According to the latest Homesnap data, Waze advertisements have experienced a 173% surge in usage among agents when compared to this time last June. The year-over-year jump is the largest we’ve seen from any digital real estate marketing channel—including stalwarts like Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
So, we asked ourselves: What’s driving this trend?
Why has Waze become one of the most popular advertising platforms for real estate agents?
The short answer: Driving habits have changed.
As stay-at-home orders are rescinded across the country, Americans, by and large, are opting for their own vehicles over other forms of transportation, believing driving to be the safest way of getting around. Not only are they following CDC advice in eschewing public transportation and ride-sharing services for local travel, but, as vacation season starts to heat up, they’re hitting the road toward destinations they’d otherwise fly. Virginia, for instance, has seen an 11% increase in the number of drivers in June compared to pre-pandemic January.
Moreover, Americans aren’t just replacing their routine transit choices with driving; they’re actually logging more vehicle miles than ever, as some states are reporting traffic volumes more than 200 percent higher than when the lockdowns began. With many entertainment venues closed and nothing better to do, it appears many Americans are resurrecting the Sunday drive of a bygone era, cruising about aimlessly as a form of recreation.
These quotes from a recent nationwide driver survey conducted in StreetsBlog, a non-profit transportation publication, are pretty compelling:
- “I take tiny drives for a change of scenery when my partner is doing a virtual gaming gathering with his friends, which can get noisy,” said Gigi of Seattle. “Otherwise, I might have gone out for coffee, or to a library.”
- “I just drove for fun,” said Eszter of Denver. “Bought a random salad and now I’m eating it in the parking lot of my empty campus, where I have no official business.”
- Sasha of Madison, Wisc., had an even simpler response: “Yes. Every single day. I mostly just park somewhere nice and read.”
So, it seems with millions of people in their vehicles for prolonged periods, forward-thinking agents have sensed a potentially lucrative, wholly unique advertising opportunity. They’re benefitting from both larger audiences and the ability to reach drivers who are quite literally driving around looking for something to do. Honestly, why wouldn’t an in-the-market homebuyer go to an open house if a well-timed Waze advertisement granted them the opportunity? Wouldn’t they be more available now than at any time ever before?
How to take advantage of Waze advertising
Waze offers three types of advertisements, all of which allow agents to safely target drivers within a specified radius of a target location. When a user interacts with any of these ads, they’ll be offered an option to (re)direct their GPS navigation to your intended location. All prospects need to do is click “Take me there” to receive individualized, step-by-step directions.
Waze is a particularly impactful advertising platform when you’re promoting an event with a set destination at a set time, like an open house.
Right now, as in-person open houses are returning and you consider your marketing strategies, it would be prudent to include Waze. We recommend continuing with your traditional marketing approaches in promoting your in-person open houses in the days and weeks prior—advertising an upcoming showing on Facebook, Instagram, Google, for example—and then adding Waze into the mix during the event hours for maximum impact. Do keep in mind that 82 percent of drivers use social GPS apps.
It’s also worth noting that Waze ads are effective in reaching those prospective homebuyers who are social distancing and hesitant about in-person interactions. These consumers are still out there driving, and Waze ads can serve as a sort of digital billboard, raising awareness for a listing they otherwise might not have known about.
How Homesnap helps
Real estate agents have used Homesnap Pro Ads to run hundreds of thousands of ad campaigns to promote both themselves and their listings on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Waze.
Homesnap automates the Waze ad buying process, so agents don’t have to create ads from scratch or have an extensive knowledge of digital marketing targeting and optimization techniques. Plus, Homesnap leverages consumer behavior to target in-market consumers with far more precision than DIY alternatives, making it easier than ever for agents to drive interested prospects to their open house.
If you’d like a more thorough examination of how Waze benefits agents—including a rundown of the different ad types available to you—our blog How to Drive More Foot Traffic to Your Open House offers a comprehensive overview of the platform.