The concept of loyalty platforms is not new, in fact, the average American household holds loyalty cards to 29 businesses according to Colloquy. But how about a loyalty platform that uses gamification for Real Estate? Now that is slightly less common.
Gamification and Loyalty
Let’s start at the basic, what exactly is gamification and how do you apply it to a loyalty platform?
Gamification is the application of game type elements such as different levels, badges, points, social networks, challenges, rankings and more to a non-game context, such as customer loyalty. These various elements tap into the 8 core human drives (*below) to highly motivate users to engage, complete actions, move up levels and share the platform with their networks. The platform is created using human focused design as opposed to function-focused design, placing a strong emphasis on the elements that drive human behavior.
When you apply gamification to loyalty your result is a community of loyalty platform users who are motivated to engage and bring new users to the platform. You turn your customers, who have already had a positive experience with your brand, into your advocators without even asking them to do so. The platform drives the user’s behavior and provides an enjoyable experience that they willingly share with their friends and family.
Loyalty Among Generations
A common question we get here at Social&Loyal is related to the differences of motivators and habits between different generations. This question is extremely relevant to Real Estate since according to NAR as of September 2016 50% of home buyers were between ages 35 to 55, 31% were 34 and under, while 20% were 56 and over. This industry cannot invest money or time into a product that doesn’t serve all generations, so here we will describe a summary of Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials motivators and social habits.
Baby Boomers: This generation consists of people born between 1946 and 1964, their statistics may come of surprise. 91% of Baby Boomers have one or more social media account and 17% of them spend more than 11 hours a week on social media according to DMN3. This clearly debunks the myth that Baby Boomers are not interested in social media, in fact, 58.3% of them visited a company website as a result of using a social media site (DMN3). Now that we have proved the value of social media for engaging this generation, what about gamification and creating an enjoyable experience? Fun was stated as an important factor for 44% of Baby Boomers, making gamification a key piece to engaging and maintaining this generation’s interest.
Generation X: This group consists of people born between early 60s and early 80s. The fun factor is even higher for this group with 55% stating that fun is an important loyalty driver according to Rare. Similar to the Baby Boomers, this generation is very active on social media with over 75% having at least one form of social media and 81% having a Facebook, one of the key networks that Social&Loyal’s platform uses.
Millennials: This group represents young adults between ages 18 and 34 currently. It may not come to a surprise but 60% of this generation rate fun as a high loyalty driver and more than 80% have at least one form of social media. But the statistic that is the most powerful with the group is that 95% of Millennials state that their friends are the most credible source of information when making a purchase. This proves how crucial it is to turn your clients into your advocates and provide them with an amazing experience they will tell their friends about.
Real Estate ROI
Now that we can know what gamification is and how it can drive human behavior among various generations to increase loyalty, why apply this to Real Estate?
The Real Estate Industry is very interesting in that it is extremely dependent on referrals, in fact, over the past decade over 60% of Home Buyers and Sellers stated that they were referred to their chosen agent, according to the National Association of Realtors.
An industry so dependent on referrals is, by cause, also dependent on their client’s loyalty to them. Which brings us to the main point here, Real Estate Agencies who are investing in gamified loyalty are engaging their clients, increasing referrals and boosting brand awareness. As shown below, engagement, referrals and brand awareness equals return on investment. Taking the cost of a gamified loyalty platform into consideration, agencies can see upwards of $50,000 net return on their investment.
What this graph does not take into account, though, is the time you will save from your current manual loyalty methods and all the other high-value activities your team can focus on. The vast majority of Real Estate Agencies perform some type of loyalty program, whether it be gift cards for a referral or a gift basket at closing, these rewards take a lot of time to organize and deliver. Real Estate Agencies are quickly catching on and are increasing their loyalty efforts while decreasing the time put into it with a gamified loyalty platform.
8 Core Human Drives by Yu-kai Chou:
- Epic Meaning and Calling
- Development and Accomplishment
- Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback
- Ownership and Possession
- Social Influence and Relatedness
- Scarcity and Impatience
- Unpredictability and Curiosity
- Loss and Avoidance