Real Estate

Realty marketing to make the shift to digital advertising

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on May 22, 2020 Published on May 22, 2020

As advertising spends have been reined in due to the uncertainty over Covid-19, realty marketers are waking up to the fact that their businesses will have to consider customer value for the long term. Marketing in the real estate sector is also set to see a significant shift to digital in a post-Covid era.

Though cutting back on advertising is an immediate and natural reaction, brands have realised that using the break to reassess their priorities can help many to step back into the picture with relevant messaging, so that they are front of mind with consumers once normality resumes.

These were the sentiments expressed by realtors present at a real estate webinar, with many proclaiming digital is the only way forward in the near future. The third edition of realty webseries organised by ICCPL and Realty & More had developers and real estate marketers talking in favour of going digital.

Digital adoption

Deepak Kapoor, Director at Gulshan Homz, said digital media has become the new focus for marketers. “Before Covid-19, it was around 70 per cent offline and 30 per cent online. This will reverse in the immediate future. During the lockdown, 100 per cent spend was on online, but offline needs to continue post-Covid, especially for the not-so young-at-heart population. Digital will still be a huge draw for youngsters, who will be the new buyers in the market,” he said.

Concurring with the view, Prashant Thakur, director and head (Research), Anarock Property Consultants said, “Even before Covid-19, around 80 per cent of the homebuying journey used to start online, though the entire value chain was not digitalised. Everyone has now realised it is the new norm and are adopting digital aggressively. Most are having conversations through webinar. This is a good differentiating factor for the buyer, as small local players cannot adopt technology fast. This will prove to be the first filter level, with technology bringing in transparency.”

As demand gets deferred, construction impeded and liquidity dries up, real estate developers are waking up to shifting customer preferences. Pravin Jain, President of Naredco and CMD of Tulip Infratech, added that most developers had started new strategies of selling their homes through the digital medium.

Underscoring the sentiment, Vikas Wadhawan, Group CFO at PropTiger.com, said a massive adoption of technology is in the works as an outcome of Covid-19. “In the initial first two weeks there was a decline in inquiries, but then it all came back as we became more active on digital platforms. Today, the customer is more inclined to listen to developers and real estate representatives, which was achieved through webinars. Several webinars were organised and projects got explained. We saw a lot of expression of interest and online bookings. Digital adoption is set to increase here onwards,” he said.

Mobile marketing

Arun Gupta, CEO of MoMagic Technologies, a digital agency said, “The epidemic has impacted all sectors severely and its effect is witnessed in digital and mobile marketing as well. In the short term, companies have and will curtail their marketing spends till the situation stabilises. Going forward, we believe advertising budgets will move from traditional marketing like print and TV to digital and mobile marketing.”

Noting that customers now prefer to consume marketing content primarily on their mobile phones as social distancing has become the new normal, Gupta said since home buying and investing in property involves a huge investment, many would visit the property before closing a deal and after the lockdown is lifted.

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Published on May 22, 2020
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