Digital marketing for property developers

Attracting the right buyers for new real estate developments requires a different approach from selling resale property. Large developers use a range of marketing tools to sell their properties, which smaller firms may not have the resources or expertise to replicate, but it pays to learn from the big players. 

Digital promotion - via the web and social media - is a key component of any effective new-build sales campaign. Read on for the essentials, and also check out our full guide to marketing new-build property.

Why developers need a property website

A dedicated website for a new property development gives you a competitive advantage in several ways:

A fast and simple source of information

A website is a single port of call for prospective buyers to view your property and find out more about the project. Featuring the web address on signs and hoardings around the site allows passers-by to find information quickly, rather than having to search property portals; use a QR code and they can visit the site by simply scanning it with their smartphone.

A richer experience

With your own website, you can feature as much detail as you like, rather than being limited by agents or portals. Image galleries, site and floor plans, information on local amenities, and, increasingly, 3D virtual viewings all add value for prospective buyers

Better leads

If people visit your website, it is because they are interested in your development, rather than simply browsing listings on portals or agents’ sites.

More control

Instead of relying on a third party to pass on leads, which may be shared with competitors, a dedicated site allows you to capture contact details of buyers interested in a specific property directly. This improves the likelihood of successful lead nurturing.

What to bear in mind when creating a website

Marketing sites can vary enormously in complexity and cost, so the most appropriate solution will depend on the size of the development, its value and the likely target audience. 

Low cost

The simplest (and cheapest) option is a single “landing page” site. This would show the general information about the development along with essential features for lead generation. Sections might include:

  • Unit types
  • About the developer
  • Book a viewing
  • Download brochure 
  • Share with a friend 

Medium cost

The next step up would be a fully designed microsite. This would include more information to showcase the development and have more functionality than a single landing page, for example:

  • Slideshow, video or virtual tour (of entire development and individual units)
  • Unit types and floor plans
  • Pricing and availability (updated regularly)
  • About the developer
  • Book a viewing
  • Share with a friend 
  • Download brochure
  • Testimonials 
  • Live chat/WhatsApp integration

High cost

At the top end, the most complex option would be a full website that has the capacity to manage multiple developments across multiple locations. Due to the build time (and cost) required, this is usually only recommended for large developers that are selling multiple projects simultaneously.

Whichever type of website you opt for, it is important that it works seamlessly across any device. Nowadays people search for property across many different devices: laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones. The website should adapt to all these to ensure that it displays and functions correctly. A site that looks amateurish or doesn’t work is a sure way to put off buyers.

Website design is a specialist skill, especially for more complex sites involving virtual viewings. Movewise partners with expert designers to offer dedicated website and marketing packages for developers, at a range of price points. This service can also include lead management.

What about social media and Google ads?

Social media offers a powerful way to reach potential buyers directly, based on their search patterns. For example, it can target people who are currently browsing local properties, have shown an interest in new-builds, or are starting a search for a new home.

This targeted approach allows you to showcase your development directly within prospective customers’ Facebook or Instagram feeds, then direct them to your development website. Eye-catching and creative content is key, in order to drive engagement.

Google marketing is also a great way to generate high-quality leads, as this targets people who are actively searching for relevant and local keywords, such as “new homes in south Bristol”. By positioning an advert that links to your website, you have a good chance of converting that visitor into a lead.

When should digital marketing begin?

In general, sooner is better. One advantage of digital property marketing is that it can capture potential buyers early and maintain visibility, either through lead nurturing (once you have their contact details) or remarketing (continuing to show them advertisements for your development if they haven't yet provided their details). 

If your development is a larger one which has discrete build/launch phases, you can time your property marketing to coincide with availability of units. Unlike traditional marketing avenues, digital can be deployed with very short lead times, so construction delays or changes in schedule can easily be accommodated. This ensures maximum value from your marketing budget by driving traffic at the most useful times.

To find out how Movewise can arrange a complete digital property marketing solution, contact us today.

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