Why new-build property marketing needs social media

Jonathan Knight

Digital Content Creator

jonathan@loveimagefoundry.com

Jonathan Knight

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November 23, 2021

New-build property marketing works best when it is combined with a good social media strategy that builds trust with potential buyers.

What do people do when they want to buy a house? We know that 6.5 million a day search Google and then scroll through properties on hosting sites like Rightmove and Purplebricks. At first glance, social media looks irrelevant because there are well-established channels for house buying online already. However, social media provides a growing opportunity for property developers, because first time buyers most likely use social media.

Keep reading to learn:

  1. Who to reach through social media
  2. What problems new-build property developers need to address
  3. 3 advantages of using social media for developers (with linked examples, key questions you need to ask)
  4. Sources for this article and new-build property marketing
CGI of Wembley new-build housing

New-builds are on the rise: this £5 billion development in Brent (Wembley) will see over 6700 new homes built between now and 2024, a symptom of the growing market.

First time buyers are ideal to reach through social media

The age of first time buyers coincides with those who use social media the most.

The average age of a first time house buyer in the UK is 31 years-old and one study shows that 85% of 25-34 year-olds are saving for a home (which is more than any other age group). First time buyers also make up 33.9% of home purchases in the UK, which is a significant market share.

This group has the second smallest proportion of homeowners (9%), and are looking to buy. This age group also uses social media the most. For example, 25-34 year-olds are the biggest group to use Facebook in the UK at 11.2 million. Similarly, the largest share of UK Instagram users are aged between 25-34 (30.9%). Social media can help property developers reach this group, which becomes even more important when marketing new-build properties.

Buying a new-build is daunting so buyers need help

Buying new-build or ‘off-plan’ houses likely appeals to first time buyers who are working hard to find a property amidst a high demand for homes and a small supply (coupled with spiralling house prices). New-builds are important to the market because the government aims to build 300, 000 a year to keep up with demand. As time goes on, the first time buyers purchasing these properties are increasingly likely to be familiar with social media.

However, marketing new-build properties also presents challenges to property developers. For example, the fact that these properties are not always finished at the point of sale is an added anxiety to consumers.“Will developers deliver? Will it be built to a high standard? Have I done the correct research?” The list goes on, and these are exactly the kind of worries that developers need to address to successfully sell their new properties.

Social media is critical for advertising these new-builds because they sometimes can’t be viewed in traditional ways and may be part of a whole new neighbourhood development.

 How does social media help sell new-build homes?

The simple answer is that it lets property marketers build a robust relationship with consumers where it matters most. This is important for selling properties in general, but it is absolutely critical for selling new-builds where trust in the developers determines a buyer’s decision. Since this is the case, developers should use social media to sell new-builds considering these 3 key advantages below:

1. Social media builds your brand

You can create social media that is a lot more than just ads and property listings to help sell new-builds. Share articles which offer advice on buying a new-build, or short bios on your staff team, or 10 second GIFs of your team on the road visiting a new development site. This will help potential buyers get to know the ‘human side’ of the company, and the people they might then trust to sell them a high-quality, new-build home. This is all the more important due to negative media surrounding the quality of new-build houses.

Important questions to ask: who do I want to reach and where do I want to reach them?

Once you’ve established who you want to reach, it’s important to know the social media you should choose to reach them. For example, Pinterest has a high percentage of users over 40 whereas the majority of TikTok users are between 18-24 years old. They have different preferences, interests and priorities to consider beforehand so choose your platform carefully.

Take a look:

2. Social media suits images and video

Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are places people go to gain visual inspiration, which is a perfect opportunity to showcase new properties.

Images and videos  set the tone of the properties you are trying to sell and it’s all the more important to do this when trying to sell new-build houses. Potential buyers are likely to be swayed by visual content that fits naturally with the platform. Importantly, social media algorithms increasingly favour video. Here are two of the most useful ways you can use it:

  1. ‘Go live’ – Many platforms favour live video and it goes straight to the top of people’s feeds, giving you great exposure.
  2. Use ‘story’ features – Instagram and Facebook stories (usually a form of video) will also go to the top of your followers’ feeds.

If you want to focus on video, then Tiktok is a great place to go. It has a huge following and leapt from 85 million users to over 1 billion in 4 years. Some of the largest property marketing accounts are US based, but a brief look at the content shows that it is easily transferable to a UK audience – and that is exactly what many property marketers are doing. You can gain inspiration from some of the popular accounts linked below.

Important question to ask: How should I adapt content for different social media sites?

While image and video are great for marketing new-build properties, you should also consider what content fits different types of social media platforms. Twitter has a 280 character limit so it’s not great for lengthy product descriptions, but its hashtags are great for jumping on a topic or trend (#Newbuild). Pinterest has smaller user base, but its users’ median age means they are likely to be looking to buy a house.

It is best to tailor posts to each site and its users individually.

Take a look:

CGI new-build house

Even better than the real thing? CGI is now a mainstream way to advertise new-builds and off-plan developments (like this one from Image Foundry).

3. Social media helps you reach your target market

New-build property marketing is a specific niche, so social media is the perfect opportunity to put it on people’s radar and focus on it specifically. With a large social media reach, you also have the potential to attract foreign investors who want to buy new developments, but don’t have an easy way to enquire through traditional means. If you can offer convincing imagery, VR tours and a friendly social media presence, you will begin to stand out from the competition.

Important question to ask: who should I like or follow?

To answer that question, you need to know who you want to reach out to, and how you want to do it. We already know that first time buyers aged between 25-34 are ideal to reach through social media, but you may have more specific groups of people in mind. The ideas below suggest how you can gain exposure and build a following on your property marketing social media accounts.

What is the best way to reach them?:

  1. Interact with relevant accounts – like and comment positively on their posts.

This benefits them with interaction, and your acccount with exposure to them and their followers.

  1. Use specific hashtags – this will expose your posts to the people searching for the hashtag.

The more specific the better, e.g. #NewBuildManchester is better than #NewBuild if you are trying to reach people in Manchester. It is all the better if you can include a relevant seasonal or geographical hashtag to your posts.

  1. Imitate the best in the market – see what successful competitors are posting and re-purpose for your brand.

You can explore who their audience is and what content engages them. Next you can reach out to their followers by liking and commenting on their posts to gain exposure with people you knoware already interested in your niche.

Take a look:

When you combine these different features together, it’s clear to see why social media is increasingly used by property developers in the new-build market to gain new leads and expose their brand.

What’s next for new-build houses in the UK?

It’s a growing market which is ripe for property developers to reach through social media. The UK government needs to build 345, 000 homes a year until 2031 to keep up with demand. And the latest government stats reveal the building of 50, 000 new homes in the first quarter of 2021 alone. As younger buyers are scouring the market, developers must adapt their content and build a social media presence to reach a new generation of buyers.

Sources for new-build property marketing

  1. Government information on the UK housing market
  2. UK Government information on new-builds
  3. UK government press release on new-builds in 2021
  4. People who search online property portals daily in the UK
  5. Article on Brent and other new-build hotspots
  6. Pinterest usage statistics
  7. Article on Brent and source for the image
  8. Article on UK house building ambitions
  9. Article on first time buyers
  10. Article on UK social media usage
  11. Article on Facebook usage statistics
  12. Article on social media usage statistics
  13. Homeowner percentage demographics UK
  14. Report on first time buyer statistics UK
  15. Average homebuyer age UK
  16. Advice for new-build buyers

FURTHER INSIGHTS