According to the US Census Bureau, 11.2 percent of the population moved between 2015 and 2016. The average American household moves every five to seven years with an average of moving twelve times during their lifetime.
Households on the move spend approximately $9,000 on goods and services. And research by Zillow found that 21 percent of movers spend $10,000 or more on products and services.
This means big opportunity for marketers who know how and when to target new movers throughout each stage of the moving journey.
Profile of the Modern Buyer
Zillow recently conducted research profiling the characteristics of the modern buyer. According to the study results:
The typical home buyer is in their mid-to-late 30s or early 40s, married (67 percent), college-educated (75 percent), and on the hunt for a single-family home (83 percent). They have a median annual household income of $87,500. Seventy-five percent are Caucasian, with additional representation among Latinos/Hispanics (11 percent), black/African-Americans (7 percent) and Asians/Pacific Islanders (5 percent).
While the majority of buyers in America are married, single buyers (23 percent) and households of unmarried partners (10 percent) comprise more than one-quarter of the marketplace.
Millennials, ages 18-34, comprise 42 percent of all home buyers today, while an additional 31 percent of buyers are members of Generation X (ages 35-49). Baby Boomers (ages 50-64) and the Silent Generation (ages 65-75) together make up the smallest share of home buyers (26 percent), with only 10 percent of buyers over age 64.
Three Windows of Opportunity
When marketing to movers there are 3 windows of opportunity:
- The period after a home is listed
- The 1-6 week period leading up to moving day
- The period from move-in to about 6 months after.
Phase 1: LISTING-PENDING SALE
During this time consumers are fixing up their current home to prepare it for sale and researching financing options for their next home. You can ensure your messaging is relevant to your prospects by using data append services to see what life changes preempted the move. Common events include: marriage, divorce, new child, children reaching college age, retirement, new job, and change in wealth.
Phase 2: 1-6 WEEKS BEFORE MOVE-IN
During this time consumers are deciding which services to carry over to their new home or switch providers. It’s critical that providers both looking to conquest and retain customers hone in with relevant and timely offers.
Phase 3: 0-6 MONTHS AFTER MOVE-IN
During this time consumers are choosing new providers for common daily services, and for less time sensitive new home purchases. During this 6 month window movers will spend more than the average consumer will spend in 3 years.
When targeting new movers, brands must consider timing of campaigns according to each mover phase. Just as importantly, brands need to communicate across multiple channels. Consumers may use the Internet to research a new service provider, see a direct mail piece from your company, or decide to respond to your email offer. It takes multiple touchpoints before a consumer is ready to purchase but these communications must be spread across different channels.
According to a report by Marketingprofs, 40 percent of consumers try new businesses after receiving a direct mail piece and the DMA states that on average, direct mail advertising gives a business a 13 to 1 return on investment. When using email, 91 percent of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphone, making it the most used functionality. (ExactTarget) And when utilizing digital advertising, clicking on an ad on a social site is often the first step toward a sale, rather than the last. 80 percent of consumers do “a lot” of online research for purchase decisions, and 46 percent say they count on social media when making such choices.
It is also critical for marketers to understand that with so many people moving on a yearly basis, mailing lists quickly become stale. Nearly 33 percent of the people who move do not report their new address to the U.S. Postal Service. Because of these unreported moves and other restrictions, processing a mailing list through the National Change of Address catches only about 50 percent of new moves.
New movers must start fresh, establish new patterns, and find a new network of providers, services providers and merchants. They are gathering information and are open to offers. By strategically targeting these consumers through multiple channels according to each mover phase, you can generate awareness, establish your brand presence, and create loyal new customers.