Real estate developers need to re-align and respond quickly to new norm of digitization to stay relevant
CorpGini’s virtual panel session on ‘Re-thinking Real Estate Marketing Considering COVID Situation' highlights new mantra for success
Mumbai: Every real estate professional wants to grow their business and marketing plays a vital role in reaching the right audience and leaving an impact on them. CorpGini in association with BWW, Comezzo, Elegance Enterprises and Go Smart Bricks curated a Virtual Panel Discussion on ‘Re-thinking Real Estate Marketing Considering the COVID Situation’, which presented the best of minds of real estate marketing. The objective was to gather insights and try to capture the mood of industry leaders and evangelists alike, to help stakeholders come together, evaluate, plan ahead and discuss opportunities in what definitely are tumultuous times for the industry at large.
Neha Jain, co-founder, CorpGini, started the session welcoming the panellists and participants. "We bring you second series of AEC Punch following the huge and overwhelming success of the first series held earlier. Our goal is to help corporates in the real estate sector to make informed decisions. We are not just restricted to having discussions, we went ahead and identified solutions by startups that would be relevant for real estate marketing initiatives. This Virtual Panel Discussion organised by CorpGini is an opportunity to collaboratively explore solutions,” she affirmed.
Pawan Gupta, CEO and Founder, Comezzo, moderated the session. “The real estate landscape is going significant changes due to COVID-19 and many of the changes will be permanent; social distancing, work from home, will become the new norm. It is vital for the real estate industry to re-imagine the current and post COVID scenario that would influence the customer journey like never before. Identifying the important changes in the journey from discovery, selection to transaction, would be the key driver for communication and marketing strategies going forward. Accelerating the use of digital technology and analytics is inevitable now. Digitisation steps such as virtual tours, enabling immersive experience, chatbot, website information architecture, online booking enablement are key in the current context. Builders need to re-align and respond quickly to this new norm to stay relevant,” he pointed out.
Amit Jain, Co-Founder & CEO, CorpGini, said, “CorpGini is a platform for corporates to explore disruptive solutions and given the current COVID-19 scenario, it is essential to come up with innovative ways to deal with the ‘new normal.’ With experts providing perspectives and startups presenting myriad opportunities to facilitate the transition, these Virtual Panel Discussions offer a concrete blueprint and smart strategies that can be emulated across the real estate industry. We have seen a lot of interest from the panellists and participants who want to interact with the startups and these will be taken forward to further enable the process.”
Aspects covered during the session included re-aligned real estate marketing in the COVID-19 era, Brand Communication Post COVID-19, innovative strategies to attract customers, digitization as the new norm, planning digital marketing strategies, overcoming current challenges in real estate, revisiting sales process by tech enablement and re-thinking project marketing.
Vyoma Pandit, Chief Marketing Officer, Shriram Properties, shared that customers in the present scenario are of two types; opportunists who have money and people who may not have money but want to buy so they are confused. “Whenever there is a pressure on cash flows and costs, the first thing that goes under the razor is marketing budgets. One can either sell the same thing to newer customers or the second thing, to be done now, which is communicating differently to the same set of customers. How smartly you convert matters now,” she said.
Bhasker Jain, Head – Sales, Marketing & CRM, The Wadhwa Group, opined “Sentiments are mixed but there is still demand, for properties nearing completion. We need to optimise budgets and use the right channels, constantly engaging with the existing database. Focus instead of being scattered, look at more B2B channels, corporate channels and touchpoints. On the brand side keep engaging with existing customers. We have to be more focused and look at content rather than only the platforms.”
Suresh Rangarajan, CEO, Co-live, underlined, “Housing will only be evergreen, pandemics will only underline the need for a house. I strongly believe communication is very important during a crisis. The PM has spoken to the nation 5 times during the COVID-19 crisis. We also need to do the same. Communication doesn't need to be sales driven; connecting is important, create content which they will be able to empathize. Digital will be important. We should be going back to each bucket of customers and creating education on housing.”
Shashikiran Kalyanpur, Real Estate Consulting CMO, pointed out “People know that homes are important but are worried about revenue streams, inquiries will start for sure. It is very important to go back to existing clients. Builders have a huge database, the most important thing now is to gain the trust of customers. Right now it is a big job for CRM and sales staff to get customers back into the fold. You need to start looking at existing leads.”
Ravikant, MD, Elegance Enterprises, explained that “Customers are confused. As people coming out with attractive offers, they try to grab it. Communication is very important. I don't think we should cut down marketing cost. You need to reach out to customers. People were scared. During the initial days of COVID-19, we started sending a message ‘Hope you and your family are safe.’ Now people have realised that things are cooling down so we do sales-related activities, the lead flow is high. We should keep our funds and pump them in marketing, the platform should be right and communication should be right.”
Bharat Gaddam, CEO Cognitive ROI, described the people in the market today as bargain hunters. “People are looking at getting a home that creates an opportunity for working from home. They may be changing for a better rental if not purchase due to salary cuts. This is a great opportunity to do two things. We need to understand what kind of marketing mix will work. We have got budgets cut but are they across or on what wasn't working earlier? There has to be an understanding of what component of marketing works using analytics.”
Dhruba Ghosh, Sr. VP - Marketing, Provident Housing (Puravankara Group), emphasised that there are both kinds of reactions. “People are more cautious. If there is a cut in the budget, it will be the biggest blunder to stop marketing. It gives you a voice. There is a need for a more streamlined approach. Analytics comes into play, carpet bombing is a big ‘no-no.’ Keep communicating with everybody. It is more important to be more efficient. People are looking for homes. You need more targeted, high performing efforts.”
CorpGini will continue to conduct sector-specific panel discussions moving forward true to its ethos of being a global innovation platform connecting corporates and startups across the globe.
Before this, the ‘Future of Design & Construction’ sessions organized by CorpGini from April 20-22, 2020 had witnessed an amalgamation of expertise from varied professionals within the design and construction community and the financiers backing the construction industry, with globally acclaimed thought leaders Sir Ratan Tata, Padmashri Hafeez Contractor and many more.
These sessions followed the first virtual panel discussion 'In fight against COVID-19 to solve corporate sustainability and growth challenges’ held from April 6, 2020 onwards, which witnessed participation from 50+ leaders, 10,000 plus corporates and 100 + startups.
CorpGini, founded in 2019, is an initiative by Pantomath Group and Z Nation Lab that connects leading corporates to innovative startups that are building solutions that solve industry-wise problems. The panel discussion will be followed by select pitches from CEOs of startups which can provide valuable solutions to Corporates around key areas of challenges in present times.
The (Corporate) Punch will, hence, help aid all participants to not just feel a sense of community in this time of crisis, but also aid as a platform for prospective business development and lead generation. Via the virtual sessions, will be a welcome relief in the times of quarantine and self-isolation; helping participants to feel like they belong to a larger global community that is trying to fight this battle together.