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5 Real Estate Trends for 2021 — and How Marketers Can Capitalize With Call Tracking

Derek Andersen Senior Content & SEO Specialist, DialogTech

COVID-19 is causing radical shifts in the way consumers engage with real estate firms. To thrive in 2021, real estate marketers need to anticipate future trends and adapt their strategies accordingly.

Below, I list some of the most important trends real estate marketers will see in 2021, as well as how a call tracking solution can help you capitalize on them.

1. Real Estate Ad Spend Will Increase

Real estate industry ad spend has been steadily climbing over the past few years. In 2019, real estate ad expenditure totaled $30.4 billion — by 2024, it’s projected to increase by 36% to reach $41.4 billion.

As the digital advertising landscape continues to become more competitive — and costs per lead continue to rise — real estate marketers will face increasing pressure to prove their digital marketing ROI and optimize their spend to drive more appointments at a lower cost.

2. Real Estate Firms Will Receive Higher Call Volumes

Monthly calls to real estate companies increased by 80% from March 2020 to August 2020. With in-person interactions limited by shelter-in-place orders, consumers relied on the call channel to speak with agents, make inquiries about properties, and schedule tours.

Though lockdown restrictions have since been eased, many consumers still restrict their in-person interactions due to safety concerns. Therefore, call volume is likely to be higher than it was during previous years, as consumers will use this channel to get information and schedule appointments.

3. Consumers Will Demand More Virtual Tours

Another result of consumers limiting their in-person interactions is an increase in virtual tours. Home listing site Zillow saw a 191% increase in the creation of 3D home tours in the first weeks of March 2020 compared with the average number created in February 2020. In addition, real estate firm Baird & Warner saw virtual tours increase by 40% from March 2020 to April 2020.

To adapt to this shift, real estate marketers need to create seamless virtual experiences for consumers. They need to ensure the entire process of scheduling a virtual tour is frictionless, from finding information about virtual tours on your website or IVR to calling to schedule one to following up post-tour.

4. More Consumers Will Engage with Real Estate Firms on Mobile Devices

For many years, real estate consumers have increased their use of mobile devices to search for properties. There has been an even more dramatic increase in mobile usage in 2020, as consumers limit in-person tours.

According to The National Association of Realtors, 81% of millennials, 78% of Generation Xers, and 68% of baby boomers found the home they purchased on a mobile device. In addition, 17% of buyers found their agent on a mobile device.

Providing a seamless mobile experience — online and over the phone — will be critical for real estate marketers in 2021.

5. Real Estate Consumers Will Demand Seamless Omnichannel Experiences

Going hand-in-hand with the last trend, real estate consumers will demand seamless omnichannel experiences across their entire journey. To earn their business, you’ll need to ensure they feel valued and known every step of the way.

83% of consumers say they require a positive experience to remain loyal to a brand — regardless of the channel they’re engaging on. If real estate marketers fail to provide seamless experiences for consumers, the stakes are high. 82% of consumers would switch providers as a result of a bad experience.

To get an edge over the competition in 2021, real estate firms need to embrace personalization across channels. This means providing a seamless experience as consumers transition from online research to virtual or in-person tours to closing to post-sale.

How Marketers Can Use Call Tracking to Capitalize on These Real Estate Trends

The trends above paint a bigger picture of how real estate consumer behavior is changing. In 2021, in-person tours will be limited due to COVID-19, placing increased importance on the call channel.

With more consumers researching online first and calling agents and locations to get their questions answered, real estate marketers need to have a strategy in place to ensure that they’re providing a seamless experience over the phone. As I mentioned above, expectations for the consumer journey are at an all-time high — and this includes the call channel. Failing to deliver frictionless call experiences will cost you revenue.

Understand the Marketing Sources Driving Your Most Valuable Phone Calls

Call tracking and analytics solutions like DialogTech allow you to understand the webpages, marketing campaigns, and keywords driving not only the most calls — but the highest quality calls to your agents and locations. This allows you to optimize your marketing spend for the programs that are truly driving the most revenue.

For instance, a search campaign for a certain condo complex may be driving a high volume of calls to your agents. However, once you use a call tracking solution, you may discover many of these calls are not appointment-related — they’re post-sale questions from consumers who have already closed on a unit. You could then decrease spend on this campaign, and instead allocate it to one that’s driving more appointment-related calls. This increases the overall revenue potential and quality of the calls coming into your phone lines.

DialogTech Real Estate Call Quality Report

Sample Report: See which marketing sources are driving the most sales opportunity phone calls

Detect Issues Impacting Your Call Conversion Rates

Call tracking and analytics solutions like DialogTech help you create seamless call experiences that increase customer acquisition. They provide detailed reports on answer inbound call rates and call handling performance at each location or call center that you can use to detect customer experience issues.

Sample Report: See how your locations are handling the calls driven by your marketing

For example, you can see if your calls are going unanswered at specific locations and what days and times those unanswered calls occur. You can then diagnose if your marketing is sending calls to locations when they are closed or understaffed, and make adjustments.

View Transcriptions and Recordings to Understand What’s Happening on Calls

Call tracking and analytics platforms like DialogTech give you a searchable database of call recordings and transcriptions that you can tap into. This allows you to see what’s occurring on the inbound calls your marketing is driving to call centers and locations and use these insights to make optimizations that drive more conversions.

If unconverted calls are an issue, you can analyze your recordings and transcriptions to see if your locations, call centers, and remote agents are saying the right things when consumers call. You can then pinpoint any issues. For instance, are they failing to mention virtual touring options? Are they accurately describing the safety precautions you’re enacting for any in-person interactions? You can then take steps to remedy them. In addition, you can share these recordings and transcriptions with your locations and/or call centers to use as coaching tools to improve performance.

Sample DialogTech call transcript

You can also use transcriptions to discover common caller questions and concerns — such as FAQs on virtual tours — and add them to your website and product pages to get more SEO visits and improve conversion rates.

Use IVRs and Dynamic Routing to Manage High Call Volumes

If you’re experiencing unmanageably high call volumes, you can also consider using your call tracking solution to set up an IVR (interactive voice response). You can configure an IVR to ask callers why they’re calling, route them to the best destination based on their responses, provide answers to common questions (such as FAQs about your COVID-19 precautions and low interest rates), and more.

You can also set up dynamic routing rules, in tandem with or independent of your IVRs. Below are several call routing configurations that can improve conversion rates for real estate firms:

  • Route by time of call: Have calls forwarded to specific agents, locations, or IVRs based on your location hours.
  • Route by geographic location: Send callers to the best agents or locations based on where they’re calling from.
  • Route by property they’re interested in: Send callers to specific call center agents or locations based on the property they’re interested in.
  • Route by where they are in the customer journey: Send callers to a particular call center or location based on where they are in the funnel. For instance, are they looking to schedule a tour over the phone or are they asking questions about closing on a home?
  • Prioritize high-intent callers: For example, send callers who called from a “schedule a tour” ad to the top of the queue so they’re answered right away.

Set up rules in DialogTech to route more calls to your highest-performing locations

Want to learn more about how call tracking can help you enhance your marketing strategy in 2021? Check out our ebook, The 10 Call Analytics Reports That Will Change Your Marketing.

To learn about how call tracking can help you acquire more real estate customers, download our ebook, The New Consumer Trends Impacting Real Estate Marketing Now.

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