The Changing World of Digital Real Estate Marketing
Advertising remains one of the most powerful marketing tools for developers in the highly competitive real estate marketing space. Despite all the talk about Indian real estate going digital, most new projects still get roughly 80% of their sales through 'offline' methods such as advertisements, hoardings, in-house sales teams, and channel partners.
The rise of digital marketing
For real estate developers, digital marketing has become critical. At least 20% of a real estate developer's business comes from online channels such as real estate portals and search engines. While the hype surrounding Indians suddenly 'buying homes online' following the pandemic should be taken with a grain of salt, 20% of business is still generated online - and the digital share will continue to grow.
Before making actual home purchases, an increasing number of Indian homebuyers are maturing digitally and conducting online research. This was a trend even before Covid-19, but the pandemic definitely boosted 'digital adoption'. Today, no Indian developer can afford to ignore the power and potential of real estate digital marketing.
According to available statistics, approximately 30% of a builder's ad revenue is spent on online marketing (70% on print ads). Online advertising is unquestionably less expensive and has a wider reach (though print ads in the right publications are still seen as more effective today). However, this will rapidly change in the future. One of the most important reasons is the increased credibility of advertisements under RERA.
A changing landscape
Previously, developers and brokers faced few, if any, restrictions on how they advertised their projects. As a result, online advertisements became an incomprehensible jumble of endless duplication, often unrealistic and downright deceptive promises, and inaccurate information. Those days are coming to an end. RERA requires that both offline and online real estate advertising contain accurate, verifiable information about a project.
This is an important development. Today, online real estate platforms are legally seen as 'real estate agents as per the RERA policies. The Act requires any company or individual marketing a real estate project in the state where the project is located to obtain a RERA license from the state where the project is located. This means that these platforms must register with the RERA Act.
Even if a contractor or architect is looking to market a project through their online network, their company must be registered with the respective state RERA. As a result, digital real estate marketing is becoming more dependable and efficient. Of course, digital marketing is far less expensive than traditional marketing.
In short, online real estate information is becoming more trustworthy, and the pandemic has pushed more Indians online than any other single event in recorded history. Aside from digital real estate marketing platforms and developer websites, social media has evolved into a significant marketing tool that savvy developers have learned to use effectively.
Problems remain (and must be addressed)
While digital real estate marketing is improving, there are still issues that must be addressed. For example, the online real estate advertising space remains extremely crowded. Most of the time, both builders and brokers list the same projects on the same online platforms, resulting in inventory overlap. Indeed, multiple brokers list the same project on the same platform.
As a result, developers, brokers, and real estate platforms must work to create a more rational online representation of projects. These issues will need to be addressed as the trend of digital real estate marketing matures. Offline marketing will become less relevant in the future, with digital marketing emerging as the more powerful and effective tool in the hands of developers.
prelaunch development project at Budigare.
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