New Study Reveals Real Estate Industry Marketing Practices Contradict Its Own Research

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Brandeis University International Business School survey of hundreds of real estate firms reveals that most companies still do not understand the significance of the Web.

What is surprising is that while Google generates approximately 3 billion unique daily searches, only a small minority of real estate players are tapping into the opportunity in a serious way.

According to the initial findings of the “Brandeis University/inSegment, Inc. Digital Marketing Survey of the US Real Estate Industry,” adoption of the Web continues to reflect a major disconnect with the industry’s own consumer research.

According to a December 2009 National Association of Realtors Ò report, 90% of consumers begin their real estate search online. However, according to the Brandeis/inSegment report, a disproportionate percentage of marketing dollars continues to be allocated to traditional marketing campaigns rather than to more successful and cost-efficient programs such as search engine marketing.

“There is nothing surprising about the fact that all real estate consumers are on the Web. This is true for just about every industry,” said Oleg A. Vyadro, Founder and Principal of inSegment, Inc.,a Boston-area digital marketing agency representing real estate clients in the US and internationally, “What is surprising is that while Google generates approximately 3 billion unique daily searches, only a small minority of real estate players are tapping into the opportunity in a serious way.”

The survey of decision-makers in firms across key real estate segments focused on current marketing mix, awareness of existing and emerging digital marketing opportunities, and offered insights into the underlying reasons for the slow migration towards Web marketing.

Key findings included:

1. Substantial Under-Investment in Web Marketing

Regardless of stated awareness concerning the significance of the Web, 76% of the participants contribute less than 30% of their marketing budgets to digital marketing.

2. Search Engines Largely Ignored

Despite the fact that search engines are most often the first step in a consumer’s product purchase or research, 58% of the participants stated that their company does not run search engine campaigns at all.

3. Reasons for Slow Adoption

Perceived complexity of the various digital marketing opportunities and reduced marketing budgets were the most common justifications offered in explaining the industry’s lagging response to the Web. The majority of participants felt that the objective measurability of Web marketing and economic pressures for more efficient marketing would be the biggest factors in “selling” digital marketing programs to executive management and company owners.

4. Awareness of Gap

67% of participants do not believe that they are making the most of the online opportunity while 53% of participants intend to aggressively increase online spending in 2010.

For more information please contact:
Nichole Bates, 617. 274.8253

The Brandeis University International Business School, located in Waltham, Massachusetts is a pioneering professional school dedicated to teaching and research in global finance, management and economic policy. It responds to the growing need for international vision and expertise by preparing exceptional individuals from around the world to become principled leaders of global companies and public institutions. Teaching cutting-edge theory, IBS immerses students in international experiences, and connects them to best practice in business and policy.

To learn more about Brandeis IBS, please visit http://www.brandeis.edu/global/

inSegment, Inc., based in Needham, Massachusetts, is a full service digital marketing agency that conceives and implements custom programs for real estate clients in resort development, luxury apartment rentals, retail and office, commercial and industrial, student housing and real estate private equity; as well as companies in software, financial services, publishing, professional services and retail industries.

To learn more about inSegment, please visit http://www.insegment.com.

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