Digitization of Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry has been the number one spender in the online advertising marketplace, surpassing the automotive industry for the past few years in a row. The industry’s shift from traditional (offline) marketing to digital marketing is believed to reach new levels of disparity. Offline marketing mediums such as newspaper ads now only account for 16% of the overall market spend while online ads account for more than 55%.  This trend is expected to continue with a steep increase as newer digital platforms such as social media, mobile, video, paid lead generation portals and high-speed internet connectivity all continue to develop, rapidly. So, what does it mean to both property buyers, mortgage houses and realtors?

If you’re a realtor, then you know that the real estate market is one of the most competitive industries out there in developing and already developed markets.

Indians seem to have become increasingly comfortable making high-value buying such as apartments and plots of land online – if the stats of the recently concluded Great Online Shopping Festival are anything to go by.

Here are some of the key stats from the GOSF which indicate that real estate seems to be well on its way to becoming a mainstream e-commerce commodity:

  • 36 real estate companies including Tata Value Homes, Brigade Group, Purvankara Developers, Artha Property and Provident Housing were part of the event. This is as compared to just two developers being part of the previous edition in 2013 and none in the festival’s maiden edition in 2012.
  • Real estate developer Puravankara sold over 125 homes within the first 12 hours of the shopping event and had 507 online bookings over the 3- day period.
  • Tata Value Homes secured over 10,000 registrations for their homes across five projects in Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Boisar near Mumbai.

Digital-Marketing-Real-EstateIncreased investments and opening up of new real estate portals like housing.com, commonfloors etc are the examples of changing trends. These portals are mainly driven by revenues through commissions and advertisements from brokers or developers and funding from private equity funds. With speculations around better infrastructure to facilitate online property business, experts expect it to grow at more than 30% in the coming years. These data show that digital marketing for real estate will be a very important growth driver.

Compared to 7 in 10 Indian buyers who rely on online research for making a purchase decision, the European and US Real Estate markets are more digitally advanced. US markets have seen 9 in 10 home buyers relying on the web as one of their primary research sources. According to a study conducted by The National Association of REALTORS and Google, not only 60% home buyers turned to the web as their first step but the number of real estate-related searches on Google.com has also been growing at 22% y-o-y. However, recent reports also indicate that emerging economies will play a decisive role in defining the future boom in Real Estate industry.

For realtors, digital marketing has been the most preferred way to better target your audience and grow your business. With an effective digital communication strategy, you’ll put yourself head and shoulders above your competition and taste success like never before.

One thing that has still not changed is the fact that home buying is a family decision and not an individual’s impulse decision. Most home buyers carry out a lot of research and consult family and friends before taking the big decision of buying a house. This means, it’s a very social process and engaging with customers moving out of comfort zone could facilitate him/her closing the deal.

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My six step approach to Content Marketing

With the increasing importance of content to commercial success online, content is not something to pull up stakes to an intern; it takes a strategy to ensure it really supports marketing.

Like all marketing activities, the objective of content marketing is to convert prospects into customers and establish more loyal and relevant relationships with existing audience. While the ultimate goal is to drive increased revenue for companies, content marketing is more focussed on presenting information and advice that enrich people’s lives.

Here’s a six step approach to a business content marketing strategy that I have been following since past few years.

Theme selection: define what you want to be celebrated for. There is a content overload in the world. Your content must be valuable by educating or informing the audience on a deeper level. The magic occurs when you encounter a subject you are knowledgeable in and that the market is still waiting for. Choose your content domains smartly and be consistent in your selection.

Content conversion strategy: content marketing has to contribute to an increase in revenues. Think upfront about where conversion should take place. Define a top conversion point and lead people to this point through your content. Make sure you are not using your content marketing strategy as a hybrid sales strategy; readers will look properly through this and click away from your website in search for conversions.

Content planning: once you have defined the themes and the conversion strategy, create an editorial calendar. Put up a roadmap so you recognize when and where content will be dealt. If you’re too busy to run the program yourself, assign a member of your team to prepare it for you. Streamline the content calendar with all other marketing actions in order to increase impact.

Create shareable content: once the content is established, people will respond to it. Be candid to this engagement from your audience and be ready to answer questions or to give feedback. Good content does not constantly has to be entertaining, but humans learn in an inborn appreciation for the content that induces them to cringe, laugh, or cry. Users also tend to discuss and share content a lot more when it impresses them on an emotional level.

Facilitate content conversation: The content needs to be easy to share and worth sharing. You require to remain in front of your audience as much as possible, without being an irritation.Masses tend to broadcast content that is positive, relevant, appealing and contains a benefit. Don’t be afraid to filter out what isn’t working and write more about the subjects that are gaining traction. Take that into account during the creation of the content.

Measure success: the moment the content strategy is up and running you can measure its impact through a set of relevant KPIs. As you work to push out timely content, look at performance and engagement based on analytical data, not common sense assumptions.

The recipe for success is simple: provide people the information they desire, when they want it, and where they want it. Yet, in reality, following this formula can be difficult and complex. Even so, I am following these 6 steps in approach to content marketing, helping me creating successful content strategies for brands I work with.

The Targets of Modern Day Content Marketing

Content marketing has already been acknowledged as one of the key challenges companies facing these days in their communication strategy. Most companies realize the need to change their communication model due to the increased influence of social media and their competitor’s web presence. Top marketing managers of these companies are busy finding ways to become more responsive towards questions and feedback’s from consumers on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Companies as well realize that they should not just be proactive in distributing with their customers, but regularly feed customers with conversation-worthy content. The latter is the main problem while approaching customers. Most companies don’t know what content marketing means and how it can be leveraged to achieve business objectives.

In this part, I would like to share my experience on why content marketing could be enforced in whatever sort of business.

Here are the objectives to achieve with content marketing.

  • Being recognized as subject matter expert: Being aware of the latest trends, tools and technologies lead to innovation and keeps you ahead of your competition. Your clients are invariably looking for more in terms of comfort, satisfaction and quality to enhance their lifestyle and ease. Being relevant and coherent with your content marketing model will enhance the brand positioning and will assist you to be recognized as an expert in your area of occupation and therefore will increase worldwide awareness of your brand.
  • Building healthy relations with your customers: Sharing new and fresh content at regular intervals is a must to build effective content marketing model. This will not simply encourage your customers to stay in contact with your brand but will also open a door for positive feedback and recommendations. Supplying them with information that is relevant, interesting and useful is often conceived as result driven strategy in the long-term as compared to bothering them with new offers and coupons every other day. Offering relevant and valuable content in terms of marketing collaterals will make it more acceptable to establish a promotion every once in a while.
  • Grow business by drawing in new customers: Like they say bad feedback reaches thousand and nice feedback reaches fewer. Your content is usually shared with existing customers and fans. If the content is strong enough, it will reach new sets of customers in the form of your customer’s family, friends and colleagues. This is how community is built and content plays a central part in getting contacts with young people. Solid and creative content arouses the curiosity of young panoramas, which progresses to them want to learn more about your brand and your offerings. In the end, content marketing should lead to an increase in business.
  • Converting customers into brand influencers: Just a quality and price competitive product is not enough to satisfy a client these days, your competitor might also be doing the same and it won’t guarantee his loyalty towards your mark. Your marketing objectives should be such that it can fulfil the customer’s emotional needs as comfortably. Informed customers convert into brand influencers.
  • Increasing online reach: Finally, strong and relevant content will automatically ensure that your company receives a more extensive reach on the internet and makes a substantial brand. This will increase visibility for your content and increase its impact. A wider online reach makes it easier to accomplish the first three objectives mentioned above.

Hope this piece of content help you in building successful content marketing model as the same has been helpful to me in leading successful marketing efforts for the brand with whom I have worked with. You may also share your experience while dealing with your customers or anything that I may add to this post.