In my nearly two decades of real estate marketing, one thing stood out: different marketers tended to present the same properties with different skills - some merely presented features which the customer could easily see for themselves and needed no presentation! While others were consistently very focused and skillful on selling the benefits of the properties besides delivering good service to the prospects over what was done by their competitors.
To all my fellow real estate marketers out there, have no doubt about this: If you want to achieve higher sales in real estate, you have to be better than your competitors in two important areas:
1. your 3 Ps on services - people quality, physical evidence and procedural/process superiority; and
2. your presentation on the 4 Ps of your property - the Product's benefits, the Price's advantages, the Promotional aspects and the Place's locational benefits.
Be very clear about this: Presentation of real estate premises - whether for sales or lettings - is critically important in effective real estate marketing simply because it is almost always done during the final critical phase of the customer's decision making process: that is, the 'Action to Buy' phase, after the customer have gone through the 'Awareness', the 'Interest' and the 'Desire' phases because of our earlier promotion efforts.
To do well, always bear this in mind: The objective of your 'presentation of real estate premises'must always be to turn a prospect - who has been made "aware" of your premises; whose "interest" in the premises has been raised and whose "desire" to buy has been aroused by our earlier marketing efforts to the extent of availing himself to attend your 'presentation' - into an actual buyer or tenant or lessee.
During this presentation phase, there is direct contact and interaction between the prospect and you the marketer (whether called the marketing executive, the sales representative or another equivalent name): the 3Ps on services - people quality, physical evidence, process / procedural superiority - of the marketer are as important as the 4 Ps on the real estate premises / products vis-a-vis those which are offered by your competitor(s).
Have no distraction about this: The focus in your presentation of real estate properties must always be:
1. The 3 Ps for the delivery of excellent service to the customer:
a. The People Quality - i.e. the marketing executives or sales representatives who carry-out the presentation should consistently demonstrate
iii) good grooming,
iv) a caring attitude,
vii) problem-solving ability; and,
b. The Physical Evidence of the marketing firm - cleanliness, neatness and orderliness; or, even the car of its marketer in which the customer may be fetched to and fro for the presentation should all inspire customer confidence that he is in good hands; the marketer should look well in dressing, social etiquette and mannerism;
c. The marketing firm's and the marketer's working Processes / Procedures must inspire utmost confidence and are customer-friendly.
2. The 4 Ps of your properties:
a. Product (Customer's Benefits) - highlighting all the superior benefits of our product features: in the case of a condominium, for example, the availability of broadband; landed terrace in the sky; comprehensive condominium facilities; 24-hr good security; entry by access cards; 'extras' in the form of 'built-ins', air-conditioners, solar water heaters, its superior layout, view, orientation, size of kitchen, bedrooms, living-halls, number of parking lots sold together as accessory parcels appurtenant to the property, etc;
b. Price (Costs to Customer) - highlighting overall cost factors to the customer as being more value for money or simply cheaper. These cost factors may be:
i) Sale Price in $ per sq. m.
ii) Transactional costs: Legal fee, any waiver; Stamp duties, any waiver; Authorities' Consent application fees, if any; Others;
iii) Costs-in-use: Service charges or maintenance fees; Landlord may want to highlight that the servicing of air-conditioners is on the Landlord and/or there will be periodic house-cleaning service for free, etc;
c. Promotion (Communication): the real estate premises will be "prepared" and/or 'tidied-up' into such conditions as to make the customer feel good about the the property during the presentation -- pre-presentation checklist should include: general cleaning; orderly arrangement of furniture and the movables; soft lighting and/or soothing background music for home-buyers, if possible; drinks or light refreshments and so on. Promotion or communication objective during this critical 'Action' phase must be to make the customer feel good or nice about the premises that you are presenting - or, he simply won't buy or rent!
d. Place of Distribution (Convenience to Customer) - Apart from hard-selling on the locational advantages of your property, if your customer has logistical difficulties in getting to the premises of presentation, the customer should be fetched to and fro for the presentation. Of course, this should only be done after you have done some discreet screening and are satisfied that the customer is a genuine customer and would pose no security problems to our marketer.
To oursell your competitors, always remember this: Be very focused on the above points - the 3 Ps of your service and the 4 Ps of your real estate products - and always strive to present them to your prospects better than what your competitors can do. Never be myopic nor "see it yourself" in your presentation of your properties.
By GT TANHALIM
All comments on the topic are welcome and do look out for an ebook elaborating on the subject soon in http://www.GT-iBiz.com (now under construction).
http://www.GT-iBiz.com (under construction)
Special thanks to many renowned marketing gurus especially Mr. Philip Kotler from whose books many of us must have become wiser marketing-wise!