2015 was not a great year for developers. H1 2015: Malaysia overall residential property market Some still hit their targets but many were not thrilled. 2016 may be another similar year. A few things differentiating the more successful ones where selling is concerned versus some still struggling to sell includes reputation, price, location and last but not least marketing and promotions. Last month, I met a Director of an advertising firm. He shared with me a story of a developer whose marketing department repeatedly tried to share the benefits of online but the management said NO. The management’s reasoning was that they have been in the business for a long time and that they were able to sell without online’s help previously. Last but not least, they said they already have a company website.
These days, due to the scarcity of prime pieces of land, developers are building further away. Staying further is a fact of life, everywhere Connectivity is being improved but the mindset about certain areas are not easy to change. Online is the only way fast and mass enough to quickly tell the world about it. Articles in newspapers may help but sharing is tough. A well written article online could however be shared fast and a website URL allows people to know more. As a buyer, I no longer buy without referring to my good friend Google for additional information. Seriously, we do not even buy a smartphone without checking about its reviews online these days, except buyers of iPhone. 🙂
With ‘affordability’ a factor, the sizes of new homes both landed or high-rise are becoming smaller. Read here: Only smaller units can be affordable In other words, the number of units to be sold is up. Total number of buyers needed are much higher. With stricter lending requirements, the loan rejections are increasing and thus selling 1,000 units of 850 sq ft apartments may require 2,000 buyers or higher. I hope everyone do note that these days, many developments are easily over 1,500 units and recently my friend said, ‘1,000 units? Wah, considered low density.’ It’s not hard to understand why. Same piece of land, used to be 1,000 units of 1,100 sq ft. Today, same piece of land, 850 sq ft meant 1,000 units become 1,300 units. Due to additional costs arising from building more units, 1,300 is not enough, thus they build more.
With the current sentiment, it’s an uphill task if the target group remains the same. For example, the development may be in Kepong but it’s no longer enough to target just the neighbourhood. Billboards may be effective but putting up billboards beyond Kepong is going to be cost prohibitive. With the right online exposure, perhaps Kepong can be a centre of attention too so that more people are aware of ‘why buy Kepong.’ It’s not enough to sell ‘affordability.’ The focus should also be on the ‘desirability as well’ Else, buyers would only stick to places they know best. This is where engagement with more online medias help, beyond just putting up one online advertisement and believe that’s enough.
In conclusion, the most important thing is not a debate of which media is better. Read here for an earlier view: Buyers today, property fairs today and ignorant developers It should be a question of how many media should be used for the maximum effect faster. Selling faster is extremely important these days so that the developer can then move on to the next phase which is to start construction. There’s just too many new projects coming up and most of the time, the newly launched ones tend to attract more attention compared to the ones launched a few months earlier. Still refuse to believe that using more media is necessary? Happy selling.
written on 17 Apr 2016
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