Property Developer Marketing Strategies

How many property developers are there in Pattaya nowadays? What with the massive influx of condominium developers and the few housing developers, I think we could safely say somewhere in the region of 20 major developers.
What has become a very interesting point are the different marketing strategies all of these developers use to promote their projects. We are seeing a benchmark for condominium marketing set by some of the bigger developers such as Heights Holdings, Nova & Matrix. But what is interesting is the different forms of advertising they use. What is more interesting than this, is the developers that seems to do virtually no advertising? Do these developers see advertising as an expense, or what it really is, an investment to obtain their objective sales targets over a planned period of time, and also giving them a marketing advantage over the competitors?
Marketing is about creating a brand, and branding is recognition. Most of the bigger developers have slogans to support their branding, such as “We Build our Promises” & “Developing the Future”, which also creates that recognition. All project marketing should be aligned to your original outline, whether TV, magazine or email, otherwise you can create confusion, and a confused customer will not buy.
So the question we poise is, are smaller developers being left behind in this mass of local marketing from the bigger developers, or is there some “behind the scene” plan that we don’t know about.
Going back to what I mentioned before, that we see most of the developers advertising in different formats, shows how they feel their budgets work better for them. We see almost all of the projects are advertised in local magazines and newspapers. Many are on the local TV and then we have other areas such as the massive signboards on the 7 Highways as you drive into town from Bangkok, web-sites and radio, and probably the most common the street signs.
What has become apparent lately are the number of developers that have seen that maybe they are unable to compete with the larger developers in town, and have studied other areas to market outside of Thailand, and have shown that this to can be productive. One such project that has just won an award in Thailand for “Best Boutique Development” had virtually no local or national advertising in Thailand, but was focused in the Singapore and overseas expedition markets. “South Beach” by Beach Properties has proven to be a great success with around 95% sold out and was completed on time.
The main marketing strategies in the local market for the major developers seem to be “price driven”. Most of the advertising reflects on the lowest priced units, which in turn will attract the buyers. In terms of the smaller developers, with slightly higher build costs due to the size of their project probably won’t benefit from such a marketing direction, and so many seem to promote features as their benefits. These smaller developers may have higher build costs and lower profit margins, but in essence they still need to sell their product as quickly as possible. Tudor Court by Tudor Group has focused over the years on European build standards that have been introduced into their projects and they have stuck to their game plan since day one.
With some of the numbers being quoted on the many different types of tourist and expat arriving in the area, it would make sense to study this area of the market also. We have the Chinese, Indian and Korean tourist numbers are likely to be the main increase. So where to go from here?
All of the developers will have a budget for their marketing set aside, or should have anyway. I do hear figures from two percent up to five percent of the projected sales figures as a marketing budget, dependant on the salable square meters of the entire project. Many developers will conduct this in-house, and many will ‘farm’ the work out to a marketing company. What is essential is that whoever does carry out the marketing have studied where the budget will be spent. Should the marketing be front end loaded, with major marketing spend prior to the project being launched, so spreading the budget in percentages over the projected build time. Identifying the correct channels to connecting with your targeted consumer, so identifying the consumer prior to starting marketing again is essential.

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