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Date of Publication: 9 July, 2020
Though most reports, viz, QuantEco Research and Reuters poll, do not give a bright picture, especially, with avg. property price growth varying abysmally, between 0% in Mumbai Metropolitan Area to highest being 6% at Ahmedabad. NAREDCO, which has sought $200 billion in relief, not yet promised by the government, increasing debt, increase in the cost of supply materials, import issues, and delay in project completion have left the industry reeling.
Nonetheless, housing affordability in India has been on the growth curve. RBI has reduced the repo rate to 4% making the home loans cheaper. Some states are also reducing the stamp duty to 2% to woo buyers. Despite the challenges of a pandemic-riddled economy, the groundwork for sector-wide recovery is being laid. It is expected that 2022 will be a year of growth, innovation, and investment in the Indian real estate sector. If the IBEF report is to be considered, by 2025, the real estate sector in India is expected to contribute 13% to the country’s GDP and reach a market size of US$ 1 trillion, by 2030.
With all that happening, stiff competition is on cards. Older ways of wooing and selling may no longer be as effective. Innovation, technology adaptation, and digital transformation will lay the foundation for the revamp of the real estate industry. It is important for the marketing teams to study and be in sync with the online marketing trends for real estate.
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Several elements of digital marketing, viz., social media, seo, ppc, and automation, are experiencing a major change owing to recent data privacy, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. Let us understand these elements and how it impacts our online marketing, especially in the real estate business.
Source: Search Engine Journal
Web development and design trends in real estate are constantly changing, just like all creative arts. Certain design trends dissipate over time, while others end up being classic components of all must-have websites. Since your expertise is in selling real estate, you probably do not have time to stay on top of the latest trends in web development and design, yet we know you want a highly effective website that’s not only attractive but functional and monetizable as well. In the end, it is about attracting leads and building your brand.
Here are some of the top real estate design trends so you can see them in action.
Sounds cliché, but today internet access are no longer limited to desktop. Serious buyers tend to access from mobile devices. It is important to deliver an impressive user experience making it easier for visitors to navigate, engage and interact.
Images over the years have been a key tool to improve user experience and engagement. An interactive image is an upgrade to just having an image. It helps you add valuable information to the image, making it more engaging and informative. It also goes a long way with image search.
With a little more imagination & creativity so much more can be achieved.
Click on any part of the image (in and around the dot) to check out basic functionality about interactive image.
A 3D architectural walkthrough adds a new dimension to property marketing. Video architectural walkthroughs, in contrast to still CGIs, take you on a journey around and throughout a building. A viewer is able to view an entire building or space through 3D animated cameras, encompassing all details. It is important to capture the attention of the viewer with a great design and photorealistic visualization in order to produce a great 3D architectural walkthrough.
Several forms of architectural walkthrough are available in 3D, including:
– 3D walkthrough animations for exteriors.
– 3D walkthrough animations for interiors.
– 3D walkthrough animations integrated into existing footage such as aerial drone videos.
– 3D walkthrough animations of masterplans and 3D floor plans.
Do you know why Google’s search engine almost killed the competition? It’s mainly because of its simple search bar.
Currently, all sites need seamless user experiences, straightforward page navigation, and relevant copy to be successful. However, according to Search Engine Journal, one feature of a website is thought to be more crucial than the rest, the search box. More than 40% say it’s more important than anything else.
If you have a large site, a search bar allows the visitors (potential customers) to find what they’re looking for quickly – properties, blogs, etc. Easy and simple search boxes could help website visitors to find what they’re looking for.
When you integrate Google Maps into your website, the possibilities become endless. Users can click on a specific neighborhood or part of the city or even drill down to find directions to locations.
Providing locational information with strategic places, viz, hospitals, educational institutions, fire brigade, shopping center, helps you convert.
According to a survey, 41% don’t mind if websites store their personal data if it improves the user experience, as long as it isn’t at risk of falling into the wrong hands. It just that one should never spam, like bulk SMS, daily WhatsApp. People come to your website to either look for information or look at a probable purchase option. Search Engine Journal survey notes that 25% of the visitor prefers a follow-up, as a top of the list item, when they visit your website.
Most visitors like to check out real-time photos of project development phases, reviews on proprieties, and happy stories about your customers. Adding videos and photos about human values, society, smart techs help your buyers make favorable decision. Infographics on investment opportunities give you an edge.
Source: SproutSocial & NAR study
Leading real estate developers have utilized social media marketing to reach out to potential buyers over the past few years. Toady about 1/3 of a developer’s sales come from leads originating from the digital medium. By showcasing your property on social media platforms, you enhance your property’s chance of selling to potential buyers. Posting pictures of your next upcoming project, however, may not be enough to capture their attention.
The following trends can be leveraged by real estate developers:
What if I tell you that you can now give a 360° walkthrough of your apartment on Facebook? While VR and AR are making ways to become the next big thing, 360° videos gives you a start point. These are highly engaging and has a wow factor to it. Furthermore, you also have an option with 360° photographs to build on the delivered experience. Like interactive images we previously have talked about, both 360° videos and photos creates more retention than regular photos and images. These are also compatible with some the VR devices. Check it out!!
With the scope of organic reach diminishing rapidly, social media advertising has now become a game changer with the integration of programmatic ad platforms. Real estate marketers must realize that social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram provide captive audience to leverage from. Along with the targeted approach of the programmatic ad tools wastages can me minimized and get better conversions. In terms of advertising formats lead generation campaigns, web conversions and carousel ads are trending. However, use of new formats and videos as the content helps to improve your campaign objective by 434%.
Social media is neither print nor television. Most advertisers fail to understand that successful campaigns in TV or print may not have the desired outcome on social media. It is a personalized platform, where personal preferences matter. Hence, instead of broad-spectrum content and targeting it becomes very important to micro-target audiences based on demography, interest, behavioral patterns.
Say, for example, there is a new property being developed at Bantala within a price range of INR 45 Lacs for a 3BHK apartment. Now Bantala is a destination for the upcoming global leather hub and also known for the IT industry. So targeting someone who is likely to move around in the proximity is the one who is more likely to buy. We can think of multiple instances but let us focus on 2 groups (as in the illustration below). First, married, mid-level leather industry professionals, in the age group of 30-40 with children, having interests and behavioral patterns common to leather professionals, and second, you have the IT professionals 30years+, married with or without kids, use rental cabs or hatchbacks for transportation, and some behavioral nuances common to IT professionals. With micro-targeting, you approach these micro sets of audiences with different sets of content, be it a static image, carousel or video. The content should match the consumption pattern of the selected audience. Here conducting A/B testing becomes important.
A study by Facebook IQ found that the users are 1.4 times more likely to make a purchase, even from a static advertisement, if they see the same ad in their local language. If your social media profiles are only in English, the possibility is you are missing out on audiences, and possibly local investors (in tier I & tier II cities), who probably interact and prefer the local language. A potential buyer who reads an ad in his native language develops a bond of trust and comfort with the seller and is more likely to make a purchase or at least recommend that product to others.
Real estate companies strive for a constant stream of local leads to be productive and profitable. In a modern marketplace that relies on search engines to find everything from shoes to homes for sale, the right SEO strategies are crucial for continuous lead generation. Discover the real estate SEO trends that are guiding results in 2021 and beyond.
How do these two search phrases differ?
‘Legalities to buy an apartment in Navi Mumbai’ and ‘Flats for sale in Navi Mumbai’
Both search phrases are used by potential home buyers, but there is a difference in their intent.
Those looking for information about how to buy a property will type in ‘legalities to buy an apartment in Navi Mumbai‘, however, those looking to buy property in a particular location will type in ‘flat for sale’. The first searcher wants to find informative content, whereas the second is looking for a product. Neither is at the same stage of the buying funnel as the other.
Understanding this difference is very important because it dictates your positioning in the search result and the probability of potential leads clicking on your link. Just appearing randomly on search queries without focus on intent can affect the quality score of the landing page as you will be prone to higher bounce rates.
Google and other search engines are incorporating more and more artificial intelligence in their algorithms. This has made it more important to focus on technical aspects of SEO to boost search engine rankings.
It means that you have to implement structured data market up and schema mark up properly to help search engines understand your content more precisely. It will also help you benefit from the latest search engine features such as:
Featured snippets are answers that appear in a box above organic search results on Google. Because of their coveted location, featured snippets are often referred to as position “zero.” Providing meaningful responses to common questions is the best way to land in this desirable area of the search results. From sage advice for home sellers to how to buy your first home, there are countless opportunities to become an authority and attract more leads.
Review the “People Also Ask” questions to find relevant topics. Prepare responses that are relevant to people searching for specific keywords. Google will spotlight the clearest, most comprehensive answer as a Featured Snippet. More than half of all clicks from Google come from these informative snippets, so this SEO strategy shouldn’t be underestimated.
As a brand new real estate website, until 4-5 years ago, it would hardly take us a month or two to rank for even the most competitive keywords.
At present, we have found that just getting a website properly indexed takes a couple of months. No matter how many backlinks we build, it takes roughly six months or more before the site starts ranking for keywords.
It tells us that building brand authority is getting harder.
Backlinks are no longer the only criteria that Google takes into consideration. Some other factors that are now more important include:
Basically what it denotes is that expertise, authority, and trustworthiness – better known as E-A-T – are the most important SEO factors now.
This new approach to SEO has paved the way for integrated real estate branding campaigns. It means that the more you make your prospects aware of your brand through other online and offline marketing campaigns, the more authority you build in search engines.
Now, the internet is flooded with content. Every month, millions of blog posts are published. You won’t be ranked at the top if your content isn’t exceptional.
Write in-depth, unique, and comprehensive content instead of 30 blog posts a month, regardless of the amount of time and effort it takes. You can talk about human values, the society within your complexes, smart technologies, green homes, and investment opportunities linked with your property.
Thus, content strategy and an editorial calendar are more important than ever.
You should not focus too much on keywords, but rather on understanding the pain points of your target audience – property buyers, sellers, and investors. Using your content, you should then try to solve their problems. As already mentioned, this will build trust, so people will keep coming back to your site. Recurring visits from your loyal audience will not only boost search engine rankings but also build brand authority.
Look into Google Q&As and social media for critical issues being faced by homeowners, and create content providing ideas and solutions for an easy executable bail-out. Add, if possible, few examples of you and your property that best fits the context.
Videos are an effective tool for communication across available channels.
What makes videos so effective?
Well, videos have multiple roles in the real estate industry for different professionals:
7 real estate video ideas:
Presently, the real estate market isn’t doing well at all. At this juncture, the listing provides a low-cost option to maintain your market presence and sell few properties.
However, in spite of featuring on top of the list, the response or the quality of response leaves one doubting. Prices and buyer sentiments play an important role. If you are listing your property in a proper manner, that could also lead to it staying unsold. Considering the tough competition, property listing on a website is never enough. You must add all the required details in order to get maximum exposure to the property. Getting more viewers on your listed property increases the possibility of the property being sold.
Below are a few simple tips that might help you reap more visibility and increase traction in your listing:
Most real estate companies and agents list their property on the available portals. Yet it is very difficult to decide where to list. Most real estate marketers go for gut feeling, past experience, and sales speeches to decide. With the market dynamics completely having taken a diversion those tactics may not prove their worth.
From the Indian market perspective, here is a list of 10 directory sites that can be very beneficial to your cause:
Being one of the leading real estate sites online, it has a comprehensive database. Makaan has been providing top-notch services in different cities in the country.
USP: Up to date information | Mobile responsiveness | Quick contact form | User-friendly filter options | Great image gallery
The popularity of PropTiger is because of its high-end property listings along with top-notch customer experience. They are always ready to help the users and guide them through their property buying journey.
USP: Easy to Search Website | Flawless Navigation | Detailed Listing | Contact Info
Housing.com lists properties submitted by users, either brokers or owners, on an interactive map.[Search results are filtered by available rooms, lifestyle ratings, child-friendliness index (CFI), and area-based pricing. The company has mapped approximately 650,000 houses in India.
USP: Demand flux map | Child friendliness index | Price variation algorithm across city | Easy search & navigation | Home-related services | Featured collection of handpicked projects
CommonFloor is much more than a property listing site, it uses VR (Virtual Reality) technology to make the user experience unique.
USP: VR Technology | Latest/Featured properties | Image gallery | User-friendly site | Easy navigation | Groups & Forums | Home-related services
Since its establishment, 99 Acres has become one of the reputed real estate websites in India. This brilliant platform allows the customers to sell or buy their property at desired rates.
USP: Custom property search | Mobile-first responsive design | Easy to navigate | Well-structured content | Good property listings
They have been providing good services for both sellers and buyers in the most explicit manner. As a customer, you will be able to get in touch with them for any queries regarding home loans, or just an opinion. Also with more than 7K listings, Magic Bricks have numerous new projects in the lineup.
USP: Full Property Profiles | Ease of navigation | Property filtering options | Proper pictures
This company has also made it into the top list of real estate portals and has been gaining popularity. Quikr Homes offer the best online renting as well as buying services to the people. Moreover, this portal is very easy to navigate even for a novice individual.
USP: Optimized search bar | Professional image gallery | Effective CTA buttons | mobile-friendly navigation | Contact information
Proficiency and trust are some of the main principles that this website works on. When you go through the website, you will come across various property listings which are totally authentic and can be explained by the customer support of the company.
USP: Expert video reviews | Virtual tour | 3D floor planning | TruView | User-friendly navigation
Sulekha Properties is one of the reputed websites for real estate in India and deserves to be on this list. This company provides the customers the best property buying experience.
USP: Detailed property listings | Categories for properties | Contact button | User onboarding Filters
This company believes in rectifying the issues of each & every customer when looking for an apartment in a high-tier city. Ever since its inception, Nest Away has been providing all the support to the individuals.
USP: Interactive area map | Visible contact info | Mobile-friendly | Key building amenities | Easy to navigate
Voice search will take a few more years to fully evolve, but if you have the budget and want to stay ahead of the curve, you should start investing in optimizing your content for voice search.
Most SEO professionals agree that voice search is going to be the next big thing in SEO.
Many experts over the last 12 – 18 months have highlighted quick-changing trends in PPC marketing. With the ongoing waves of the pandemic and rapid changes due to data privacy norms, experts are talking about audience targeting and PPC automation. Whatever you may be told, PPC marketing is fairly on unpredictable waters.
As automation and artificial intelligence have reduced human control, it’s becoming more important for advertisers to ensure they are driving qualified clicks. As a result, advertisers who align their PPC marketing efforts with the buyer journey will lead the pack in and beyond 2021.
As an advertiser, expect to spend time thinking about your customer and how they decide to buy from you.
Two areas that are important for reaching your customers:
As a result of the loss of control in Google, more companies may shift their PPC budget to other search engines, such as Microsoft Ads. According to Search Engine Journal, as Google continues to move away from actionable data and towards machine learning, advertisers will be more and more reliant on other advertising platforms that give them more control over their spending, reach, and messaging.
Advertisers should now be diversifying their advertising beyond Google Ads – Search and Display. Start testing YouTube, publisher ads, programmatic ads, if the audience fits. Idea is to have an Omni-channel presence. Try to experiment with various available channels over a period of time.
According to Christi Olson, Global Media SEM Lead, Microsoft, the sourcing of data will undergo a disruption. This is due to changes in global privacy policies and restrictions to third-party cookies across browsers. It now becomes important for organizations to have a data strategy to maintain privacy compliance and usability of data in this new landscape.
The degree to which marketers have been dependent on cookie-driven technologies makes the development of new solutions that do not rely on cookies a key marketing priority for the year 2021, stated Ilya Cherepakhin, Head of Performance Marketing, Milestone Inc., according to the SEJ.
Search engines don’t want you to track anything meaningful anymore. Recovering a good amount of your traffic data will be a significant achievement.
By using server-side analytics, you greatly increase tracking accuracy, and for the most part, web browsers can’t stop it. You should prioritize improving your first-party data.
The industry changes fast. Knowing where to push, where to pull, and when is an important skill set.
It is easy to get lost in the data. But having a creative mindset and the ability to go big picture holds the key. As inventories become expensive, you have to determine how to make investments that will give you better results.
The Big Picture
1. Identify habits that limit your big-picture thinking ability. Our natural preferences often prevent us from blue-sky thinking. So, the first step: break bad habits. Here’s a 3-step framework:
2. See things from a different lens:
3. Think big by looking up:
4. Maintain analytics:
The right person – at the right time, in the right place – but with the wrong message, is a missed opportunity.
The creative is what drives that emotional connection and ultimately gets someone to engage, and we often forget that.
We need to treat our campaigns as a kid with a new allergy – put each variable up to scrutiny and only allow newly ‘proven’ tactics to be part of your marketing mix. If there’s one mantra we digital marketers need to have engraved in our hearts – it’s to test!
PPC marketers are increasingly losing control of their campaigns due to advertising platforms. This will force us to rely on feeding better data back into the platforms. That better data will need to factor much more than just binary metrics, even where we used to use them. Leads will need to consider quality and feed values back based upon this, or the platform will automate for those easy low-quality leads. If you want greater success in your PPC efforts, get familiar with how automation works.
For example, advertisers will spend more time automating checks and balances than tackling account maintenance as smart bidding and responsive search ads handle all the tasks that used to be handled manually. As advertisers, we will have to find ways to find out when these systems deviate from expectations, either because of shortcomings in the tools themselves or because unplanned events in the world upend the best-laid plans.
3 PPC automation tools:
USP: Digital Marketing Center is a free AI-powered approach to marketing, bringing simplified campaign building to SMEs and individuals alike. The platform uses Microsoft’s AI technology for:
Advertisers can also build their own ads, use automation for ad copy and modify auto-suggestions.
USP: Adobe is synonymous with graphic design software — Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign — but Adobe’s Advertising Cloud is an ad platform that automates all media, screens, data, and creativity at scale. With this platform, you can:
What’s more, Adobe Advertising Cloud is independent so there are no ulterior motives behind what you get and what you can do on the platform.
USP: Sometimes you need a tool that does one particular thing and other times you need a platform. Adzooma falls under the latter category. Automation is one of Adzooma’s major features and it recently became the fastest free automation platform with 30-minute automation rules.
With Adzooma, you can:
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#Blogging is very important at this point and have caught up popularity not just with the customers but marketers as well. In fact, #Brands, especially #SMEsector , at this point can consider #BloggersOutreach a potent #marketingtool, as a majority of online consumers put their trust on certain bloggers, of a particular niche, as an authentic source of information. Expert bloggers have huge potential as influencers.