Focus on attractive visuals

“In 2019, photography will be your no. 1 asset when it comes to increasing your business”proclaimed startup Meero one year ago. Before adding that “to make sure you stand out, the best asset of any estate agent is photography”. It’s a golden rule widely adopted by estate agents, so why shouldn’t the same apply to your marketing and sales teams? Especially given that non-existent nature of new-build property (since it is being marketed off-plan) is no longer an obstacle, thanks to the virtual reality technology currently available to us.

For us, this is the no. 1 marketing resolution for new-build real estate!

The average human attention span online is now as little as 8 seconds(it was 12 seconds in 2000), less than the concentration capacity of a goldfish!

The challenge is therefore not only to catch the user’s eye, but to captivate an audience long enough to get your message across.


In short, for 2020, there can be no marketing without attractive visuals. But what is an attractive visual?

  • An image. A true classic. In real estate even more so than elsewhere, images need to speak to people’s emotions and be constantly renewed. They have to be aesthetically pleasing, and can now be used to convey an idea, a testimonial, or even a key figure. They should be modern, a reflection of your brand image.
  • A video. THE preferred format for internet users. 54% of consumers say they want to see video content when they’re looking into brand. Whether a product demo, an interview, a story, or something else, generating video content has never been so easy.
  • An infographic. Common practice in the media, they are easier to assimilate and more visually appealing than text. They arouse curiosity and help to structure and highlight information.
  • Finally, interactive content: meaning content with which users can interact and get actively involved. It stimulates the user and appeals to their curiosity. This type of content is particularly valuable for increasing connection time, raising awareness of the brand, building loyalty, dominating in your industry, generating qualified leads, developing sales, and more.


Start with the essentials: type, description, address, price

For a long time, one of the golden rules of real estate was: “The less information we give to the future buyer, the more they’ll be forced to come into the sales office”. Well, we have some good news: times have changed! Future buyers too. Transparency of information is now synonymous with customer satisfaction. The consumer is used to having access to more and more information. If you don’t give it to them, they will simply find it elsewhere, or worse, from someone else. It is within your capabilities tobe transparent and inspire confidenceto make sure a prospective customer chooses your development over another.

Show your prices, offer your plans for download, describe each lot, and so on. This will facilitate the search process and the decision of your future buyers, who willcompare an average of 7 different homes during their property search. This can sometimes cause the user to abandon ship, and not even fill in the information request box. It doesn’t matter – on the contrary: you will have saved everybody time. The internet user, for one, who will move on with their search, and avoid any disappointment while retaining their confidence in you. And your sales teams, too, who won’t have to deal with poorly qualified requests and avoid wasting their time.


Provide maximum information about the neighbourhood and the market

One of the first search criteria is location. If you are searching for a property in Rennes Nord, you want Rennes Nord, perhaps Saint Grégoire but not Saint Jacques de la Lande. If you’re looking in Asnières, you are going to look for the Mairie or Les Agnettes areas. But the two are very different: the real estate offering, the prices per square metre and the living environment can vary from one neighbourhood to another.

So don’t hesitate to highlight each town or city, and even each neighbourhood or area. Emphasise local statistics (price per square metre, average rent, properties available, transport, etc.) as well as information on the living environment such as the atmosphere of the neighbourhood, its main attractions, and so on. The buyer will feel reassured by the quantitative information, but these qualitative details will also help them project themselves into their future neighbourhood and imagine themselves living there.

Some ideas developed by Long & Fosterand byImmobilier2.0:

  • Focus on the atmosphere of the neighbourhood through restaurants, shops, etc.
  • Provide key information about the neighbourhood
  • Liven up the info with photographs and videos
  • Hear from local residents
  • Present similar neighbourhoods that might interest the buyer


Promote the atmosphere of the residence by playing on emotions

The residence in question does not yet exist, so it’s up to you to bring the real estate project to life in the minds of your prospective clients. A description and a few pictures will not be enough. Do everything you can to stand out from your competitors by highlighting the architecture, layout, shared green spaces and pedestrian paths as well as balconies, mezzanines or terraces.

Your prospects know what they want and what they don’t want. This is the time to highlight the strengths of your offering, so don’t hesitate to show it off using imagesand 360° video:

  • outdoor spaces
  • orientation of the building
  • the existence of a car park
  • the landscaped park
  • the entrance hall/lobby
  • high-end services such as swimming pool or gym.

It would be a shame not to focus on the elements that make you stand out!


Offer virtual tours for total immersion

A virtual visit has much more impact than a simple image or 2D plan. The future buyer can better imagine the space, the exposure, the layout of the rooms, and so on. Some virtual tours include real photography and allow you to discover the view from a balcony or terrace.

This need to be able to project oneself in order to commit has become more commonplace in recent years. It is now unusual to find property particulars without virtual tours.

A study carried out in 2018 byColdwell Banker Smart Homeshowed that:

  • 90% of buyers carry out their initial property search online.
  • 77% of respondents expressed a desire to take a virtual tour before arranging a proper visit.
  • 68% of respondents said that they expect this type of immersion in order to see whether their furniture could easily fit into their new apartment.

These digital tools are particularly relevant in the context of an off-plan purchase. The accommodation presented immediately becomes more real and reassures future buyers by allowing them to project themselves, to visualise the rooms, equipment, and so on. Digital models, which present the entire project in 3D, help to visualise the spaces from the entrance hall, to the apartments, including the common areas and any outdoor space.


Offer different interior ambiances that speak to your customers and are suited to their needs

There are so many possibilities in terms of decoration, choice of materials, different styles, etc. that it is sometimes difficult to make a decision. The customer may lack inspiration or not have the time, and cannot imagine their future interior. This can be a major obstacle in their purchasing decision. Most of the time, they won’t have a decorator to hand to give them inspiration and study the feasibility of ideas, or draw up a sketch.

Here, once again, virtual reality can help you reassure your client in their decision by presenting them with different interior atmospheres that will speak to them and can be tailored to their needs. Created on the basis of mood boards, they can be visually on-trend, tailored to your target, and reflect the values of your brand.

It’s a method of communication and visual expression that may not seem particularly impressive to you, but we mustn’t underestimate the importance of personalising the customer experience. It appeals to emotions and feelings, and allows the client to visualise themselves in a certain style and decorative feel. This virtual visualisation of the location of all the different components helps people to project themselves into their new home. Bringing serenity and enjoyment to the purchasing experience!


Highlight your strengths

The number of floors, the existence of a car park or a bright entrance hall are all good, but not enough. A reliable company, with years of experience in the trade, and excellent customer reviews is good, but not enough. It doesn’t tell a story. Your innovative proposal, the superior quality or originality of your buildings, and even their environmental qualities, must be highlighted and orchestrated for your strategy to be a success.

Your story needs to be unique. Your customers are looking for energy performance, an optimal living environment and good value for money, they are also and above all looking for consistency in the project developed. Your strengths should be apparent across the board and felt not only in your strategy but also through your team and your vision:

  • Personalise your customer relationship
  • Describe your future city/accommodation
  • Focus your innovations around your business project and your target
  • Get the best out of your employees
  • Showcase your partners

You should be spoiled for choice when it comes to answering a very simple question: why choose you?


Make sure your CTA buttons are clearly visible and positioned in the right way in the right places

The buttons on your website for making an appointment or requesting more information are hugely important since they allow you to collect data on prospective customers and engage them the purchasing process. They should be positioned to be as visible as possible to internet users and to increase the conversion rate. The goal is clear: to encourage users to click and fill in a form. Often, filling in the form is encouraged by means of a reward: download our buying guide, a catalogue, make an appointment, access premium content, and so on. But first of all, the button has to be visible.

It must therefore be placed in a strategic location on your website, where the user will have the best chance of seeing it. Although there are plenty of good practices, there is no golden rule: it depends on the structure of your website. Tools like ABTastylet you perform tests to determine the best location in your online universe. Generally speaking, they should be placed at the top to avoid the user having to scroll down the page (below the fold), over towards the right to follow our reading pattern and avoid multiplying them too much on each page (if so, change their appearance).


Offer an optimal experience for all types of screen

The first iPhone was launched in 2007. 13 years ago. And ever since then, we’ve seen a multitude of screens emerge, with smartphones, tablets, computers of all sizes, smart TVs and smart watches now accessible to the general public. Your user experience must therefore be adapted to each screen, but also to each type of use.

Design the smallest screen first, i.e. the smartphone (smart watches are not generally used for property searches, although the user may well use it to receive alerts). It will always be easier to add a functionality than the other way around.

Offer a smooth, consistent and reliable experience. This means not only focusing on the size of the screen but also on the capabilities of the device and the network. So it is pointless offering ultra-high quality visuals and animation videos for mobile use if it’s likely they’ll never load and therefore never be displayed. It is one of the keys to establishing a good relationship with your customer:

  • building a relationship of trust
  • offering an image of reliability
  • making life easier

A simple exercise: test the experiences offered by Netflix on different screens. QED.


Spread the word! 

Nowadays, integrating your content clearly and efficiently on your website is simply not enough. You also need to distribute this content! Sometimes for free or sometimes for a fee. Before proceeding with paid acquisition or awareness campaigns, there are many ways to distribute your content for free.

Start by posting it on social media sites:

  • Create comprehensive and detailed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even SnapChat or Linkedin accounts (photos, description, video, etc.)
  • Post content that fits in with the website and with your target.
  • Post regularly
  • Initiate connection requests with the local network, prospective clients, etc.
  • Involve your employees
  • Be creative! You can adopt a humorous tone on Facebook or take stunning photos and share important moments on Instagram.
  • Don’t hesitate to use all the formats that the platforms allow, such as 360 videos, 3D photos, surveys, and more.

On real estate portals, don’t settle for the bare minimum! Enrich your content. You have it, so use it. Se Loger Neuf, for example, lets you integrate Habiteo widgets into your data flow so that you can include:an animation video, an unstructured widget or the Mega-widget for an overall user experience.