From 2003 to 2010, Indian real estate boomed.
Except a small blip in 2008 because of the Lehman crisis, residential real estate (especially) flourished.
100% return in a year. A quick buck.
All became primary drivers to buy real estate. One could feel rich, just by buying a house. Real estate developers rode the wave, with almost zero effort. “Show what you will build, and they will come” seemed to be the ‘sales’ mantra. Those were the good times.
But, in this decade, residential real estate has mostly bombed. It is no more a sellers’ market. It is a buyers’ market with a twist. The buyer is in no mood or even in a hurry to buy. Today’s real estate buyer is empowered - information on fingertips, on demand site visit through video and plethora of online reviews from people who have been there and burnt fingers. The market has changed; or rather, has flipped. The only market participant who is yet to notice this market change is the real estate developer. Even those who have noticed, do not understand exactly what to do. So, they continue doing, what they know, with predictable results - failure mostly.
Real Estate Developers are ‘just’ unable to engage buyers in a meaningful conversation. Developers still persist with their pesky ‘few units left’ emails and SMS, audacious newspaper ads with ridiculous offers and unscheduled sales calls on phone.
What the …. does one do, in this case? The answer could lie in ‘nurturing’ - providing useful content and information to the buyer that can help them in their house buying process. Nurturing is totally in line with the real estate buying process. Given the high ticket size and the complexity of purchase, the real estate buyer takes time (months even years) to decide on a property and finally buy it. From a Developer’s perspective, nurturing makes good economic sense as acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining old ones. Also, it is an empowering method of being connected to the prospects and leads, without irritating them with meaningless marketing.
Inbound Mantra team has executed nurturing campaigns in real estate spread across 25,000 contacts. These nurturing campaigns have shown above average open rates, click rates, re-activated leads, inbound calls and a desire to engage. Importantly, ‘nurturing’ could give Developers a sense of prospect behaviour, which, today is completely missing.
Will the Developers learn?