More bang for your buck per square inch: Why real estate needs to forego paper and embrace digital signage

There’s not a sector that has gone economically untouched in the last few months, and real estate is the one we’ve all been keeping a rather twitchy eye on. It’s rarely been this tricky for property owners to hold on to property, for prospective buyers to make a commitment, for landlords to find reliable tenants, for tenants to decide if now is the right time… The only two things that still hold true for this sector are:

1. Cost savings are important, like every other sector.

2. There’s still a need to engage and attract.

Luckily, digital has got this.

We’ve noticed an interesting trend during this COVID period that more people are looking to make the investment in digital than we had anticipated. Quite simply, methods known to attract and persuade customers are, to business owners, worth the calculated spend. When it’s harder to gauge how many customers will be at your boutique or café, it’s worth every bit of marketing to make that upsell.

It’s no different for real estate. Invariably, those of us looking to buy/sell/rent at this time are in the game because we need to be, and we need to be engaged enough to take a step despite the uncertainty. Shopfront and customer-facing screens in the office can more than take care of this. 

More savings in the bank

The cost of printed collateral stacks up considerably. Digital can save substantial overheads, and the initial investment doesn’t have to break the bank either.

Most of us are old enough to remember the quintessential image of an office buried in paper, before computers became a thing. A typical real estate office today is a strong contender for the win if we’re comparing the sheer volume of paper you can expect to find. And no doubt this is for good reason. Image matters in this business, and every home-to-be must be displayed to impress. Add to that the personal touch of introducing the agent who can make this possible, and you’ve got a tonne of communicating to do.

 

The thing is, each brochure and poster costs a pretty penny, and the more volume and replacements you go for, there more the costs stack up. Digital, on the other hand, is a one-time investment that takes care of many, many rounds of communication, saving you substantial overheads. And the initial purchase doesn’t have to break the bank either—the idea of screens and digital being too expensive is patently untrue with new methods of digital signage.

You also get to dodge the other cost of paper, as you get to be proudly paper free in keeping with the times, and there’s less hassle of people touching collateral during peak infection times.

Much more current

There’s something to be said for the resonance of digital as opposed to static displays. Statistics will tell you that digital increases sales and is more persuasive, but it’s also about just how much printed messages drown out in the presence of their more attractive counterpart. As we tune in to digital as a culture and expect dynamism, there’s a greater need for compelling, non-static communication if a business has to keep up.

More control than you give it credit for

It’s possible to schedule content to your screens no matter where you are, even from a mobile device. You can plan your content weeks in advance, or go day-to-day, and make changes to existing templates. That is, adding the “SOLD” to a property can be just about as easy as typing the word—at no additional charge.

Another little-known fact is that you don’t always have to be at the office to make things happen. You can turn your screens off and on remotely, making it that much easier to target your displays to peak hours and save energy when there’s no one outside.

You can also cover off on a host of information—cleanly displaying images, details about each property, and the go-to agent, without having bollards caked with tired old paper.

A video is worth a thousand pictures

Something interesting happened in the last few months—when places such as Victoria completely stopped real estate viewings due to lockdown (despite house moving still being on the “essential” list), people embraced the video tour as the way to see “what it’s really like”.

Shopfront display options become limitless the minute you throw attractive video content and unlimited, instant updates into the mix. Drone footage is a favourite, and adding the “SOLD” to a property can be just about as easy as typing the word—at no additional charge.

Yes, a house is a touch-and-feel decision and lockdown videos are a poor substitute in desperate times. What this does reaffirm, though, is that video is that much more persuasive than static images. No amount of printed collateral can generate the same interest as a video tour of a home, or drone footage for those more glamorous dwellings displayed at your shopfront. It’s a known way to increase foot traffic, generate interest and lift your brand awareness in the process.

It’s time for real estate to embrace digital with the same vigour that hospitality and retail have. In a business where being current matters, there’s no better way to communicate. And of course, there’s all those savings. 

Five Faces is a full house digital solution provider for healthcare. A unique Five Faces solution, Entertain, is a plug and play digital player with a one-time cost, to enable SMEs to set up and run digital content easily, affordably, and instantly. Visit entertain.fivefaces.com.au to learn more. 

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