Social media as a contributing factor in real estate sales

Social media as a contributing factor in real estate sales

Social media as a contributing factor in real estate sales

Digital media has transformed the method in which we invest in real estate. From performing the basic property search online to closing the deal with a safe and secure transaction, the online portal has taken over the sales and marketing of completed, under-construction and upcoming properties. A large portion of homebuyers research online and find it convenient to check and shortlist apartments virtually before physically going to see it.

In fact, data suggests that 92% of homebuyers search online to find their dream home. Additionally, 82% of real estate investors trust online agents as a reliable source of information, and 42% have resorted to the internet as their first-search medium. With such statistics, it is no surprise that digital media makes a huge contribution to real estate sales.

Multiple platforms  

Gone are the days when real estate companies used digital media merely for brand building. With a plethora of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google, it is safe to say that digital media plays a pivotal role in making the world a much smaller place.

With YouTube being the most-watched medium, Twitter being the most credible platform to influence purchase decisions, LinkedIn being the go-to medium for professional networking, and Facebook being the most popular social networking site in India, it only makes sense for real estate developers to resort to social media marketing for advertising and branding.

In today's digital world, most companies are allotting 50% of their marketing budget for digital marketing, with Facebook contributing to 18% of the overall online sales. Facebook ads provide developers with the advantage of picking out their target audience and presenting them with offers and benefits they cannot say no to. Apart from detailed targeting, Facebook also helps you with micro-targeting in which consumer data and demographics are used to identify the interests of individuals to influence them into making a purchase.

There is no doubt that social media platforms provide property builders with opportunities to showcase their brand and engage with their target audience. However, apart from reaching out to homebuyers and ranking first on Google, real estate developers are also targeting potential clients through Google ads and property portals. They have started utilising digital media as a channel for quality lead generation and to widen their clientele with advanced advertising strategies such as Google search, banner ads and regional ads. Interestingly, Google ads contribute to 12% of online sales, making it a fool-proof method to generate leads.

In the past few years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of real estate companies resorting to regional ads to widen their reach and generate more leads. With the help of regional content, companies are now targeting Tier II and Tier III cities to take the plunge and invest in real estate.

Going international

Real estate portals, on the other hand, help consumers with personal recommendations and reviews of the property at stake. They connect potential homebuyers with property developers and are an excellent platform for like-minded people to have an insightful conversation.

Since referrals and testimonials are the basic ingredients to create a credible brand name in the real estate industry, being active in these portals is a sure-shot way to reach your audience and generate quality leads. Additionally, the fact that online portals contribute a whopping 25% to overall digital sales is only proof that this is an assured way to generate leads.

Furthermore, digital media marketing also helps in showcasing properties on an international front. Not only does this give property developers the global recognition that they are striving for, but also helps in targeting NRIs to invest in real estate from the comfort of their homes. NRIs can now easily perform searches, read reviews and conduct their entire research online to shortlist properties, and even invest in the desired property with a click of a button.While print media remains a big part of real estate developers' marketing strategies, digital media has become an integral part of the marketing plan. According to leading real estate developers, the quality of leads is excellent, deriving better return on investment (ROI) from digital media. For some developers who have been successful in digital marketing, over 30% to 50% of their total sales come from the digital medium, and this number is only going to increase in the coming year.

(The author is founder and managing director, Casagrand)

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