The work of a real estate developer is tough. From scouting and purchasing land to financing the deal and managing construction, it is a huge weight on a shoulder to bear.
Developers assume 100% of the risk of the project. He is responsible if the project fails because the property cannot be sold or space cannot be leased out.
So what are the mistakes that developers make that leads to their project failure? Let’s look at two phase, broadly divided as before and after project execution.
BEFORE & DURING PROJECT EXECUTION
Problem: Planning Without Market & Customer Research
Prevention: Developers need to constantly review their plan against market value and make the changes or adjustments accordingly. This also includes getting in-depth project brief for development consultants, architects, engineers, contractors, operations and management staff
Not just that, they need to create engagements with their customer while planning so that they can incorporate the amenities customers are seeking and drop the ones they don’t want or need.
Problem: Spent Too Much On Land Acquisition
Prevention: Developers need to remember that when your project cost for land composition exceeds 14% to 16% of the overall development budget, securing a reasonable return on capital investment becomes hard. Therefore, they need to carry out an extensive market risk analysis involved in the project- location, usage concept, competition etc.
AFTER PROJECT EXECUTION
Problem: Poor Sales & Marketing Strategy
Prevention: Developers should eye the cost of all marketing channels that are appropriate for the project. When you have done a correct market risk, you should price your product (property) accordingly. Without a good strategy, you will see thousands of dollars spent at ineffective marketing campaigns.
While there is not much a developer can do about the mistake procured in the early planning of the project, with a strategic marketing plan, he can try to revive his project.
Before diving into the smart marketing strategies for real estate developers, we need to understand what the buyers and investors want.
What Buyers & Investors Want-
- Trustworthy name
- Strong Track record
- Promise vs. Deliveries
- Timely deliveries
- Return on investments
First up, you need to have the right message going out in the right medium to the right audience. How? A smart marketing strategy.
#1 Build Your Personal Brand
To be a household name in real estate, you need to work on your own branding. Go local and focus on brand exposure in your area. You should have a consistent information about your brand across review sites and business directories.
To leverage the trust and build a brand, you need to influence the influencers in your business. Connect to bloggers or influencers and get them to talk about your project because they have their own following. Tie up with other people.
Another way to have a trustworthy name is to have good reviews. Request your clients, investors to leave a review online about your service. Reviews not only boost your reputation but also a major source of lead referrals.
Request for testimonials/review with video or images if possible.
#2 Have Your Own Branded Mobile App
According to a study by India Property, 45% of property search in India starts from mobile alone. Developers should, therefore, go mobile savvy and focus on delivering their project details through a mobile app. Replace printed brochures with interactive brochures. Show detailed floor & site plan and give seamless virtual tours.
With a mobile app, you can simplify scheduling with a request appointment feature. Do not forget to make your content shareable via email, messaging app and social media.
Use analytics from the app to drive your marketing so that you know where to focus your marketing efforts. Adding testimonials, reviews and press coverage on your app is a great way to leverage your brand’s credibility.
#3 Generate and Nurture Leads
To generate leads, create your niche and establish your authority. Understand your target personas and create your target market. Who are your best leads? What are their preferences? Accordingly, direct your marketing efforts to the right channel.
Organize, endorse or sponsor events or a social cause to get good publicity. The ROI of these efforts will translate into brand awareness and lead generation. Customer loyalty and goodwill is also one of priceless ROI this will bring you. When you are looking to sponsor, consider who you want to start selling to or want to engage better with.
To nurture leads, streamline communications with marketing automation so that it supplement your personal communication timely. Segment your email list and send personalized messages to each client on new updates, market news, property development etc.
While sending emails, make a checklist of these 5 elements-
- Good and informative content
- Strong, crisp subject line
- Appealing visuals
- Include social media buttons to follow you
- A visible and meaningful Calls to Actions
#4 Market on Social Media
Developers should also amplify their marketing focus on social media. According to Sprout Social’sIndex Report, real estate industry receives the most engagement from customers on social media.
Engage with your fans on Facebook and Twitter. Connect with other industry experts on LinkedIn. Working with influencers (or bloggers) on social media helps you gain their knowledge as well as amplify your message with their audience.
Create videos or creatives on your projects or ideas. It can also be tips, real estate advice etc. Reach out to bloggers and get them to talk about your projects.
#5 Focus on Advertising- Online & Offline
Use relevant advertising platform so that your brand will come up when people search on services related to your business. Ads are a great way to make impressions, but the only challenge is the time limit. You can opt for online as well as the offline advertising platform.
The online platform includes Google Adwords, Yahoo, Bing, and Social Media channels.
As Google and Bing bags the most search engine market share, you should start with these two ad platform to have the widest reach.
Offline platform includes TV and Banner Advertising. Your banner should be concrete, verifiable and tangible. Make it short. Showcase your recent success. Have a call to action so that you can track it in some way.
To measure the success of your marketing efforts, start by asking these questions-
- Is there an increase in your app downloads?
- Did you notice a higher click-through rate from social media networks to your app/ website?
- Is there an increase in your client base?
- Is there brand awareness throughout your region?
- How many investors and buyers were you able to close a deal with?
There is no shortcut in real estate marketing. It requires hard work, critical thinking, and a strong execution skills. Above all, the alignments of sales and marketing efforts in the right direction.