4 May 2019
Property development marketing – how to brand your property development
Property development marketing, it can appear to be tricky.
When you think about branding, you think about products in stores, distinctive logos, the colorful mascots of breakfast cereals. That kind of thing. Property marketing, though, is a little less easy to pin down.
You’re still selling something in property marketing, but it’s not exactly a product you can find on the supermarket shelves.
But, I hear you ask, isn’t this my marketing agency’s job?
Well, yes. A good marketing agency will help you cover all the things listed in this article, but the more educated you are, the better the job your agency can do. If you’ve already got a solid idea of your brand, the results you get from an agency will be much better.
It can seem like an overwhelming task to take on digital property development marketing when you’re not sure where to start, but fortunately, that’s where we come in.
Visualise your brand.
The first step to an expert brand is understanding what a brand is.
Far more than just your logo and brand colors, your brand is the sum total of the impression your customers have of you. It’s who you are, in their heads. Which means creating a brand is as about influencing how people see you in the way you want to be seen.
So, with that in mind, grab a piece of paper and start thinking about what you want your brand to be.
How do you want people to think of your property marketing business? What reputation should it have?
Should it be for ease of use? Then make sure your website is up-to-date and easy to navigate.
Want people to have respect for your knowledge of the business? Then set up an FAQ and answer all questions as promptly as possible.
And what’s your competitive advantage over your competitors? Do you focus on ideal family homes in good neighbourhoods? Or are you more about affordability, or homes near public transit?
Work out what you are, what you want to be known for, and go from there.
Now, scan over that piece of paper. That’s the beginning of your brand.
Talk to your customers.
You know what kind of reputation you want, and you know the market advantage you have. Now, it’s time to dip into the age-old business adage, ‘know your audience’.
Who are you selling to? Take a look at the list of customers you already have, and see if there are any demographics that they have in common. Are they all of a certain age group? Are you selling to people working in a certain industry, or in a certain income bracket? Write down any similarities you notice. This is your target market.
Now, let’s consider what they want. An easy way to do this is to simply poll your existing customer list, but you can also just find people who fit your target market and ask them what they’re looking for in a property developer. That way, you won’t waste time focusing on luxury homes when your target market needs affordable homes, or overlook customer service when it’s important to the people you serve.
Create brand guidelines.
Got your piece of paper? Great. By now it should be filled with who you want to be, who your target market is, and what they want from you. These are the three most valuable pieces of information you can give your agency.
But let’s go a little bit further and create a set of branding guidelines. Your agency may work with you to create these, or you may wish to present them to your agency when you start working with them. Either way, it’s good to know what you want from your brand.
Start with a blank page. At the top, write ‘Who We Are’, and then, using the info from the piece of paper we used earlier, write a paragraph or two about your brand’s personality. Let us know what it stands for, what you want people to feel when they think of it, and the kind of reputation you want it to have.
Then onto your mission statement. Under that heading, try to narrow down your company’s vision to a single sentence. Imagine you have thirty seconds to tell someone what your business is about, and make it as concise as possible.
Continue typing out the info from your page, adding headings as you see fit. When you’ve finally got all that down, you can start with the rudimentary design elements you want to include. What are your brand’s colors? The fonts you’ll use? If you already have a logo, add it here. If you don’t, you can add a description for your marketing company of the logo you want to have, or even sketch out a quick example.
Supercharge your social.
Now that you’ve got an idea of your brand, your next job is going to be sharing it. Remember, your brand is what your customer base thinks about you, so it doesn’t actually exist until you have a customer base.
All in all, reading out is not that hard. You just need to build an online hub, and make it easy for your customers to find.
One good way is to stay connected with Facebook. Create an attractive Facebook page that your customers can visit, and then start posting updates to it that are relevant to what they need. New properties are a good start, but you could also post videos, how-to articles, and other kinds of content to get them engaged.
You might also want to look into Facebook ads to reach out to new customers. We’ve already talked about Facebook marketing ads here, and they’re definitely one of the most handy tools in your arsenal.
You can also look into Instagram. Instagram is a visual social media platform, so if you’ve got some gorgeous photographs of your properties, show them off here. It also features some handy polling features and the ability to reach out to audiences who are interested in buying homes by using certain hashtags.
Email is key.
Do you have an email list for your property development marketing?
If you don’t, you should. There are any number of free email list clients (we like MailChimp and Benchmark) that allow you to collect the email addresses of visitors to your site or Facebook page, so you can reach out to them all at once.
Got a new promo or selling a new property? Tell your list about it first. That way, they get rewarded for signing up, and you’ll reap profits by selling to people who may otherwise have passed you by.
Email marketing has the highest return on investment of any kind of marketing, so investing in an email list will pay off in the long run.
Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Property development marketing and branding isn’t nearly as scary as we think it can be. It all breaks down to what ideas your customers have of you, what ideas you want them to have, and the actions you take to create that image in their minds.
Whether those actions consist of hiring a designer to create a logo, engaging on social media, or bringing value to potential clients through email marketing, branding really just breaks down into those two pieces: an idea, and an action. Once you know what the idea should be, you can more easily see the action to take.