According to the 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects report by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, a whopping 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas around the world, which is expected to grow by 68% by 2050.
A report by Grand View Research, INC, states that the global real estate is expected to generate a revenue of $4,263.7 billion by 2025. The report also states that Asia Pacific, North America, and the Middle East is touted to be the hotspots for real estate growth due to increase in population and favourable regulatory reforms.
According to a survey conducted by KPMG, in association with Naredco and APREA, the real estate market in India is expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2030, making it the third largest market globally.
To put all this in a nutshell, after a spell of lows, the global real estate industry is finally looking bright and if reports are to be believed, it will continue to shine for a long time due to rampant urbanisation and development across the world.
So, if you are a real estate developer, this is the right time to leverage the opportunity and go digital.
Why go digital?
Well, to put it in one line - that’s exactly where your target home buyers are present, and according to Janet Choynowski, the CEO of international property portal Immobel, today’s home buyers across the world adopt the same search strategy to find their ideal home.
Here’s what they do:
- First, the buyer shortlists the destination where they want to reside.
- They enter the keywords such as ‘Apartment in Dubai’ or ‘Studio Apartment in Mumbai’ in the search engine.
- The search engine displays websites that have the specific keywords used in the query.
- The prospect goes through the websites that seem to address their query to check for properties.
- They spend time comparing and checking the properties that provide the amenities they want, the location, and the budget.
- Finally, they shortlist the ones they match their criteria and book a site visit.
Did you notice, unlike the earlier trend where the buyers see an ad on the newspaper and call the agent to book a site visit, today’s buyers spend time on researching the property, its closeness to facilities such as schools, offices, airport etc, the market trends i.e. the real-time property rate and its performance in the last few years, and much more.
Digitisation has empowered the home buyers by providing them with various forms of data about different properties. And there are numerous real estate aggregator websites such as Fang, Zillow, 99acres.com and Magic bricks that offer real-time information about them.
However, there is a glitch here. Real estate aggregators are often biased in their property ratings and may not address all the queries of the buyer about your property.
That’s why you need digital marketing.
In the world of Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook that works on hyper-personalisation; digital marketing is the right way to identify and reach out to your target buyer directly. It will not just help you to connect with the buyers personally, but will also help in building a foundation of trust.
By building your digital presence, you will be able to cement your position as a leader in the industry over your competitors.
How to use real estate digital marketing to grow your business
Creating a website with information about the property is the first step towards building your digital presence. However, with more than a million websites on the world wide web, reaching your target buyer through the clutter can be difficult.
One way of reaching them is by using traditional print, TV, and radio ads. However, these ads are costly, and the reach could be limited. Calculating the ROI will also be difficult in such cases.
With digital marketing though, you can reach a wider audience in a fraction of the cost, engage and guide them throughout the buyer’s journey and convert them from prospect to buyers. The best part is you can also calculate the ROI by using the tools available for measuring campaign success and other metrics.
There are various techniques available in digital marketing. We, at Fractional CMO, recommend the following.
1. Google AdWords
While SEO will bring you organic results, the process will be a continuous, long-term exercise. Considering the high level of competition in the industry, you can opt for Google AdWords to reach the home buyers before your competitors do.
Google AdWords is fast, results-driven, and adopts a laser-sharp approach to target the buyers by showing them your property ads for a specific location. Google AdWords is a broad umbrella. There are a few options that you can use within it to maximise your reach. Let’s look at them.
- Remarketing: Home buyers usually do not take the decision right after visiting your website. They need time to mull over the options before deciding. To ensure that you remain on the top of their mind, you can use remarketing to target the visitors who came to your website before, by showing them specific ads related to the offering. Top of the mind recall will prod them to consider you, which is one of the final stages of the sales funnel.
- Display Ads: Another way to create a top of the mind recall is by using Google Display Ads. Google display ads will enable you to choose from over 2 million websites and 650,000 apps to display your adverts. You can showcase it in multiple formats such as Text ads, Banner, and custom Gmail ads. Once the ad format and the budget is set, you will be able to reach the right set of buyers wherever they are!
However, here’s a word of caution from us - considering that you have to bid on keywords, be prudent while choosing them. One of our clients, VBHC, a reputed builder with Pan-India presence, had spent money on Adwords.
Their marketing agency had added more than 14k keywords and created over 36K ads, which hardly brought them any sales qualified leads. When we were onboarded for this task, we audited the entire campaign and identified the relevant keywords and placements, cleaned up the ones that were irrelevant and added new channels and campaigns in the second phase.
The whole exercise reduced the Cost Per Lead (CPL) by 150% and resulted in a 300% jump in sales qualified leads. So, if you want a campaign to be effective, be selective about the keywords you use.
2. Location Targeting Facebook Ads
Over 2.23 billion people across the world use Facebook on a daily basis, which makes it a hotbed to target your potential home buyers. Considering the wide presence of Facebook, it gives you an option to use the advanced location targeting option to create adverts and display it to relevant users according to their location.
So, if your property is near an IT Park at Seattle, you can select the area based on country, postal code etc. and create adverts to target only those users within the chosen radius. Their filters will also help you to narrow down the target based on the audience in that location.
So, you can even choose if you want to select everyone in that location or people who live or are traveling to the location. This will help you refine your reach.
3. Twitter Marketing
Twitter is traditionally used to discuss trending topics. However, the platform is now considered a good option for marketing too. With features such as live streaming, multiple image embedding, and capturing email addresses through ads run on the platform, Twitter enables you to optimise your marketing strategy.
The benefit of Twitter is, it allows you to monitor the conversation around your industry, about your competitors, and tweak your marketing strategy according to the sentiments of the users.
4. Email Personalisation
According to the 4th Annual Adobe Consumer Email Survey, consumer email use has increased by over 17% as compared to last year. This essentially means that despite the popularity of social media, people still prefer to interact with brands through email.
However, there is also a flipside to it. 33% of the respondents of the survey said they would unsubscribe if the product does not match their interest. Thus, it’s important to personalise the content instead of sending a bulk message that looks like a spam email and send it to the right audience.
Some of the personalisation tips that you can include - addressing the recipient with their first name instead of a generic ‘Hi’, segmenting the recipients based on which stage of the buyer’s journey they belong to and sending them customised messages to prod them to take action. It also gives you an option to send a series of emails using the lead nurturing method to remain on the top of the buyer’s mind.
Phew! There’s so much to do…
Considering that the buyers will not decide on their first visit to the website, you will have to adopt a multi-touchpoint approach to make your presence felt and to prod the prospect to take action.
Real estate digital marketing is highly competitive. Hence, you must select an agency that understands your requirement and helps you to achieve your marketing objectives at a minimal cost.
While several agencies that do digital marketing, there are very few that specialise in real estate marketing. Fractional CMO is one of the few agencies that specialises in real estate digital marketing.
We are also a HubSpot agency partner, so that helps us to leverage the amazing HubSpot tools and their inbound methodologies to improve your digital marketing strategy. As a firm believer of generating leads through marketing instead of the usual vanity metrics, we talk and walk business!
So, if you are looking at partnering with a digital marketing agency that will help you generate genuine leads and accelerate your business, please contact for a Proof of Concept.