I remember 2005, when people were jumping around to invest in properties in India. Real estate developers would put up an ad in a newspaper, and by the end of the day their properties would get sold out.
Things have dramatically changed since then. Today, real estate developers are struggling to sell their premium properties even at lower prices.
I believe marketing is all about getting your fundamentals right.
In this article, I have outlined some of the fundamentals that real estate companies should follow.
#1 Choose your target market wisely
The biggest mistake in marketing is not having a target market.
If I could get a dollar for every time someone said my target market is everybody, I would have been a billionaire by now.
I remember a marketer tell me very early in my life, “If your target market is everybody. Then it is nobody.”
When you are clear about your target market, you can create a product that fits their needs and lifestyle.
Your marketing efforts and resources too are more focused towards this segment.
Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto said “We’d rather have a higher market share in the motorcycle market rather than get into the scooter market.”
He even goes on to say, “Just because someone is a great cricketer does not mean he should also focus on baseball.”
It’s like asking someone to be a doctor and an engineer. So much for diversifying. Warren Buffet calls it Diworsifying.
Here’s a more detailed article on choosing the right target market.
#2 Understand what and why your target segment buys
People buy real estate either for investment, or to live in it.
If you are focusing on investors, then they look for appreciation in value or good rental income. Both of which may not be under the developer’s control.
If people are looking for a place to live in, then what do they look for?
- Good neighborhood. Sometimes, we walk into a neighborhood and it feels like home.
- Similar neighbors – People who are just like them. That’s why your target market is so crucial.
- Affordable. Fits their pocket. Most people have a price point that makes them comfortable.
- Amenities – I know people who chose a neighborhood because it had facilities like a club house, tennis court and a swimming pool. This is something that depends entirely on your target market. Don’t just create amenities to match your competitors, some of these amenities may not matter to your target segment at all.
- Location – The cliché in real estate – location, location, location. People like to live close to their place of work. I know people who travel over 20 miles to get to work, but more and more people live close to their place of work.
#3 Plan your marketing wisely
There are four things that are important in marketing.
Creatives – should match the kind of people you are targeting. If your creatives look really sophisticated and rich when your target market is budget shoppers looking for inexpensive products, it might hurt your sales.
On the other side, if you are selling a luxury product. Your creatives should also look expensive.
Copy – it is the words that you write on your advertisements and sales brochures.
Good copy shows their target market that people just like them are benefitting by buying your product. It also creates a bit of curiosity for people to pick up your brochure and read it.
A good example is “Thousands of business owners are cutting their energy costs by 25%. This is how?”
The right channel of communication – Communicate your message where your target market hangs out. People ask me where should I advertise? Facebook, LinkedIn, Google etc? I tell them advertise where your target market hangs out. Besides that, you also want to identify channels that are cost effective.
Money is in the list – The old marketing jargon, money is in the list still holds true even today. I believe the number one skill of a marketer is to build a list, nurture the list (convert a lead into a relationship), and eventually make a sale.
#4 Focus on strategy
Jack Welch said, “Strategy is the general direction in which you are moving.”
Another successful business owner, Rajiv Bajaj says “Just as the immune system is the vital energy function in a human being, so is strategy to a business.”
Here is where most businesses fail.
Rajiv further goes on to say “Most people try to copy the market leader.”
In some industries, I see that a lot of businesses don’t have a strategy at all. If you are making villas, how are you different from other people making villas?
In one of Rajiv’s videos below, he shows us how he transformed Bajaj into one of the top auto makers in the world. There’s a lot of great learning in the video.
Whether you are selling real estate or anything else. It’s important to focus on a few fundamentals. Get the fundamentals right, and even if you make a few mistakes you’ll get away. Get the fundamentals wrong, and you will struggle throughout.
If you’d like to connect with me, please feel free to follow me on twitter @vinilramdev.