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January 24, 2014

Real Estate’s New Frontier….Predictive Marketing

by mark mclean

predictive marketingLast year I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Realtors convention in Orlando. Now I don’t know if this has ever happened to you but my experience is that when I attend the same conference the following year, I am always let down. Sometimes you get the same boring old speakers, sometimes the organization falls flat or maybe the energy just isn’t there. Well I did’t get that impression this year. The 2013 NAR convention in San Francisco was a stand out. To read the full report on NAR 2012 you can read my blog about it here.
So what was so good about this year’s event? Where last Year’s NAR was all about finding new ways to connect and engage with consumers, this year the buzz word was predictive marketing. It was about suspending your belief in the way we are used to working and believe in the science of real estate.

What is predictive marketing anyway? Consider this; We send out real estate flyers to a neighbourhood, often at great expense. What if technology could tell you the names and addresses of the three people in the neighbourhood that are planning to move this year. Take a look at this video on SMART TARGETING. So you are probably thinking…Yes, I want this now! Well don’t hold your breath. Privacy issues may prevent smart targeting in Canada but the technology exists already. In the U.S. data sites like, Zillow and Trulia have advanced metrics on who is looking at properties. Mr. Jones, from 123 Main St. looked at a house 6 months ago. Now he is looking at several houses a day. That has to mean something. Since these sites are for profit they can sell that data to the highest bidder. Not as easy in Canada but can you think of metrics that exist now, in our market, that could help you predict who is going to sell in the next few weeks or months? I suppose that is the challenge we face.
The idea behind predictive marketing has been around for a long time. You just need to look at Netflix for a perfect example. Do you ever see that message?….people who rented this movie also watched… OR we think you may also like this….
How about home depot? They see that you bought deck stain. Humm, that must mean that you are finishing off that deck…so they make available a gift certificate for a BBQ. But perhaps the best example has to be Target’s Customer Tracking Technology. Based on the products that a high school age girl was looking at, Target sent her coupons for maternity clothing and nursery furniture. The girl’s dad was furious at the store manager but as it turned out, the girl was pregnant, and Target was the first to know.
So now that you know this technology is out there, how can you make it work for you? Google analytics can get you part of the way there. Any other ideas?

mark mclean

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