Analyse Digital has had over a decade of experience in digital marketing for Real Estate companies, ranging from brands in affordable housing, to super luxury and products ranging from apartments to villas and land plots.
We have shared the key facets to real estate digital marketing in the points below. This can convince companies looking to sell apartments, villas and land to consumers, about the power and efficiency of marketing through digital and social channels.
Our experience –
- Affordable housing brand publicly listed on the Indian stock market
- India’s only REIT listed commercial real estate developer
- Real estate company listed among the top 10 real estate brands in India
- Shopping mall with nearly a million square feet in space
- Five real estate brands with projects in atleast 5 cities including India’s major metros
- Super luxury brand with products between 3 Cr to 25 Cr
- The most expensive luxury real estate project in Bangalore
- The most expensive luxury real estate project in Kerala
Digital marketing for Real Estate – Key factors –
Drive credibility and user experience through digital features
Credibility and trust are the biggest factor for consumer decisions in the real estate industry. For the customer who is interacting with your brand on the internet, there are various digital features which can put them at ease. From being able to browse the projects quickly and easily, to the kind of information put up against each project. The right information promoted in the right way can mean the difference between the customer deciding to make an enquiry or moving on. Customers love to grade projects based on the hospitality, health-care and educational facilities around the project. They also look at the commuting times and distances from their place of work. Interactive digital features help customers make decisions better and have a good experience with the brand.
Reach customers right when they are looking to buy
The real estate sale entails a long gestation period. It is important to reach a potential customer right when they have decided to dip their toes in the market, based on exactly what they are searching for. Using the right targeting options through online advertisements can help make an impression on the customer that can earn valuable mind share in their search for buying land, apartments or homes. Digital marketing channels allow your brand to put your project in front of customers when they make specific searches on google or based on their demographics on social media.
Customize your message based on customer preferences
Customers have a bias towards specific preferences when they are looking for real estate, whether it is apartments, houses or land. Whether it is the number of rooms or the location of the project, customers are likely to make an enquiry if the information provided in the advertisement matches what they are looking for. Digital marketing channels allow your brand to position your product to match the keywords that are being searched by the potential customer.
Keep your brand in the limelight during the gestation period
Once customers have interacted with your brand through a digital channel, you can keep your brand in front of the customers by having advertisements that follow them when they are browsing other websites, forums or directories. This means that you can build brand recognition and recall that will cause the customer to consider your brand when they finally decide to buy. Finding your brand when they engage with digital channels cause customers to favorably view the size and credibility of your brand.
Convert customers online by getting a minimum commitment
Use digital channels to get potential customers by designing campaigns to capture their contact details. This includes contests, research files, calculators and other features that will provide value for customers in return for providing their contact details to express their interest. Interactive maps that help customers choose their favorite unit or land parcel can help them feel a sense of commitment to their choice. They can pay the booking amount online to block their choice of apartment unit or land parcel.
Educate your customers and win their purchase
Customers are always intimidated by the rules, regulations and risks associated with buying real estate. They also try to guess the impact of economic changes to the real estate market, on a national and local basis. They are likely to have doubts about land prices, labor costs and material costs. They will sometimes find it difficult to compare two projects based on the materials used for sanitary ware or other fits and finishes. They may want to learn more about new technology used for lifts, safety, lighting and more. They may have concerns on the paperwork for their real estate purchase or procurement of bank loans. Your brand can create content around the information that customers want, and disseminate the content through digital channels. This can help in driving visibility for your brand from customers at various stages of their buying cycle.
Tie offline and online business activities and measure success
Real estate is one of the biggest drivers of traditional advertising. This ranges from print ads on magazines and newspapers, to radio, TV ads. A large percentage of the hoardings on the roads are sponsored by real estate companies selling apartments and houses. The disadvantages of the traditional channels of advertising are that they are difficult to measure. The impact of offline advertisements can be measured online. This helps in planning budgets to be deployed in offline advertisements.
Improve the productivity of your sales team
Digital features can be used to improve the productivity of your sales team. It will be easier for you to track how quickly enquiries are responded to, or review phone call or chat conversations between customers and your sales team. It will be possible to track your sales funnel and stages of customer acquisition at any time of the day. The background of the potential customers who enquire can be made available to make it easier for the sales person to close the deal. Automated responses can be programmed to ensure that the sales team can save time and spend it on high touch activities with the customer. Reminders can be used to keep the whole team in the loop on updates and upcoming events.
Position your real estate the right way to different audiences
The key factor in buying the same product, maybe different for different buyers. For instance, one customer may be looking for an investment in appreciating property while another might be looking for a retirement home in a quiet locality. A family could be concerned about safety and education while an older couple can be interested in health-care facilities. A young buyer might be looking for a place with many lifestyle options or a couple might want to reduce commute times. It is important to change the creatives used in advertisement to suit the various triggers for different audiences. Digital marketing allows you to present different creatives to different audiences so that the same product appeals to all audiences.
Get better return on investment through media buying
Real estate companies are used to buying media from popular newspapers, television and radio brands. In fact, for many media companies, the real estate companies form the bulk of their media buyers in volume and in absolute terms. The premium paid for the space is also quite high, considering the higher unit economics of a real estate conversion, like selling flats or villas. The same brands are also selling media online through their online outlets. However, they attempt to get the real estate companies to pay similar amounts as they would for offline media. By tying up with a digital marketing agency like us, we can do the negotiation on the media buying online on behalf of the real estate company, by using data from the ad spend on Facebook, Google search, and Google display advertisements. By comparing apples to apples in terms of return on investment, the company can get a better deal due to our presence. In addition, the clear cut data that we provide in terms of reports, helps to compare the efficiency of expenditure on offline channels versus online channels. Many of our clients have cut their expenditures on advertisements, after going digital.
Ensure that your database is protected, and useful
The churn rate of salespeople in real estate is quite high in most countries. This means that the status of the database that they are managing becomes unclear. They may leave the job in between a negotiation with a potential buyer, or may not have contacted a prospect yet. The typical handover process for real estate companies is not very robust, resulting in hot leads and potential prospects being lost in between the handover of a territory between a new salesperson and the one who is leaving the organisation. CRM tools for real estate can help bridge this gap by making sure that all the leads are captured in a proper format which covers the stage of the sales cycle (whether the lead is hot, whether the person has visited the site etc)
City and Geography based digital strategy is essential
The demographics, topography and politics of each region can vary wildly, affecting the dynamics of how real estate is sold in those regions, whether it be flats, villa houses or plots. Online research on these factors can help create a better strategy for marketing across the brands online and offline campaigns. Some cities maybe more conducive for villas whereas others may be having a higher demand for apartments or land plots. The climate may vary and there maybe no-go areas depending on water supply or crime rates. The campaign seasons may vary depending on the share of overseas NRI’s or diaspora in the market. Upcoming developments in the city maybe hotly debated online, and those forums maybe great places to introduce the product. Cities like Bangalore have a large IT audience, while Chennai plays host to lot of manufacturing. People tend to buy second homes in Pune and other tertiary cities, while the square feet rate in Delhi or Mumbai may be sky high compared to other cities. At the same time markets like Trivandrum, Kochi or Calicut in Kerala maybe great destinations for NRI’s to purchase land or apartments. Digital marketing channels are the best way to surpass brokers and reach the consumers directly across India and the world.
Outmaneuver brokers and save on commissions
Many brokers and aggregator brands like Magicbricks, CommonFloor, Housing.com, Indiaproperties and 99Acres drive their enquiries through digital marketing, and sell those enquiries at a premium to Real estate clients. The trick however is that many of the enquiries that the aggregator websites acquire are customers already looking for a particular real estate brand. If the brand was active online, the enquiry would come directly. While the packages offered by the aggregators are sometimes useful with the right metrics, the brand should also be embracing online marketing to get enquiries from the web. Individual brokers , who form the mainstay of many markets like Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi, are also active on the internet and social media, and get massive commissions by acquiring enquiries from the digital space, and then selling it to the real estate brand. There is no option for real estate companies but to go digital to tap into the social , mobile and internet revolution happening in India.
Customize advertisement messages according to social platform
Twitter is often used as a customer support tool, while Quora is frequented by those seeking deeper information. Google search is used by those across the spectrum, but also by those who have already decided to buy an apartment or villa and are shopping around. Instagram is a visual medium and requires the imagery to be attractive above everything else, while Facebook is increasingly being used by an older audience with more purchasing power. Activity levels on Linkedin have gone up to become equivalent to a consumer social media network – and Linkedin has shifted from being considered as a job portal, to a place where people exchange information. Your real estate company should be customizing messages about your apartment or villa project so that you get the best outcome from digital marketing channels. Whether it is answering questions on Quora or thought leadership content on Linkedin, your digital marketing agency will help you define how you want to approach each social platform.