Real estate marketing is all about the dream. You are not selling a plot of land, four walls and a roof, you are selling a lifestyle, a place, a culture. You are selling a home. There are plenty of ways to sell that dream and make it a reality to any number of prospective buyers. I am not here to tell you how to sell a property. People have been doing that successfully long before I breathed my first breath on this planet. I am here to tell you that it’s never been easier to get a leg up on the competition. The internet is filled with resources that will up your real estate game so high, people will think you are in bed with the mafia.
Sometimes that help can be overwhelming and difficult to sift through, so it is important to know what you are looking for and where to look for it. We have gathered a few great resources that will make your real estate marketing skills even better. Some of these will help to understand the market you are selling or developing in, while others will aid in other aspects of the development itself.
One of the most valuable assets to any real estate agent or marketer is a good architect - one willing to design buildings that are efficient, attractive, and most importantly, will sell. The truth is, it is a lot harder than it sounds to find that architect. Just like with any business, there are a lot of designers out there who may promise the world and deliver a rotten egg.
Architizer offers a free service that allows you to do a comprehensive search for any state based on project types ranging from residential to institutional. You’ll then be able to browse the best possible candidates based on body of work and client experience, setting a gauge for which to set expectations for any speculative endeavour.
You might be asking yourself, why would an architect be useful to a real estate marketer? While it’s true, by the time the marketing team has control of the sale, the property has already been designed, developed, and likely already well on its way to being built. However, for real estate outfits that like to have their hands in all the cookie jars, you might be working on a project from conception all the way though sale. In these cases, an architect will be a vital part of the team to make it happen. If they know what they are doing, it can mean the difference between a profitable development and a monumental success. Not only that, but you can take pride in the fact you are making the city a better place by developing interesting, sustainable, and attractive properties for everyone to enjoy.
I really cannot get much easier than this. Easy Render is an online freelance service that connects architects, designers, and real estate marketers with capable 3D modeling and rendering software gurus who will produce realistic images of speculative projects for affordable prices.
This service has become invaluable to real estate agents and marketers. It is one thing to have a beautifully designed condo building in a desirable location with luxury units, but it is an entirely different thing to have lifelike images of that property before the foundation is poured. Being able to show people exactly what you have to offer leads to more pre-sales than when Apple announce the new iPhone. If there is one thing for sure: people want to know what they are buying. The better and more accurately you can provide that information, the higher the price you can demand.
Easy Render has its name for a reason. You can be connected to a freelancer on the other side of the globe, quickly and easily. From there, it’s a simple matter of correspondence with the artist before a quick turn-around. Easy Render also has other resources and information for software engineers and architects that are helpful for smaller firms looking to brighten up their portfolio. A one stop shop, indeed.
This is a great one for those of you who live in the United States of America (USA). Texas A&M University put together a national database that shows state and county data for all permits being issued for residential purposes. You can search the database annually and monthly, and separate the searches from single family to multi-family projects.
This information is useful for a number of reasons, the biggest being able to identify trends in the housing market depending on where it is you are selling. The records don’t get as specific as to gauge the housing market in any particular neighbourhood, but it does paint a general picture of new or renovated housing market trends all the way back to 1980. This information can be used to develop marketing strategies based on educated forecasts of the future of the real estate market as a whole. Historic data sites such as these help predict when to develop, when to sell, and when to hold onto those cards.
If you are doing anything in the commercial real estate market, the CBRE Research Gateway might just become your best friend. To put it simply, they are the world’s largest commercial real estate investment manager, making this research gateway a valuable commodity for anyone getting into the field.
You will find research and reports on a global scale that can give way to investing trends, marking fluctuations, and development growth in specific areas of the world. The reports are detailed, and if used properly can give any real estate marketer a huge advantage as far as what to invest where and when.
That is the good news. The bad news is everyone has access to these reports, so ultimately it’s what you do with them that really counts. This is no pot of gold or easy out, it is one of a number of important inputs that can inform development decisions. It is important, as a real estate marketer, to understand the market so as to inform the rounding out of the target market. I remember hearing something about knowledge being power?
HousingWire is one of the better ways to keep track of the housing market. At its core, it is a blog focused on providing news and data for buyers, sellers, clients and agents. A melting pot of resources any real estate marketer should be well equipped to lean on. One particularly useful section of the website is dedicated to a blog where opinions from industry leaders offer insight into their thoughts on the current state of the economy, the housing market, and specific aspects of development.
This should not be a site you land on once a month. Rather it should become part of your daily routine. Drink it in every morning along with your jelly donut, hot mochaccino and the funnies.
If your job is to understand the market and what people think about the market, this is a great asset - or at least one of them. If you lose touch with what is happening outside your windowless cubicle, you lose your effectiveness as a marketer.
Perhaps the most well-known design and architecture blog on the planet, ArchDaily is an important resource for marketers looking to zone in on the latest trends in building design. Not only that, but the thousands of backlogged projects can provide inspiration to do something great, and more importantly, something that will sell.
Next time you have a kick-off meeting with a group of designers, bring with you a few images of what you are thinking for the perspective development. Some architects will turn up their nose, but the good ones will work with you to create something beautiful, affordable, and market appropriate.
Architects and real estate agents haven not always seen eye to eye when it comes to what people want. The designer is concerned with how the thing looks, the agent is concerned with how the thing sells. The marketer can unite the two into what amounts to a successful project on all fronts. Utilizing these resources along with many others can go a long way to achieving that.