The current U.S. housing market has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. With median house prices ascending to record highs, consumers seem to be holding their breath ‘till the “big drop” when prices will finally shift in favor of the buyer. Consumer paralysis should not be mistaken with a lack of demand. Quite the opposite, the demand is far higher than one might expect. Priming the target audience for conversion should be the next step in your marketing playbook.
Consumers are eager to purchase despite the tightening grip on their wallets. According to a recent home buyer survey conducted by ConsumerAffairs, 75% of respondents have about $30,000 saved and intend to buy a home if the market crashes. Compared to the home buying frenzy of 2021, home buyers are clearly a bit more patient now–though they are still ripening with intent. Financial Advisor reports that one in-market buyer, Julie Soto, says that she has every intention to purchase a home, but that “Our times are so volatile, it’s not a time to make a hasty decision.” The market is not losing buyers, it’s accumulating a pool of individuals who have decided to purchase on their timelines.
Demand is also growing with an influx of new consumers. Through analysis of website traffic and engagements for three major U.S. homebuilders who generate billions of dollars of revenue annually, Max Connect Digital found an 18% average increase of new users engaging with online content between the months of May 2022 and August, 2022. These new users show high-converting potential with activity primarily focused on browsing floor plans, making phone calls, and spending longer-than-average time on site. The idea that 2022 is experiencing an influx of new consumers coincides with a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), who claim that the share of millennial home buyers continues to rise in 2022 and beyond. NAR’s vice president of behavioral insights, Jessica Lautz, affirms that "There is a wave of millennial buyers who are aging into the traditional first-time buyer age range…They are now jumping headfirst into homeownership."
When consumers reach the brink of conversion, those brands that are top of mind will be well in front of the pack. Compared to overpriced pay-per-lead services, building a strong brand equity primes audiences for conversion and provides an edge over competitors. Claiming a spot within consumer mindshare is no overnight coincidence—it occurs through frequent and meaningful interactions with the target audience. Your brand can develop a steady reputation against the backdrop of a volatile market by investing in media that cultivates a hyper-relevant and uniquely personable brand image. By attracting long-term interest, rather than forcing immediate response, consumers will come searching for your brand when their intent to purchase has culminated.
If you’re frustrated with the housing market rollercoaster, developing brand prominence with consumers will ultimately result in a wealth of pending leads. One example of this is with a leading national home builder who, instead of bidding on expensive Paid Search terms for their leads, they built an immovable brand equity via memorable messaging in Display and Social ads. As a result, 60% of their total website traffic is now attributable to direct searches for their brand while their competitors still rely on expensive search ads for 40-60% of their traffic. This builder has clearly established themselves as an authority within consumer mindshare–the ultimate safeguard for a brand’s longevity.
When exactly the big drop happens, we don’t know. But that shift will have an almost immediate impact on the consumer marketplace. Brands that are reacting will have lost the initiative to those who have been proactive during the process. The golden rule of marketing during a downturn is to always keep going. That couldn’t be evermore true in the American housing market.