DIGITAL REALTY - Realtors turning to social media to woo customers
Taking a cue from Prime Minis ter Narendra Modi's ambi tious “Digital India“ programme, a majority of realtors these days are moving towards digitization--with information on their firm and projects now being just a click away.
“This digitization offers information to prospective customers, current investors, as well as residents who have moved into newly handedover projects. It creates a platform on which the developer and the customer can stay connected. This is a significant initiative in the field of customer service taken by the developers in the real estate industry,“ says Monica Kalvani, AVP (sales and marketing) of DLF.
More often than not, builders lose interest in the project after handing over possession of flats to their customers. As a result, the residents or investors who bought the property remain clueless about the developments in the vicinity of their projects and have to run from pillar to post for basic amenities in the area.
“Digitization means establishment of a complete framework that allows access to information through technology and would eventually replace physical centres. NRIs and expats, in particular, enormously benefit from this facility, as it not only helps them know about the latest happenings in their housing societies, it also gives them an opportunity to participate in the discussions of their RWAs,“ Kalvani says.
Experts say that social media has emerged as a powerful tool to target customers and keep enquiries alive by building multiple touch points with prospective clients.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are the major plat forms being utilized by developers to connect with their customers.These sites not only provide a platform to engage and generate leads by advertising videos, they also help in brand building.
Some developers share actual photographs, elevations, and lifestyle videos of the developments in and around their respective projects. They also post updates on current road networks and future connectivity planned by the government for the area.
“Social media in today's market has become one of the strongest tools for promotions and connecting customers. Most of the people today are Net-savvy and regularly visit Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.Anyone looking to buy anything in variably go the net to search for that particular service or product. Therefore, a presence on these platforms for reaching out to prospective buy ers is of prime importance.It not helps get new buyers, but is also very effective in maintaining the connect with existing clients who are the real brand ambassadors,“ says Anupam Varshney, head of sales and marketing at Vatika Ltd.
Sanjay Dutt, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield India, says: “Apart from using social media, a number of developers are launching projects on online platforms in partnership with companies that have significant online reach in providing geo-mapping and 360 degree view of the property. This helps them build brand recognition and a measure of success in early enquiries.“
This is not to suggest that the traditional modes of marketing are losing their relevance. “While we appreciate the importance of traditional modes of marketing, we strongly believe that digital media will play an increasingly important role in the times to come. We are in the midst of a digital revolution and its importance is surely going to increase manyfold,“ a spokesperson of the M3M Group says.
The importance of digital media can be gauged from the fact that it has now started commanding a major share of the marketing spends of some builders. Real ty majors like DLF and M3M, for instance, claim to be at the forefront when it comes to embracing new technology and are also increasing their spends on it.
“The share of spends on digital media in our overall marketing mix is in creasing every month and we will continue to embrace this trend. It also has several advantages over traditional mediums--accuracy, measurability, being RoI-centric and, at the same time, being flexible.The digital landscape, however, keeps changing very dynamically and we strive to keep ourselves abreast with the latest developments and opportunities,“ the M3M Group spokesperson said.