Real Estate: The evolution of Digital Marketing

Trends show digital marketing is ever more critical for the Indian real Estate sector. Author: Maryam Shaikh

Picture Credit: Afshan Shaikh (Instagram: @afshan_it_is)
Picture Credit: Afshan Shaikh (Instagram: @afshan_it_is)

While digital marketing has become a standard in most industries, the Indian real estate sector has been slow to keep up. There was a boom in real estate portals and listings, but the utilization of digital marketing stagnated there. However, consumers have not stagnated – in fact, a rapidly growing number now use the internet to conduct detailed search and background checks, go through trustworthy reviews and much more before finally deciding to make a property purchase. With so much depending on the kind of information made available online, the real estate industry in India is now warming up again to catch the digital marketing express.

Forbes has predicted that 2017 is going to be a great year for Indian real estate and the Union Budget 2017 has only gone to further bolster the prospects of the industry. The trend is loud and clear – it is imperative for real estate businesses to address the demand for online information and interaction. However, which trends within digital marketing in the real estate sector are most pressing?

 

Key trends in Digital Marketing in the Indian Real Estate Sector

 

Studies have shown that marketing real estate through digital channels yields up to a staggering 300% higher number of leads.  While buyers will obviously always view properties personally, real estate digital marketers have found ways to pave the way for higher conversion rates.

Consumers are greatly impressed by the plethora of properties they can choose from through a digital medium. At the same time, there is a saturation of listings on popular real estate portals and prospective home buyers are often faced with fake listings aimed purely are motivating them to get in touch with a broker. The broker then leads them to a string of properties that do not match their search criteria and, eventually, are a waste of time.

However, this trend has led to tremendous scope for portals that are deemed as reliable, verified, and trusted by users to become the ‘go-to’ places for real estate information and guidance. As such, it is critical that the information that real estate agencies, dealers and brokers disseminate over the internet is not just authentic, but comprehensive and delivers higher value to visitors. People do not want to spend time looking at properties that do not fit their requirements, and so they try to make sure beforehand that any property they view is as close as possible to what they are looking for.

 

Consider this:

  1. 80% of prospective investors search online for property details

Buyers will pay more attention to properties that are listed with comprehensive specifications.

  1. 83% of these focus on properties that are listed with pictures

Investors want to see the property even before the actually see the property. Listings with pictures of not just the property but its surrounding areas generate far more leads than properties without pictures. Prominent portals now have 360 degree views of the house, the community, even the street. Some dealers even upload videos that act as guided tours of the property!

  1. 52% of house hunters used a smartphone searches

There can be no doubt that people surf the net more on their smartphones and mobile devices today. As such, it is critical that real estate portals be ‘mobile-friendly’, that it, they should be easy to navigate on the small screen of a phone  – preferably with the user using only one hand to navigate. If the user finds this difficult, they will leave your site and probably won’t come back.

  1. 49% of the income is generated through references

Brand is king when it comes to closing big deals. Your reputation online is as crucial as in the real world as people will recommend your services as much to their online friends and community as they will in their real life ones.

  1. 91% of realtors have social media presence

With a high number of consumers being present on the plethora of social networking sites, most real estate firms have some form of social media presence.

  1. 33% of the first time buyers search properties online

With Union Budget 2017 making it easier for people to finally buy that first home, it will be a god idea for real estate firms to develop content particularly aimed at this group.

 

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To sum it up, it is time for the Indian real estate sector to evolve to meet the new digital marketing rules. It is no longer enough to simply have a large number of brokers and an endless list of properties on your real estate portal. Investors seek quality information (lots of it!) and they want it to be easily, readily available. Through smart digital marketing, the real estate industry in India stands to gain tremendously in the coming year.

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