There’s no sector or industry that doesn’t need a digital marketing strategy. Real Estate is another sector to that is poised to gain big. After working with several leading property developers in India, we bring to you this definitive guide to Real Estate Digital Marketing in 2021. We will cover interesting insights on what works, what doesn’t and where the industry is headed, when it comes to digital marketing for the Real Estate Sector.
Did you know that 33 percent of the buyers who are buying for the first time are researching online for properties? These statistics throw light on the significance of a well-thought out online or digital presence for the real estate industry. It is well-accepted that gaining success in business in any business, more so for the real estate sector, it is essential that there is a strong digital marketing plan in place.
Real estate digital marketing has become the need of the hour. 20 years ago one couldn’t even think of looking for a property online because it was a highly unorganised sector. The consumer was at the receiving end of a great deal of ambiguity. Hence, the need of digitization of certain processes had become the need of the hour.
To generate awareness amongst end-users and investors, digital marketing for real estate became a necessity. Today, the scenario is very different. Even the biggest names in real estate are recognising the importance of being online. According to this report, Sobha, one of India’s leading property developers, attributed much of its success last year to consistent digital marketing efforts to showcase its various real estate developments.
Real estate digital marketing is helping the industry grow by tapping audiences that they couldn’t access due to location constraints. Even the average consumer, who perhaps isn’t looking to buy immediately, is interested. With brand awareness and recall being an important KPI, digital marketing is changing the way buyers are making their decisions. With 450 million active users on the Internet in India, the opportunity for real estate developers is growing exponentially.
Real estate digital marketing 2021 – Does it work for established brands?
Think about this – a buyer walks into a sales office at the site of a newly built property. He may have umpteen questions. What if we told you that digital marketing could actually take care of that?
Real estate digital marketing can help all property developers, whether they are an established brand or a new entrant in the market, put all the information out there that a user would be curious about. This saves both the consumer and the company from unnecessary hassle.
Real estate developers can take advantage of this opportunity and gain countrywide or even worldwide recognition. Some of the big real estate developers in the market such as DLF, M3M Group, Vatika are sharing real and actual photographs, elevations and post updates on all their social media handles, keeping consumers well informed. DLF, a leading real estate developer in India, has a dedicated team for complaint redressal and for monitoring their social media platforms as well.
As per the words of the Sales and Marketing AVP of DLF, “ This is the next age where everything needs to be done at the click of a button. As a result, it is essential for realtors to move ahead with the times and adopt modern technology.” Today, DLF is speaking directly to its new customers through its social media and web presence. One would think that a big brand like DLF doesn’t need a digital presence, right? Wrong. Everyone needs real estate digital marketing!
10 Absolutely Critical Real Estate Digital Marketing Strategies for 2021
Marketing techniques are constantly evolving and getting much better with time. Today, digital marketing is fast evolving as the primary channel of marketing for real estate companies in India, USA, Australia and other countries. And with good reason.
There are tons of benefits associated with real estate digital marketing. This section of the guide looks into 10 absolutely important areas for you to consider when planning your real estate digital marketing campaigns in 2021.
1. Branding and Brand Development
Real estate digital marketing helps reach more customers online. Brands can provide visual content for improving the customer engagement and bringing more recognition to their brand. There are so many competitors out there, especially in the real estate market.
What can help you stand out? When a real estate company builds a strong digital marketing presence, it shows to the customer that the company cares and is invested in the buyer’s needs. Brand awareness changes the perception of buyers. Social media helps to create a unique and personal identity for brands, which will help gain the trust of customers and lead to transparency amongst the different parties.
2. SEO and Website Development
As always, SEO and website development (or a digital platform development), is still the most important digital strategy for real estate marketing in 2021. Your website or online platform is basically the glue or the medium that holds your entire digital marketing campaign together. If built strategically, it can act as the central function to build a real estate digital marketing strategy that scales over time.
Therefore, digital marketing for Real estate must have a long term website or digital platform strategy built into it, along with an SEO strategy to drive long term organic traffic. Scientific and smart keyword research will help you understand what your potential buyers are searching for actively, and will thus help you tap into the right products to promote.
More than anything, you will be able to retain a lot of control over your brand’s growth and ensure that you maintain low customer acquisition costs in the long run.
Read this detailed article which talks compares the benefits of building your brand on your own website as compared to third party platforms.
3. PPC Marketing for Real Estate Lead Generation
It’s not just us who believe that digital marketing is the best way to generate leads, real estate developers today have also understood how important it is to go the digital way. Through real estate digital marketing, you can generate multiple leads. All the information regarding the properties, the pricing, the contact details, is listed online which is viewed by thousands of people on a daily basis.
Buying a house or a property isn’t a small decision. Buyers take a lot of time, like to do their research and then, take the final call. Through Pay per click ads on various online platforms such as Google, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram, you can easily and quickly drive thousands of relevant clicks on your online ads and generate leads.
Not only that, you can continuously engaging in “re-marketing” to those users who were most interesting in your product, but didn’t result in conversions. Reminding them with ads optimised to reach them specifically, or emailers can be a strategic way to generate sales, while ensuring your ad spends remain well utilised.
4. Real Estate Social Media Marketing
A guide on real estate digital marketing will never be complete without including social media in it! With billions of users active across popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Whatsapp, today, social media can be leveraged quite effectively for real estate digital marketing. This is one of the main reasons why real estate developers need to delve into marketing on Facebook. Website conversion ads and lead ads should be tried in a combination with the help of videos and images for increasing the traffic and generating leads.
One of the most popular and widely used tools for real estate digital marketing on social media is customer engagement. Always remember – engage and converse with your users on social, don’t sell to them outright.
Facebook and Instagram are on top for the go–to choice for most of the users today. Developers can put in their pictures and compare the improvement, post interesting facts about the location where the property is being developed and drive conversations to keep customers more engaged for a longer period of time.
5. Virtual Tours
Post 2020, many real estate firms realised the importance of using virtual tours to showcase their properties and developments in a realistic, virtual environment. Many leading players such as DLF, Lodha and others were able to sell their projects because of a strong virtual video component in their overall marketing mix. Though an expensive component of digital marketing, virtual shoots, drone shoots, 3D layouts – all of these content creation aspects help in building trust in the end consumer’s mind.
If you’re planning to promote your real estate brand online, you must include a virtual tour or a 3D tour of your project to communicate the various benefits and features to end consumers.
6. Online Reputation Management (ORM) for Real Estate Companies
Online Reputation management can be done successfully with these social media platforms and they help in monitoring and protecting your brand’s image from the negative reviews and feedback and. It also helps in improving the visibility with deeper insights on what the customers think about your brand. If you’re a brand manager working in an established real estate company, then ORM should definitely be on your marketing calender for 2021.
In many of our digital marketing audits while working with new and existing clients, we realized that many brand don’t even know how many negative reviews are floating around their brand online, impacting the one most essential ingredient needed for online success – TRUST.
Building Trust is Key!
If your brand can generate trust, it will be able to generate revenue. This is an eternal business principle. The method for building and generating trust online has evolved. Online Reputation Management helps in ensuring that your brand can evoke trust, manage complaints, handle negative reviews, and ensure that each time a consumer looks up your brand online, they find a responsible, caring brand. No matter how much you invest in running ads or creating good content, if customers are posting negative reviews about your brand, it will never help you grow your real estate company on the internet.
7. Content Marketing for Real Estate Companies
A content based approach is perhaps the most evergreen, safest and effective approach for real estate digital marketing in 2021. It’s also my favourite approach because it directly contributes towards the three major metrics in the marketing funnel when it comes to results driven digital campaigns:
- Awareness: It contributes towards long term brand building.
- Interest: It helps in generating new leads and prospects.
- Desire: It massively supports in nurturing and closing sales.
Content marketing for real estate brands is not a new marketing method – its been around since the time civilisation started. Content was what worked in the early 20th century when industrialisation led to creation of large / organised companies.
A word of caution
A content based approach requires patience and consistency as results take time to show. Even a “viral” content campaign does not happen overnight – its a result of creating several micro-content campaigns and using the learning gathered around what works, and what doesn’t to move in the direction of virality. All too often we get clients expecting us to manufacture a viral campaign for them in the first month itself!
Nevertheless, having a content oriented approach has several other benefits for real estate firms.
8. Community Building
Another unique approach towards real estate digital marketing is to work towards building a community of like minded people on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Quora. This can be to talk about things related to a particular real estate project from an investment or residential perspective.
Any real estate brand can facilitate such conversations by sharing the latest information on development, progress updates, new amenities, features and benefits.
Social media is probably the easiest way any property developer can use to build a community, share updates relating to any property or project. This aspect of real estate digital marketing is more about keeping the community engaged and creating brand evangelists. After all, word of mouth is indeed the best form of marketing, even in the digital era!
9. Real Estate Video Marketing
A sub-segment of the content based approach, this is a digital trend that is extremely popular in western markets, but yet to catch up in India. Creating impact videos of real estate properties and listings can drive awareness and sales like perhaps no other piece of online content. Here’s an example:
View this post on Instagram
Why we mention video marketing as a separate strategy in this real estate digital marketing guide is because producing engaging video content is resource intensive. From scripting, ideating and production – you would either build an in-house team, or hire an agency to create video content. Nevertheless, real estate video marketing is definitely going to be a rising trend in the future, with more and more users preferring to consume video content.
However, the keyword here is to go with storytelling instead of production value. Always remember that your video will most likely be consumed on a mobile device, hence investing in expensive production is generally not required, unless you are confident your videos would be played on television or cinema halls (highly unlikely). In most cases, a mobile phone can be used to create videos!
10. Data Analytics
Data analytics is the art of collecting, understanding and creating insights from raw data. Although a part of other real estate digital marketing strategies, independently analysing data provides valuable insights while keeping track of the performance of digital marketing strategies in a competitive market – this makes it much easier for the real estate developers to adopt this as a fundamental aspect of their approach. All too often crunching numbers is forgotten and brand managers are often chasing the next shiny object, or trying to beat their competitors with a fancy marketing campaign.
How to Choose the Right Mix of Channels for Your Property Company?
Given that they are so many ways, strategies and channels that you could leverage online to build your company, which is the best one? It all depends on a few key factors:
- What are your goals? Are you looking for branding or are you looking to generate leads? Or perhaps you want to nurture leads or leverage old customer data?
- What kind of resources do you have? Are you convinced and looking to go big? Or are you just looking to explore initially?
- What stage is your brand at, in at the moment? Is it the starting or you have an established brand, but suffering from poor ROIs?
These are just a few questions to consider when building your digital marketing strategy. However, the underlying approach is simple – focus on a few and go deep!
It’s a very common mistake to start all marketing channels at once, invest big, and then struggle with generating enough ROI that justifies the spend. You need to consider many aspects in your organisation’s journey to build a well-thought out real estate digital marketing strategy.
These are just 10 areas in the overall field of Real estate digital marketing that we have covered in this guide. Within each subarea, there are countless other methods, theories and practices that can be implemented for a robust campaign. Your goal as a real estate business owner or brand manager is to make the process smart, sustainable and scalable.
Real estate is the most reliable and safe long-term investment that one can make throughout their life. Purchasing a new home gets much easier with the advent of technology in the digital industry.
Digital marketing for property developers can help provide the buyers gain a real-time experience of any property with the help of their screens and the real estate players a chance to create a brand that more and more people want to get associated with. It’s a win-win, we’d say.
You need to evaluate what resonates with your brand in the long run, and then double down on that. Don’t spread yourself too thin, too soon! This is the only way that will lead to a sustainable and consistent real estate digital marketing strategy for your company.
Are you real estate developer? Read more about our real estate digital marketing services and start getting success on digital platforms!