You could create a stunning property development, but if your marketing strategy isn’t up to scratch, you’ll struggle to keep your development plans on track and hit sales targets.
Most people start their property searches on the internet, and online property portals have reported a surge in traffic since the coronavirus pandemic began.
If you don’t already have a strong online presence and a robust digital marketing strategy, now’s the time to develop one. Use the quiet Christmas season to plan and hit the ground running in 2022.
What is Digital Marketing?
Before we go any further, let’s make sure that you understand the basics.
Digital marketing is any marketing activity that you conduct online. This can include search, social media, email, mobile and your website.
A digital marketing strategy is a means of planning and aligning these activities with your core business activities and objectives.
How Can Digital Marketing Help My Property Development Business?
- Drive Traffic to Your Website
A property developer’s website is one of their most important digital marketing tools. Trying to sell properties before they have been built is tough. Your website can be used to build potential customers’ trust in your brand, showcase previous developments, offer virtual walkthroughs of upcoming developments and allow buyers to register their interest (warm leads).
But, your website is only a useful resource if people know how to find it. SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the most effective way to help search engines like Google find your site. You can’t expect results overnight; SEO takes time. But by using relevant keywords and producing content that is valuable to your target customer, you can improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO can increase the chances that your website will appear higher on the SERPs than your competitors’ websites when relevant search terms, such as “the best UK property developers”, are entered.
- Build a Strong Brand Reputation
By posting helpful content and housing market news on your website and on social media platforms, you can enhance brand awareness and establish your company as a thought leader (which, in turn, builds trust).
There’s no need to post daily on every social media platform. Do some market research and analyse the data in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to discover where your ideal customer spends time online and post there. Make sure that content is relevant and helpful rather than a direct sell.
Effective brand building via social media relies on consistent posting. If people are drawn to an interesting post on your site via Twitter or Facebook, and they land on your site only to discover that you’ve not posted anything for two years, this will not instil trust in your company.
- Gain a Competitive Edge
Property developers have access to a wealth of competitor data and analytics. Check out what your competitors are up to by reviewing their websites and social media content. Use data from tools like SEMrush to identify the top-ranking pieces of content for your target keywords, then write something better and bump your competitor off the top spot!
Use your website to showcase your unique selling point (USP). What added value do you offer your customers? What services do you provide that your competitors don’t? How do you go above and beyond for your customers? Share client testimonials and case studies to demonstrate the first-class service you provide. If you use the latest virtual reality technology to give prospective buyers an insight into their new home, shout about it! If you partner with a specialist house part-exchange provider who can step in to buy your customers property when they encounter housing chain problems, let them know! Your website is the shop window of your business, and it is a prime digital marketing space. Use it to set yourself apart from the competition.
- Manage Your Budget More Effectively
The data insights that are available via digital marketing and a well-executed strategy will allow you to quickly ascertain what works and what doesn’t. There’s no need to spend months or even years ploughing thousands of pounds into a marketing campaign that delivers a terrible return on investment (ROI). Online marketing and advertising are easy to track. If the numbers don’t add up, ditch the things that don’t work and move the budget over to the activities that are delivering results.
- Generate New Leads and Nurture Existing Ones
Email marketing is a powerful tool for generating and nurturing leads. Property developers typically have a long sales funnel; that is, it takes time for someone to commit to buying a house as it is a high ticket item.
If someone who isn’t ready to buy yet lands on your site, use a lead magnet to capture their email address. This will give you the opportunity to send them useful content and gently nudge them towards converting (buying one of your houses). Even if they don’t buy a property in your current development, if you do a good job (no spammy emails, nothing too frequent nor too salesy etc.), your company will be front and centre of their mind when they are ready to buy. Email marketing is easy to automate, so the time commitment is minimal, yet the ROI can be impressive.
Email marketing is also a key part of after-sale care. If you deliver an exceptional customer experience, it will be easier to gather valuable testimonials and referrals.
A comprehensive digital marketing strategy should be part of every property developer’s portfolio. If you’re totally new to marketing online, it might be worth outsourcing some of these tasks to help you get up and running. Even if you’ve been doing digital marketing for some time, there are always improvements to be made. The end of the year is a perfect time to review your strategy and refresh it for 2022.