Go Digital with Real Estate Business

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Introduction:

The Real Estate industry in India reached a market size of $120 billion in 2017. It will comprise 13% of the country’s GDP by 2025. Out of 14 major sectors, the construction industry ranks 3rd in terms of direct and indirect effects on the economy. It is driven by continued growth in the residential, commercial, retail and hospitality sectors as well as investment from NRIs.

Highlights of recent Colliers market research:

  • India is urbanizing rapidly
  • The estimated urban population in 2017 was 34% compared to 11.4% in 1904.
  • By 2030, the country is expected to be home to seven mega-cities with a population above 10 million.
  • 600 million Indians or 40% of the country’s population will likely live in cities.
  • The average household size in India fell from 4.6 in 2007 to 4.2 in 2011, exhibiting the highest decline of about 9% amongst the developed and emerging economies

Property developers have aligned their supply in line with the market fundamentals. In the last decade, the average size of apartments has decreased, suggesting construction companies are focusing on smaller sized homes due to:

  • The affordability factor
  • The changing profile of home buyers

Residential vs. commercial trends

Colliers has witnessed investments to be tilted towards the commercial sector in the recent past compared to residential for several reasons including yields, the risk involved and liquidity. As per Real Capital Analytics, the commercial sector attracted 46% of the total institutional investments in India in 2018, while the residential sector gained only 2% share in the pie. In residential realty, the annual rental yields are usually in the range of 2-3% in India. Escalations in home rentals are between 5-7% per annum. On the other hand, in commercial realty, the average yields are usually in the range of 7-9%. Escalations in commercial rentals are between 3-5% per annum. The overall returns estimated over 10 years are now around 7-10% per annum in the residential realty sector, in comparison to 10-14% per annum in the commercial realty sector.

Risk and volatility are perceived to be higher in a residential property, due to frequent change in tenants, higher maintenance and lower returns. On the other hand, commercial properties offer stable, long-term rentals, with predictable income streams. Both residential and commercial are illiquid assets. However, with Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) regulations, it would be easier for investors to create a portfolio of commercial properties than residential properties. Also, since the supply of Grade A pre-leased assets is low, the demand is much higher, making it more liquid than residential properties.

Given the above trends and market variables, competition in the property market keeps getting fierce with every passing day.

In the new digital economy driven by the connected consumer, industry players must rely on data and analytics if they hope to capture a greater market share.

To help you and make informed decisions about your digital marketing strategy, we at Real is Business gathered and analyzed data for about 50 major construction companies. The data reveals the most popular websites in terms of online visibility, web traffic, and search engine marketing. It also shows the sources of traffic to these websites and how they are leveraging advertising to reach their customers. Dive right in!

Here are some pointers that can help you to analyse the strength of Growth marketing in Real Estate sector.

Web Traffic Analytics:

A most important indicator of the online presence of a company is
the traffic to its website. Here is the analysis for different developers in India interesting insights: None of the 50 websites of property developers that we studied had traffic of one million (10 lakh) visitors per month Only 16 sites got more than 50,000 visitors per month Well-known brands like Raheja and Indiabulls did not make it to the top 20

Amongst this Organic search accounted for more than half of all web traffic, underlining the importance of SEO in the real estate sector. Marketers who don’t pay attention to this channel are losing out on a huge source of leads and customers. Social media was the most dismal performer, sending just 3% of the traffic. This clearly means builders and property developers need to shore up their social presence and engagement.

Social Media:

Lets talk about the role of social media, the big influencer platform. Social media being the buzz around the globe for different business. Here is the share in real estate market.

As expected, Facebook leads the way here. What this means is that, real estate companies would do well to enhance their brand presence and engagement on all social media platforms, which they’re not really focusing on at the moment. That said, companies need to be careful not to overdo it on every social network there is — try the major ones and build a permanent presence on the ones that closely align to your brand and marketing strategy.

Here’s how big brands are leveraging the power of social media platforms for their advantages,

Keywords and Paid Ads:

No doubt the searches play an important when it comes to the intent of the users. Queries and terms that people enter into the Google search box tell you a lot about what their intentions are. You need to pay close attention to these keywords to determine the intent of the consumer

Some big brands with non-branded keywords

Here are the top buyer-related keywords, ordered by search volume (number of monthly searches) on Google. Keeping the website analysis of bid brands is not that good, you as a real estate business can have a edge over those brands.

Here are the top 10 cities where people are searching for flats, houses and offices.

  • Delhi NCR (includes Gurgaon and Noida)
  • Mumbai
  • Bangalore
  • Hyderabad
  • Chennai
  • Ahmedabad
  • Pune
  • Kolkata
  • Chandigarh
  • Jaipur

Here’s how you can use this keywords analysis,

  • Make sure your content matches the intent of the consumer. Does their intent match the type of projects you’re developing? For example, if they’re searching for 1 bhk flat and you’re constructing a commercial complex, there’s a disconnect.
  • There are some intents you cannot match profitably. For example, renting a house is more popular than buying. You can change your strategy accordingly or tweak your tactics to accommodate related services.
  • A proper keyword analysis will give you data like demand for luxury or lifestyle flats vs. bungalows or villas. You can plan and promote your upcoming projects accordingly.
  • For builders operating in multiple cities, city-wise search volumes and keywords for various neighborhoods will indicate demand for upcoming projects. It will also reveal any other needs or pain points that they might have.

Lets talk about the paid keywords, here is the Cost Per Click (CPC) analysis,

What it means to you:

If you don’t know the industry standards and approximate costs of digital advertising, your budgets will evaporate fast. Research the market where you plan to run an ad campaign well before you start it. For example,

  • It is safe to assume that Mumbai remains the most expensive real estate market, as is evident from the CPC in Maharashtra. You can make similar assumptions by associating certain cities or developing regions with the average CPC of the state.
  • Real Estate still has low CPC compared to other industries, given the value of the product being sold. This means ad budgets and volumes will continue to rise for quite some time.

Technical SEO:

Here are the key factors that affect visibility in search engines.

Indexability Crawlability, Appropriate HTML tags, Broken links, Problems with bad HTTP status codes, Mobile friendliness, Page loading speed

Let me take you to the analysis done on big brands and where they stand in terms of SEO score

None of the top 20 websites scored over 80%

Here are the common mistakes from these sites:

  • No HTTPS: 4 of the top 20 sites are not running on HTTPS, even though Google has clearly stated* that this is a ranking signal. None of the sites had a 100% correct HTTPS implementation
  • No AMP: Despite the fact that nearly 9 in 10 visits to the sites come from mobile devices, none of them have any AMP pages.
  • Duplicate titles and meta descriptions: Without unique titles and meta descriptions, various service pages (in real estate, pages describing projects and schemes) will not be differentiated from each other. Even if these pages rank on Google, searchers have no incentive to click on them because the titles and descriptions are generic.
  • Broken links: Internal links that lead from one page of the site to another are incorrect. This results in the user (and search engine) ending up nowhere after they click and also result in 404 errors (page not found). Some of the sites have thousands of broken links.
  • Slow loading speed: Page speed is another factor to which Google gives clear importance while ranking sites. Unfortunately, many sites in our study have too many complex scripts and unoptimized code, which leads to pages loading extremely slowly.

What it means to you:

Technical SEO is the base of your SEO strategy. While there are a lot of elements that work together for great on-site optimization, focus on your priorities, here are some suggestions from our end:

  • Make your site secure.
  • Optimize it for mobile-first browsing.
  • Make it load brutally fast.
  • Use unique title and meta description tags.
  • Add schema markup for better crawling and indexation in the search engines.
  • Get your site structure, navigation, and information flow right.
  • Use XML sitemaps properly and keep internal links updated.

Marketing Automation:

Marketing Automation is itself quite a vast topic. Let discuss only for Real Estate here. You can automate your marketing and sales process. You can send an automated email to your prospects with details such as the cost of the project the specifications and location.

Sometimes leads will get disqualified immediately because: they are not able to afford it, or they are looking for a real estate property in a different location and they signed up by mistake, or it could be some other reason. There will be a certain percentage of leads which will get disqualified immediately.

There will be certain leads that are very hot, there will be some leads that are just warm, and there will be certain limit switch are very cold.

Hot leads are the leads who are ready to buy a property within 2 months. Warm leads are people who are just interested in buying a property within the next 6 or 12 months, Cold leads are people who do not respond properly, and you have no idea why they sign up!

Here are some other things you can do from marketing automation tools

  • Behavioral-Based Email Automation
  • Dynamic Forms Built for Conversion
  • Workflows
  • Landing Pages
  • Analytics
  • Email Marketing and Automation
  • Etc

What next?

So, these were some of the analysis and to-dos for your sales and marketing process in Real Estate Business. Hope you liked the analysis. Do let us know your feedback or any queries in the comment section below.

Are you a Real Estate Agency or Consultant?

We’ve recently launched an initiative to help to automate Real Estate businesses “Real is Business“. With the initiative, we are aiming to completely automate your Real Estate business in the following manner

Marketing Automation | Digital Marketing | Growth Hacker Growth Marketer with more than 7 years experience in developing business strategy with growth marketing methods, well versed with PPC, Email Marketing, SEO, and Marketing Automation.

About me

I am a growth marketing consultant with a focus on helping businesses and individuals achieve great results across several key areas.

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