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Are buyers still browsing newspaper for new projects? My views.

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In a newspaper report on 12th Sept 2014, the Property Industry Survey by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (REHDA) revealed that 31% of properties in the RM500,001 to RM1 mil range were still unsold after completion in the past three years.The main reasons stated were because loan approval was tough and also due to the unreleased bumiputra lots. Most of these units were in Selangor and Johor. If you think this is negative, demand was still in fact still intact, according to REHDA president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor. It was only due to the government’s cooling measures which has made it much more difficult to sell successfully in the affordable housing segment. Note: Demand is still there. However, he further elaborated that in the most recent launches, less than 50% of units launched were sold after over half-year period.

Actually, as a buyer, I would like to just reiterate a very important point to developers. Pricing is very important these days because comparison between projects could easily be done, online. Any developer trying to push the pricing up higher than similar projects will not be successful. Of course, there are definitely some developers who has better branding than others and thus would carry a slight premium but this does not extend to just any developer in the market. Especially those who are famous for cutting corners. Those who have been selling for over 6 months would face a double whammy because they cannot sell lower or their first batch of buyers would be angry. Yet, they could not sell the remaining units without some special promotions…..

Marketing and Promotion. Today, even if I receive a leaflet in my mailbox, do you seriously think I would call the number stated or would I just browse online to know more about the project? Of course, if I am not interested at all, that leaflet would become a rubbish. Today, even when i drive along the road and I see a very interesting project, I would not try to read everything on the billboard. I would just remember the project name and later, browse online. If I suddenly had the urge to buy newspaper today, even if I see the one full page advertisement, I would still be using my smartphone or my wife’s tablet or my Macbook to review the project before I run to queue up for the project’s opening. I can safely assure you that nearly NONE of the buyers going to your launching would be holding a newspaper. Smartphones, sure.

It is ok, I think many of these developers still believe traditional medium is the best. That’s why they allocate a huge budget for these and then try to use as little of that allocated budget as possible. Think a little higher, extend your budgets further. There are reasons why many of the traditional newspapers are pushing their online subscription by giving special discounts and offers. Truth is, IF my hardcopy newspaper is doing extremely well, I would not be trying to kill my own business by pushing towards online. The largest companies in the world today include names like Google.com, Facebook.com and more. All these companies also call themselves a MEDIA company.

written on 12th Sept 2014

Next suggested article: Limited Units for many months, do not rush, buy objectively

 

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