HYDERABAD: With a certain hope of the State bifurcation dust to settle down soon and a stream of policy changes expected with a most possible change of government both in the Centre and State, real estate developers in the region are affirmative about a boom sooner next year. But, what is expected to be the major catalyst of development at this crucial juncture is, many say, social media.
A boom means a spurt in the land and property price. A sudden supply-demand mismatch in the sector is also a major concern in the minds of customers and realtors claim a lot of inquiries online already.
Experts from the industry, realising the power of social networking sites, admit the need for not just marketing through property portals but value creation through innovative marketing techniques to capture the customers online.
Speaking about the marketing strategies that will evolve in the near future, G Yoganand, chairman and managing director, Manjeera Constructions Private Limited, pointed out that more than 50 per cent of the customers today use digital media to gather information about various ongoing projects.
“Most of the people who buy flats in the city today are between the age group of 30 and 40. They do extensive research online. Facebook, twitter and linkedIn are the future. Developers should be active in discussions and provide customers with clarity,” he said.
According to him, property developers need to be very active on their websites. “More interaction with customers on social media will also help create a brand presence online. We are confident that 60-70 per cent of those coming into Hyderabad would be software professionals and rest, we expect a lot of NRIs and businessmen too,” he added.
Jaiveer Reddy, president, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI)-Hyderabad also noted that the issue of Telangana will be solved before the general elections and the real estate scenario in the region will improve. “All information about projects is available on the net. Many individual websites are there and it could all be brought together to one place to create a platform for discussion,” he said.
A franchise development head for a leading real estate firm, Meenaxi of RE/MAX Andhra Pradesh, stated that maintaining an updated website is a strategy of the past. “Developers are only maintaining their websites. They are slowly realising the power of social media and some have started promoting themselves online,” she said. However, according to her, for one to be effective, there has to be a mix of everything. She explained, “Keeping in mind how Indians are emotionally connected with their property, one has to create value additions. Promoting self would not make any difference. Rather than giving information about ongoing projects, one needs to also engage people in discussions about current scenario in real estate industry, opportunities of investment in real estate, market trends and analysis, etc.”
Facebook pages operated by various real estate giants can already be found online. Many of them also maintain their twitter and linkedIn handles to keep connected with their customer base. “Efficiency in promotional strategies depend on how one promote their business. Be it a facebook page or anything, it works only if things are constantly updated. Connected people will see your post and if satisfied, they would share it with more and invite more people to the space. After all, it does not involve any cost,” she added.