By Shaunik Sachdev
Every marketing course I’ve taken, every case study – global or Indian, has focused primarily on FMCG brands – from Coca Cola (or Heineken) to cookies and cereals. As far as I can remember, not a single teacher has used real estate brand examples. And so, it never occurred to a trader that real estate was even an option. It was always a dream to join the Nestlees or Britannias of the world, and creating large-scale TV commercials for them seemed like the pinnacle of a career in marketing. Real estate was at the bottom of the list.
Why? Because most of the real estate companies have used branding techniques in the form of sales brochures, billboards and newspaper ads to push their communication. And that was it. It wouldn’t take more than a 3-member brand team to deliver this type of communication each month. What can we sell? Size, location or price – and in the least inspiring way possible. I saw quarter-page ads in an indoor page read – “A place you can call home, now with an indoor and outdoor pool and a jogging track built just for residents,” or it was price-driven, “Book today for a price you can’t get tomorrow, a price exclusively for you.
Over time, we have seen this industry evolve, albeit slowly. The realization that a website might be a good idea, and it has become a competitive advantage for RE brands – who can build a fancy website and put most of their information in unique ways. I remember my mentor at the agency in 2015 telling me to capitalize on this new achievement. Everyone wanted a website, and they’re willing to pay.
But that’s where it stagnated. No one wanted to sell campaigns, and brands weren’t allocating serious marketing budgets either.
Cut to today and with this digital rise, an otherwise boring industry is filled with endless possibilities. With 3D videos, AR / VR supporting user experience, video procedures and the massive reliance on audience capture on digital channels – today real estate is a major player in this. digital world. The entire shared economy (co-living & coworking) is today dependent on digital technology.
Even brokerage firms, commercial and residential listing platforms are investing marketing funds in digital channels to market themselves.
A very interesting campaign which has really sparked interest in this sector has been carried out by Square Yards. The campaign was mostly OHO-based, with bold statements about finding housing, which were reproduced digitally / complemented by a social media push. It had a slight similarity to Indigo Airlines, they used sexual innuendos and associated it with buying a house. Beautifully crafted messages that really grabbed the attention. What really caught the attention was the negative sentiment of many sensitive Indians on social media, which helped increase the campaign’s reach to thousands of people and, as I understand it, has pushed website visits to mind-boggling numbers. What a treat for those digital marketers waiting to remarket the lives of these users 🙂
The type of content WeWork has posted over the past two years to keep their workspaces safe is super engaging, relevant, and engaging. They have ensured that their members or potential customers are in a safe space with the use of simple and clean content. You go through any of their social pages and you’d forget that it’s a real estate brand.
The type of video content that Phoenix Kessaku creates is fantastic – sitting in the luxury of my home, I could see every corner of the Phoenix Kessaku building, mock houses, a clubhouse, an infinity pool and more. It was a delight and made the life of a salesperson so much easier. The further you look, the more real-time property visits looming on the horizon, which just makes this industry extremely bullish.
With all of these changes and trends in real estate, it seems people can now rejoice in real estate brands and their work, and also admire them to inspire digital innovation in the years to come.
I also secretly hope that Netflix releases more lucrative real estate shows like Selling Sunset in India and glorifies the space.
-The author is marketing director, your-space. The opinions expressed are personal.