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Digital, The New Normal of Real Estate by Aneri Patel, Director, Ganesh Housing

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While our Prime Minister is building National Competitiveness through the adoption of a plethora of digital mediums and technologies, the real estate sector is not so far behind in making attempts of its own. The prolification of digital technologies and platforms and its acceptance is inescapable. Over the last two decades, digital technologies have had the most rapid rates of adoption and generated enormous efficiencies in many sectors, including manufacturing, transportation, communications, healthcare, entertainment, retail and financial services. Yet in real estate, the largest sector of them all, for digital to be the new normal has taken a while. Why? Because real estate is largely considered as a relationship business. The role of human professionals who build trust over many years in this industry cannot be underestimated.

So how has it become the new normal of real estate now? It is because real estate is also an information business. And what digital mediums have done is made information availability easy and accessible, creating the kind of transparency that never existed before in this sector. Buyers and renters today, especially in the residential sector are overstepping brokers and opting directly for digital mediums to start their search for properties. Although real estate search websites and home finders in India have seen significant consolidation in the last year, there is undoubtedly a continued room for growth, as only 15.1% of the population in India today is digitally active.

aneri patel
(Ms. Aneri D Patel, Director, Ganesh Housing)

Developers are also allocating higher budgets to digital and web-based advertising tools that undoubtedly provide an increased return on investment. They are reinventing by driving business through social media platforms, interactive websites, email marketing tools, virtual reality tours, apps and so on. The attempt to be ‘technologically advanced’ is on in full swing now. However, is this the entire scope of what digital technologies can do for real estate? I strongly believe that this is just the beginning. At the behest, digital was disregarded, then it was viewed from a skeptical stance, then its effects were acknowledged and only after seeing its domination was it accepted and adopted by this industry. However, digital being the new normal and bringing real estate data online is only Real Estate 1.0

Real estate 2.0 is what will have a deep-seated impact on the entire ecosystem. So far, technology and digital mediums have been information and search driven, however, the next wave will equip developers with software programs to harness data. In real estate 2.0 lead management, customer relationship management, home design, property management, and, consumer research and feedback are all likely to transcend to digital platforms. These will not only give companies greater control over processes but also improve efficiency dramatically. Consumers today are smarter than ever before and at the same time have more options than ever before. Data Analytics, therefore, being the norm could be the new normal in real estate. Predictive analytics will make it easier than ever for targeted selling and only those organizations that successfully embrace this transformation are likely to remain ahead of the curve. As the industry prepares to embrace all that the digital era has to offer, a paradigm shift in real estate does not seem too far off!

Source – Linkedin

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How To Get Started In Real Estate Marketing

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How To Get Started In Real Estate Marketing

For those who aspire to have a career in real estate marketing, the first and foremost question that comes to mind is how to get started? Even experienced people, who have spent some time in the profession, when faced with the lack of new business, ask the same question. It is a very genuine question when you consider the fact that real estate marketing is very rewarding yet one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish. Is real estate marketing really so mysterious? Is it really hard to figure out? Do you need to be marketing specialist to grow in this sector? These are some question that comes to mind, who is a beginner in the sector.

There are certain important things that you need to consider first, before stepping into real estate marketing. Many crucial steps are ignored while choosing the products, primarily due to the focus on the money factor. The harsh reality, unfortunately, is that the drive for an instant sales push is a killer towards the chances of building a great marketing strategy because all your effort is concentrated towards sale while you tend to ignore other possibilities.

The initial planning steps could be a little boring and time-consuming. But if you are truly focused and passionate about selling real estate, if you invest some time in deciding how to promote it, then it will be a walk in the park. However, if you are not interested in doing any research, want to get out there directly and start selling then it might be a difficult job for you. Then again, it’s totally up to you, if you want to spend more time on money-making and less time on marketing research, but if you invest more on the later part, the earlier part becomes the whole lot easier.

There are no short-cuts to the marketing program that you can choose and expect instant success. If anyone tells you that it is possible, then you need to be even more careful because it is practically impossible. But with proper knowledge, patience and time, it is not at all impossible. Everyone have some unique qualities and have their own way of selling real estate, all it takes is to groom those skills to perfection.

First, understand the basics of marketing to identify – the WHO, WHERE, HOW, and WHEN of real estate marketing. Once you have identified these, then you get to have fun with ‘WHAT’ you will be offering to your clients. This is your business; develop your own marketing program and strategies to make the most out what you offer to your customer. After that, real estate marketing would seem really easy but remember it all starts with proper planning.

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Developers are Experimenting with Disruptive Marketing

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Developers are Experimenting with Disruptive Marketing

Several developers have resorted to disruptive or innovative marketing strategies, to improve their sales. We examine whether such concepts can create a better connect with property buyers

While developers in India have often been blamed for being stereotypical, to the extent that even the marketing brochures of identical projects are similar, some first movers are experimenting with innovative/disruptive marketing and with reasonable success.

Whether it is called market disruption or innovative disruption, it is proving to be an important concept, at a time when the market conditions remain challenging. Wikipedia defines disruptive innovation as one that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and its value .

Developers are increasingly resorting to innovative offers

Disruptive innovation is not a new phenomenon in Indian real estate. For example, Bengaluru-based Sobha Ltd launched its Sobha Connect program, where the developer is knocking on the doors of housing societies that were delivered 10-15 years ago. The benefit of this approach, is that satisfied buyers act as brand ambassadors and send new referral clients to the developer. JC Sharma, MD and VC of Sobha Ltd, maintains that in a real estate market where most of the things are done in a traditional manner, any new approach that encourages the workforce to think out of the box, helps. “We are trying to better our processes, bring in more efficiencies, cut costs and improve quality,” says Sharma.

Another Bengaluru-based developer, Puravankara, has brought innovative disruption in the market by allowing the customers to purchase an apartment and then lease it back to them for a contracted term of seven years. Puravankara’s Managed Residences Plan is a three-way alliance between Puravankara, Snapdeal and JLL, to provide a unique leased asset management.

This enables customers to purchase a ready-to-occupy apartment from Puravankara across Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore and Kochi and lease it back to Puravankara with an additional rental appreciation benefit of 8% every year. Buyers have an exclusive option for premature withdrawal from the lease agreement, in case they choose to occupy the apartment or manage the rental process themselves.

“Developers in the past have offered rent assurances for one or two years. However, our seven-year rentals, indicates our bullish view on the long-term real estate story in the country,” says Ashish Puravankara, MD, Puravankara Projects.

Disruptive strategies should provide value for buyers

Mumbai-based Godrej Properties, sold villa units worth over Rs 300 crores, at its newly-launched project, Crest, in Greater Noida, in a single day. The channel partners who were taken on board, claim that it has not been just the corporate brand value of the developer that created this level of market disruption. Similarly, in Mumbai, Omkar Realtors and Developers, is offering home loans at just 4% interest rate, along with a static floor rise in its project Ananta at Goregaon. The company has also introduced a flexible payment plan with a booking amount of only Rs 2 lakhs.

Nikhil Hawelia, managing director of the Hawelia Group, however, points out that innovative disruption is only talked about, when a leading player introduces it. The small and mid-sized developers always come up with market disruption, to get noticed, even if it is confined only to the core micro-market. In real estate, the quest for market disruption, had earlier been to expand exponentially into non-core areas. The trend proved disastrous for most of those developers and most of the second-generation developers in the business have learnt from the experience of erstwhile leading players that went into oblivion. Hence, the new market innovations now, are more grounded and realistic.

Market disruption gains ground

Innovative disruption has the potential to be a market differentiator for developers.

Today’s buyer expects the builder to make an offer than no one in the market can match.

First movers to introduce market disruption have reaped the benefits, as the buyers find greater value for money in such emerging practices.

Source: Housing.com

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Real Estate Sector Gets 19 Investments Worth $3.4 Billion In First Quarter

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MUMBAI: Indian real estate is now becoming way more attractive to investors — both foreign and domestic — than ever before, thanks to changes in the regulatory framework. The global capital flow into Indian real estate in 2016 stood at about $5.7 billion. Though the historic high of 2007, in terms of total PE inflows, was not breached, last year proved to be the second best year so far.

This year has also started with a bang as real estate companies and projects attracted 19 investments totaling an announced value of $3.41 billion in the first quarter ended March. The value of investments in the March quarter was up 2.7 times from the year-ago period, which had seen investments worth $1.25 billion across 18 transactions, showed data from Venture Intelligence.

“Indian real estate has attracted around $32 billion in private equity so far since 2005…Despite Brexit and uncertainty around the new US president’s outsourcing and visa-related policies, private equity activity looks healthy in 2017 too, thanks to a strengthening and modernizing the economy and the growing reputation of India as an attractive investment destination,” said Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL India.

The commercial segment, led by GIC’s $2.14 million investment in DLF’s rental arm, attracted an all-time high investment worth $2.6 billion across five transactions during the March quarter. Venture Intelligence data assumes the proposed transaction between DLF and GIC, which has been disclosed to the stock exchanges, goes through.

Real Estate Sector Gets 19 Investments Worth $3.4 Billion In First Quarter

“While the mega deal between GIC and DLF’s promoters does skew the numbers in a big way during the first quarter of 2017, the spike in investor interest in the commercial segment is for real, given the enhanced activity of other investors like Blackstone and others as well,” said Arun Natarajan, founder of Venture Intelligence.

Global capital flows into Indian real estate are set to increase further. Rise in consolidation activity apart from transparency and possible listings of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in 2017 are some of the important developments expected to boost foreign and domestic investor participation.

While the commercial segment, with 76%, dominated the investments value pie, the residential projects continued to attract the most number of investments attracting 12 investments in the first quarter. Residential projects attracted 63% of the volume pie worth $690 million, Venture Intelligence said.

The western region, dominated by Mumbai, attracted eight investments during the quarter, while projects in North India accounted for six deals, followed by South India with five deals.

The largest investment reported during the quarter was the GIC pact to acquire 40% stake in DLF’s rental arm DLF Cyber City Developers. The next largest deal was Blackstone Group’s $250 million investment to buy 15% stake in the office holding company of K Raheja Corp.

During the quarter, private equity real estate (PERE) investors obtained exits from five real estate investments fetching $119 million. The exit volume was down 62% compared to the same period last year that had witnessed 13 exit transactions worth $390 million.

India’s tier-I cities have moved up to the 36th rank in JLL’s 2016 Global Real Estate Transparency Index — a bi-annual index — on the back of improvements in structural reforms and a more liberal foreign direct investment (FDI) regime. Increase in transparency results in higher investment in such real estate markets.

Source: Economic Times

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