The boom has come and gone. And it’s not that the demand has trickled down. Still, developers are grappling with a large unsold inventory. Many theories blame the surge in costs, taking most projects out-of-bounds for the average buyer. Yet, a look at the unsold inventory shows almost an equal amount of low-range, mid-range and luxury projects suffering.
Real-estate is at the cross-roads required for a paradigm shift in marketing tactics. It’s obvious desperate sale offers with free cars or interiors or delayed EMIs only hurt the brand. Brands that stayed away from offers and continued with normal advertising didn’t see much returns either.
A look at the Friday & Saturday editions of Times of India is a good dipstick. Real-estate advertising has waned considerably. The exorbitant prices charged by TOI during the boom, somehow doesn’t make sense anymore.
Experts look to other real-estate markets and economies to study ups & downs, and predict the same in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, etc. It could not be further from the truth. Several macroeconomic factors are creating a landscape we’re all unprepared for.
One such contributing factor is the changing brand exposure. Every single buyer, English speaking or not, is exposed to world-class brands in every facet of their life. Spearheading this change are the mobile and mobile application brands. Loyalty lies more with the best designed, with the best interface and with the best experience.
Bringing this knowledge to real-estate is paramount to project success. Customers expect thoughtful branding and well-designed experience points from a product on which they are spending what is usually their life-savings. It’s time to move from a short-term strategy with flash sales riding on full-page advertising spreads to a long-term sustained brand building strategy.
Why should a project sell out at the launch or within a year from launch? These expectations are unrealistic in this market. Creating a brand takes time. Like any other brand, we need to create a differentiating strategy riding on insights backed by research. And when done right, fuels amazing advertising campaigns, social media activations, websites, brochures, etc. It creates amazing experiences for the customer. Which in turn creates a good word-of-mouth, the biggest seller of real-estate. More often than not, a brand built this way sells out a lot faster than others.