By now, many of us have settled into the continuous shifts of 2020. Hopefully you’ve learned to take it in stride and adjust your business model when necessary in order to continue hitting your goals each month.
As we rapidly cruise towards Q4, I wanted to share some insights from my digital marketing and data teams here at BoomTown to help you move your real estate business forward confidently and strategically.
Data Shows a Market Rebound
The data continues to show a promising rebound for the housing market. After a massive halt in March and April due to COVID-19, pending home sales, listings, and solds have continued to increase month-over-month, showing that buyers are back in the market. Agents need to continue monitoring the data, keep an eye on the trends, and work hard to stay on top of their goals.
“This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership…This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.” – Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR
There are several factors driving this rebound. Here are few of the contributors that we’ve identified.
1. All-Time Low Interest Rates
Low interest rates on long-term mortgage loans have fallen even further, hitting an all-time historic low in August, 2020. “Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the key 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.07%, down from last week’s 3.13%. For the second week in a row, it is the lowest level since Freddie began tracking average rates in 1971. A year ago, the rate stood at 3.75%.”(ABC News)
2. Remote Workforce/More People in 1 Home
In fact, a recent survey showed that 75% of respondents plan to increase the number of permanent remote employees. (Gartner) Additionally, a study asking employees if they would choose to go back to the office or continue to work from home showed that 60.2% would continue to work from home. (Hanley Wood)
3. Pent-Up Demand
After the drop in the March and April spring months, the data has continued to show a steady bounce back — indicating pent up demand from the spring. In fact, the number of people applying for home mortgages increased for nine consecutive weeks and recently hit the highest level in over 11 years. (Mortgage Bankers Association)
4. Life Events Continue to Happen
The pandemic may make it seem like the world has stopped, but while things have changed, life continues to go on. Major life events; graduations, babies, promotions or job changes, marriages, retirements, downsizing, etc. These events will continue to happen and consumers demand will move forward in congruence.
The Shift: Consumers & Agents Flock to Digital Solutions
Our BoomTown data is showing promising numbers for new leads generated. The boom in leads generated in July 2020 vs 2019 indicates that the usual hot spring market was delayed a bit, shifting that pent up demand to the later summer months.
New Leads Generated
• Jan vs. July (Pre-Pandemic) ↑ 9%
• April vs. July (Spring to Summer) ↑ 8%
• July ‘19 vs ‘20 (YoY) ↑ 9%
Additionally, some good news for real estate businesses doing digital advertising: cost-per-lead has dropped pretty dramatically and digital engagement is high.
• Jan vs. July (Pre-Pandemic) ↓ 16%
• April vs. July (Spring to Summer) ↓ 3%
• July ‘19 vs ‘20 (YoY) ↓ 22%
New Leads with High Interest. These are leads that are submitting multiple requests and repeatedly visiting/favoriting a certain property on your site.
• Jan vs. July (Pre-Pandemic) ↑ 51%
• April vs. July (Spring to Summer) ↑ 53%
• July ‘19 vs ‘20 (YoY) ↑ 53%
Capitalizing on the Right Opportunities
I’ve been hearing for months from brokers and agents who are BoomTown clients — the demand is there. So, the question becomes, how do we capitalize on that demand despite the obstacles posed by the 2020 market? Meaning, combating low inventory and staying productive despite pandemic measures.
Invest in Digital Presence
It’s pretty simple, strike while the demand is hot. Based on the data we’ve seen and the fact that an unprecedented amount of people are spending countless hours on their computer and social networks, there’s never been a smarter time to focus on your digital marketing strategy.
Plus, we’ve seen in our BoomTown data that ~20% of consumers who fill out a buyer lead form also respond that they have a home to sell. That’s also steadily increasing about 1% each month since we began asking in June. Yet another opportunity to leverage your digital marketing to engage buyers that just might turn into seller leads.
What do sellers want more than anything? Current, reliable data that will help them make the smartest decision about selling their home. You are the key here! Take the compelling data that you have within your system and your MLS listings to show your potential seller leads just how much buyer demand is in the market right now.
So, in addition to educating sellers in your market and investing in your digital presence, I recommend staying on top of the data. Now, more than ever, being “the knowledge broker” is your key to finding success in 2020 and beyond.