How to market a development without blowing a budget

Marketing is a very important aspect of any business especially real estate and when done right has the potential to lead to great success (closed transactions). In order to carry out successful marketing, one must have effective ways of reaching their target audience. There is however a general notion that for marketing to be effective, it has to be cost intensive. Expensive marketing does not necessarily translate to increased sales.
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Most companies or individuals trying to market property developments usually have a marketing budget. A marketing budget is an estimated projection of costs required to promote a business’ products or services. A marketing budget will typically include all promotional costs, including marketing communications like website development, advertising and public relations, as well as the costs of employing marketing staff and utilizing office space. Marketing budgets ensure that your marketing plan or campaign is realistic.

There are several ways of marketing real estate. A relatively cost efficient and effective way of marketing a property is through the use of the internet. Over the years there has been an increase in internet usage in Nigeria leading to an increase in the number of Nigerians are searching for properties to buy or lease online. Thus it is of great importance that real estate companies ensure they have some sort of online presence. The internet is also an inexpensive form of marketing when compared to other mediums like renting a billboard for instance. The use of the internet is flexible and can be customised so that adverts of property developments are directed solely at the target market.
The internet can be used to market properties in the following ways:
Company Website
This is one of the most cost efficient and effective ways of connecting with your target market. The website should be straightforward and simple to navigate through. It should also have sufficient information about any development being marketed and should answer most questions clients might have. Steps should also be taken to have the pages optimized so that it will rank high in clients search engine results. This is a great way to reach the target market without blowing your budget.

Social Media
A large number of Nigerians are active on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This is a fantastic way to reach your target market. After conducting research on the general pattern of usage of social media by your target market, you can ensure steps are taken so that you are reaching them directly. For instance you can try and get relationships with Face book pages frequently visited by members of your target market and get your company and developments introduced creatively on your Facebook page. Social media can be used as a marketing tool without blowing your budget.

Online Newsletter
Periodically, newsletters can be sent to clients in a company’s data base to build relationships. It can also be used as a tool to attract new clients. The newsletters may contain information about new and old property developments on offer. This is an efficient way of marketing because you can ensure that the newsletters are being sent purely to your target market and it costs next to nothing to do this.
Apart from using the internet to market property developments, other cost efficient methods of marketing a development are:

Creative Pricing Strategies
Nigerian properties in certain areas are very expensive. There are also not many effective ways of raising funds externally to buy a property. Therefore, in order to attract people to your development, you can create pricing strategies. These are innovative financial structuring schemes that are tailored to suit the needs of clients, and are a valid and effective method of adding real value in a changing world of property market dynamics. Some of the schemes that have worked well in the past are;
• Flexible payment plan options by paying in instalments, especially when purchasing a development over long periods of time
• Offering buyers the option of renting a home at a minimum monthly rent, along with a specified deposit and a three-five year lock-in period, with the option of buying the rented home at a later date and other creative strategies. This marketing strategy should however take into account the developer’s financial ability, cost and source of funding.

In certain Nigerian social circles, most people know or know of each other. Hence people within a company’s target market may be acquainted with each other. This means that existing clients can use the process of word of mouth to help market the real estate company and its products to similar people like them who are within the companies target market. Thus it is important that excellent services are provided at all times and on-going relationship is maintained with them even after the business relationship has ended. A good client relationship is important because it is just as easy for them to blacklist your company and the properties you offer if you have a bad relationship with them.

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