As a property developer, we know you’ve got a lot on your hands. Between managing financing, developing the building program and obtaining necessary public approvals, there’s often little time left to think about social media.
But in today’s digital day and age, social media is a very important part of a marketing strategy, particularly for high-end property developments.
According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, 47% of real estate businesses note that social media results in the highest quality leads compared to other sources.
Considering that the end goal of any developer is to rent out, manage or sell the property, why not make use of the channel yourself?
Regardless of whether you’re working with commercial or residential properties, there’s no easier way to find potential clients than through digital channels like social media.
After all, the same study found that 99% of millennials (and 90% of baby boomers) begin their home search online.
Here’s how to grab - and keep - their attention.
(1) Tell a story
Social media marketing in the property market is about having an online presence to help build up relationships with potential buyers.
Trust plays a large part in the selling process, and there’s no better way for you to show your trustworthiness than by telling your story online.
This gives future clients the opportunity to learn more about your development and its location, as well as find the answer to any preliminary questions they may have.
That way, they will already know a fair bit about your property before even making contact, making them much more qualified leads to begin with.
The most important part, however, is that you use your social media channels to tell a story.
As any high-end developer with properties in prime locations will know, there’s plenty of supply out there for buyers to choose from.
And more likely than not, they all look luxurious, have high-end furniture and come with convenient amenities such as a concierge or security.
So in most cases, it’s not the ‘what’ that’ll make you stand out, but the ‘why.’
It’s not necessarily what brand of furniture you chose to design your property with, but why you chose it, and how your choice helps tell the story of your high-end property.
Why did you choose those specific designers, materials, colours or even services for your property?
What about them makes your development different from all the others?
How do they represent, and add to, the lives of the future homeowners?
When it comes to your social media channels, don’t be afraid to be as creative as possible.
For example, you can show the property from different perspectives, highlight materials and shapes from unique angles or introduce local cafe’s and shops nearby
(2) Use high-res photos
A few years ago, research conducted by MIT’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences department found that the human brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds.
For developers, this means that people will identify images of property far quicker than they can blink, which takes around 200 milliseconds.
So once you have a clear brand story in mind, it’s time to use a range of different types of imagery to tell it.
Try to have a good balance between close-ups highlighting specific objects or materials, and external shots of the building and its surroundings.
Attention to detail is important here and there are a few tricks you can use to make your images more appealing to a social audience.
For example, making sure doors are open in all photos gives the property a larger feel and creates more depth.
Make sure it’s not just any imagery though.
On social media, high-resolution images of a finished property tend to get more engagement and clicks than computer-generated images (CGI).
And research shows they also tend to do better once on the market: homes with high-quality photography tend to sell 32% faster.
(3) Share it on the right channels
Now that you’ve got your brand story and images sorted out, what social network should you use to promote your development?
It depends on the target audience that you’re trying to reach.
If your target audience has more of a B2B focus, say your goal is to reach real estate agents or commercial clients online, then LinkedIn should be your key channel.
LinkedIn is a professional network, meaning the type of content you post should be different from your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Share updates of the development’s building process, any press coverage you receive or awards you win.
In addition to organic posts, you can opt to advertise your property on social media through LinkedIn campaign manager.
LinkedIn’s targeting features allow you to reach people based on industry, job function and company names (amongst others).
So if you have the names of the real estate (or commercial) companies, and the specific job functions that you want to reach, then LinkedIn advertising can prove to be very successful.
If you’re looking to target a B2C audience, so if you’re selling a home directly to the end consumer, then reaching people on Facebook and Instagram will prove to be more fruitful.
Instagram and Facebook Ads will let you chose your target audience based on a number of factors including the local area, age, gender, job titles and education.
If you’re targeting certain markets, such as the US, it’s even possible to narrow your audience by household income - particularly useful for selling high-end developments.
Finding social media success with a digital marketing strategy
While social media marketing is an important part of a marketing strategy for property developers, it’s not the only part.
When used in line with other digital marketing strategies, such as SEO, PPC or content marketing, property developers will see greater success in terms of brand awareness and sales.
So before getting started with social media marketing, we suggest creating a digital marketing strategy to strategically plan how social media and other digital channels will help you achieve your goals.
We created a free digital marketing strategy template that you can use to get you started.
We hope it’s helpful - and if you have any questions or need any help, don’t hesitate to reach out.