Consumption for the Real Estate Consumer
Part 1 of 3 by Milan Baic
The problem for condo sales and marketing initiatives has always been differentiation. In a competitive market like Toronto, how does a condo development differentiate itself from the hundreds of other projects going on at the same time? Prospects have never had so many options at their disposal, and have never been as sophisticated as they are today. Luxury developments have also had difficulty with effectively demonstrating value to prospects through traditional means of sales and marketing. As a result, marketing agencies have become more versatile in delivering their message. One of the more prominent means of doing so has been through digital, which is the one I will focus on.
Digital and traditional marketing have always been two distinct disciplines, each carrying their own objectives in a marketing campaign. The real estate industry has been dominated by marketing agencies established in the traditional print era moving their way onto digital media. For over a decade now, the PC has played a vital role for digital marketing where agencies would build websites on the design principles they established in print material. The problem with the PC was that it has always been constrained to a desk, and while laptops allowed mobility, they were clunky and awkward to present on. With the beginnings of mobile computing, smartphones have taken on much of the attention for many marketing initiatives to appeal to consumers on the go. However, smartphones are limited by their screen size, forcing agencies to simplify and downgrade their message for bite-size consumption.
Enter the era of tablet computing (or the iPad). 2011 is the year where tablets are effectively starting to replace PC’s and evolve the nature of how we consume information. This is a time that developers should pay attention to, and where the sales environment will change. The tablet allows digital and traditional marketing to merge into one… with the interactivity and dynamic nature of digital, and the intimate and tactile feeling of print. Tablets such as the iPad could be an ideal addition to the current sales environment. 2011 will also bring a tidal wave of tablets from various manufacturers producing ever more powerful and affordable products. For condo sales, this means enhancing the presentation center with relatively cheap technology more engaging and relevant to the prospect. Traditional marketing agencies are trying to catch up. They are essentially combining traditional thinking with contemporary problems, by re-purposing their traditional knowledge into modern vehicles like social media and mobile marketing. This approach does not work – the mindset is not there to innovate (I will get to more of this later). Developers need to speak the language of the consumer, and that means adapting to their lifestyle and current technological trends. These trends are changing lives, and how we consume information. Digital agencies at the forefront of mobile computing and the social web are going to emerge as leaders, and where developers should turn to for innovative ideas.
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