Zavvie, a Colorado tech startup billing itself as the nation’s first hyperlocal marketing platform, released the results of a new survey of 350 real estate professionals. Some 95 percent of those surveyed said local market knowledge is either “very important” or “extremely important” to their consumer clients.
Lane Hornung, Zavvie CEO and co-founder, said in a statement that the survey results show there is a “great disconnect” emerging in the real estate industry. “When we asked how many specialize in neighborhoods, just 12 percent said that they do,” Hornung noted, adding that the study found that most real estate professionals are making their marketing area as broad as possible. More than 60 percent of agents and teams said they “specialize” in a large regional or metro area.
The majority of real estate professionals said they value local customer reviews from websites including Zillow, Yelp, Nextdoor, and Google, with many respondents saying reviews on these sites were “very” or “extremely important.” Additionally, 73 percent cited Facebook as their No. 1 marketing tool for connecting with customers locally. Yet the survey’s social media findings showed that roughly 44 percent of agents and 50 percent of teams believe social media is “somewhat” or “not important” to their business. One in 10 use Instagram, and only 1 in 20 use Twitter to connect with local customers.
Zavvie COO Stefan Peterson noted the difference between views and actions as an obstacle. “Few agents and teams report using hyperlocal marketing tools to share their expertise, like a blog or neighborhood website. All of these are core tools of a typical hyperlocal agent’s marketing system,” he said, adding, “‘Hyperlocalists know the local housing stock inside and out, not just the for-sale inventory but all or nearly all of the homes in their area.”
Land developers and builders may also see benefits from a hyperlocal approach. Peterson said, “The opportunity is to be rigorous about adapting projects to local market demographics and consumer preferences.” He also cited marketing strategies from outside the housing industry, advocating a local approach in business, saying, “Understanding demographics and consumer preferences is useful in determining the most suitable types of projects and developments.”
“I live in Boulder, Colo.,” Peterson continued. “Google is completing its new facility, a $130 million project of some 330,000 square feet. Boulder prizes its small-town feel and proximity to the outdoors. Google … deliberately designed an open cluster of buildings maximizing mountain views, walkability, and access to transit. Even at work, employees still feel like they are in Boulder. The [design] concept wouldn’t work nearly as well elsewhere.”