The changing world of digital real estate marketing – People

In the highly competitive real estate marketing arena, advertising remains one of the most powerful marketing tools used by developers. Even today, with all the craze for digitizing Indian real estate, most new real estate projects generate around 80% of their revenue through “offline” methods – advertisements, billboards, in-house sales teams and distribution partners.

Digital marketing has become incredibly important to real estate developers. At least 20% of a real estate developer’s business comes through online channels such as real estate portals and search engines. While the hype surrounding Indians suddenly “buy houses online” after the pandemic has to be treated with caution, 20% of the business generated online is still significant – and the digital share will continue to grow.

More and more Indian homebuyers are maturing digitally and doing research online before actually making the home purchase. This was a trend even before Covid-19, but the pandemic has definitely promoted “digital adoption”. Today, no Indian property developer can afford to ignore the power and potential of digital property marketing.

According to available statistics, approx. 30% of the advertising income paid by a building owner is spent on online marketing (70% for print advertisements). Advertising online is definitely cheaper and has wider reach (although print ads are still considered more effective today in the right publications). But that will change quickly in the future. One of the main reasons is the increased credibility of advertising under RERA.

In the past few years, developers and brokers have had little or no restrictions when promoting their projects. The result was an indecipherable mess of online advertising – endless duplications, often unrealistic and downright deceptive promises, and inaccurate information. Those days will soon be over. Under RERA, both offline and online real estate advertising can only contain correct, verifiable information about a project.

This is a significant development. Nowadays, online real estate platforms are legally viewed as “real estate agents” under the RERA guidelines. The law requires that any company / person marketing a real estate project must obtain a RERA license from the state in which the project is located. This means that these platforms have to register according to the RERA law.

A building contractor or architect who would like to market a project via his online network must also register his company with the respective state RERA. As a result, digital real estate marketing is now becoming more and more reliable and effective. And of course digital marketing is also far more cost-effective than offline marketing.

In short, information about real estate options online is becoming more reliable, and the pandemic has put more Indians online than any other single event in history. In addition to digital real estate marketing platforms and developer websites, social media have become an important marketing tool that experienced developers learn to use very effectively.

As digital real estate marketing becomes more and more effective, there are still issues that need to be resolved. For example, real estate advertising space online is still very cluttered. In most cases, both builders and brokers list the same projects on the same online platforms, resulting in inventory overlap. In fact, different brokers also list the same project on the same platform.

The result is confusion – and developers, brokers and real estate platforms must strive for a more rational online presentation of projects. As digital real estate marketing matures, these problems need to be resolved. In the future, offline marketing will be less relevant and digital marketing will prove to be the more powerful and effective tool in the hands of developers.