Predicting 2021—Ed Carey of Audience Town Looks at Tech’s Influence on Real Estate Marketing – NJ Tech Weekly

By Ed Carey, Founder and CEO of Audience Town

With the new year coming, I wanted to share my 2021 projections for real estate marketing. The impact of last year and the impact on the next year will redefine the property marketing sector for years to come as digital and virtual protocols take control, giving consumers the freedom to move on their way.

1. Paid digital advertising will continue to replace the traditional functions of brokers, resulting in lower commissions.
Digital brokers like REX (Washington, NJ office) and 1 Percent Lists (Covington, La.) Are two of the pioneers of this model, where cost-effective online advertising does a lot of customer acquisition instead of hired salespeople. Big dogs like Compass (New York) have launched their own digital advertising tools to help agents who want to be more digital and virtual.
2. High profile real estate IPOs like Compass and Opendoor (San Francisco) will add more discerning digital marketing providers to this category.
These vendors will find that the real estate sector is full of large, well-capitalized companies looking to spend their money on digital marketing, and the now crowded real estate tech marketing landscape will gradually consolidate.
3. What is PropTech?
PropTech (for “real estate technology”) as well as iBuyer and Neobrokerage are the types of companies that will market their new business models to other companies and agents (B2B) in 2021, completely missing the wave of consumer attention (B2C) until 2022 and beyond. Similar to the pharmaceutical industry in marketing drugs: for decades they sold only to doctors, but over time they ran advertising campaigns aimed at “asking your doctor about …” to gain more acceptance.
4. Real estate brands will have their “woke up” moment because Facebook is ineffective at lead generation.
Posts on Facebook are only seen by 1 percent of followers. Paid apartment listings are subject to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) targeting restrictions. And consumers are skeptical of the legitimacy of social media. Sure, Facebook has eyeballs, so it is considered a must-have marketing, but Facebook isn’t an effective main driver unless it’s used with other ad platforms.
5. Obfuscating consumer laws, FHA and ad tracking guidelines Google, Apple and Facebook will inexplicably reduce ROI [return on investment] of lead gene marketing by 10 percent.
It is harder to find and reach your customers online because of guidelines like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), as well as tracking restrictions enforced by companies like Apple. By the end of 2021, digital marketers will not be able to ignore these changes, and they will be looking for new tools and data practices that will achieve the same level of effectiveness.
6. This is the year of the video.
It was a niche technology in 2019, but virtual video tours are now critical to the consumer buying, selling and leasing experience. For tours, ads, listings, branding, TV, bots and emails, I expect a 10-fold growth in video acceptance in various facets of real estate marketing.
7. Consumer preference data is the best solution to today’s unprecedented mobility behavior.
It’s too hard to predict the disruptions in the city / suburb, office work, housing needs, and employment caused by COVID. Hence, buying keywords, sending emails, and running social ads is not enough to generate leads. Data can be used to predict marketing messages and proactively deliver them to moving companies, eventually giving them their role as the standard fuel for the marketing department in 2021.
8. This is the year of the survival of the fittest: Agent Edition
Due to the lack of personal relationship building, real estate agents with less than three years of experience need to become digital marketing experts in order to successfully build their clients. As seasoned agents successfully convert their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database into more transactions, 2021 will be a critical make-it-or-break-it year for the less experienced agents.

This article is based on an article Ed posted on his company website in December. Prior to founding Audience Town, a Newark-based real estate advertising technology startup, Ed worked for 20 years for leading media, advertising technology, data and wireless companies including Quest Magazine, the New York Times, Undertone, the Rubicon Project, Dun & Bradstreet and Kargo. Ed lives in Bedminster with his wife and three young children. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Tags: 1 percent lists, Apple, Audience Town, CCPA, Kompass, Ed Carey, Facebook, Federal Housing Administration, GDPR, Google, iBuyer, Neobrokerages, Opendoor, paid digital advertising, data protection laws, PropTech, REX, virtual video tours

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Ed Carey

Ed Carey