Homes away from home
July 12, 2017

What inflight magazines can do for the property business…

Taking a cheeky peek in a foreign estate agent’s window is something we’ve all done on holiday, along with stealing hotel toiletries and buying that bottle of eye-wateringly strong local fire-water that winks back at you every time you open the drinks cabinet.

I don’t know whether it’s the warm summer air, the fact that you’re not due back at your desk for two weeks – or even the intoxicating after-taste of that local liquor – but there’s something about escaping the daily grind which inspires us to dream about a second home abroad.

Analysis of Spanish property portal Kyero’s data bears this out. Over the last five years, their figures show that August is the most popular month for buyers to start searching for their ideal holiday home, with many buyers inspired by their summer holidays to recreate their fabulous time in the sun by buying a second home in or near to the place they stayed.

And holiday-makers don’t just search – they buy. During the first quarter of 2016 almost two out of five property purchases in Mallorca were made by people from countries other than Spain.

Of course if home is the kind of city where estate agents can put a derelict one bedroom flat on the market for a cool £2.5m and still keep a straight face, or where second properties were recently made subject to a minimum 3% stamp duty, buying a foreign property can also be a sound financial investment.

More than half of air passengers have thought about buying property in the country they’ve just visited

So where does Ink come in? Behavioural scientists often differentiate between “hot state” thinking – where high levels of emotion impact on the rational process of making a decision, compelling consumers to act on their visceral impulses – and “cold state” thinking, when people experience low levels of arousal or emotion and tend to make more rational decisions.

According to Ink’s own research, 52% of recent flyers say they’ve thought about buying property in the country they’ve just visited so, if you’re targeting tourists, inflight magazines are a logical a choice if real estate advertisers want to strike while the state is still hot.

Take the Spanish company, Costa Weflen Group (CWG), as an example. They are a fast-growing, full-service real estate company headquartered in Torravieja, in South East Spain. CWG was founded by Hilde Jeanette Weflen, who moved to the Costa Blanca from Norway in 1998, working firstly as a tourist guide and then as a location manager. Two jobs which gave her an intimate knowledge of the local area.  

Scandinavians are second only to Brits among foreigners buying Spanish property

With Scandinavians second only to the British among foreigners buying Spanish property, CWG had identified this audience as a key source of new business. On hearing that Norwegian flew over 1m passengers in and out of Alicante airport last year – accounting for every second Scandinavian arrival – using its inflight magazine, n by Norwegian, to target visitors from this part of Northern Europe made perfect commercial sense.

After working with CWG to create a bespoke advertorial promotion and running a display ad a few pages before the promotion to act as a teaser, we received an excited text message from Hilde Jeanette Weflen, saying she had been contacted by a passenger who had seen the magazine ad, torn it out and was currently in the process of completing on the €800,000 purchase of one of her properties. Just a month or so later we received another messaging saying she had sold another one, this time for €600,000…netting her a running total of €1.4m!! Not a bad return on investment.

This is by no means an isolated example. I have also been told of a couple from Southern California who had recently visited Florida. Apparently, after seeing the 165 miles of waterways in and around Fort Lauderdale, they were intrigued by the idea of living on the water. Flying home with United Airlines, they opened their copy of Rhapsody magazine – United’s premium magazine for business and 1st class passengers – and saw an ad for Riva condos, a development nestling on the bank of the idyllic Middle River that was currently under construction. Their fancy duly tickled, on landing the couple took the ad and called Riva’s office to enquire about availability. They promptly emailed Riva a signed reservation for more than $1 million and wired the deposit the very next day. That’s a million dollar condo bought off-plan for the price of a single ad in an inflight magazine!

And remember, Ink’s airline partners play a key role in bringing these house hunters to the second home hotspots of the Mediterranean. They carried over 24 million passengers into Spain last year, account for 1 in 5 of those touching down in the Algarve and a staggering THIRD of seats in and out of Nice Côte d’Azur airport. I think it’s safe to assume at least a couple of these passengers will be in the market for a holiday home, investment opportunity or retirement property in the sun, don’t you?

Just think, if Qatar is prepared to spend $41m on a Manhattan townhouse just to house their maids, we might even be able to help you get commission off that £2.5m derelict one-bed!

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