Loyalty Marketing in Real Estate

by Victor Lund on July 23, 2012

Loyalty MarketingAn innovative concept known as loyalty marketing was heralded by the launch of American Airlines AAdvantage in the early 80’s and has since evolved to become competitive table-stakes as loyalty programs have saturated the business landscape. It is curious that an industry like real estate, powered by 80% repeat and referral business has missed the mark on loyalty marketing.

Real Estate is not the only industry getting it wrong. It’s safe to say that the majority of programs consumers experience today have been designed “By Boomers for Boomers,” all while fundamental shifts in consumer purchase behavior demand that new models emerge to capture the attention of digitally connected consumers. For real estate to do it right, we need to focus on extending loyalty programs to new forms of media right out of the gate.

Customer experience, customer engagement, and Big Data are buzzwords competing for the attention of marketers, and a flood of new technology based on mobile devices, points-of-sale, and social networks offer potential solutions for business, both large and small.

Real Estate collects more personal data than almost any industry. We know where people live, income details, debt details, family details, professional details, personal preferences, and have recorded deep levels of contact information. The majority of real estate brokers leave it to their agents to curate this information or, they store this data in paper files in a storage facility for 7 years and throw it away.

I think that we can do better as an industry. Moreover, I think that companies that develop loyalty programs and use customer relationships to create clients for life will outperform their peers.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Keillor July 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

Technology Concepts was calling these customer retention programs when we were trying to convince the real estate community to use them. Of course, that was doing the boom years, so maybe things would be different today. One thing almost no one would believe is that you could actually increase the market velocity by feeding the new-home-itch.

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Victor Lund July 24, 2012 at 7:52 am

I cannot help but to believe that customers are assets in real estate. More than that, they are people who have trust in their real estate professional and brokerage. Sadly, the relationship between transactions is abysmal. In the cynical world we live in, where information about real estate is so prevalent, and everyone is client hunting – one would expect that rational real estate professionals would focus on retention and loyalty marketing.

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Dave Keillor July 24, 2012 at 9:49 am

The customer is at the top of the value chain whether people recognize that or not. Unfortunately,for a lot of real estate professionals, it’s often “one and done”. The industry needs to be focusing on the ownership cycle(s) instead of the buy (or sell) transaction. In the rest of the world, the conventional wisdom is that it’s easier to keep a client than to find a new one. A huge amount of money is being left on the table by focusing solely on just the buy/sell transaction.

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