How Social Media influenced my house buying journey - Space And Time

How Social Media influenced my house buying journey

I live and breathe new build properties. As a property-focused agency, Space & Time look after 12 out of the top 16 house builders, and my role as a Senior Account Manager heavily involves planning successful omni-channel advertising campaigns for my property clients.

Back in 2017, my partner and I began our journey of finding our first property to purchase. At this point we were torn between new builds and second-hand homes. Due to my career, I know more about new builds and house builders than the average first-time buyer and have walked around a fair few show homes during my time at Space & Time. The thought of being the first couple to occupy a shiny new home with fresh carpets and white walls was increasingly tempting. Luckily for us, we lived in an area surrounded by new build developments, so supply was never going to be an issue.

The research began and Instagram quickly became my best friend. The social platform, which sees 1 billion active users each month, has become home to a vast new build community. Hundreds of thousands of first-time buyers and second-time buyers are creating ‘home accounts’ to document their accomplishment of buying new build properties, updating their followers daily with flawlessly filtered photos of their interiors, featuring perfectly placed furniture and a must have faux plant in every room. I spent countless hours trawling through a plethora of new build related hashtags, comparing builders and housetypes and exploring various locations until I had shortlisted a few local consortium developments with homes that could work for us.

Instagram’s search functionality has evolved since then, and in November 2020 the platform announced that users will now be able to use keywords to surface content relevant to their interests, to encourage users to spend more time in-app. This function will be hugely helpful for like-minded first-time buyers who will be able to uncover even more useful content to help with the decision of making the biggest purchase of their lives. The update has been available to all users in U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland since 17th November.

YouTube and Pinterest also played a significant part in my buying journey, with both platforms offering reams of easily accessible content. From virtual tours and interior design ideas to in-depth reviews of new builds from fellow first-time buyers, I soon found myself down a rabbit hole of home-related ideas and information.

Below shows the percentage of the top five most-visited social platforms by generation, and the percentage of UK internet users who visit the following on a daily basis.

Source: Global Web Index Q2 2020

 

For Gen Z, the new generation of first-time buyers, YouTube and Instagram are the biggest go-to destinations.

My property-obsessed user behaviour soon ensured that I became a perfect recipient of some well-targeted advertising campaigns from reputable builders, showcasing their developments. Right from the start of my journey I was served multiple adverts as I was deemed the perfect prospect.

Below shows the percentage of UK internet users who typically discover new brands and products through the following paid for media.

Source: Global Web Index Q2 2020

 

The next graph shows the percentage of UK internet users who mainly use the following for research, when actively looking for more information about brands, products or services.

Source: Global Web Index Q2 2020

 

In November 2018, along with countless other first-time buyers that year, we reserved our new build house off plan. Putting a deposit down on a property is scary enough, let alone one that hasn’t been built yet.

Buying a house is the biggest consideration and purchase of your life. I erratically hopped around the web for months, carefully deliberating before making my final decision. I understand even more now, how vital it is for brands to be present throughout a consumer’s buying journey, communicating the right message at the right time and ultimately building unbreakable trust.

Get in touch with our paid social experts to find out how you can make sure you’re using social media to its full advantage, ensuring it’s working best for you.