Although Redfin revealed in December that its Homebuyer Demand Index, which measures its services and requests for home tours, and applications for mortgage purchases are in the double digits (10% and 14% by November 1, 2022, respectively), it noted that overall interest and transactions are still lower than 2021. To offset a decrease in requests that’s expected to continue through the end of 2023, agencies must work harder to promote their services in ways that engage their target audiences.
Prices Are Falling, But It’s Not Yet Enough
The market is cooling. The shift benefits buyers. Yet, inventories still remain low nationwide. Inflation and fears of recession have prompted many potential buyers to hold on to their cash and not take on additional debt.
Redfin learned that fewer people in December 2022 searched the keyword phrase “homes for sale” than in December 2021. Searches using that phrase decreased by 34% from one year to the next. Requests for tours in December were down 40% in comparison. Mortgage-purchase applications were down 38%. Pending sales were down 33% and new listings were down by 21.5%.
With home prices falling all over the country, including in major metro cities, it’s the perfect time for consumers to fulfill their dreams of homeownership, but the most recent Federal Reserve rate hike also hiked median monthly mortgage payments above $2,200, which is 36.5% higher than last year. Major cities have experienced massive pending sale drops by 50% and higher.
Some businesses are hoping for slower economic growth or even more unemployment since seller asking prices would then drop to match. Even if that happened, industry experts continue to believe that consumers will hesitate unless engaged and tempted via title insurance marketing.
How to Generate the Best Results
As with all forms of marketing, title insurance marketing must focus on an agency’s unique needs, geographic location, target audience demographics and a wide range of other factors. That said, some engagement strategies work better than others:
- Create a Memorable Impression
Every contact point for the agency needs to show that it’s the right one for offering title insurance services. Online points of contact, including the business website, advertising and social accounts, should reflect expertise and professionalism, high-quality services and standards, attention to detail and a believable desire by all agents to help community members achieve their homeownership dreams. An agency receives only one chance to make a positive, impactful first impression.
- Engage With Potential Customers
Agents who refuse to interact with community members outside of traditional title insurance marketing and promotional strategies and sales pitches won’t be able to convince anyone to consider buying a home. An agency should have a dedicated social manager and team responsible for spreading the good word on social platforms and at events. The agency needs to be more than a business. It needs to be an excellent, helpful neighbor.
- Emphasize “Community” At All Times
Agencies should keep away from broad statements that merely state that they offer title insurance services. Depending on the intent of a message, their efforts should reiterate specific services and unique specialties. They should note the names of cities and other geographic spots that contain their target audiences. Lastly, as part of their title insurance marketing campaign, they should make certain that they’re regularly engaging community members with positive reviews and testimonials from previous customers on at least their website and social media accounts. On review sites, they should show that they’ve responded professionally to both positive and negative reviews.