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real estate developers - MARKETING

Estate developers keep sector bubbling with marketing jobs

For you to make impact in marketing your real estate, you must ensure you have social media accounts on all the big networks

Maduka Nweke

The real estate industry is really providing employment to a greater number of the teeming unemployed Nigerians. This has been possible through various ways that include operating an estate agency from where the public can get information on how to secure apartments, buy land or even buy houses that are already finished. In each of the above, few unemployed youths are employed and monthly stipends are paid to them at the end of every month. The real estate industry has had some interesting ups and downs over the past decade – NAR (National Association of Realtors) membership hit its all-time high back in 2006 with 1,357,000 realtors before dropping dramatically with the housing financial crisis. However, since its rock bottom in 2012 (with 999,000 members), it has been steadily increasing, and with nearly 1,100,000 members in 2014, the competition among realtors is heating up. Make yourself and your knowledge available to the community by hosting mini-seminars. Consider providing a basic 101 seminar about the basics of home buying and mortgages.

READ ALSO: NIESV partners CIBN to strengthen mortgage facilities

Remember, marketing today is all about inbound, and that doesn’t just apply online. Users want you to share some of your knowledge for free before investing time and money in you. A home buying seminar is the local equivalent of a webinar. Yes, it will take time and energy, but attendees will walk away impressed and will have established a relationship with you. That relationship will be worth its weight in gold when they’re ready to shop for a home. The competition is fierce, and these days you’ll need expert online and offline marketing skills to set yourself apart from the pack. While real estate agents are still key in the home buying process, buyers are increasingly looking to do more leg work online before involving the experts.

A study from NAR showed that 92 per cent of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting quest, driving home the vital need for real estate agents to have an active online presence. If you are not active, engaging, and networking online, then you are missing out. For you to make impact in marketing your real estate, you must ensure you have social media accounts on all the big networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and even Instagram if you snap a lot of house pics). Interact with users, share good press, and promote your properties.

READ ALSO: Property Mart: How raw materials development can liberate housing sector

However, it is possible that scammers can create a website where they display all sorts of designs that are not attainable for the “interested” buyers to see and make requests. Many a time too, people who want to see for themselves could be taken to another established estate that has no relationship with the owner only to convince you on what you saw on the site. This group, the moment your money enters their hands, they disappear into thin air. Then you have no one to blame. Chances are that home shoppers are eager to share their top housing pics with friends and family, so make it easy for home buyers to email and share various properties online by adding social sharing buttons. For you to start on a positive angle, there are salient questions you should ask and answer them yourself. The questions will serve as personal evaluation and the way you capture answers will cue you in the direction you want to go. What are other realtors in your area doing? What do their websites look like? How active are they on social media? Take note of what competitors are doing to avoid their mistakes and replicate their success. This can give you an idea the way you will create your own site. Nonetheless, you can leverage on their shortcomings to better your own approach. Put your contact info on every page of your website. Ideally, make an impressive ‘contact us page’ that grabs attention.

Get an awesome looking business card and hand them out like pizza flyers on a Friday night. In many ways, you’re not just selling a house, you are selling a whole town or area. Showcase the best that your area has to offer, with high quality, beautiful photos of local town landmarks and familiar sites. Consider producing an ebook like “X number of things new home owners should consider before buying” or “X most valuable features of a new home.” Offering free ebooks in exchange for an email address (and zip code, in the case of real estate) is a great way to capture leads. Successful real estate relies heavily on great photography. Today’s consumers like to do a lot of legwork themselves online when making major purchases, and that includes home buying as well. I myself have only rented, but even when renting a property, I’ll Google Map the address, use Street View to get a feel of the area, see which businesses are within walking distance, look at home photos, and, ideally take a virtual tour of the property. Make it easy for users to access all this information – make sure all your property pages have great photos, virtual tours, and easy access to Google Maps and Google Earth. List the hot spots nearby and their respective walking distances. To be very simple and down-to-earth, mention the bus stop that’s just a five minute walk, or the Starbucks at the end of the block. Bad photos will diminish interest in even the greatest of properties. It’s absolutely vital that you have gorgeous photos of your properties. Hire a professional photographer (preferably with experience photographing homes and architecture), or if you have sophisticated equipment and are confident in your abilities, have your own hand at it. Just remember this is one of those scenarios when it pays to bring in the professionals. There are a lot of great resources that provide in-depth detail about real estate photography.

READ ALSO: Prospects in real estate look bright – Stakeholders

Real Estate Marketing is not something you do once. It is something you must do on a continual basis. Think of marketing as the “eating right and exercising” part of your business. Just as you can’t eat an apple or go to the gym once and expect to drop 10 pounds, tone all your muscles and gain energy, you can’t do any marketing activity once and expect incredible results. No matter how good you are at selling real estate, you will only be successful if you can market effectively, too. Clients are the focal point of your real estate business, so you need to grasp who they are and what motivates them so that you can meet client needs. Giving the clients a sense of the “personal touch” can be one of the most influential aspects in real estate. Ask yourself important questions about the types of clients who spend money with your business. Are they rich or poor? Educated or not? Young or old? Single, family, or retired? Male or female? Business or individual? Buyers or sellers? This will impact the kinds of language you use in your marketing, which can have a significant impact on steering potential clients towards your business. Do they want a “bargain” or “over-the-top luxury”? Low-density residential clients are often looking for single family homes. They may have children, pets, and may be more interested in quiet, calm neighbourhoods close to schools, or in more private or secluded locations.


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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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