10 Essential Property Development Marketing Ideas

Your marketing strategy will obviously differ dependent upon the size of the property, location, market conditions and demand at the time, but for the moment I have given you 10 top property development marketing ideas to be getting on with:

1 Try out your prospect’s shoes for size

It may sound obvious but it’s incredible just how many developers forget to understand their prospects effectively. Spend an hour defining your market profile and answer the following:

· How old are they likely to be (ask local council for local demographics)?

· How much can they typically afford (ask a local agent)?

· Where do they socialise, go at weekends (e.g. local golf centres, gyms, swimming pools etc)?

· What will their priorities comprise when buying a new property (e.g. kids, single, entertaining)?

These are just a few questions to contemplate which will help you firmly structure your marketing activity and get your marketing mix right first time.

2 Give the development a brand for your audience to aspire to!

It’s not just a development… it’s something your prospects will call their home and that they have no doubt been aspiring to live in. A property is the most expensive thing we buy in our lifetime (well most of us anyway) and therefore you need to help people visualise their ideal lifestyle. A good brand can do this very well even if it’s a single house!

Look at your development’s particular design features, location and pool of prospects/market and create a brand that people can relate to and imagine being their home/investment.

Always remember that first impressions count in a major way here and if it looks like you have made a decent investment in the design and marketing stages then it will reflect well in the development.

3 Make the most of new creative technologies and make your property come to life

Watercolours are a thing of the past and on average twice as expensive as new technologies like CGI. The majority of today’s house buyers expect to see precise, lifelike computer generated images which make the development appear already built.

Technology has moved on so far that lifelike quality of CGI is commonplace now. Embrace it and expect to see immediate returns.

4 Give your development an online platform

If you’re marketing your development yourself then you not only need to attract punters but you also need to sell to them without a word being spoken! A simple, well built and optimised website will be your best line of attack. Obviously it depends very much on the size and positioning of the development itself BUT the website should be straight forward and cost effective. Treat it as a brochure online that will reduce printing costs and of course visitor waiting times – instant information!

It should:

· Allow people to download brochures (saving you a bomb on direct mail and print)

· Create an urgency by adding high impact visuals (‘only 2 remaining’)

· Collect names of prospects wanting more information. You can email the database as and when you have something to tell them (show home open etc)

· Contain lots of keywords/phrases that a search engine will pick up on

· Tell visitors all the benefits of the area (e.g. transport links, local schools etc)

5 Don’t forget your PR hat!

PR is a fantastic friend when it comes to promoting new developments; it’s free, local papers love it and it gets seen by thousands of warm prospects. When you have a website to point interested parties to it’s time to organise your PR strategy. Concentrate on local publications and start by listing them out, then finding out who the Property Editors are. Pick up the phone, make contact with these editors and tell them about the development – they’ll be thankful of the information trust me! Next thing to do is email them a press release about the development and a high resolution image (ideally CGI). When writing the release, focus on all that is different about the development (e.g. free heat pumps, free gardening for 12 months etc) and send it directly to the editor via email and follow it up within 2 days.

So the process…

1. Write a press release on the development and prepare images

2. Find out your local property editors (magazines and newspapers)

3. Call the editors and have a brief chat, then email them the press release and images

4. Call them 2 days later and see if they want anything else and whether they are going to feature it. There is an element of sales from your perspective but don’t sell too hard as it’ll turn them off!

5. Keep the editor informed as to further news on the development.

Finally, remember that the editor doesn’t care about your business as such, but they love a good story!

6 Go Carbon Neutral

“As a developer what are you putting back into the environment?” This is a question many of our developer clients are now being asked on a regular basis. Corporate Social Responsibility is now not just a buzz word for FTSE companies, it’s filtered right down to one-man-bands.

Savvy consumers understand it and are starting to expect it. By spending £1500+ / year and joining the Carbon Neutral Trust you’ll be making a step in the right direction from the consumer’s perspective, differentiating yourself from your competitors as well as getting more sleep at night knowing you are doing your bit for the environment!

Search for more information on becoming Carbon Neutral on Google.

7 Embrace ‘green’ technologies

There’s no doubt that as consumers we are finally coming round to the notion of ‘going-green’ and about time too! If you want to make your lives 100 x easier when it comes to marketing your development, all you need to do is add a ‘green angle’ and you’ll sell it far faster than you would without one.

For example; there’s no denying that energy bills are rising sharply and ‘consumer cash flow’ is being stretched far more than it ever has been before. Therefore if you can offer a solution and take this niggling concern off their mind by adding one of the many green energy generating technologies available today… you’ll have them lining up for your property! In fact, you can quite easily add a further £10k + profit to a property that never has to pay for electricity again!

I’m talking ground source heat pumps, solar panels etc. They may cost you a further £5k to implement BUT you’ll be selling far quicker and for more money!

Don’t forget to promote this heavily in your marketing though. It’s key.

8 Understand that today ‘women’ wear the trousers!

It’s true, women are commanding far more influence when it comes to buying properties and general household expense… and this is continuing to rise sharply. Before you undertake your architectural drawings, let alone your marketing strategy, be sure that you repeat this back to yourself at least ten times!

How are you going to appeal to the most powerful force in the household? Decoration, walk in wardrobes, property curvature, feminine brand etc.

Lose the masculinity when it comes to middle class developments but retain it when it comes to supersize mansions as they are all about ego and appealing to the male species!

9 Speculate to accumulate

Larger developers have woken up to the notion that if you give a little something back then they get more interest and far quicker! Obviously for any developer ‘cash is definitely king’ and selling properties as fast as you can is your core focus. Therefore why don’t you look to make the decision making process far simpler for the prospect by creating a feeling of ‘getting something back from their purchase rather than just an empty house. Again, this idea sets you as a differentiator in the market and from your perspective and will see your name bought up at dinner parties as ‘the developer who isn’t greedy for a change’! Remember that the key here is to think of something that has an ongoing value for a relatively short period.

I’m talking about paying the first year’s mortgage payments, perhaps a year’s free garden maintenance or cleaning, free interior designer support, or even all service bills paid-for for 12 months… get creative with your ideas but take a close look at current consumer issues and address them for your advantage. Obviously factor in the costs to your prices – what’s a further £2k on to the property’s value?

10 It doesn’t stop at the development sale…

Your final purchasers probably know 50 people (at least), therefore it pays to look after them as they continue as your silent sales force in future. Think ‘after sales service’ and be sure to keep in touch with them directly, even if it’s a ½ yearly printed newsletter about your new developments and your new found commitment to the environment!

Here are just a few fantastic and cost effective ideas that mean a lot to your purchasers:

· Personally send a welcome to your new home card accompanied by some flowers the day they move in – £50 (Interflora)

· Pick up the phone a week after the moving in date and make sure all has gone to plan and everyone happy – 20p (BT)

· Provide an emergency telephone number for any maintenance and guarantee that any issues will be dealt with within 24 hours of a call. Tie in with a property maintenance company

· Negotiate some fantastic discounts that you can pass onto your customers for local services (e.g. garden maintenance, storage, cleaning and even car valeting!)

· Buy some tickets to the local county fair or festival and pass them on! It won’t be forgotten in a hurry!

A little about us.

We are specialist marketing consultants working exclusively with property developers and estate agents worldwide. We work with developers and agents on an ongoing basis to help them establish their differentiators and learn how to make the most of them.

Who Uses Online Marketing Systems and Why?

Leaders and serious “newbie” entrepreneurs use online marketing systems. On the other hand, people worried about spending money on their business and only trying to make a few extra bucks a month usually don’t want to use a system. You want to work online? You want success? Without an online marketing system your goal is rarely possible when your new to the online business world. If you want to spend 6-12 months figuring things out and probably giving up before success arrives, then consider using a proven marketing system can help your business succeed online.

First you need to know where your business is going and then make an action plan. Whether you choose a product, a service, a franchise, an MLM company, or a direct sales business model, each of these businesses requires an advertising system to find customers.

Realize there may be many different online marketing systems for your business. If it was as easy as “step 1, step 2 and step 3, follow me”, we would all be dancing our way to the bank.

These questions can help you see some of the benefits of enrolling into a system already in place:

Do you need a website?

Do you need an autoresponder?

Do you need to learn HTML and be a techie to succeed?

Do you need a sales page?

Do you need to write it?

Do you need a blog?

Do you need a list of your own?

If you answered yes to any of these, which you should have, an online marketing system will provide these for you.

More important than each of these is having a way to connect them and planning the sequence of events you want your prospect to follow. Most beginning online marketers have some of these parts. The key to your success is to learn to connect the dots. Your customers needs a clear path from the time they hit your web page, through the follow-up, to the time they buy a product. That is the purpose of a marketing system.

It is helpful to look at what others have done. Go back and look at something you bought and make a list of every step it took you through and you will see most of the parts of a functioning system.

In the beginning, I was like many new marketers and had some of the parts but not in the right sequence. It wasn’t until I watched, listened and learned from some of the masters that I realized the importance of online marketing systems.

Make a plan and then be persistent. Act on the steps you have outlined. When you learn what to do and then actually go out and do it, you will find more success than if you are simply drifting or guessing about what to do next.

I strongly recommend that you learn which online marketing systems work best for your business and start to apply them.

Dimensional Mail Most Effective Direct Response Strategy For B-to-B Sales – Part 1

Want to boost response in your B-to-B mailings? Need to break into new markets, find a new application for an existing product to a new audience? Need to reach out to hard-to-get-at executives and get their attention? Need to increase your response rate to the tune of 300% while increasing ROI?

The answers might be found with one of your vendors, but it’s not your list broker, your printer, or your data processing shop – it’s at your packaging producer!

The average senior executive receives a minimum of 8,000 messages of various types a day, either through passive billboards and building signage, e-mails, pop-up websites, product packaging on shelves in stores, television, background radio, newspapers and magazines, mail in the in-box, and other sources.

If you want your message to stand out, you had better be prepared to do some homework on your target audience, and give them something they will remember and find actionable.

One of the best ways to show that you really know your target is to send them something they find valuable. Of course, you could send them each a few one hundred dollar bills in an envelope, and if the envelope looked like “unwanted” mail, the only one who would gain would be the clever garbage man who sifted the trash! Even if you send something that is exactly on track, you still have to get it to the recipient and they have to find it intriguing enough to open it. They won’t find the value and all that research is wasted unless they get past the “messenger”.

Studies commissioned by a major mailer carried out by a well-known research firm(us)have revealed that boosting open rates has direct correlation to sales carry-through. You had probably drawn that conclusion yourself through simple instinct and deduction, but the study proves it beyond a doubt. So now, based on that, the challenge becomes more basic – get their attention and make it intriguing enough to be sure it gets opened, and sales will follow. Well, not quite.

The study of 50 top executives at commercial companies of over 1000 employees along the East Coast made clear that while they were obviously going to have a better chance of purchasing something from a solicitation if they opened the package, those odds only increased by an estimated 20%. That boosts your overall response by .05% – not much help.

One of the more powerful drivers was brand – if they had heard of the firm on the envelope, they were more than 65% more likely to open it than if it came from an unknown source. Previous studies had shown that it takes from 5-8 repeated exposures to yield recognition from an unknown audience. It would then follow that if you send your best and most effective piece first, it stands little chance of getting any attention at all. If you warm-up the prospects to build recognition with simple brand-oriented messaging first, your big guns stand a better chance of being effective and well-received. Clearly, a more in-depth approach and a solid plan based on research is needed. One hit wonders need not apply.

The most revealing statistic to come out of the study was one regarding outer wrapper and its relevance to the target. Over 85% of the executives in the study said they would be more likely to open an item if it was especially large, odd-sized, or appeared to have come by a delivery service other than the U.S. Post Office – FedEx, DHL, even UPS fared better than the USPS to convey urgency. Some companies have gone to great expense to reproduce a faux FedEx envelope as a carrier to great initial success, but only for a short period of time, based on the other revealing statistic from the study. More on that later. These would have to be produced on a huge scale to gain any price economy, and the nature of B-to-B marketing trends toward smaller mail quantities, due to tighter targeting, reduced availability of good lists and market intelligence, and lack of manpower to do follow up necessary to close large-scale sales on high-dollar services and goods.

The downfall of this approach is two-fold:

First, the disappointment factor is very high – expectations are raised when the courier envelope appears on their desk, but upon opening it, they discover they have been “duped” by another irrelevant offer – into the trash it goes.

The second factor is lack of replicability. If you have several executives on your list from the same firm, spreading out the title selects to hit a broader spectrum within each firm, at the same address, receipt will likely occur on the same day at the same time, based on the nature of postal delivery and internal distribution schedules at large enterprises. Execs noted that if anyone lower on the org chart than themselves also received one, it was deemed of lesser importance than it appeared, and into the trash it went. A byproduct of this is that fatigue happens very quickly, and response decline is at least as rapid – recipients are now wary of the “faux FedEx” and are more resistant than ever to opening them. In a sense, they are the antibiotic of the direct response world – they work great for a short while, but the organism develops and immunity to it and it is less and less effective over time. Our research shows that these packages fatigue at an incredible rate, and recapture rates for mailing other offers is almost nil.

Clearly, a better plan is needed. Now that we’ve outlined the challenge, we’ll need to address the strategic approach to overcoming it. When using dimensional mail, the lesson is “Live up to the promise of the package”.

Email Marketing is Not Dead

There is a horrible rumor going around that marketing your products and services via email has lost it’s effectiveness. I beg to differ. I do agree that the marketplace has changed drastically in the last few years. People are taking massive action to prevent and reduce so called “spam” emails and will not arbitrarily give out their email address. This means that when someone does give out their email information, they are genuinely interested in your product or service.

This is the age of relation marketing. People are much more wary of over hyped sales pages promising the moon. Today’s marketing savvy prospects require a more subtle approach. You need to give them something in return for their information. Even pay per click prospects need to be handled differently. The days of sending an AdWords prospect directly to a sales page are over. OK, some people are still doing it, but they are losing sales.

The proper technique to maximize your convert ions is to send them to a landing page, normally called a squeeze page in marketing circles, where you give them a free report or a free trial of your product in return for their email information. They enter their name and email into a form that triggers your auto responder which will send them a series of emails that they have agreed to receive. Instead of going directly for the sale, you have signed them up to your newsletter where you can send them future offers and information relative to your niche.

There are different schools of thought on how to handle this. Some people say you should spend more time earning the prospects trust and send them several emails with help full information to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. You don’t try to sell them anything until the third or fourth email in the series. There are other marketers that believe in always having some kind of offer in every email. The results will vary based on the niche. The best thing to do is to test, test, test, and test some more.

Set up two identical squeeze pages where one subscribes to an auto responder using the direct approach and one that subscribes to an auto responder that uses the more subtle approach. Take the extra effort to test your results and you will be rewarded. The truth of the matter is that most people don’t make the extra effort and then wonder why they don’t get good results. Find out what works and then stick to it.

Another form of email marketing is to use safe lists. A safe list is just a membership site where people accept emails from other members and in turn get to mail their offers to the membership. The most popular safe lists are credit based, meaning that you earn credits to send your emails by reading other member’s emails. You still want to use the same approach with safe lists. Send them to a squeeze page and collect their info. You want to make sure that you use an attention getting subject line and title to your squeeze page. Safe list members are looking at your page to earn credits, not because they searched for your product.

Email marketing is not dead, only the methodology has changed. I promote a very popular affiliate product through click bank. The owner of the product gives his affiliates a lot of valuable tools to use including auto responder messages and a squeeze page. My sales conversions tripled when I started sending prospects to the squeeze page instead of directly to the sale page. Not only did I make more sales, but most of the prospects are still on my list and I send them offers for other products as well.

Older posts »