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Townhouse & Condo

Market Report

How might we

Challenge

Have you ever trashed a real estate postcard even before giving it a second glance? I bet you have. Working as the designer for a real estate team, one question has always been in my mind: how might I create some marketing materials that will make it through the front door before ending up in the recycle bin?

Chloe & Cici real estate team decided to farm in some townhouse & condo communities because of their high turnover rate and demographic characteristics. New farming materials tailored to residents in those particular areas need to be developed.

As an innovative, analytical and savvy team, we have set the following standards for our marketing materials in the hope of making us stand of from the crowd:

  • Provide value messages

  • Aesthetically pleasing. Easy and fun to read

  • Express our expertise in the targeted farming areas.

Team

Chloe, Cici & I brainstormed our strategy and did paper prototypes together. I collected data and further developed the design, while Chloe and Cici did the copywriting.

Process

Knowing Our Target Audience

We spoke with several friends and past clients who live in the target farming areas. They perfectly represent the demographics characteristics of our audience: decidedly young professionals aged from 22-40 years, mostly employed in white-collar jobs, especially in the field of computer science, math and management.

The main questions we asked were: 

1. What real estate related information is most valuable to you? 

2. What kind of marketing materials impress you the most?

3. Have you ever trashed any real estate postcards directly before reading them? If yes, why?

Here are some key insights:

  • Homeowners are not living in the house they bought, they are living in the investment they made. Owners care most about how their investment is doing.

  • Delivering a message that “this information is related to you” is key. People trash ads if they don’t feel a connection.

  • Majority real estate marketing materials feel cheap and out-dated to people. 

Inspiration

We then gathered inspirational examples of real estate marketing materials and spread them out on a big desk in our office. We also took a detailed look at them and got inspired by the messages they delivered and the ways to present them.

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Content and Format

There are so many types of data available out there, and it is challenging to decide what information to present to our audience. But armed with the insights from the previous interviews, we decided to deliver information in two categories: 1. Community-specific market information. 2. City-wide market statistics.

Community-specific market information is most relevant to our audience. But the number of sales is limited due to the size of each community, therefore the information we can present is not enough to support a quarterly updated market report.

Therefore we added the city-wide townhouse & condo market statistics. Besides general information, we thoughtfully analyzed the sales data by zip code, built year and number of bedrooms, to make it easier for our audience to relate themselves to the information we provide.

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We decided to do a quarterly market report in the form of letter-size, double-sided mailers because of the contents we want to include, the budget and the goal to stand out from the crowd (mostly postcards). 

 

We also got many samples of letter-size paper to pick the one with the right weight and feel, and did lots of test print to ensure the quality of mailers.

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Prototyping

One of our biggest challenges is to present such an information-intensive report in a beautiful and clear way, easy to understand, fun to read. We started sketching up quick paper prototypes to test different layouts.

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Key Design Decisions

  • A list of targeted communities and a map in the prime location (directly under the address block) with zip codes and highlighted targeting communities.  - To tell the recipients this information is related to you, to call their attention

  • Detailed sales records of each targeted community - this is what the audience cares the most. We try to provide as much information as possible.

  • Start with a summary of key numbers, and follow with details.

  • Use color and contrast to call out the most important elements.

  • Clear call to action on both front and back side.

Design Showcase

After consolidating our favorite ideas, we created a prototype and tested it in the field. Since that time, we have cycled through more versions of design and testing. Below is the current version.

Result

We’ve received several consultation calls/text messages and email subscribers. The following quote are from one recipient who contacted us after receiving our mailer:

Just to let you know, you have way better flyers than other realtors.

Real estate marketing takes time and we are not expecting immediate results. We understand that getting our brand out there can have long term benefits that outweigh a few phone calls or clicks to our webpage. We’ll continue our quarterly marketing activities, but also keep developing new contents tailored for our target audience.

Next

Airbrush Usability Test

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