" Real Estate Development Marketing"

Real estate development marketing, begins while a project is still on the drawing board, and does not end until a project is sold.

In the residential development business, developers can not create a market where one does not exist.

On the contrary, their foremost objective is to identify the specific market segment for which more housing is needed and then to design the best possible product to serve that need.

Marketing is the process of finding the renters or buyers and then attracting them to the property at a time when they are in a position to make a decision. Marketing serves a number of objectives:

  • analyzing what market to pursue and what product to build;
  • persuading-through careful presentation-buyers and renters that the product meets their specific needs;
  • packaging the product and offering assistance to enable those people to buy or rent it; and
  • ensuring afterward that the product meets their expectations.

" Real Estate Development Marketing Budgets"

Marketing budgets are based on the estimated cost of marketing, promotions, and sale strategies. A typical marketing budget is 5 to 7 percent of gross sales for non-recreational projects and 10 to 12 percent for recreational projects.

The budget includes 1 to 2 percent for advertising and the balance for commissions for the sales staff and cooperating brokers.

The Real Estate Development Marketing Leasing Budget...

The marketing and leasing budget should cover all aspects of marketing.

It should include appropriate amounts for exterior and interior marketing-related features, pre-leasing activities, general marketing, and promotional materials and events.

A typical marketing budget includes:

  • Exterior Marketing- Directional signs, identification signs, banners, and flags.
  • Interior Marketing- Model apartments, sales displays;
  • Preleasing - A website, flyers, voice mail setup, staff, signs for construction and leasing, advertisements in appropriate websites and publications;
  • Recognition Marketing - Advertising campaign, staff, promotion materials, public relations, press releases and other print media, community involvement in charitable events, memberships in community organizations; and
  • Other- Nominations for awards, move-in gifts, goodwill gestures to outside leasing agents and contractors.

For Leasing Up New Projects, The Rule Of Thumb For The Budget Is The Following...

  • Suburban Garden Apartments-  $400-600 per unit (for 200 units at $500 per unit, the budget would be $100,000 over 12 months, or $ 8,000 per month);
  • Urban Mid Rise-  $800-$1,000 per unit; and
  • Urban High Rise- $1,500-$2,500 per unit ( leasing is done by floor, and rental prices are higher than other types of apartments and conversion rates [converting leads to leases] are lower).

About 60 to 70 percent of the total budget should go to internet marketing.

Marketing in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television should receive approximately 20 percent.

The remainder goes for temporary signage, banners, and outdoor signage, such as subways, billboards (one billboard can cost $5,000), advertising dioramas in shopping malls, and so forth.

" Developing A Real Estate Development Marketing Strategy"

A marketing strategy is the philosophy team supports and consistently follows throughout the life of the project. The strategy focuses on what is to be done, why, and the projected outcome.

Once it has been identified through market analysis, every aspect of development-from design through property management-should reinforce the appeal of the project to that sub-market.

After the development program and marketing strategy are established, preparation of project objectives can help the marketing team understand the strategy, as well as, the basic facts about the product and the market.

The property's advantages should be clearly defined. What make the property different, better, or more marketable than it's competitor's? In short, what makes it special from the point of view of marketing?

A project's distinctiveness may be its affordability, location, aesthetics, units, lifestyle, or other characteristics that make it outshine the competition.

You should consider hiring a public relations firm to handle your real estate development marketing.

" Public Relations Tasks For Real Estate Development Marketing"

A developer who hires a public relations firm to work on behalf of his/her organization should expect that firm to undertake the following tasks:

1. Develop a program.

2. Compile fact sheets and biographies for the developer's company, projects, product(s), and principals. Assist in developing a company website.

3. Identify potential story lines: announcements of new products and openings, for example, personnel appointments, awards, design features.

4. Write simple, concise releases that include all pertinent facts and affix a dollar value if at all possible. Post on the website.

5. Develop a local, regional, and national press list for print, broadcast, and the internet. Identify reporters who wish to receive news via e-mail, fax, or mail.

6. Make personal contact with news media representatives on the press list.

7. Establish contacts with national trade publications and consumer magazines and newspapers.

8. Try to place interview articles for the development company's principals.

9. Obtain media kits and editorial calendars from all appropriate national and trade publications.

10. Plan regular visits to local, regional, and national media as appropriate. Invite media representatives to visit the developer's offices and projects.

11. Obtain dates of awards competitions; coordinate design and marketing awards.

12. Try to place the company's principals as speakers for local, regional, and national conferences.

13. Develop a photograph file of people and projects and a graphics file of renderings, logos, and so on.

14. Develop a mailing list of the developer's old, present and potential clients for promotional mailings ( if not handled by the marketing director).

15. Reprint articles about the developer's projects that appear in magazines and newspapers. Use them, accompanied by a letter, for direct mailings to client list. Post articles on the company website.

16. Establish contact with the public relations directors of all the developer's clients and coordinate projects to secure mention for the developer's projects in client news releases and advertisements.

17. Call, e-mail, or send thank you notes to press who feature the developer's projects.

In closing, getting the PR right, is what successful real estate development marketing is all about. Having a great website is an important part of that, as we discussed.

Next, you should hire a local or regional real estate PR firm to assist you with your marketing efforts.

I hope I was able to shed some light on real estate development marketing. As always, we look forward to your comments and suggestions.

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