The ideal situation for most housing developers is to sell every property on a development off plan – but this requires a different approach to marketing as compared to selling ready built homes. Here are 10 steps to help you get it right.
- Sell a lifestyle – not houses.
To inspire a buyer to purchase a property they have never set foot in, in a development that does not yet exist, you need to appeal to their imagination and to their emotions. Even if you’re a developer that already has a strong brand, you need to make the development the star. When planning your marketing material – from brochure copy to 3D visualisations, and from social media posts to web content – don’t just tell people the physical details of what you’re building; tell them what it will be like to live there. How will they unwind – can they walk around a lake, watch the children play in a playground or head down the road for meals out and shopping? How will they spend time in their new home, entertaining in the kitchen diner or relaxing in the garden room? Get them to picture themselves living there – entertaining, playing and making happy memories.
- Highlight the benefits of buying a new-build home
With increased emphasis being placed on energy efficiency and green credentials, a new home has never been more attractive. When marketing your development, highlight these benefits: buying a house with the latest heating and insulation solutions is a cost-effective choice in the long run. Other points to emphasise include the fact that new homes can be customised to the buyer’s specifications and present a blank slate onto which they can add their personal touches without disruptive and expensive redecoration. It’s also worth signposting any help to buy schemes that can make the purchase easier – and you could consider offering part exchange options to ease the purchase.
- Know who you’re selling to
Spend time creating personas of your ideal buyers. Consider their demographics, typical jobs and lifestyle preferences, leisure interests and where they spend their time – both physically and online. If your development has a variety of different types of property, you’re likely to need different personas for each one.
- Fit your branding and visuals to the target audience
Once you have a clear idea of your target buyers, ensure that the branding and the visuals for your development are geared to their tastes – for example, do you want it to feel high end and luxurious or more accessible? Are you offering a peaceful life in the country or the buzz of city life? What lifestyle elements could you include in your imagery for maximum appeal?
- Establish a presence where your buyers will see it
Your buyer profiles will also help you decide where to focus your marketing efforts: where do they spend time online? What brands and influencers could help you to reach them? Where do they spend their leisure time? By ensuring your brand is seen in the right places, you can boost your chances of success.
- Use digital imaging
When selling properties off plan, it’s essential to create compelling visuals. At iCreate we make CGIs, 3D flythrough animations and VR tours that will bring your development to life. These photorealistic visuals don’t just embody your architectural plans – they can also include lifestyle elements that speak to your target audience.
- Get your website, digital marketing and brochures ready on time
Don’t drag your feet when it comes to mobilising your digital marketing team. To do their job, they need your website, visuals, brochures and any other promotional material to be ready in good time. Consider supporting your digital marketing efforts with regular blog posts and downloadable guides or visualisations that encourage potential buyers to give you their email addresses so you can follow up and keep them updated.
- Use the latest CRM and digital marketing tools
Digital marketing is a fast-changing landscape, so make sure your team is equipped with the latest tools. Software such as Hubspot can help you with everything from CRM to lead scoring – a method of identifying the most promising sales leads. Websites should be SEO optimised and can be set to serve automatic messages to visitors to your site; consider setting different messages for first time visitors and repeat visitors. Target your digital advertising carefully – you could try programmatic advertising, which is an automated way to purchase and target digital campaigns.
- Keep in touch
Don’t sit back and wait for browsers to become buyers – establish a dialogue with them, both through social media and through email marketing. Content could include news,updates, tips, and information about the lifestyle offered by your development and the area it sits in.
- Map out your sales funnel
Make sure you have a clear overview of the steps an interested party will go through on their path to making a purchase and make sure you don’t lose them along the way. Is there a point at which they leave your website, for example? Work out what is causing you to lose them at that stage. Make sure that once you’ve formed a connection with a potential buyer, you can build a relationship with them and continue to stimulate their interest.
We can help!
Do you need stunning visuals to bring your new development to life and turbocharge your marketing efforts? Get in touch today to find out what iCreate can do for you. From 3D animations and VR tours to CGIs and marketing brochures, we’ll give you the winning edge.