Real Estate – Digital and how do you win?

Goswami wants to buy his daughter a flat as a wedding present. Her wedding is in 6 months. He starts with checking out some property portals and then shortlists a couple of them. Once he shortlists a few he does a Google Search on these developers and their properties and goes to their respective websites and checks it out in a quick brisk manner. Then he goes to property review websites and he wants to see what other buyers have to say about the property. Out of the 3 properties he has identified he has read bad reviews about two and a good review about one.

He searches for the website again on Google for the property that he liked best and fills the lead form. He sees Ad copy on Google Search for other properties which he seemed to identify with and decided to fill his details as well.

Later that day he is browsing on a news website and is retargeted by one of the developers that he read a bad review about but has a very compelling ad which relates to family. He decides to click on the banner and revisits the site and fills the lead this time.

He gets a call at 5 PM from a Real estate “consultant” who has received the lead from a property portal who has shared the property areas and the property range that Mr.Goswami was looking at. The real estate consultant has promised to be Mr.Goswami’s guide to buying a property and has promised to do it at no cost. Mr.Goswami gives him an appointment but is a little wary.

Just before he sleeps that night he checks his mail and he sees multiple mailers about properties. One emailer about how Family is the most important thing and how Serenade Property makes Family the centre of their ethos stands out and he clicks on it and fills the lead after much deliberation.
Which developer is Mr.Goswami finally going to go with? Which digital channel is going to prove to be the most efficient?

Today a Marketing person on the digital sphere has so many options and has to understand his property fully and his target audience post which he needs to figure which channel will give him volumes and further narrow it down to quality based on conversions.

When a developer has a single property then the approach needs to different as compared to a developer who has multiple properties in different parts of the city, state and region of the country.

Channels for a developer with a single property

  1. Google Marketing – Using the various modes of targeting from Search, Gmail to display the marketer can buy good quality clicks and ensure with the right targeting his/her agency/SEM employee is able to calculate the number of leads from a set number of clicks/budget if the person has some experience
  2. Cost per lead vendors – There are a host of CPL vendors today but only a few that can give quality and even those require a constant quality watch to ensure that they don’t give you bad inventory or fake clicks. Using a vendor manager or an agency will give you the knowledge to deal with and retain quality. Quantity is not something one can expect from these channels.
  3. Emailers – This channel makes sense depending on the pricing of your property. If you are in the mid market range then it makes sense but if you are in the luxury segment then conversions on these channels can only be facilitated by edms from R.E portals and not from private data bases from your edm vendor.
  4. Whatsapp Marketing – There are a wide range of marketing efforts today that are inexpensive and get you reach. Whatsapp Marketing gets you that kind of reach. What it does for your brand on the other hand might not be the best as a lot of people find this extremely intrusive.
  5. Mobile Marketing – Users who search on Mobile convert the lowest cost. At present the Cost per lead is low but the volumes cannot be ramped up. It is recommended to have a responsive page at all times but for your paid campaigns a specific Mobile page is required to generate as many conversions as possible.
  6. Remarketing – Most users don’t convert the first time they come to your page. The point is to bring them back. Remarketing strategies should be in place to capture the interest of the user and to retarget them using specific messaging on banners to re-engage them. There are multiple methods of doing so.
  7. Real Estate Portals – Minimal presence, at least as listing is always recommended. Based on performance one can decide how they want to ramp it up.
  8. Tier 1 websites – Tier 1 websites can give you branding, at no point can one expect performance from such channels. The branding and the presence they have to offer should be done based on budgets and the brand’s need to be a known name in the market. Not to push for sales.

At the end of the day, everyone has targets. And part of the targets in Real Estate would be to reach a certain number of Site visits. Working with each channel, there needs to be a ratio which has been worked out which ranges from Enquiries: Leads: Site Visit: Sale