Real Estate Apps can make a real difference in H1 🏠📈, here’s how:

This brief data study shows some key trends in the US Real Estate App Market and how marketers can leverage this information.

Florencia Vago

February 8, 2019

In this data study, we share some key trends in the US Real Estate App Market and how marketers can leverage these insights to boost their in-app activity.

Data Highlights

  • There are 2 annual Real Estate pushes. While most advertisers recognize the high in-app activity in Q3 (specifically July & August) — April shows a similar trend.
  • July sees +44% higher activity of total in-app events than the annual average, and a +20% increase in Key Events.
  • There’s only a 4% difference in Key Events completed in July vs April.

Retargeting for Real Estate Apps

The Real Estate purchase funnel is very unique, in that most home buyers spend a large amount of time researching to make one large purchase, unlike m-commerce and on-demand apps where a user may make multiple purchases in a single day.

Choosing a place to rent or buy is major life decision, aside from the monetary cost, there’s the hassle of moving and adapting the routine/commute/etc. Given the nature of the purchase, the decision process tends to be quite lengthy and Real Estate apps need to stay top of mind throughout it.

Seasonality of Real Estate Apps in the US 🇺🇸

Several variables can influence the volume and success of a campaign (and the app itself) from the creative strategy to the overall state of the economy in the region. While there is not much marketers can do to control the economy, other factors are worth considering. Seasonality, for example. There are clear trends regarding the periods of higher and lower activity. By identifying when and how to boost retargeting efforts, marketers can make a real difference in the app’s performance.

Data Source: Data taken from Google Trends, where the volume for search corresponds to “Apartments for Lease” and the volume for moves corresponds to “uhaul”

The first thing that stands out from the data is the peak in activity in Q3, specifically in July. There’s a clear increase in “people moving” from June through September. The second trend worth noting is the steady ramp up in searches leading up to April, and then again closer to the actual moves.

From this we can infer that users moving into their new places in Q3, actually started browsing at the beginning of the year 👀

How is this reflected in apps? 📱📈

Market trends are clearly reflected in app usage. There are signs of interest as early as January, gradually increasing up to April, and then again leading up to the peak in moves occurring in July.

There is 44% higher app usage in July (peak in activity) vs December (lowest point in activity) which is why many advertisers focus their marketing efforts close to the middle of the year, hoping to capture the users displaying the “highest intent”. However, looking at the data, it’s possible to see that April doesn’t lag far behind July.

There’s less than 4% difference in Key Events between April and July. This suggests that the interest in finding a new place to live actually begins early in the year. Where January-March deliver the intent signals that help marketers drive key-events in April.

Getting down to business: how can marketers leverage retargeting?

These are the strategic actions marketers should put in place during the first half of the year to drive relevant leads and contacts for their business.

#1 Invest in retargeting early in the year

Marketers invest heavily in retargeting users during the summer, they are potentially missing out on captivating users as they start thinking about moving.

#2 The conversion rate of leads to leases (L2L) is a key metric

In general, the purchase of a property is not the endgame for Real Estate retargeting campaigns. Real Estate Retargeting campaigns tend to be more focused on driving leads/contacts from users. However, some Key Events can require an important commitment and strong interest from users, (which makes it harder and more costly to achieve). Think: events like “requiring information via email” are more easily achieved than “requesting and completing a tour of a house”.

One way to qualify those leads is to track the conversion rate of Leads to Leases (L2L) Sharing this data with your app marketing platform, can help them drive more responsive leads 📈

#3 Mi creative es su creative — Leverage HTML creatives for agile ad testing

Most apps are still developing the product feed that is necessary to run Dynamic Product Ads, showing each user the listings in the categories they searched for. That said, advertisers can still customize their interactions through continuous testing. According to a series of experiments we ran, colors and images are the ad components that have the most significant impact on CTR. So it’s a good idea to test different images, and taking it one step further, different types of images.

For example:

  • Testing images of interiors vs exteriors
  • Testing images of homes vs promotional images of people moving in/ in those spaces

Additionally, using brand colors facilitates brand recognition and makes for a more seamless user journey from ad to app.

#4 Engage users with video ads 📹

Videos have proven to be a very engaging format for most verticals, and Real Estate is no different. While CPAs for this format do tend to be higher, it opens up new placements/ inventory and hence new opportunities to engage with users.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Include the brand’s logo or app icon in the video — specially at the beginning and end of the video.
  • Boost brand recognition and recall by making sure that the video’s aesthetics should be coherent with the app store landing page and contextually similar to the app.
  • Keep them short and simple — on this note, keep in mind that videos should make sense without sound.

#5 Use 30-Day Cohorts to track success

Since Key Event Conversions tend to involve a lengthier decision process, the timeframes to measure success tend to be longer.

Using a 30 Day Cohort will help advertisers distinguish between the users who are just “looking out of curiosity” vs those that are really in the need or have a strong desire of moving to a new place.

Open House for App Marketers

App Retargeting is a key tool for app marketers to both counter the lower in-app activity of certain seasons as well as capitalizing the high interest shown in other moments of the year.

In the US market, advertisers should capture users’ high interest early in the year, and leverage the interactions of those first months to show more and more customized offers towards the second half of the year where the intent to buy is highest.

👨‍💻👩‍💻for more insights about programmatic retargeting and strategies to grow your app.

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