With the number of new development projects set to hit record highs in 2018, developers wanting to stay ahead of the curve will need to be pro-active about their sales and marketing strategies. We offer our top 6 tips to maximise your chances of success in the new year.
1. Adapt marketing content to be accessible on a global scale
Developers must ensure that when marketing projects to potential investors in non-English-speaking nations, materials are translated into the native language. For example, Mandarin for the Chinese market, Arabic for buyers in the UAE and Spanish and Portuguese for investors from Latin America. You may be missing valuable opportunities to connect with non-English speaking buyers otherwise. Having someone within the team who speaks the native language will also significantly enhance overseas investors’ experience.
2. Be aware of new and existing legislation
Developers must be constantly monitoring all legislation in place and seek approvals from the necessary regularity bodies in the nation in which they are marketing projects. For example, both Australia & New Zealand have recently cracked down on foreign investment, so staying up to date on regulation changes can help reduce any time wasted and ensure you push your projects to the right markets.
3. Assemble a list of motivated, product-specific selling agents
When putting together a list of selling agents that would best suit your residential or commercial product, developers should remember to engage with these agents in a similar manner as they would with direct buyers. Agents may well already have a full book of projects, so in order to engage them developers must present their project in a way that excites and motivates the agents. Often agents have a preference for developers they have worked with previously and will have regular clients whose projects may take priority. This means new developers will need to compete for attention, build relationships and not just rely on any one agent or market.
4. Establish a strategy for relationship building with your networks
Building networks and relationships is essential within many hot buyer markets, including the UAE, China and South East Asia. The agent-developer relationship is based on immense trust and takes time to develop. The agency will likely invest a lot of money and time educating their sales teams about the product they are selling. In China for example, we undertake a number of pre-vetting activities to find agents who have a strong interest in selling each type of project before arranging the face to face meetings which are crucial in building trusted relationships.
Anecdotally, we know that many of the individual agents will spend upwards of £7,000 on attracting each end buyer. Due to the significant investment they make in their sales team, lead gen and education, agents are not prepared to take a risk on people or businesses they don’t know well or have not met either in person or online. Listing on Investorist is a good way to build an online profile and trust and live events like Investorist’s China Connection work well in overcoming barriers and enable potential partners to meet in person and discuss opportunities to do business.
5. Embrace technology
2017 has seen technology become an integral element of the property industry. It even has it’s own now ‘PropTech’. Those who don’t embrace it could find themselves losing business to more progressive companies. Developers can use Investorist’s portal to access thousands of selling agents, build relationships, attend events and present stock in the most effective way. You can even use the platform to launch projects simultaneously in multiple countries and languages, effectively re-creating the hype of a live auction event to really engage competitive buyers to secure their preferred properties.
6. Become a (local) social star
Outside of Investorist, social media and CRMs have become an important part of any project marketing strategy. However if you are looking to sell your projects internationally, educate yourself on the best social media channels to use in each market. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn are great channels for Australia, New Zealand and the UK, although if you are looking to sell into China, these are not the channels for you. WeChat and WhatsApp are great alternatives to consider if you wish to push projects in China or LATAM.
2018 is going to be a big year. Set yourself up for success as everyone winds down over the Holiday break to kick off the new year ahead of your competition. Integrate the above 6 tips into your project marketing strategy and ensure you achieve the best results for your project.