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Content Marketing for Real Estate

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In today’s time when home buyers have become smarter by investing more time in understanding the projects they are going to purchase and call it their home. It has imperatively become more important to reach out to your customer in more than one way. Gone are the days when you really had a chance to wait for them to do a site visit to make them understand about your offering. Today 50% of the scrutiny already happens well in advance and in future this ratio is only going to increase.

So, what it is that you do to get your communication going the right way to your customers? And right at the point you decide to get your content marketing strategy in place, you are bound to get overwhelmed with all the advice you may get. Whether one has to focus on your website and it’s optimisation, blog, building email list and content, posting on social media or increasing your network. Where it’s the reach that counts or it’s engagement that matters?

The reality though may baffle you but you just might have to do it all to get the attention that you seek. But, remember when you do so do not forget that ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY. So, my advice? Take one step at a time if you are doing things online. If in case, you have hired experts let them as well do the same. Until and unless you are ready to shell out a bomb for fetching an overnight visibility. But there as well, the big daddy of internet GOOGLE wouldn’t let you sit in peace. Yes! The paid promotion may put you there but a long term impact can only be created by having a long term strategy in place.

Here are 6 pointers which would help you get started :

  1. WEBSITE
  2. The bare minimum requirement that you can’t do without. Just the way you invest building up for your site experience. Your website serves as a window to all your customer to notice what you have on offer. How competitive is your offering? While building up your website make sure following pointers are well taken care of.

    • Your brand (LOGO, MISSION and VISION)
    • The Founder and Team behind it
    • Your projects (Linked with Project pages or Project Micro-sites)
    • Location advantages and Amenities advantages for each projects
    • Call for action
    • Your contact details
    • Your Social Media Handles
    • Real time Chat Option
    • Project brochure (Link or downloadable)
    • Clients Testimonials
    • Blog (Try updating this with Projects updates or Location updates)
  3. Blog posts
  4. Getting your website is the first step. But, the BIG Daddy of internet (Read Google) loves it when you update the content on your website. Since, regular updates might not be many, this is where blog comes in to play and help you get best SEO results. Create as much content as possible. Make sure the content is unique, informative and engaging. Here are few tips for you to get started.

    • Projects description
    • Projects updates with Images
    • Customer testimonials and videos
    • Your marketing campaign and success Stories
    • Infrastructure upgrades around your projects and how will it benefit customers in future
    • Impact of policies on Real Estate
    • Terminologies used in Real Estate
    • Your brand story

    Remember two key pointers, while you focus on above pointers try giving it as much human connect as possible. And second try ending it with questions triggering customers to connect with you with their version or queries.

  5. Lead capture
  6. What’s the point of investing on online medium if you can’t capture leads? This is where it all gets interesting. Average customer in India who wants to buy a house gets close to 10-20 communication at any point depending upon the geographic location one is located in. This figure goes up to as high as 40-50 a week if it’s a Metro. Just like you they too hate getting trolled by realtors. Thus, out of every 5 customers who ends up on your website, only one would end up filling up your lead form. How do you ensure that you better the strike rate?

    The formula is simple, giving him all that he/ she may need. But, let that one thing be not visible till the time he isn’t giving his contact detail. He may or may not be a potential client today but can be tomorrow. And increasing your email list circle is any day is one of the best practice to get your word out at the minimal expense. So, what is that you do they do end up giving their contact details to you? This is something which needs your attentions. For every project this may vary. But, here are few famous hacks:

    • LEAD form pop up while downloading brochure
    • LEAD Form pop up while checking online brochure right before floor plan page
    • Lead form at the point of price inquiry
    • Letting customer avail special benefit by auto generated code online
    • Lead form pop up while revealing exclusive Financial offer for online customer
  7. Email campaign
  8. So, you have got a good amount of leads. Now, what to do with it? Flood them with daily emailers? Please don’t. Just like you, your customers today hate getting bombarded in their mail boxes with unnecessary emails. Try to be crisp with your conversation on email and keep them relevant. Following pointers would help you understand the do’s and don’ts.

    • Don’t try to sell every time
    • Have your own take on Policies or regulation changes shared
    • Get as personal as you can by using customized emailers
    • For existing customers do keep them updated with regular updates about the projects they have invested in
    • Have proper classification done for your database, one mail content may not fit all. Your affordable offering may differ from your luxury offering and thus the communication
    • Time them well once in two weeks is the maximum you should aim for, lesser the better.
    • If any financial offering is being shared, make sure it is explained well with info-graphics or a video.
    • Have Video links (Embedded) propagated as well to add a personal touch or to explain offerings or communication
  9. Social media posts
  10. Social media is supposed to be one of the most underestimated tools at this point in India. If you have been on this wagon for a while, you must have exhausted your kitty of HOME LOANS, VAASTU TIPS by now. What’s next? If you are starting now, then please feel free to follow the stereotype, but try getting on to the bigger and better game at the earliest. So, below I am sharing the key pointers for you to get your SMM going in your own unique way. Followed by few favorite SMM campaigns we got to execute last year.

    Key Pointers:

    • Don’t put SMM post for the heck of it.
    • Don’t post everyday if you don’t have the right message to deliver. Alternate day postings too may not do any harm. But, put relevant content
    • Create digital assets which your patrons can relate to
    • Try creating a design ideology of your own. Remember while your customer scrolls through his mobile he/she may not give a look on your content for more than 1 sec. So think, think
      real hard what would make him stop.
    • Try creating stories around your post. Highlight amenities as if they were to use them tomorrow
    • Plan campaigns around your SMM handles which can fetch better organic reach or can be a point of discussion. Can last longer. Which means a customer gets to see 10th post of the campaign, he/ she just might be forced to check the story behind it.
    • Plan campaign where people too can engage. Now, it’s a given fact that real estate isn’t something which customers would want to relate with at random until and unless they are going to invest in you. Thus, try using common fields around human emotions, family, outing, life where they can feel a connect and can respond.
    • Do not shy away from keeping rewards for your online audience how much ever small. It might not fetch you the right audience all the times but then can certainly help you get that organic growth. A 21 year old participating in a contest on your page might not be your T.G but friends in his timeline just might be. So, don’t go all out on such rewards but keep few. It hardly costs much but helps you a lot in your organic reach.
  11. Social Media Ads/ Google Ads
  12. The last section but the big devil. Yet, proved so far the most economic option for a mass outreach or a narrow casting. The point is Facebook and Google got to earn. They can’t earn out of common people. But, they expect the business to pay them well. And they aint wrong either. Thus Facebook with their latest update has changed it’s algorithm for their page for 1% potential reach. That is unless your post gets likes or comments it aint going to be shown to more than 10 people out of 1000 fans on your page. Thus you got to promote your page, boost your posts. Well they come at quite an economic price, thus keep some budgets for this reserved all the times. Else, none of above pointers would help beyond a point. No point of investing in any agency or digital expert if you do not allocate some hard earned money here.
    Similar with Google. If you are starting now or a new project is launched just now. The big daddy needs some pumping for their Ad-words for your communication to be visible. (More on this in the next blog.)

Now, make sure these 6 things become pillar of your marketing chain. Either of it being missed would take away some share off your content strategy plan.

Just to rewind.
If you do not have the right website, you may miss out on potential audiences. If you don’t invest in blogs you may be left out in the search engine race. If you do not have lead capture whom would you mail to. If you do not have right email communication no one will respond to you. And if you can’t have control on your SMM handles you can’t be in touch with clients whom you must have mailed your offerings. This missing on nurturing both current and past clients. Thus go all out because there’s no other way here. May be without it, today you may survive but tomorrow you certainly won’t. And tomorrow if you are going to do it, well it just might get a lot late.

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Ahmedabad Real Estate News

Under Construction Flat Booking Finds Tax Deduction Under Time Constraints

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Tax Deduction

If a buyer makes a transaction to book an under-construction flat and if he acquires it within the three-year period of the sale of his old house, then he is entitled to a tax deduction, says a ruling from the Mumbai bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT). If an apartment is booked in an under construction project than it must be viewed as a method of constructing residential tenements, says the December 18 judgment.

That means if the buyer uses the entire gain from the transaction to buy another house within two years or construct another house within three years. The two- and three-year period applies even if the buyer bought another house a year before selling the first one. But the property should have been bought in the name of the seller.

It is mandatory that within a period of two years after or one year before the date of transfer of old house, the taxpayer should construct a residential house or acquire another residential house within a period of three years from the date of transfer of the old house. The date of receipt of compensation will determine the period of acquisition or construction in a case of compulsory acquisition.

This exemption is effective and can only be claimed in respect of one residential house property purchased/constructed in India. In the case of multiple house purchases or constructions, the exemption under section 54 will be available in respect of one house only. Any purchases made outside the country does not fall under any kind of exemption. Section 54 gives relaxation in such cases by providing relief to the taxpayer who sells his residential house and acquires another residential house from the gained capital.

After the sale of an asset, the difference between the buying price and the selling price is a capital gain or a capital loss. These are further classified as long-term or short-term. If a property is held for 24 months or less, with effective from 2017-18, then that asset is treated as Short Term Capital Asset. Then an investor can make

treated as Long Term Capital Asset. Then only a Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) or Long Term Capital Loss (LTCL) can be made on that investment.

ITAT agreed that booking of a new flat in an under-construction apartment should be considered as a case of “construction” and not “purchase”, hence following the earlier decisions of the Bombay high court and the tribunal itself. Further ITAT allowed the fact that the construction can began prior to the date of sale of the old asset. Same was stated in the earlier judicial decisions of the Karnataka high court and Ahmedabad ITAT, that the date of commencement is not relevant but it is the completion of construction that comes in relevance to section 54.

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India Real Estate News

HDFC and Quikr Make A Deal

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HDFC and Quikr Make A Deal

According to a deal between HDFC and Quikr, a stake of more than 3 percent will be given to the mortgage giant in return to its transfer of offline and online real estate brokerage business to the classified ads platform.

After acquiring Commonfloor in 2016 Quikr already has a major presence in online real estate broking.

“Most of the searches for real estate are moving online. Quikr has a much bigger presence online. Through this deal, we are partnering Quikr in the broking business,” said HDFC MD Renu Sud Karnad. According to her, this deal will strengthen Quirks position with offline support.

The deal suggests that HDFC will transfer to Quikr its entire shareholding in HDFC Realty, a real estate brokerage platform, and HDFC Developers, which runs the HDFC RED online platform.

Karnad added that the deal expects Quikr to generate home loan leads for HDFC. The transaction consists of a co-branded alliance between both parties and the HDFC brand will continue to be used online for a year.

The e-real estate classifieds platform HDFC RED has around 7,000 project listings and generates traffic of over 80,000 unique visitors per month. HDFC Realty has a 300-member, in-house sales team, and 7,000-strong nationwide broker network. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial adviser to Quikr while Kotak Investment Banking acted as the exclusive financial adviser to HDFC on this.

30 million monthly users make Quikr India’s largest classifieds platform. It runs multiple vertical businesses across real estate, automobiles, jobs, services, and goods. The Quikr Home, its real estate vertical generates 3.5 million monthly unique visitors.

Both companies intend to work closely and conduct analytics and identify potential homebuyers, and therefore home loan customers, early in their home-buying journey. Quikr founder and CEO Pranay Chulet said, “We see great synergies between Quikr and HDFC as we start working together to bring a seamless online-to-offline platform to developers and consumers.”

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India Real Estate News

Retaining The Sustainability: GRIHA Launches Star Rating For Urban Homes

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GRIHA Launches Star Rating For Urban Homes

Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), is the National Rating System of India, a Sanskrit word meaning – ‘Abode’. Human architecture has always consumed resources in the form of energy, water and material from the environment. From their construction to operation, these habitats absorb the resources throughout their life cycles, emitting wastes in the end. This emission could be direct in the form of municipal wastes or indirect emission into the atmosphere, such as from electricity generation. Hence GRIHA was formed to reduce an architecture’s resource consumption, waste production and overall environment impact up to certain national acceptable limits.

In attempt to quantify all these aspects, like energy consumption, waste generation etc. GRIHA tries to manage, control and bring down the respective to the best possible limit. Being a rating tool, it helps people to assess the performance of their respective projects against the national benchmarks.

Hence it becomes an evaluation of the environmental performance of an architecture on a holistic level. Covering its entire life cycle, this evaluation provides a specific standard for a ‘green building’. This rating system aims to strike a balance between established institutions and emerging concepts, on a national as well as the international level.

The process starts with an online submission of documents according to the criteria. Then a team of professionals and experts from GRIHA Secretariat takes a site visit for the evaluation of the building.  There are four different sections categorized by 34 criteria in GRIHA rating system. Some of them are site selection and site planning, conservation and efficient utilization of resources, building operation and maintenance, and innovation. 

Sanjay Seth, CEO, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council says, “A rating between one and five stars is being provided, helping the costumers to know about the sustainability of the houses”.

According to the Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, the climate resilient and sustainable buildings are the need of the hour. As the government is aiming to construct around 1.2 crore houses for the urban poor under the affordable housing scheme.

In one of his keynote addresses, Andreas Baum, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan said that the Indo Swiss collaboration is operating with the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the development of guidelines for energy efficient housing.

“At present India is witnessing a rapid urbanisation, if each building becomes greener than the last one, then we have a huge opportunity and hope for our country. We need to look beyond the conventional methods of building, in order to provide our citizens with a good quality of life. Hence, GRIHA gains important in meeting our national goals with respect to a sustainable society”, says Dr Ajay Mathur, director general, TERI & president, GRIHA Council.

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