Developers are now going digital to attract eyeballs
Today, many development firms have integrated their online presence with third-party real estate portals
Online platfor ms are i ncreasingly being used by real estate development firms for multipronged marketing strategies — right from brand building and marketing to lead generation and t ransactions. Digitisation seems to have impacted the business of developers in more ways than one, bringing along a major shift in the way developers create brand and product awareness in the Indian market today.
In the context of real estate development firms, especially for housing developers, communication strategies have traditionally followed short- term patterns for the most part. The sole aim of such marketing exercises lies in sales conversions — geared towards generating enquiry from potential home buyers, leading to customer walk-ins, and ultimately resulting in unit sales. The long-term communication strategy of brand building on a national scale is as yet a nascent practice; and something that digital marketing channels may just change forever.
The digital platform offers developers with interfaces such as websites, mobile phone applications and social media presence. All this has brought the buyer closer to the industry, along with buyer requirements and aspirations that need to be addressed with fresh strategies.
In a sector such as real estate, with high value products, marketing efforts are all inclined more towards lead generation more than direct sales conversions. To that end, return on investments in the case of digital marketing can take the form of lead generation and brand building instead. In recent times, many development firms have chosen to integrate their existing online presence with third-party real estate portals; while many others have utilised social media platforms such as Facebook pages, Google Plus and LinkedIn to connect with prospective customers.
Online marketing strategies, in fact, are more cost effective, targeted and measurable for developers over conventional platforms, while bringing in a significant share of sales conversions as well. And the trend seems to be growing.
The other aspect of digital marketing is that since it is a much more targeted effort, the emotional quotient tends to be larger for end-users; while offering investors with all relevant project and real-time development details.
This is in contrast to mass marketing initiatives that hardsell real estate property to a blanket audience; and is a key reason why digital initiatives evince a more positive response from customers.
Online marketing has also developed as an emerging option for targeting high net-worth individuals and non-resident Indians for their property requirements in India, where both marketing as well as transactions can be conducted online.
Homebuyers are primarily using digital channels to research housing properties, before visiting the actual site. Such consumer behaviour has led development firms to go digital by using their online platforms as an effective lead generation tool.
Homebuyers are also increasingly engaging with mobile phone applications and social media for their needs, making it imperative for developers to turn to new-age technologies and strategies for attracting new-age consumers.
New technology and innovative marketing techniques such