When I started my career in property development marketing about a decade ago over 50% of enquiry would come from on-site signage and having a website was optional. A lot has changed in the industry.
In fact, thinking back 10 years a lot was different in all aspects of life. I had a Nokia phone with a two-tone screen, I certainly couldn’t check out my own groceries at the supermarket and I watched normal TV.
When we launched projects a decade ago the aim was to target local markets, build urgency, hype and with quite a bit of secrecy get people to wait and wait for project launch day. On one such occasion we managed to get people to camp out overnight to secure the property they wanted (now I feel this is quite disrespectful to your customers). This ‘almost’ still happens in Sydney and certainly people still do physically queue for hours in stores to get their hands on the latest gadgets like iPhones, but these days there are a lot of changes in the way products of all kinds are bought and sold.
The birth of the internet and online shopping means consumers now have access to products from all around the globe from the comfort of their own homes and certainly without any interaction with salespeople. It also means that local Australian businesses can now market their products internationally without necessarily leaving their domestic office. We are certainly living and working in a global marketplace.
So what does the technology revolution offer the Australian property industry? We can’t ship property around the world like we do iPhones. And what impact does it have on our domestic sales people and how we go about marketing projects these days?
The answer is that the technology revolution is transforming the property industry like it has many other industries and for the better!
Obviously salespeople are vital to executing sales. The property industry is a people’s business and that certainly isn’t changing any time soon. But technology now offers property developers, project marketers and salespeople, opportunities that they previously never had.
Today’s buyers are both national and international and developers and agents need to take projects to the international marketplace, particularly the booming Asian market. Currently, most marketers do this by hiring a meeting room in a five star hotel, shipping models and brochures half way around the world and running a traditional campaign. But this is slow, expensive and often the sales teams on the ground are not well briefed and don’t feel they have a strong relationship with the key personnel from the developer.
Today’s innovative technology means that the geographical constraints domestic sales people currently face can be alleviated considerably. Internet speed is now making it possible to stream events live to international audiences and even facilitate online audience participation. Called hybrid events these online interactive experiences have been taking the business world by storm, but until now property has been pretty much left behind.
That was until Investorist. Launched late last year Investorist has already run three successful hybrid events with members attending in person and online nationally and internationally. The major benefit of a hybrid event is that the key people in a property development organization can actually communicate directly with the international audience and therefore the ability to foster relationships is much stronger. It also means that the team on the ground internationally can be better briefed and in turn more enthusiastic.
With 1,000’s of members across the globe Investorist’s hybrid events certainly benefit developers, project marketers and sales people by opening up new sales channels and offering an innovative way of building trust and rapport with prospective international clients.
So in fact technology is adding to the power of the project launch by providing greater access to information and empowering sales people making them even more effective than before. I envisage a day where even the public are logging in, probably on their phone and watching project launches in real time.
The growth of international buyers in the domestic property market opens up many opportunities for developers and property marketers. Those who leverage new technology to expand their markets and networks will continue to thrive in this global marketplace. The others will undoubtedly become just as redundant as my old Nokia.