Marketing For Beginners

In this article we will discuss the basic principles of marketing in the development industry. First the developer needs to come up with a good name for his condominium project. The name itself is very important. It must be an interesting and attractive name, a meaningful name that people associate with something positive.

If the name has a nice ring to it, if it sounds positive, then people will want to be part of it.

Basically intelligent marketing is to understand human nature. Know how your customers think, know how they feel and know their dreams. And then you deliver their dream on a plate.

The developer must find the right price level for his condominium project. This is the difficult part. In Pattaya we have a high number of projects aimed at the lower end of the market. ‘Cheap is good’ seems to be the rule of thumb.

Find the right location for your condominium. The location is extremely important. There is no need to discuss this any further.

Finally, after having found a name, price level and location the developer must promote his condominium. Which kind of media is the best when advertising for his condominium? This is a difficult question to answer. He has many choices, roadside ads, huge billboards, television, radio, newspapers, magazines and the internet.

How do a developer reach the prospective customers that match the targeted profile? There are certain companies that do nothing but collect data of customers with the right kind of profile. Their database is the core of their business and it can be worth billions of baht.

There are three kinds of customers:

• The ignorant ones that act impulsively and are persuaded by a good salesman. This kind of customer will focus mainly on the price and he will not ask who the developer is.

• Then there is the professional investor, the educated investor that knows what to look for, he will focus on the location and the reputation of developer.

• Finally we have the cold blooded speculator, he will not care about the quality of the build but focus mainly on rental returns or return on investment.

Does advertising on huge billboards work? I believe it does not work and I will explain why. If you have been drinking Coca-Cola all your life it is unlikely that you will suddenly start drinking Pepsi Cola just because you see ads for Pepsi Cola on the billboards. You know what you like and an advertising campaign is not going to change that.

The same logic applies to the real estate industry. In this case the product is the developer and if he has proven over a long period of time that his condominiums are of a high standard, then he will have gained a good reputation in the industry. The investors know what they get, they feel safe and an advertising campaign from another developer is not going to change that. If a developer has a good reputation then the brand building process becomes very easy.

I have followed certain projects over a period of several years, the developers were advertising heavily in magazines, newspapers, had roadside ads etc, yet the sales numbers did not improve at all.

We can conclude that for certain projects advertising does not change anything, most likely because the developer does not have a good reputation in the business. Cheap condos, yes, but shitty condos.

The important thing to notice is that investors do not learn about new projects through advertising in magazines or newspapers or from billboards. There is only one channel where the news spread at the speed of light, to no surprise this is the internet. Magazines and newspapers are simply too slow and basically last week’s news is of little interest to anybody.

Do not ignore the importance of the internet and social media when promoting a new condominium. People get notifications on facebook, even on a friday night when sitting in a bar or out on the dance floor. The online media plays an increasingly important role in the property business. With a click on the mouse you can reach millions of people and you can instantly get a list of all the new projects available.

Published 1 August 2014

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