Tell us about your experience in the Real Estate industry? What has been your philosophy of leadership?
Housing is people’s basic necessity and India is a growing consumer market.
With increasing consumer awareness about, GST, PMAY Subsidy, RERA, and a stronger desire for hi-tech and sustainable living, I see an upward trend in the Real Estate industry, in the coming decades. After all, every industry has a market cycle.
We have exemplary leadership which is evident in the way we reach out and engage with our prospective clients as well as customers. We strongly follow a customer’s buying cycle and his preferences during their pre and post-buying journey. We have built a strong Experiential Marketing Network, using which we have been able to cut down on the research and site-visits that a consumer needs to make before the final purchase and also, to oversee constructions post his purchase.
Being a part of the group, how do you look at the growth of Real Estate through Products and Offerings given by the Group? How do you wish to push the envelope further?
Wave is unique in this way. We have a range of residential and commercial products spread across every price range. It is as if an e-com platform where, ‘you may also want’ is a great bargain for both an end-user and investor. Through our diverse offerings, we tend to cover the largest possible universe to reach the maximum number of people.
We are determined to go forward with the changing digital landscape. Internet penetration rate is growing in India; we are constantly augmenting our robust technological platform with improved efficiency and customer service. This allows us to reach potential customers and investors from urban cities to remote villages, in sync with the new wave of Digital India.
How do you establish a relationship between the Customers and the Group? How do you make yourself available to them?
Technology is the driving force behind our campaigns. We launch personalized campaigns for a targeted audience with the help of our advanced marketing technology. We make use of marketing automation for many things including, streamlining our work process, lead nurturing, post-sales service and customer feedback.
Web Surveys are very important tools for us to hear the Voice of the Customer and create advocates. This combination of marketing and technology has been working very well for us.
The industry has been going through a lot of Ups and Down’s. Instead of buying homes, people seem to be putting money in mutual funds (SIP instead of EMI) as they don’t have trust in builders and there are frequent delays etc. How do you see things in this scenario and what can be done to improve the current environment? How can you help in reinstating buyer confidence?
Real Estate is a big consumer market. If the Indian economy successfully deals with global uncertainties, real estate will be a preferred investment destination, in coming times. And we have reason to rejoice, India has moved up one place to claim the 35th spot on JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI). From 2014 to 2018, covering a span of two cycles of JLL’s GRETI, the country has moved up five places.
India is one of the top ten countries showing maximum improvement in transparency score. I believe both investors and end customers will welcome this and appreciate this.
Any suggestions you would like to give to the current set of Customers and Investors?
Customers, there is a wide range of products to suit your requirements. Look out for a property, which has great connectivity, is a Smart City (with Hi-Tech features) and has a sustainable development model.
Same goes for investors. A location which is near an expressway/highway and is built on sustainable environment-friendly methods having value for money and can be considered as an investment destination.
Several developers have almost doubled their expense on digital due to multiple factors. How important is digital marketing in the real estate industry?
It’s time to move on with digitization. I strongly believe in Digital 1st and digitizing activities across marketing, customer service, collections, operations and decision making to provide a seamless customer experience.
Amid artificial intelligence, state-of-the-art marketing automation & increasing customer service expectations, marketers will now have more inflow of cash for their brand promotion and business generation in this year. From small-scale to large-scale businesses, everyone is spending heavily on its online branding and reputation management. This is because of the acceleration of demands and queries through online channels.
Currently, allocation to Digital is just 15% of the total media spend in India. A study says, the average SME Owner will be putting around 5-10% of their 2018-19 revenue on digital marketing. Thanks to technology, especially, mobile phones, internet connectivity has reached every nook and corner of the country. It is the right time to explore digital marketing from the core and across various channels. Real Estate brands should now focus on building in-house Digital Teams and empowering them to transform processes.
Online marketing vs offline marketing: Which one, according to you, is more impactful and yields better ROI?
Online marketing is more cost effective with the risk of faster burnout, both cash and attention. Everything is measurable and transparent in case of online campaigns, so you are in control, thereby, minimizing wastage and maximizing reach. Social Media has forced brands to be more customer sensitive and responsive, which offline could not achieve. While it is difficult to calculate the reach of offline marketing campaigns, there are methods, which make offline marketing measurable. The combination of the two mediums are making campaigns successful.
If both online and offline marketing campaigns go hand in hand, the reach and response will be incremental.
What are the major upcoming digital marketing trends in the real estate industry?
Technology is becoming the DNA of the Real Estate Industry. As per industry data, 90% buyers research online before buying a house, while 40% of the users go offline to online i.e. to company’s website after looking at a Print Advertisement. Permission-based emails and SMSes still deliver phenomenal open rates and calls.
The forthcoming year will be one of video marketing. Marketing has moved from selling to telling and with each passing day our attention span is reducing. Every brand or even small-scale player is concentrating on its YouTube channel and making interesting, logical videos to drive their marketing campaigns. Live videos exploded in 2016 and 2017, we believe it will become even more main-stream in 2018.
Getting into the consumers’ minds is important and one way to do that is by live chat. In any part of the world, people love live chat. We know that the human brain remains the same for thousands of years, but technology is always dynamic. Voice search and live chat are going to pick up the pace. With the help of Chatbots and voice search, marketers are making a psychological connection with website visitors and increasing the site’s ability to convert visitors into consumers. After all, bad customer service can cost millions of dollars to business houses.
With such competition, what new avenues of digital marketing are you looking at? How are you strategizing to stay ahead of the competition? And how do you allocate marketing budgets across channels?
It is important that the brand plans its Digital Marketing Journey. Technology is dynamic and evolving at a quick pace. However, it is important to first get the basics correctly mapped according to your Buyer’s Journey and Sales Cycle. Search Engine, Social Media, Email, SMS will continue to be relevant. Analytics, Marketing Automation, Lead Scoring, Mobile Marketing, Digital CRM, and Ecommerce will extend the continuum.
The delivery model will undergo rapid changes. Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality can provide unique, immersive, engaging and real-time experiences. The interaction between the Sales Team and Prospects will be the digital way.
The digital strategy should be data-driven. Today, data and analytics have climbed to the top of the agenda. I would allocate the budget for marketing activities based on past results and experiences. In addition, we will do a thorough review across impressions, clicks, time spent, returning users, lead qualification, etc. before planning the next campaign.