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New sales and marketing strategies need of the hour to mitigate COVID-19 impact on real estate industry, says NAREDCO

New sales and marketing strategies need of the hour to mitigate COVID-19 impact on real estate industry, says NAREDCO
  • Developers need to upgrade and adopt new technologies and construct as per consumers’ demand. 
  • Affordable housing will be significant due to the lower interest rates and government subsidy benefits.
  • Demand is back, buyers are searching for bigger houses due to the work-from-home trend and schooling requirements of their kids
  • Upcoming Festive season to bring buyers and boost sales

New Delhi: With an objective to boost the real estate growth and development, NAREDCO today hosted a Workshop on ‘Sales and Marketing in Real Estate in Current Times’ along with EY (knowledge provider), on a common digital platform to shared ideas and experiences of all real estate stakeholders and come to a solution to increase sales considering the demand and requirements of customers in the post-pandemic era.

Since COVID-19 has hit the country, NAREDCO has been consistently and actively engaging with the developer’s community and other stakeholders from banking, government agencies, technology experts, and various real estate community players to find solutions to multiple issues relating to liquidity, lower sales numbers, consumers’ sentiments, government policies, etc. It has educated developers on several issues that have cropped up due to the pandemic and new trends which emerged during the last few months in the country.

Today’s workshop laid emphasis on ‘Changing customer landscape and buying behavior’, developers’ response to the current changes, marketing strategy during this pandemic, digitalization across the customer journey and accelerate sales velocity, measures taken by the government and RBI over the last couple of months.

NAREDCO President, Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani laid a lot of emphasis on the adoption of new marketing trends and boost the sales number by up-gradation and referred the year 1991 and changes some car manufacturing companies adopted and survived while those who did not were left behind.

Dr. Hiranandani said, “Sales and marketing have become extremely important in this COVID-19 era. There is an old story, I remember, but worth counting. In the year 1991, how some car manufacturing companies adopted to new changes and upgraded themselves and survived and hit a large sales numbers while those who did not were either left behind or vanished from the market. Changes took place in the real estate industry in the last few years due to demonetization, GST, RERA, and now COVID. In real estate, the paradigm has changed and the real estate works differently. NAREDCO has worked with the government for affordable housing, reduction in stamp duty charges, and banking institutions. Now the interest rates are the lowest ever in the history of India. Buyers are effectively paying about just 2% so this is the best time to buy a home. With Roti, Kapda has already taken care of now makaan has to be the focused area. This workshop has educated us in understanding how can we market and sell our products.”

Though the demand for residential units has always existed, the uncertainty due to COVID-19 has created a significant disruption for developers, customers, financial institutions, and the associated eco-system. This has also presented a new opportunity and the way of working for the eco-system as a whole. Due to the pandemic lockdown, the marketing activities had totally come to a grinding halt, and sales were also hit significantly.

Now the demand has come back and customers are buying homes considering the requirements of work-from-home trends and they have a feeling that house is what they need during a time like this when a large number of people with no homes had to leave for their hometowns during the lockdown period.

Mr. Hemant Panicker, Joint General Manager – Regional Business Head- Mumbai and Vidarbha, HDFC, said, “From June onwards, we have seen an overwhelming customer response for housing loans. There is a pandemic experience and need to have a house in consumers. We have seen increased demand for ready apartments and larges houses where people can work from home and also meet the requirements of schooling and other things. Even during the lockdown, people were not able to visit the sites but the interest never died down. They were searching for homes. Now we are almost at the 80% level and in this month we are expected to come back to a 100% level.”

In the workshop, developers highlighted that how customers have already returned to the market and they want to take advantage of the lowest home loan interest rates, reduced stamp duty charges, and various other offers available in the market. The festive season is expected to boost the sales considering buyers are now getting multiple benefits for owning their own house.

 NAREDCO Maharashtra, President Mr. Rajan Bandelkar said, “The confidence of buyers has increased now and their queries are also increasing day by day. Whatever launches happened in that we could deliver ready products on that basis. Now is the time for under-construction products. Developers need to market their products properly and avoid over-committing. Let’s change our rules of the game, we have to upgrade in this e-governance and social media age.”

In today’s NAREDCO workshop, all opportunities which have been created due to COVID-19 have been discussed by the developer’s community and other panelists. The emphasis was laid on how adoptions to new requirements of customers and developers can be accommodated into an existing real estate ecosystem to draw demand for both ready-to-move-in and under-construction real estate inventories.

As the festive time is already knocking the door, developers have laid emphasis on how consumers demand have come back to a pre-COVID level now and they need to tap it by offering virtual tours to customers and provide them digital mediums to make their buying decisions.

Mr. Pradeep Aggarwal, Chairman, Signature Global added, “Developers will have to invest in their teams as if our teams do not become tech-savvy then we will be left behind. Customers will also adopt digital change when you start sharing information with him We need to work on lead management systems and social media which plays a big role. We need to reach people, who feel renting is a better option than buying and investing their money in equity or mutual funds, and tell them that buying a house is more important.

NAREDCO members have shared their experiences with an insightful discussion on how the industry, customer (needs, buying behavior, purchase journey), developers go-to-market (marketing/sales channel mix) has evolved since the break-out of the pandemic, and outlook on the festive season ahead. The role of digital technologies in accelerating sales velocity was also discussed by the real estate body members.

The workshop was moderated by Mr. Chaitanya Seth, Partner-Business Consulting, EY India, “The real estate industry faced problems even before the pandemic. COVID has accelerated the problems. Now there is a consumer behavior shift due to work from home and school-related requirements. Buyers need additional space to find a place to work peacefully in their homes. Developers will need to create a strategy on how to sell more and how to sell faster and mitigate low sales risk and create a positive ecosystem to accelerate sales velocity. One has to do deep dive in what are buyers buying, how are they buying and where are they buying. Today more than 90% of customers do online research before they enter the market to buy. Developers are therefore trying to make their homebuying journey smooth and hassle-free.”

NAREDCO workshop was successful in not only addressing pandemic related challenges but also to prepare its members for the upcoming festive time and how they can boost the sales through new marketing strategies.

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