Before we jump on to talking about Real estate marketing mistakes, let’s build a platform for our argument.
If you look at any big company anywhere in the world, the first investment they make is in real estate. Just look at how much properties Ambanis & Tatas own in India, how much properties Google & Facebook own in the United States. Even an ordinary or early investor also thinks of investing in the real estate to secure his earnings and get assured returns.
However, with the challenging economic situations Real estate marketing has become a difficult and challenging process. It is a continuous process
With growing rentals and changing lifestyles, owning a property is the priority of every married couple. They prefer to pay EMI than to pay for their rent. Talk to your 5 friends and see their current status, either they already have a home loan or planning to get one this new year 🙂
Time is never the same
However, with the changing times, specifically during these days, when nobody is even thinking of an investment, real estate as well gets a hit. Every time there is a recession, the real estate market always gets a hit. It has become really important for real estate companies to plan for situations that are going to come in the future.
From your project timelines to marketing spend, everything has to align and a calculated fund needs to be collected from the profits you make to handle such critical times. If I would have released this post 6 or 7 months earlier (before COVID, when I had written it but didn’t publish as it was not complete) nobody would have paid attention or would have considered listening.
But now, the situation is different, very few, I am saying very few companies are being able to survive during this time. For most people, everything is shut and no sales happening.
It also goes back to the time, when you were in a rush to generate leads and sell your properties. I understand you need floating capital to run your business, but you could have paid some attention towards building a brand that people would rely on. That people would say, they will take care of our investments, they will help us sail through this crisis.
What would you get this post?
As I am all about marketing, and bread and butter are about marketing, in this post I am going to mainly focus on those crucial advertising & marketing blunders that could have saved you in difficult times.
If you are a marketer, or a realtor and reading this post, I want you to please go through all the points mentioned in the rest of the paragraphs, and let me know your thoughts. I am telling you, if you can accept and understand these mistakes and rectify them, you will be in a better position down the line in next 3-4 years and your brand will be more powerful than it was earlier. And you will have a far better potential to fight against situations like these.
So without wasting any time further, let’s start with those critical mistakes of real estate companies that are causing them to lose in the longer run.
1. Corporate Communications Vs Marketing
Yes, if you are a big real estate developer, you would surely get it where I am heading to. The reason for keeping this as the first mistake is because this can be rectified easily. Most of the companies Communications team or Corporate Comms are different than the marketing teams. In various companies, you would see a differentiation with the Marketing team and Retail teams. I am not against having marketing, communication teams separately.
The mistake is they work in silos, the retail or marketing teams focus is towards products and sometimes brand, corporate comms is busy building corporate identity and doesn’t care of an individual customers’ opinions.
For a small developer, they may not have corporate comms or even marketing manager, for them, it is Just their sales head who is handling both the responsibilities. In that situation as well people simply forget brand building activities and jump on sales, because he or she doesn’t have any KPIs of the brand, his management is interested in only sales figures.
It is not wrong to focus on sales, but if you would have spent some time building your strong presence with your consumers. If your customers would say, I vouch for this brand, you would still have seen your sales happening despite the situation.
Let’s make it simple
Let me make it super simple and easy to digest for everyone, you need to give equal attention to your marketing activities and corporate communications, at the same time there should be sales happening always to survive. All you need is to align all these teams together, create interdependent KPIs so that they have no choice but to work together.
And that leads us to the next mistake…
2. No single system to align your Sales & Marketing
We discussed in earlier point to have all the teams working together and no silos. But if you don’t have a system to handle this, your efforts are going in vain. At the end of the day, there will be blame games, there will be no synchronization.
A single platform that brings sales & marketing activities all under one dashboard would not only help your teams to align but will also help you to monitor things in a far better way. You will be able to track returns from all of your real estate marketing activities.
Consider having an evolved platform like Eloqua or Hubspot that can help you to create various workflows to align your teams and work complementing each other. Have track of everything and optimize your campaigns in a far better way.
And that leads to our next point…
3. No Systematic Approach to Conversion Optimization
Conversion optimization could only be possible when marketing, sales & the top management of a real estate sales, broking or development company would start working in sync with each other. (As already emphasised earlier)
When I am talking about conversion optimization, it is not just about having a sales funnel, or running an offer ad, or having pixels and analytics installed. It is not even about sending emailers on and off and expecting people to revert.
I am talking about having a systematic approach where you have sales and marketing working hand in hand to optimize the overall conversion rate and maximize your real estate marketing efforts. Get more intelligent with your sales and marketing. Make use of an intelligent tools like Eloqua, Marketo or Hubspot that can help you gather lead intelligence, score your leads, create workflows, automate things, measure every touchpoint and have all of your marketing channels under one dashboard.
You need to build your conversion flywheel instead of having a funnel. As promoted by Hubspot, we should all move from having funnels to having a flywheel where your important actions of attracting, convert and delight go hand in hand.
Funnel to Flywheel
Consider you are getting 100 lead a month, and you are spending around 50 USD per lead. You are spending 5,000 USD a month to generate these many leads. You are currently able to convert 1% of the total leads, which leads to discarding of rest 99 leads. If you add it up to a year you can look at how many leads would go wasted and how much many eventually just went in vain.
Also, at the end of the year, you would again start a fresh campaign to start generating leads when you don’t have a system. But when you would have a system that not only captures these leads, it gives you insights about the people such as pages visited, time spent on each page, responded to which communication or have ever checked email or if they have downloaded a floor plan or a property brochure. This kind of insights will help you create better campaigns and nurture these leads further.
This would help you to optimize your conversion rate and surely you can increase it by 3-4% just by implementing a system.
Check out Hubspot’s philosophy of going from a funnel to a flywheel.
4. Not Giving Importance to Brand & Community Building Using Social Media
I have seen a lot of developers in India, a lot of property brokers in the middle east, they don’t pay attention to using social media as a brand-building tool. They majorly focus on running lead ads or conversion ads and trying to sell them the inventories they have. I am not asking you to stop those, I am asking you to consider the social media for a long term vision when working on real estate marketing.
Let’s understand it this way. Right now we are all going through a tough time, every business is struggling, and surely thinking of an alternative way of generating business. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a huge fan base that listens to you, connects with you and engages with you on various topics that you share? You could have just went out and started another conversation with them during the crisis.
But, right now you don’t have that audience. You never shared anything to help your audience make a better buying decision earlier, why would they listen to you now?
Am I making sense?
If this has started to make sense, let me come to my point. Real Estate companies should give utmost importance to building their online brand. Connect meaningfully with their TG and help them make smart buying decisions.
You need to be sharing value-driven content, that helps them achieve their objectives, helps them to fulfil their dream of buying a house or getting returns on their investment. Listen to what they think, engage with them through social media channels, start a dialogue and have constructive discussions with your audience online.
This way, you will be able to create a brand that would not just survive in the difficult times, it will surge and come out shining during the unprecedented times.
Check out 7 step formula to create right social media strategy for your brand: https://faizanization.com/7-proven-steps-to-succeed-in-social-media-marketing/
5. Least or no importance to Data-Driven Real Estate Marketing
Honestly, this post is not about all the real estate companies, there are some great examples too. I would be writing a review of 10 real estate companies who are doing great in the region (next month). I am talking about the majority of the companies those who don’t pay attention to data in their real estate marketing campaigns.
One, you don’t have a system to keep things organized, two you don’t pay attention to data and your decisions are mainly based on assumptions and opinions. However, the ideal way should be to take decessions based on insights and data.
All your real estate marketing campaigns should be driven by data, and for that, the first step is to capture the data in an organized way using the right tools. Getting help from a data scientist can help you further to optimize your campaign and results.
This brings us to the end of this post. Things are always easier said than done, but if you can have everything properly in place it would do wonders for your business. And, honestly, it is not that difficult as well. Thanks to technology, everything is easy, with one or two right tools you can avoid all these mistakes and get better results from your marketing efforts in the long run.
Do not forget to connect with me on Social Meid channels. If you liked this blog, I had written a similar blog for overall digital marketing mistakes that you should check out: https://faizanization.com/digital-marketing-mistakes-you-should-avoid/