The Art of Marketing and Selling Real Estate in Nigeria (Part 1)

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In the real estate industry, there are several types of properties – residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and special-purpose. Residential properties include properties that serve as housing or a dwelling, such as single-family homes, duplexes and other multi-family homes in urban, rural or suburban areas. Commercial properties are properties where business or commerce takes place such as shopping centres and malls, office buildings, parking facilities, hotels, motels or theatres. Industrial property is sometimes confused with commercial property as it has a commercial use but requires the use of heavy machinery and large scale manufacturing also takes place there. They include factories, warehouses, manufacturing firms, power plants. Special purpose properties include agricultural properties, churches, cemeteries, schools and government held land.
When marketing and selling real estate, there must be a plan, a style, and a strategy that should be implemented in order to achieve results. With the availability of thousands of agents in the industry –professionals and lay men alike, there is need to master the art of marketing and selling properties.

What is Property Marketing and Sales?

According to the 8th edition of the Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary, marketing is the activity of presenting, advertising and selling a company’s products in the best possible way. It is the bridge that links a product to the consumers by understanding the consumers and finding ways to provide products or services that meet their needs. It is the art of encouraging sales of your products through communication to the public by identifying your objective, performing research in the market, analyzing the research, developing a plan of action to achieve set objectives, and implementing the plan. Selling on the other hand is the act of completion of the marketing process whereby there is an exchange for the product with money or money worth. It involves creating a relationship with clients, identifying the client’s needs and wants, providing possible solutions that meet their needs and wants and closing the sale.
Property marketing therefore is the development and execution of strategies which include research, advertising, promotions all ultimately leading to the sale of the property. In today’s competitive environment, businesses of all sizes and structures must establish effective marketing strategies through various marketing tools to ensure successful sales. In real estate marketing, it is difficult to figure out the best strategy that will attract the attention of potential clients to your properties as there are no best strategies. The strategy that would work for one project may not necessarily work for another project.
In selling real estate, there are several essentials that need to be put in place. They are basically known as the 4Ps of property marketing – Product, Price, Place (Location), Promotion.
The ‘product’ is the type of property, development or apartment that is up for lease or sale. The ‘price’ is the monetary value that is placed on the property either for lease or sale and it is often subject to market forces of demand and supply, the design of the property, facilities available in the property, and even the property owner. The ‘place’ refers to the location of the property. In real estate, location is critical as the property in the right location hastens sales. The ‘promotion’ is the actual marketing of the property by the use mediums such as radio, television, print adverts and press releases to bring it to the attention to the target audience, etc. The effective combination of these factors leads to the sale of the property.

In order to drive people to act, the use of marketing materials cannot be over emphasized as people are visually minded and tend to buy what they can see, feel, and experience. All marketing materials should have a call to action. There are a number of options through which real estate can be presented to the public for purchase and they include:-
• Newspapers
• Magazines
• Postcards
• Business Cards
• Billboards
• Referrals
• E-mails
• Advertisements on the internet
• Brochures
• Website
• Television adverts
• Social and Business Networking
Once this happens, there is need to further encourage sales of your properties by giving out proper information about your property and highlighting its unique selling points as prospective clients would need you to justify why they should buy your property and not the other thousands of properties that are available in the market. Information such as the location of the property; the lease or sale price which must be comparable with that of properties having similar features; exciting features and facilities on the property; the tenure on the property; adjoining developments that might be of interest to a potential client such as schools, supermarket, recreational centers, hospitals, etc must be made available to prospective clients.
Marketing is not instant and it takes a while for the strategies to be set in place and promoted consistently to ensure that it remains in the minds of the target audience. It has been observed that longer marketing strategies go a long way in increasing the number your clients ultimately leading to sales but care needs to be taken so that the target audience is not bored and the product gets disregarded hence the marketing needs to be creative, engaging, dynamic and interesting.
(To be continued)

REAL ESTATE TRIVIA
Question
What is considered one of the slimmest buildings ever designed?
Answer
The Carnegie Hall Tower, designed by Cesar Pelli, is only 50 feet wide and 60 stories high.

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