While all of our real estate clients understand the critical importance of conducting research and analysis to assess the value and market potential of their projects, many overlook the benefits and ROI potential of conducting customer research to maximize their brand performance.
In fact, conducting market research on current and prospective customers is simply one of the highest and best uses of your marketing spend, as it always reveals new insights or helps validate existing hypotheses that lead to smarter brand decision-making.
Three of our clients, Starkey Ranch, Smith & Associates Real Estate and JMC Communities had different brand performance needs that were effectively addressed using customer research programs that were easy to design and execute, and delivered actionable results quickly — allowing them to make smarter decisions and optimize their brand performance.
Starkey Ranch: Using Research to Accelerate Home Sales
Starkey Ranch, a large mixed-used master planned community in Odessa, FL, wanted to know how to build on their initial branding success and increase home sales. Customer research gave them the answers that have contributed to a 42% year-over-year increase in contracts and a 21% increase in website traffic.
Key findings and recommendations included updating brand communications to better align with the community’s evolution into a vibrant and active community (which later became the “Alive & Thriving” campaign), improved identification and targeting of “lookalike” prospects from nearby communities, and better recognition and utilization of existing residents as brand ambassadors.
Smith & Associates: Using Research to Update Its Positioning & Story
Smith & Associates Real Estate, the largest and most successful locally owned real estate brokerage in Tampa Bay, wanted to know how to strengthen its value proposition as it expanded into new markets. Customer research gave them the answers that led them to redefine their brand narrative from focusing on the luxury market to focusing on the exceptional selling and buying experience they provide, and their deep involvement in the Tampa Bay community.
The critical finding from the Smith & Associates customer research was their superior Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a standard measure of brand health, and it’s calculated by determining the percentage of customers who would highly recommend Smith & Associates (promoters) and subtracting from it the percentage who would not (detractors). Their NPS is high because their clients love the superior market knowledge, professionalism, and service their agents provide. This insight was critical, as it resulted in Smith & Associates modifying their brand positioning and narrative to focus more on their value proposition to clients at a time when they were expanding into new markets and needed a broader message that would truly resonate.
JMC Communities: Using Research to Increase Traffic & Leads
JMC Communities wanted to find and attract new customers to its Patrick Square Traditional Neighborhood Development in Clemson, SC. Customer research told them how, which led to a 45% increase in website traffic and exceeding their 2017 home sales goal by 40%.
Our customer research for JMC revealed that almost everyone who lived in Patrick Square had a connection to nearby Clemson University and wanted to live in a community where your neighbors were also your friends. These insights lead to a new digital marketing strategy that was designed to reach Clemson Alumni and people like them who had a strong affinity to the University who were considering purchasing a home in the Clemson area. Because most home buyers spend a considerable amount of time online researching locations, we were able to reach thousands of new prospective buyers in new and exiting markets and convert them to website traffic, leads, visits to their new Sales Center, and ultimately, contracts.
Walker Brands’ Investment in Research Capabilities
Customer research can be done in many ways, both qualitatively and quantitatively, and Walker Brands is deeply invested in providing our clients with the most cost-effective and customized research solutions that get results. Tom Plummer, our VP of Brand Strategy brings over 20 years of client and supplier research experience to bear on behalf of our clients, and is well-versed on the best tools and techniques to produce actionable insights.
To find out how we can help you get the most out of your customer feedback and data, call us today at 813-875-3322. You’ll be surprised how quickly and easily we take your marketing investment to new heights.