Being ahead of the market with latest trends and technology is key in any sector of business. It is even more important in case of the real-estate sector which has been a laggard in the case.
Real-estate sector in India has a growth rate of around 20% and contributes to 6-7% of the GDP. The demand for housing has been increasing exponentially over the last decade. However there is a big gap in consumers demand and what is being delivered by the realtors.
The top 15 listed developers in India spend close to 600-700 Crs in total as their marketing budget and are still struggling to sell their inventory across various cities. Marketing technology and trends are changing rapidly and the real-estate developers, agents and consultants are struggling to keep up. The traditional marketing for realtors is no longer valid and a big change is underway.
When time and money is invested in marketing doing it the right way and catching up with the trend is essential. It is time that realtors are open to new channels of marketing and make their presence felt. It’s these small continuous changes that will ensure higher ROI in the future.
Here is my list of trends in real-estate marketing.
1. Better visualization: Virtual reality, Augmented reality and mixed reality:
Virtual reality and augmented reality are the current buzz words and are expected to disrupt many sectors, real-estate being one of the top in the list. As per Goldman Sachs Global investment research Virtual reality in real-estate sector by 2025 will be having a market size of $2.6 billion USD.
Virtual tour and virtual mockup are must have for all the projects. It enables consumers to be at the comfort of their home and understand your project. It not only allows you to be tech-savvy in front of your clients but also allows you to be much more efficient and save money.
Power of better visualization lets you bring clients to your office, where you setup HD TV, a head mounted VR device, and touch screens etc and tour them around many projects across the city at the comfort of a cozy chairs, snacks and beverages and sell your client the house.
For your clients a 3-D tours is more convenient way of looking at lots of houses in a short span of time. At the initial research phase of their purchase the technology becomes a blessing in disguise and is more than sufficient to make initial decisions. It’s important that you go with a HD video quality, and you create and immersive experience of your property. This interactive experience from the perspective of the viewer that is more beneficial, engaging and fun.
Augmented reality is an untapped power house when it comes to advertisements. A print media advertisement which may seem commonplace now can be made extraordinary with the augmented reality. This feature will bring alive the property you are advertising by showcasing the essential details of the property in a 3-D perspective.
2. Refocusing or retargeting - Website
A fairly easy, cheap and effective method is to go for retargeting. Retargeting campaigns bring in much better results than Facebook or Google ads, because the setup options are broader. Retargeting is where your customer visits your homepage and leave the homepage soon after. He then see your ad on another website. This recaptures his interest and he comes back to your homepage.
You can target both search and social media, blacklist unnecessary sites, create retargeting lists like social media followers or newsletter subscribers and loads more. You can easily target end users, general buyers, luxury home buyers, investors and your niches creating a higher response rate.
The key here is to invest in a good website and creating high quality content which showcases your projects very well. The use of 360 degree photography, 3D walkthroughs, aerial view of location and amenities, high quality renders, live videos and photo and seamless page transition which offer transparency works will with clients.
3. Use the power of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
The cost and the trend of advertisement on google, facebook, etc is only going to increase. This is a strong truth that can no longer be ignored. So how you use these tools to your advantage to showcase your properties will let you become a key differentiator when compared to your competitors. The smart way to do is to invest in lead generation via online advertising either Google Adwords or Facebook Ads or both. A good campaign setup can yield great results at a fraction of the traditional marketing expense. Use of inbound marketing for lead generation and also looking at newer forms of online marketing is the key to stay ahead amongst competitors.
4. Invest in a good real-estate CRM or marketing software
Use of spreadsheets for handling sales and marketing is an archaic way of doing thing. There are several standard online cloud based CRM tools available which can easily be customized to your needs. It’s impossible to manually follow-up with thousands of leads that are generated and engage meaningfully with each and every one. The alternative and more effective way is to have a system that can automatically add new contacts, schedule follow up messages, alerts and reminders, automatically send out property proposals and help you with daily activities.
Staying vigilant on the marketing trends and diversifying your marketing channel is the need of the hour. Remember to focus of the long term organic growth for a stable business. The initial impact on investing on these new trends might have a small impact but on the long term you can be assured of better ROI and stronger customer base.