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An Estate Agent’s Guide to Marketing to First Time Buyers

First-time buyers are an important customer base to connect with. They reduce the length of the house-buying chain and often have a lump sum of money behind them so that they’re ready to move in. It’s important to note that the average age of the first-time buyer is on the rise — meaning the demographic you must target to reach these customers is not the same as it used to be. Read on as Where The Trade Buys reveals its top tips for reaching the market of new home buyers.

Agenda

1. Understanding the target market
2. Smart advertising placement
3. Complementary services
4. Advice to the seller

Understanding the target market

Although your agency might have been marketing to first-time buyers for many years, it’s important to note that the demographic of these buyers has significantly changed over time.

In 1960, the age of the average first-time buyer was 23 years old, but this has now increased to 30 years old as people save for longer to secure their place on the property ladder. It’s still a key demographic to target though, with the number of people buying their first home increasing steadily — statistics showed that figures representing first-time buyers rose by 6% between January 2017 and January 2018.

It’s important to remember that this demographic has been saving longer than those in the past too. In 2018, reports revealed that potential first-time buyers were required to save for eight years before they’d be able to afford a deposit on a home. Consider targeting this audience with long-term savings advice when they’re younger.

As people wait longer to purchase their first home, it’s likely that the one that they choose will be the one that they hope to live in for many years to come. At one time, first time buyers may have been unmarried and without children, but as the age rises so does the household unit. First-time buyers may now be a married couple who have been renting a flat but are now ready to take out a mortgage. When suggesting houses for first-time buyers, understand their situation and don’t assume they want a smaller property to begin with.

Smart advertising placement

The first step to securing business from first-time buyers is making them aware of your company and brand message. This can be done with strategic advertising placements.

First-time buyers are likely to carry out a lot of research before purchasing a house. A lot of this may be done online and this is where you put your brand at the forefront of their mind. Explore online blogs and forums where buyers exchange house purchasing experiences and mortgage advice. You might even discover local social media groups where people are recommending certain areas or asking about accessible amenities. Through these platforms, you can communicate with potential first-time buyers, offering your own expertise in response to their queries.

Although a national newspaper placement would maximise viewers, it probably wouldn’t result in as many relevant leads. Instead, position yourself in local newspapers where potential buyers can be exposed to your brand. Consider a partnership with the media to contribute an advice column on mortgages or house buyers, making your company appear as the expert in the field.

We can’t underestimate the power of social media. Aside from increasing your presence on local pages, you need to stay on top of your own page too. The audience that you’re targeting is more than likely to have a social media account, so promotion through this channel is important. Engage with your audience by offering related advice, perhaps through a blog that you can share on your page. Not only does this encourage your audience to interact with your page, but it can also make you into a trusted information source.

Don’t forget your offline marketing either. Having branded brochures in your estate agents which give information on the local area for visitors to pick up could be one way to promote your services. If your agency is not easy to spot, promote yourself with well-placed outdoor signsor swing and whirlwind signs.

Complementary services

Make your estate agency stand out from the rest by offering complementary services.

As well as doing research online, first-time buyers are likely to seek face-to-face advice too. Ensure that your employees are well-equipped with knowledge on the area and can offer guidance to those looking to buy in the area. Building up a reliable repertoire with customers can increase your chances of a sale.

Remember that the target market of first-time buyers is likely to be more excitable than other buyers. Is there anything that you can do to get involved with this? Even showing your own enthusiasm about a property or getting hyped up with the buyer can encourage them to connect with you.

It’s important to build up a relationship with this market, as they’re likely to buy and sell properties in the future and you want them to choose you!

Advice to the seller

There is some advice that you can give to the seller if you’re expecting their property to be viewed by first-time buyers. After all, a sale for them is a sale for you too!

Consider creating a how-to-guide leaflet to inform them further on marketing to different clientele. First-time buyers may be looking at smaller properties when compared to second or third-time buyers and need to know how to make the most of their new space. Encourage the property seller to demonstrate how the areas in their home can be multifunctional. Having a sofa bed in the spare room, for example, can show how the room can accommodate for more than just one, and they could also demonstrate how the loft could be converted into another bedroom.

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