An innovative concept known as loyalty marketing was heralded by the launch of American Airlines AAdvantage in the early 80’s and has since evolved to become competitive table-stakes as loyalty programs have saturated the business landscape. It is curious that an industry like real estate, powered by 80% repeat and referral business has missed the mark on loyalty marketing.
Real Estate is not the only industry getting it wrong. It’s safe to say that the majority of programs consumers experience today have been designed “By Boomers for Boomers,” all while fundamental shifts in consumer purchase behavior demand that new models emerge to capture the attention of digitally connected consumers. For real estate to do it right, we need to focus on extending loyalty programs to new forms of media right out of the gate.
Customer experience, customer engagement, and Big Data are buzzwords competing for the attention of marketers, and a flood of new technology based on mobile devices, points-of-sale, and social networks offer potential solutions for business, both large and small.
Real Estate collects more personal data than almost any industry. We know where people live, income details, debt details, family details, professional details, personal preferences, and have recorded deep levels of contact information. The majority of real estate brokers leave it to their agents to curate this information or, they store this data in paper files in a storage facility for 7 years and throw it away.
I think that we can do better as an industry. Moreover, I think that companies that develop loyalty programs and use customer relationships to create clients for life will outperform their peers.