The world today has shrunk into a global village courtesy of the unprecedented advancement in technology. Global companies, notwithstanding their physical location, have made inroads into markets that were hitherto considered as no-go zones. The real estate industry, as part of the global business fraternity, is not an exception to these spiraling trends.
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The industry was temporarily, but adversely affected by the global economic recession witnessed in the year 2008; however, it is currently recovering. This trend is attributed to the adoption of desirable marketing practices by the industry players. The focus of this research paper is to investigate the new marketing techniques used in the real estate industry.
In order to achieve this task, it is necessary to get a clear concept of the terms under discussion in the paper. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as, “the process of planning and executing the conception, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchange and satisfy individual and organizational objectives” (Gronroos, 1989, p.52).
The paper shall adopt this definition. Rostowicz coined an easy to understand the definition of marketing from which he developed a definition of marketing real estate. According to him, it is “a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through offering and exchanging land and creating, offering, and exchanging buildings directly and indirectly to others” (Rostowicz, 2001, p. 21).
This definition shall be applicable in the context of this paper. A plethora of marketing techniques exists out there courtesy of numerous studies that have been conducted in this area. Studies show that marketing, as a field, has drawn a lot of interest from scholars globally.
The changing face of marketing, as a concept both in the real estate industry and beyond, can be attributed to the dynamic nature of the social and economic conditions of people as well as their needs. A key concept of the marketing theory is that human beings need, want, and demand some products (Bailey et al., 2009).
This concept, when applied to the real estate industry, helps in understanding the fact that one will always need a place to stay, work, and recreate. In addition to this assertion, based on the varied tastes and preferences of different people, everyone will want something that satisfies his/her specific aesthetic orientations.
Marketers have been striving to meet and exceed the expectations of their clients. In the real estate industry, there exist conventional ways, which were applied in the past, but are rapidly being overtaken by time and events. Therefore, marketers have been inevitably forced to depart from these old ways to stay relevant in the industry or be abreast of competition from other industry players.
This aspect suggests that many new techniques have been introduced into marketing to serve the current generation adequately. Gronroos seems to agree with this position when he notes, “… old walls dividing what marketing is from what it is not have been torn down” (1989, p.54). Existing literature attests to the fact that currently, there are new techniques of marketing in the real estate industry. This paper shall thus proceed to consider these new techniques.
New Techniques in Real Estate Marketing
The Internet is currently touted as one of the largest marketing tools in the contemporary business environment. In addition to this, the exponential growth so far witnessed insofar as its expansion and popularity are concerned evidently suggests that it might be the most important marketing tool in the future (Rostowicz, 2001). This assertion holds because the Internet features prominently as a platform for new marketing strategies. Some of the new marketing strategies include the following among others:
Marketing on the World Wide Web
The World Wide Web or simply the Internet has become a vital platform on, which marketing can take place due to the numerous changes that have taken place in the attitudes and lifestyles of people around the globe (Diwan & Jain, 2009). People need variety and the Internet gives a variety as shown below:
Creating and Maintaining a Website
Today, every serious company has a detailed website on which a client can do virtually anything right from reading the company profile to purchasing a commodity and even making payment right there. Truly, the Internet has become a one-stop shop for clients. Real estate agents are well aware of this aspect and they are working round the clock to ensure that their companies earn maximally from this channel.
There is a need to understand that a website is not about the company, but an extension of the company (McDaniel, 2012). This assertion holds because besides learning about a company’s activities via its website, there is so much more that can be executed on the website much like visiting another branch of the company. Therefore, this aspect makes the Internet one of the most powerful marketing tools in the contemporary times.
Maintaining a Weblog (Blog)
Maintaining a good blog on the Internet is a sure way of exposing a company’s activities to prospective clients. Marketing is about blowing one’s own trumpet and a blog is the best place for this kind of engagement. A blog gives the marketer room to regularly post fresh and relevant information for the benefit of the contemporary client whose interest is so elusive, which is much more difficult to sustain after capturing.
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Blog posts cost virtually nothing and yet they are perfect tools for communicating and sharing the marketers’ thoughts and suggestions (McDaniel, 2012). Marketers give their all on this platform due to its flexibility and dynamism. It also provides ample room for linking it with social media.
Social Media Marketing (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
Social media covers the “online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives, and the media itself” (Gerber, 2001, p.253). This marketing option includes social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn among numerous others. Creating and maintaining profiles on these media seems to publicize the current market.
Companies are spending huge sums of money to maintain such profiles in order to reach out to their prospective clients and share opinions and perspectives with them. The idea of having a personal link with a company seems to excite people and as such, a company that shares with prospective clients is more likely to benefit from their purchases.
Video Marketing (YouTube)
This platform is a powerful video marketing tool that is very popular on the Internet today. It allows people to upload and share video clips easily across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email among others (McDaniel, 2012). The best thing about YouTube is that the videos are available at no cost so real estate firms can easily upload their video clips showing their prime activities for prospective clients to view and make informed decisions.
Offline Marketing Techniques
Besides marketing via online platforms, some online marketing techniques are still powerful and are in use by numerous real estate companies due to their popularity. Their popularity comes from the fact that they are still relevant to the contemporary marketing environment. Some of these include:
Networking entails ensuring that every person one comes across knows exactly what s/he deals with. Marketing agents introduce themselves to all and sundry, and dish out business cards and receive just as many, which is done in the spirit of building a network of friends out of which prospective clients emerge (McDaniel, 2012). Through this strategy, a business or individual marketer in the real estate industry creates a sphere of influence from which one can get a few recommending him/her to others who might want some real estate services.
Companies all over the world have adopted sponsorships as a marketing strategy that embeds them in the hearts of their prospective clients. Undertaking projects of relevance to the community gives the impression that this particular firm cares about the welfare of the benefactors. In the event that a person from such a locality seeks services of the kind offered by this company, the person is highly likely to do so from this firm, which underscores the company that has the people’s interests at heart.
My take on Contemporary Real Estate Marketing
The outlined techniques are just representative of the numerous marketing techniques employed by real estate agents today. The examples in this paper give some very new techniques as well as some old methods that were not taken very seriously in the past, but have proven handy today. A close look at these techniques reveals that the idea today is to make the client or a prospective client feel that s/he is cared for and that the company is concerned with his/her welfare.
Website designers are always keen to incorporate features such as live chats and some very captivating phrases on a website such that anybody visiting the site develops a feeling of attachment to the company owning the website. The same is true of blogs. After conducting some research, the material posted on the blog speaks directly to the needs of the target clients.
Through this strategy, the client develops some sentimental attachment to the particular company. The idea is simply to invoke a feeling of affection for the company and a firm is in the running. This aspect does not only apply online marketing techniques, but also offline marketing as well.
A marketer struggling to be known by everyone is doing pretty much the same as the company that decides sponsor community project, event, or sporting activity. The ultimate goal is to make inroads into the hearts of target clients and make them feel that the company is part of them and consequently their goods and services. However, this strategy is an ill-advised technique because as soon as the target realizes this trick, the success stories of all techniques that depend on it are in jeopardy.
Marketing remains a pivotal element of business notwithstanding the techniques employed in carrying out the exercise. However, the dynamic and the increasingly sophisticated nature of human desires is bound to continue forcing changes in approaches to marketing. Players in the real estate industry need to be aware of this aspect and position themselves to deal with it as it comes to continue realizing growth in the industry.
Bailey, C., Baines, R., Wilson, H., & Clark, M. (2009). Segmentation and Customer Insight into Contemporary Services Marketing Practice: Why Grouping Customers Is No Longer Enough. Journal of Marketing Management, 25(4), 227-252.
Diwan, S., & Jain, M. (2009). Brand Positioning: The Unbeatable Weapon in Present Marketing Scenario. Indian Journal of Marketing, 39(4), 9-13.
Gerber, M. (2001).The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. New York, NY: Harper Collins.
Gronroos, C. (1989). Defining Marketing: A market-Oriented Approach. European Journal of Marketing, 23(1), 52-60.
McDaniel, C. (2012). Real Estate Marketing Ideas Video, Textual, Audio: Maximum Marketing on a Zero Budget. Web.
Rostowicz, H. (2001). Marketing of Real Estate. Web.