With migration increasing, a lack of supply of established homes and rental vacancies going down while rents go up, off-the-plan real estate remains an attractive proposition for owner-occupiers and investors alike.
While the fundamentals are strong, there is still much uncertainty in the market and developers and project marketers must take steps to increase revenue and cut costs for the year ahead while ensuring they are ready to capitalize when market confidence returns.
This phase of the market cycle is not the time to shut up shop. Developers who focus on their systems and processes will be able to reduce costs and maximise revenue whilst preparing for confidence to come back.
Technology—coupled with smart tactics that support it—will be what sets apart successful developers from their counterparts, and the good news is this needn’t be expensive or difficult to implement.
Blair Property Group director Darren Blair says, “There will be a J-like curve when it comes to technology adoption and we will see how elements such as face-to-face interactions with (potential) purchasers can be changed or enhanced using technology as part of the sales and marketing of new residential projects”.
So, what are some of the tools and tactics that property developers and sales agents can adopt today for a positive outlook tomorrow? Let’s start at the top of the funnel.
Unfortunately, the phrase ‘Build it and they will come’ no longer applies to the market, if you’re in the process of launching a project, you will need to spread the word far and wide.
Marketing and communication automation
This may be a given for larger companies, however, smaller developers are often doing all the leg work of marketing and communications themselves.
Many platforms are low cost and simple to use—even for a novice. Additionally, unlike traditional methods, they provide in-depth data about who is looking at your content and what they are engaging with, which boosts your customer profiles.
Tools: Canva, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Facebook Ads
Benefit: Expanded buyer reach, increased efficiency, data and insights
Cost: Free or ;low cost.
Ignore the commotion, the simplest way to take advantage of AI for real estate is simply marketing copy generation. AI copy generators can take hours off the working week by backfilling marketing efforts.
Tools: Anyword, ChatGPT
Benefits: Increased efficiency, maximise volume of content
Interest, education and evaluation
Polka Dot Property director Rebecca Shackleton says, “There is an expectation that detailed information about a new community, building or property will be readily available and that potential buyers will conduct a high level of research, on and offline, before engaging with the developer.
“Developers need to embrace new technology and tactics to ensure that information is accessible to the buyer, in order for them to make a purchase decision,” the host of The Masterplan: a Property Podcast says.
Virtual display suite technology and interactive mapping
The ability to sell in a buyers’ market will require standing out from your neighbours. Visual mediums target the emotional side of buying, which is critical in a market where buyers may be cautious when it comes to spending.
Tools: Spiire Visual Media, DisplaySweet, Dragon VR
Benefits: Wow factor, more dynamic and easily updated than static displays and physical models, accessible
Pricing transparency is a contentious tactic, but is fundamental in any off-the-plan sales strategy in 2023 and beyond, here’s three reasons why:
- Online behaviour: Buyers research, compare, and select desired properties online, if pricing isn’t available they will continue to shop around and may not bother enquiring
- E-commerce: Online shopping is embedded in everyday life. Buyers expect instantaneous purchase options for products big and small—including property
- Transparency matters: Buyers don’t want to be sold to. They want the information to make up their own mind. Pressure sales techniques don’t work anymore.
Closing the Sale
Closing the sale should be top of mind for all sellers in any market, however, in today’s market there are two obvious areas of necessity: creating a sense of urgency and reducing costs, here’s how:
If you’re releasing property in 2023, look no further than software offering Release.Me. The platform automates and digitises the entire release process, flattening the peak in workload and reducing the time and cost usually associated with a release.
Buyer applications, preferences, property allocations, communication, contract details, payment of holding deposits and contract bookings are all handled by the software-as-a-service platform—where sellers can go from account creation to live release in as little as 10 minutes.
Rodden Property Group sales director James Rodden says of his experience using Release.Me for Silverdale Estate at Romsey, “Our workload was considerably reduced during the release and we had the pleasant surprise of being notified of additional buyer purchases after the release, via Buy Now.
“It’s something I’d recommend other small and medium developers try out and a tool we will continue to use across our projects.”
▲ The user-friendly Release.Me platform interface.
Release.Me national manager Amber Keogh says, “In a market where creating a sense of urgency is key, the fact that a property can be sold in a click of a button is extremely valuable for sales agents looking to spur on customers who may be dragging their feet.”
Buy Now, by Release.Me, serves as a simple e-commerce add-on to any developer or agent’s website, enabling passive sales by allowing purchasers to secure an available property at any time, from anywhere, while the sales consultant is notified via text and email.
YourLand Developments head of sales Kristian Sartori says, “The Buy Now function is a very convenient way to secure a block of land anytime, anywhere. We have seen interstate buyers searching for land in Melbourne able to purchase the land they want online without delay rather than wait for a call back.”
Tools: Release.Me – Release, Release.Me – Buy Now
Benefits: Increased revenue, reduced expenses, passive sales, efficiency, improved customer experience
Cost: $100 a property (Free Trial)
Arguably, post-sale is where the greatest risk and reward lies, however, many may believe it requires the least investment. Below are two areas worth consideration that will not only reduce risk but will define future sales success.
Using secure systems for sale, such as eContracts and settlement platforms helps to ensure that all sales are legitimate and that buyers have greater protection from cybercrime and other risks, while also creating efficiencies and reducing exposure for sellers.
Tools: Docusign, SettleTech
Benefits: Efficient, reduced risk, improved experience, minimised exposure
Data and analytics
Data and analytics is an often overlooked area by smaller developers, but systems needn’t be complex to provide usable data. In fact, all tools listed above provide data that paints a picture for the sales and development pipeline.
In the case of Release.Me, the platform provides in-depth buyer preference data that Sellers can use to their advantage by adjusting their property and pricing mix to better meet market demand and support sales agents.
Simply put, what reduces expenses, improves sales, expands buyer reach, and creates urgency should be priority considerations for any sales strategy—regardless of the market conditions.
To see how it works in action, Release.Me provides on-demand live demonstrations and offer a free trial period for new users: Find out more and book your spot here.