way to reach your target audience is through paid advertising as you can target specific interests and demographics.
Another worthy content contender is Instagram, which has doubled its user base in just two years. 55 per cent of marketers chose Facebook as their most important social media platform, however there were more than 500 million Instagram users in June 2016, so it is definitely a platform to be considered.
Paid content is a must for estate agents contending with dozens of others, and the competition is only going to get tougher.
A content marketing study by Clutch detailed that 85 per cent of the enterprise content marketers surveyed in a study believed paid advertisement are more effective than organic approaches in content distribution.
TOP TIP Create a Facebook advert specifically targeting people with the interest of ‘First-time buyer’ and ‘Likely to be a first-time buyer.’ The Facebook business advertising platform also allows you to target Instagram users. A sure way to target those potential buyers who spend time on many different platforms!
You can now create a variety of different types of content for your audiences to engage with. If your content does not stand out, you won’t get much engagement. Trialling new technology could also be key to engagement: live video and 360 degree photos are all proven successes on social media. Facebook users were found to spend three times more time watching live videos than traditional videos according to Software Engineer Vibhi Kant, as live videos are more interesting in the moment than after the fact.
TOP TIP Try using different types of content on your social media accounts to make it more interesting and engaging.