Property sector moves online - at last

This week’s new look NMA reports that people marketing property are realising that moving budgets online offers the only chance of survival.

We’ve been advising property sector clients to invest in digital for years. So it’s gratifying to note that the scattergun approach of old is set to be consigned to the scrap heap.

Ready when recovery comes

The downturn is making property developers and marketers realise that now is the time to rethink, reorganise and regroup. Intelligent, user centred online marketing is not going to shift product - let’s face it, nobody wants to buy anything now. But when confidence returns, as it inevitably will, the property developers that have invested in building respectful online relationships with potential customers will be the first to recover.

When the recovery comes where are people going to look for their first or next home? It won’t be in a newspaper and it probably won’t be in an estate agent’s window - it will be online, a space currently dominated by Rightmove.

Reasons for going digital

Miles Shipside, commercial director at Rightmove, says in the New Media Age article, “…online is much cheaper than traditional media and using traditional media is restrictive, unlike online media where you can reach people and excite their emotions as well. It works even better in rough times as it lets you market more effectively so you get a better price for your product and can discount less.”

Vested interests

In this environment and with the change in consumer behaviour it is simply staggering to see new build developments still being advertised in the press. The model is finished, demand has fallen off a cliff. Knowing this, you have to question who benefits from maintaining the status quo? You also have to question the advice of the agency planner or buyer.

Online outlook

So while the decline of the property sector is bad news for many of us, we must look ahead. Shifting strategy to doing business online is likely to offer the best opportunity to survive the slump and catch the up-swing when it comes.