What makes a great project marketing campaign?

One of Western Australia’s leading project marketers has exclusively shared her tips and tricks for success with REB.

Lily Chong, director of IQI Australia, a Perth-based real estate agency recently recognized for its success by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), has been a project marketer for over 10 years.

She believes there are four key principles for successful project marketing:

  • Project choice
  • Buyer pipeline
  • Buyer education
  • Buyer support

Project selection, Ms Chong revealed, is so crucial that her agency conducts a comprehensive due diligence process prior to taking on any new project, which she said “ensure[s] we bring a quality product to our buyers and investors”.

“We also do market research and product comparisons, making recommendations to the developer for changes as required. It’s vital to speak up at this stage because, if you don’t, the developer will only blame you if the project doesn’t sell well,” she said.

“It also helps to have access to buyers, starting with those in your own database,” Ms Chong confirmed, adding that it is crucial these buyers are well educated regarding the merits of the project and buying process.

“Many people in the industry forget that buyers may not understand the buying process well. We give them as much information as possible.”

She outlined that buyer education is a delayed gratification task as it tends to “pay off later if there are unexpected issues”. Moreover, she outlined how supporting buyers with a suite of other services that “make their lives easier and ensure they can successfully settle at completion” is paramount for successful project marketers.

From her perspective, such practices are vital when navigating through uncertainty in the building industry — something she believes is one of the greatest threats currently challenging real estate agents.

“I believe we are going through a transition phase, and we will return to a more stable building environment sooner or later,” she said. “As many know, selling and securing off-the-plan homes is not easy.

“When projects fail to proceed to constructionwe can suffer not just financial losses, but also a tremendous amount of stress and disappointment.”

Ms Chong’s second challenge is bank involvement in valuations — as well as lending preferences. She flagged it as “a critical topic that needs much more attention and discussion by the sector”.

She postulated that “banks should not value a property based on one or two recent desperate sales at settlement time. Instead, they should look at a realistic estimate of values, including such factors as costs for land, design and DA, and replacement.

She conceded that ”buyers are less willing to commit to off-the-plan apartment projects when uncertain about their future lending options”.

“The banks’ policy choices are capriciously depriving many families of the chance to buy a home, making it harder to develop new housing supply, and putting further price pressure on the established, secondary market,” Ms Chong concluded.