If sales for your new development are sluggish, your marketing plan may need an overhaul. How developers market their properties shapes the overall perception of the development. It can even impact unit sales for the duration of the project’s life. So with more than 64,000 residential developers in the U.S. and thousands of developments built annually, the question your marketing strategy needs to answer is: Why should people choose your development over the competition?
This question is why many property developers turn to new development marketing firms. A great new development marketing consulting group can craft a cutting-edge marketing strategy to boost sales and pricing in a competitive market. Yet many developers and marketing firms still use outdated tactics rather than next-generation approaches. Other industries have embraced digital transformation by exploring the collateral required to be effective in the ever-changing digital marketing space. The real estate industry, however, has been slower to adapt. This lack of change has left traditional channels saturated and overexposed. To reach today’s buyers, adopting new ideas and tactics is essential.
Market to The Individual
Developers should hire sales and marketing firms that step outside classical marketing strategies and adapt to the ever-changing channels connecting them to consumers. If you’ve received the same general plan and approach you’ve seen before — with the same techniques used at the development down the block — something needs to change.
The tactics that work for a development located in New York City will not work for a condominium along the beach in Florida, and neither will sending a templated email blast that looks the same as every other development in the neighborhood. Buyers are inundated and bored with familiar approaches, repetitive messages, and generic formats. These tired approaches lack metaphorical curb appeal and fail to grab ever-shrinking attention spans.
A development marketing firm that offers a strong ROI understands the “why” and “how” of recent market and buyer expectation changes. They adapt their strategies to the evolving landscape by identifying the development and target buyers’ unique qualities. Then, they utilize the right approach to reach that target audience most efficiently. A tailored strategy from exposure to purchase encourages the buyer through the multiple touchpoints necessary during that journey — however long it may be.
Multi-Channel Marketing Strategies
To meaningfully expose potential buyers to a new development means understanding how today’s buyers purchase property. According to a recent survey, almost all buyers (96%) use online tools in their housing search — the majority on mobile devices. Millennials are twice as likely to conduct mobile searches than older generations. As a result, using the latest technologies to reach your target audience is vital. Defining your target buyer and their characteristics helps you understand which marketing channel will work best. This approach is particularly crucial in nuanced real estate markets like New York City, where target buyers vary significantly by neighborhood and should be defined early in the building planning process.
Multi-channel marketing strategies should constantly evolve to keep pace with buyer trends, ensuring consumer touchpoints stay relevant. Developers are using a variety of tactics — from physical collateral to 3D renderings, virtual tours, dedicated property websites, paid social media ads, and content marketing, to name a few. As technology advances and new channels develop, more options to reach consumers will emerge. They may even require new media to present.
Marketing and sales consultants must explore these newer channels and continually evolve their strategies as buyers’ preferences fluctuate. The pandemic changed how consumers shop and process information — today’s consumer wants to feel good about their purchase, so building trust is vital. The challenge is to find ways to give buyers the details they need to decide on a sale.
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The Marketing, Sales, ROI Trifecta
Real estate is one of the few remaining industries not effectively tracking marketing spend. Tracking this is essential to creating agile, short- and long-term strategies to efficiently utilize budgets for the marketing cycle’s life. Many new developments are taking more than three years to sell out. Still, standard marketing budgets spend the majority of funds within the first 20% of sales, leaving most of the developer’s revenue dependent on a marketing spend trickle.
The new condominium development marketing cycle — from exposure to purchase — typically occurs faster than similar cycles in other industries because the process happens within a shorter time frame. Other industries may cultivate potential buyers over a period of years. However, most new development exposure to purchase timelines aim to open and close over a period of weeks to months. Therefore, it is crucial to consistently track the return on investment (ROI) for various marketing initiatives to use finite marketing budgets effectively. Doing so allows for an analysis of the marketing period, resulting in a more efficient and flexible use of marketing spend.
Effective use of finite marketing budgets also means re-examining all phases of the sales and marketing process. Top-tier consultants evaluate a marketing strategy’s supporting methods and media. They also appraise distribution channels to determine if historically efficient brand strategies still resonate today. In addition, understanding the developer’s capital flow over time, and integrating motivational fee structures for sales, can better align developer and sales team interests.
The primary purpose of real estate development marketing is to create sales. Developments should utilize the latest technologies available to track metrics and marketing. Consultants should help add value to your project through branding, positioning, marketing, and selling beyond your expectations.
Savvy developers don’t hire new development marketing firms just to staff a sales gallery and list residences on the open market. They engage firms intent on creating a development’s brand, formulating an efficient marketing plan, and crafting a budget that will translate into a successful investment. In today’s quickly evolving world, consumer behavior is constantly changing in real estate and beyond. To best protect their investment and deliver a residential product best suited to the market, developers must consider a development marketing firm’s understanding of this changing world.
From inception through the sale of the last residence, developers and their marketing firms should use market data and on-the-ground feedback regarding what is driving purchases. This approach applies to tangible design features, offerings within each building, and, importantly, the up-to-date methods buyers use to identify their next home purchase. Further, what imagery and information resonate best with buyers, and through which channels meaningful exposure occurs are potentially more critical than the residential product itself.