The world is changing bit by bit; frenetic urban lifestyle is being gradually replaced by overtly cautious patterns of living. The office conferences have moved online, people have started feeling accommodated to the pattern of endless staring at their laptops.
This lack of personal touch can be intimidating and pose as a big obstacle when it comes to establishing trust and credibility between a developer and a potential homebuyer. Buyers immerse themselves in lots of research and planning before they invest in a property. Visiting construction sites was a crucial part of that research that helped them get better insights.
Ever since this Corona virus has entered our lives, the fear of contagion has made social distancing the new norm. The same repulsion from new places and people is observed among the buyers and developers, when it comes towards visiting the construction sites. In order to ensure that the sales do not go muted for this period of lockdown; developers have taken the road to digital transformation. Virtual tours are helping developers establish new dynamic with their buyers the need to do better always exists.
Why are transparency and trust-building crucial?
Buying a home for most of the people still remains their biggest lifetime investment. They would certainly not put their hard-earned money into the hands of a developer who isn't vigilant and keen towards their concerns. Homebuyers now are likely to be more interested in knowing about the cleanliness and maintenance terms for ready to move in projects. The virus has made us revise all our cleaning and hygiene standards especially in group housing societies. In such scenarios, developers must be prepared to justify the higher maintenance costs in lieu of the extra precautionary measures being undertaken by the maintenance staff.
Developers have launched lucrative schemes like never before, during this lockdown. Although it is an out of the box marketing and sales idea, but buyers would need more information than that. Homebuyers would need more clarity and transparency as to how they will be bereft of the financial burden. A responsible developer would make sure he/she explains the deferred payment layout and its flexibility to the buyers, for avoiding any confusion later.
Steps for building trust
• Your potential customer gets more assurance if he gets to see your track record as a developer. Online Reputation Management is going to come handy in this time, when the buyers are completely relying on the digital medium for searching their dream home. Make sure the social media pages are updated and responsive to the online queries.
• A developer's credibility is increased manifold, if he maintains his public image as a market expert. This can be done via participating in leading financial and real estate industry stories happening around.
• Testimonials give you that missing edge; they can be from your existing customer base and investors. Be open to the idea of interaction between your existing buyers and potential buyers.
• Commemoration, anniversary days, project inauguration may not look like something vital, but they are a direct reflection to your legacy in the business of delivering homes. This gives a promise to your future buyers.
In the present uncertain times, buyers genuinely interested in investing in a property would be demanding more and more information just to be sure. Developers should not be laid back in their approaches and only let customer service, mailers and SMS spread the word. It is time to deeply understand the changing homebuyer's mindset and be prepared enough to tailor your offerings accordingly.
Trends must be closely observed, they can be responses from real estate aggregator websites, engagement and responses on your social media pages. The trends will help them in developing campaigns and marketing models which have better chances of user engagement.
Mr. Rajat Goel, JMD, MRG World