Last edited 21 Mar 2019

Main author

Alex Harvie Other Consultant Website

Property marketing

Contents

[edit] Types of property marketing

Traditional property marketing is driven by the simple commercial objective of making a single building or plot attractive to a targeted audience. The aim is usually to secure a single type of time-limited transaction (sale/PRS/lease). The notes below describe marketing work undertaken once planning permission has been granted.

[edit] Commercial offices marketing

This tends to target office agents, with the focus on the building’s features and technical specification. Recently, commercial schemes have begun to focus on the attractions of the local area, and a few emphasise the lifestyle elements of the building, giving agents ammunition for conversations with potential office tenants. Commercial offices marketing collateral generally includes:

Timing – speculative deals can be agreed on larger office floor plates, allowing the tenant/owner to have an influence over elements of the design through the construction process. Smaller office spaces (particularly in London) tend to be delivered in spaces fitted out to ‘CAT A plus’ enabling a tenant to simply furnish the space before moving in.

The offices market is undergoing rapid changes at the moment in response to current conditions as well as the success of large, serviced-office companies, such as the American WeWork, which are responding to the increasing number of smaller companies and sole traders wanting flexible office spaces.

[edit] Residential sales property marketing

This generally packages the lifestyle associated with the development to make it feel appealing. Property marketing collateral for sales attracts significantly higher budgets (as it is offset against sales by most developers). It generally includes:

  • A brand for the project, see Brand guidelines.
  • A website showing CGIs of the completed scheme as well as lifestyle images associated with living there
  • A host brochure for the plot. If phased, a building brochure for each phase
  • Floor plans, divided by floor and showing living accommodation.
  • Film fusing CGI elements to show what is under construction with the aspirational lifestyle elements of the building.
  • Marketing suite – this is generally a mock-up apartment dressed in keeping with the lifestyle associated with the scheme.
  • A model of the building at a large enough scale to be useful in a sales conversation. Many of these can light up individual apartments, connecting to an interactive screen which is able to show CGI views out of individual apartments.
  • Advertising, branding on hoarding around the scheme.
  • Giveaways (branded bags, umbrellas, pens etc).
  • Social media messages providing an alternative sales channel.

Many residential sales schemes in London also market their schemes overseas, typically in the Asian markets. This requires additional collateral designed for a different marketplace as the Asian market has different views about heritage, for example. Overseas models are typically smaller as they have to fit into flight cases.

There are a number of larger developers creating multiple schemes. Some developers hold a master brand, delivering similar product across all their schemes (eg Barratt Homes) while others create a range of schemes with different localised brands (eg Peabody Sales).

Timing – many schemes sell ‘off plan’, allowing the developer to use income from these early sales to fund the construction. This means buyers own their property before it exists, at a market price which pre-dates its actual delivery.

[edit] PRS (Private Rented Sector)

Many developers are now delivering PRS buildings, where they remain the long-term land lord and rent apartments. Many PRS schemes target young professionals as a group able to pay higher rents but currently unable to find sufficient funds to buy property. PRS schemes vary in the amount of shared amenity they offer, but it is typically intended to create a sense of community and offset the relatively small unit sizes, for example a cinema space which can be hired out or a large kitchen for shared meal-making.

Marketing messages tend to highlight aspiration and the convenience of the PRS lifestyle.

PRS tends to go to market much later in the construction cycle as tenants typically see round a completed (and furnished) unit. As they target the end user rather than potential investors, PRS units are not marketed overseas. PRS marketing collateral is generally less luxurious than that produced for residential sales, and generally includes:

  • A brand for the project, see Brand guidelines.
  • A website showing images of interiors of the bedrooms as well as lifestyle images associated with living there.
  • Office on site so potential tenants can see the space they propose renting.
  • Advertising in channels used by the target audience.
  • Giveaways (branded bags, umbrellas, pens etc).
  • A social media voice, particularly as many young professionals judge places on their social media presence before they visit a website.

See:

[edit] Mixed-use marketing

The task of marketing mixed-use developments is the most complex form of property marketing. A mixed-use scheme is delivered over a long, phased programme which targets multiple audiences.

Mixed-use marketing needs to take into consideration how the commercial objectives underpinning the scheme will change over time. Best practice in mixed-use marketing blends and balances messages into a layered and connected long-term programme designed to shift perception in multiple marketplaces, while also gaining buy-in and support from local groups.

Mixed use marketing will typically require the same collateral as other property marketing:

  • A brand for the project, see Brand guidelines.
  • A master website.
  • A master brand with campaign brands which feed into it for separate plots.
  • Multiple host brochures targeting different audiences.
  • Floor plans.
  • CGIs of the completed scheme as well as lifestyle ima\ges associated with living there.
  • Multiple films, including lifestyle and B2B supporting the credibility of the developer.
  • Marketing suites and possibly visitor space.
  • A model of the scheme, models of specific buildings.
  • Advertising, branding on hoarding around the scheme.
  • Giveaways (branded bags, umbrellas, pens etc) for sales/leasing conversations.
  • Regular newsletters to local people explaining the construction programme.
  • A regular events programme for local people and the scheme’s new residents.
  • A community engagement space.
  • Multiple social media platforms. This needs to be real. Engagement is key.

Mixed use marketing tends to focus on SEO (search engine optimisation), digital placemaking, engagement and partnership working in order to create a brand identity strong enough to last multiple campaigns over time.

Timing: perception change work typically takes longer than a traditional property cycle as it is not possible to rely on short-term advertising or a single campaign. However it is possible to see a shift in perception metrics quite quickly once work begins.

See

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

--Alex Harvie 12:17, 06 Aug 2018 (BST)