The Pros And Cons Of Internet Marketing In Real Estate

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Indians has been rather quick in going online, and the depth of Internet penetration across the country is quite remarkable. However, when it comes accepting the Internet as a serious medium and tool to boost business, there was considerable disbelief and change aversion among Indian developers in the past.

The general feeling was that the Internet was a ‘new age’ medium with little potential, and that the tried-and-tested ‘offline’ approach to marketing real estate was still the most reliable.

This mind-set has changed drastically over the past few years, and developers are now making active use of digital media for marketing properties.

This acceptance has come primarily because developers saw that valid and actionable inquiries do indeed come from their web sites as well as real estate portals where their properties are featured.

Today, every serious developer has a website, and many also maintain blogs and social media accounts to garner further visibility online.

For consumers of real estate, the Internet has become an unmitigated boon. Visiting developers’ web sites allows buyers to inform themselves about a project before actually making site visits.

They can also make quick comparisons of all available options that meet their requirements, and to do a considerable amount of elimination to arrive at a final checklist. Online forums allow them to poll others’ opinions and experiences with regards to developers and their projects.

Obviously, property marketing on the Internet has also become highly competitive. Today, developers are vying for online space and buyer attention in every possible way. In fact, a significant chunk of real estate marketing has now gone online, and is reaping very satisfactory results.

Internet marketing outreach has become an inalienable and highly effective part of most developers’ overall marketing program; purchase inquiries triggered online can account for as much as 25-30% of the total annual sales tally.

Real estate developers with clear USPs – such as projects in exciting new locations or within affordable price brackets – have a clear advantage online.

Most developers today know that their websites – rather than their marketing offices – are now their primary calling cards, and are investing heavily into making them more attractive and user-friendly. Likewise, tie-ups with leading property portals are now de rigueur and a default route for major developers.

real estate internet marketing

However, it is not all clear sailing – the massive amount of online marketing activity has also brought many pitfalls and stumbling-blocks for online prospectors.

For example, a lot of erroneous information and ‘false positives’ now turn up on Internet searches, thanks largely to the activity of smaller brokers and uninformed first-party sellers who neglect to eliminate options that are no longer on the market.

Also, many smaller developers who launched web sites earlier fail to maintain and update them, adding to the burden of erroneous information available online.

Even more worrying is the amount of misleading and outright false information that is deliberately put out on the Internet. This information is often put out by people whose sole objective and business is to draw internet traffic by fair or foul means.

As of now, nobody is really regulating the dissemination of such false information, which can be harmful to both customers and developers. Also, the Internet does not allow buyers to negotiate for the best price, which is an accepted and expected privilege in today’s market.

It is early days yet, and internet marketing in most business fields has yet to find its ‘true North’. Meanwhile, it is important that real estate buyers see it as a useful tool, but by no means the only tool at their disposal.

At the end of the day, real estate is still very much a ‘people’ business – as such, it cannot become entirely virtual. When it comes to buying a home for which one will make a very large financial commitment, nothing will replace a site visit and personal inspection.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

 

How To Buy An Investment Property In Hot Markets

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd & Hon. Secretary – CREDAI (Maharashtra)

Investing in real estate is a time-honoured method of achieving financial success. Throughout the ages, investment property has helped a lot of people make a great deal of money – sometimes quickly, sometimes over the long term.

Those who invest for the short term are generally known as property speculators, and they play a dangerous game. Long term property investment is for forward thinkers who have an investment horizon of at least five years.

The objective of a long-term property investor is to buy a property at a low price and sell it at a higher price. To be successful at this, one needs to know what is going to happen in a certain location over the next few years.

You will need to invest in a growing location, not an established one. This is especially true if you are a middle-class person living off a middle-class income. There are two reasons for this.

First of all, properties in established locations cost a lot of money. At the same time, their long-term investment value is lower. The reason for this lies in the nature of the real estate market. The costly (or ‘prime’) areas gained their value over a certain period of time but will eventually stagnate or even down.

Real estate gains its value because of new infrastructure projects, shopping centres, public transport facilities, etc. These can happen only in new growth areas, because established areas tend to have reached saturation point in these respects.

If you look at the central locations of Pune, you will see that nothing more can happen there. These areas are saturated. In many of them, residents are facing a lot of problems because of overcrowding, lack of parking, open spaces, playgrounds for their kids, pollution and traffic clogging.

Investment Property

Even with the best of intentions, the city planning authorities cannot do anything to make life better for them – there is simply no space left. Though the property rates in Pune’s prime areas are high, they cannot rise much further because the future has nothing to offer there.

Long-term property investment means buying real estate in an area while it is on the rise – not when it is in saturation or decline mode. Buying investment property means buying it where people are going, not where they have already been for generations.

A hot property market is one where there are upcoming changes in the infrastructure, and where homebuyers are headed. In the case of Pune, this would especially include areas like Undri, Ambegaon, Baner and Wagholi.

Infrastructure can include things like major highway construction and shopping and entertainment facilities. Look for areas that have a lot of employment options, because people always want to live close to where they work.

Also keep your eyes open for areas where large corporations are relocating or already exist and have room to expand. When this happens, the real estate market in that area will boom due to demand for housing and small businesses. Business is one of the most reliable drivers for real estate prices.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Image credit ginkgo2

Innovation Keeps Pune’s Property Market Vibrant

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Innovation is a crucial business concept today, and a major differentia for real estate developers as well.

Without implementing new ideas and concepts in building homes, developers cannot set their offerings apart from the competition. Just as fresh concepts and designs attract shoppers in the retail world, residential projects with attractively innovative features draw home buyers looking for something new.

The need for innovation on Pune’s residential real estate market has not gone unheard. The definition of ‘quality homes’ is constantly changing, and developers cannot afford to adopt a cookie-cutter approach to project development. In today’s market environment, there is always enough supply on the market to force them to remain competitive by offering fresh designs and project features.

In the premium segment, developers have been roping in reputed Indian and foreign architects to introduce designs and features that are immediate attention-grabbers.

Most of Pune’s luxury home buyers travel the world constantly, and are constantly exposed to new residential concepts in the more developed countries. As a result, they seek a global feel to their homes, and imaginative new designs in residential projects are therefore very popular in the luxury segment.

Amit's Sapphire Park
Amit’s Sapphire Park

Sustainability has been another major agent of change and innovation on Pune’s property market. Today, the popularity of ‘green’ homes has transcended the luxury label, and become an operative watchword even in mid-segment housing.

Apart from offering green features at the unit level, many of Pune’s progressive developers have also begun using new methods of eco-friendly, high-grade construction methods in their projects.

Given the increasing awareness about environmental issues among Pune’s citizens today, the use of new construction technologies that replace wasteful and environmentally harmful processes has become an important differentiation for developers. More and more home buyers are now choosing properties that are aligned with the ethos of environmental sustainability.

Interestingly, innovation does not always mean introducing something new. It can also mean retaining desirable aspects that are vanishing elsewhere in the markets.

For instance, we have not seen balconies and open spaces vanishing from new projects in Pune, even as such features are becoming extinct in neighbouring Mumbai.

To be able to deliver such features despite the escalating costs of land and construction, Pune’s developers are constantly experimenting with new project designs that use available space more optimally.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.