12 Common Real Estate Development Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

March 20, 2024

12 Common Real Estate Development Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Successfully marketing a real estate development is no easy feat. It’s critical to strategically plan, invest in strong branding and measure performance to achieve great results. A strong marketing strategy helps your community and real estate business build brand awareness, engage your audience, capture and convert leads and so much more.

Effective real estate development marketing is comprised of several key components that should not be overlooked. Careless mistakes can harm you in the long term and deter your business or real estate development from opportunities for success.

That’s why it’s vital to be aware of common oversights and take preventative actions to ensure you’re making the most of your marketing plan without wasting your time and efforts. Improve your tactics for building a strong brand, generating leads, and making sales by eliminating common and costly mistakes.

Take a look below to discover 12 common real estate development marketing mistakes you should know to avoid.

1. Lack of Cohesive Branding and Graphic Continuity

To gain home buyer trust and earn credibility, your business and real estate development needs to have a recognizable brand presence and appearance.  Many developers attempt to build a real estate brand but fail to cohesively incorporate their logo, brand promise, color palette, voice, etc. into every marketing channel (website, social media, digital marketing, print advertising, video, streaming audio, etc.).

Ensure that both your online and offline marketing has a consistent look and feel that includes the same font, layouts, colors and style. The more you consistently share your real estate branding, the more recognizable and memorable it becomes to home buyers. And the more recognizable your business is, the more inclined home buyers will be to trust your brand and you will increase your brand awareness.

Creating and adhering to brand guidelines not only establishes your brand as reliable and credible but also provides a defined blueprint for your team to follow and reference in all marketing efforts. This allows your team to easily reference cohesive branding design guidelines to ensure consistency throughout all touchpoints.  

2. Failing to Find Your Unique Value Proposition

It’s crucial to remember that your business is one among many, which means communicating what sets your real estate development company or new home community apart is an essential part of a strong marketing strategy. Also known as your unique real estate value proposition, this element of your brand conveys your product and service offerings, as well as the distinctive value your company or community offers. Identifying a strong proposition will help your brand form a strong identity and brand promise that resonates with your target audience.

Why are you different from every other developer? What makes your community different from the competition? How does your marketing communicate that to buyers? How can you solve your buyers’ pain points? If you’re not sure of the answers to these critical questions, take the time to consider what makes your business and real estate developments special and why that matters to buyers.

A strong proposition statement, or brand promise, builds trust with your buyers, indicates an understanding of their values and reinforces your brand image. If you aren’t telling buyers why they should buy with you over the competition, why would they be convinced?

3. Depending on Limited Outreach Channels

The key to successfully engaging your buyers? Make sure your brand lives everywhere they are and targets them when and how they want to be reached! Whether they’re browsing search engine results, exploring social media, or reading emails, your brand should be readily available for them to access.

Often, developers rely on only a few marketing channels to reach their buyers, and that is a huge mistake. Putting all of your eggs in one basket means you’re missing opportunities to engage with your audience if they’re on different platforms than the singular channel you utilize. Instead, multi-channel marketing leverages several mediums (social media, blogs, landing pages, emails, digital/print ads, OTT/CTV, radio, etc.) to effectively reach your audience and increase interactions. Utilizing different platforms also allows your team access to important data to better understand how you are successfully reaching your target audience.

Whether you personally use social media regularly or not, this channel has become immensely popular as a top marketing strategy that cannot be ignored. Social media marketing is an essential marketing practice for the real estate industry as it offers a direct line of communication with buyers that helps drive sales. Data shows that the average person spends 147 minutes per day using social media. Failing to tap into this audience causes your company or community to fall flat against competitors and potentially lose new leads.

4. Not Conducting Market Research

As you implement any business strategy, an important step is to conduct thorough research. Many developers disregard this step and execute a real estate marketing plan without first gaining a sense of direction for their efforts. Without a proper investigation into what works best against competitors, understanding the current state of the market and knowing your target audience and their wants and needs, means missing opportunities to maximize the potential of your marketing efforts.

Market research helps your business set a strategic foundation and discover opportunities for success. Look into your local market, competitors, industry trends and buyer expectations. What strategies work for developers in your market, and what seems to fall flat? Use this information to elevate your marketing plan and understand the current expectations and needs of your market.

Things are always changing within the real estate industry, which means your research should be carried out continuously to provide a clear idea of what strategies will be most effective. Ongoing research allows your brand to consistently improve and satisfy your buyers with a sense of the best ways to approach your marketing plan.

5. Sticking with Sales-Focused Messages

There’s more to marketing than just making the sale. If you’re solely targeting consumers currently in the market for a new home, you’re missing a substantial audience that could be converted in the long term. Even if a buyer isn’t currently looking for a new home development, building awareness of your brand and community through engaging content can be beneficial for initiating long-term relationships. By working to form these memorable connections, your company will be top-of-mind when these buyers do become interested in buying a new home.

Effectively leading prospective buyers through the sales funnel is a crucial part of great marketing. However, some real estate companies make the mistake of singularly focusing on attracting leads to achieve immediate sales. It’s important to remember that leads need nurturing!

Neglecting the nurture and conversion stages of the funnel leads to missed opportunities for strong sales and earning buyer trust. A great deal of heavy lifting takes place during the nurture stage, as this is where marketers must build relationships through an array of brand outlets and work to establish confidence in potential buyers.

Try sharing content about points of interest relevant to your location such as local businesses, events, community causes, etc. This will help position your business as an active community participant rather than just a real estate development company. Another idea is to promote user-generated content to deliver authenticity and build brand credibility. Sharing content created by followers, clients or employees helps your brand provide stories that speak to its dedication to the people that lead and support the business.

6. Using Poor Imagery/No Videos

Utilizing high-quality visual content is incredibly important, and it is especially necessary in the world of real estate. Photos and videos are crucial for showcasing your products, capturing audience attention, boosting engagement and establishing credibility. Ideally, images should provide well-rounded views of home exteriors and interiors, as well as the community streetscape, amenities and lifestyle imagery. Fail to provide great photos and prospective buyers may quickly lose interest, have a less than stellar first impression and continue with their new home search without a second glance.

Original lifestyle photography captured in your homes and communities increases the authenticity of your brand promise and helps you stand out against your competition. These photos capture the essence of a community and showcases the unique selling proposition offered to future residents.

Real estate videos also play a large part in garnering great engagement. Although some real estate developers disregard this strategy, they’re missing a key opportunity to appeal to their audience and keep with modern expectations. Today’s buyers desire immersive experiences that allow them to explore new homes from wherever they are, and videos allow developers to provide content that matches their expectations. Statistics show that 85% of internet users in the U.S. watch videos on their devices, which means sharing videos enables developers to reach and engage a substantial number of potential buyers.

7. Targeting Every Buyer

Although you may want any and all buyers to purchase your homes, it’s crucial to remember that everyone is not your buyer. This is a common mistake made by many companies within the real estate industry.

Instead of attempting to sell homes to anyone, target a specific audience based on the buyer profiles that best fit your homes, services and location. Without defining a target audience, your company won’t be able to effectively engage or resonate with any buyers. Real estate developer marketing strategies should deliver an intentional voice meant to reach a clearly defined audience to attract the right buyers for your brand.

A great way to begin understanding what the right audience looks like is by creating buyer personas that represent different categories of buyers most likely to show interest in your development. Ideal buyer personas include details such as age group, gender, location, income, marital status, preferred home type, desires, needs, lifestyle, pain points, commonly used online platforms, etc. This helps narrow your scope of potential buyers and discover the appeals that will work best to engage these audiences. Once you’ve created several personas, it will become easier to know the best ways to market your business and streamline brand development efforts.

8. Not Optimizing Website Design

One of the primary “faces” of your company is your website. That means it must deliver an appealing look, quick load speed, functional navigation, optimization for all devices and browsers and easy options to request information. The quality of the site’s design ultimately determines whether potential buyers will stay or click away. If your website design isn’t engaging or doesn’t function seamlessly, more site visitors won’t stay, which translates to fewer conversions and fewer sales.

Mobile Optimization - Optimizing your website for mobile is critical for ensuring a seamless website experience for a majority of visitors. Data reveals that mobile users account for approximately half of worldwide website traffic. Buyers will likely visit your website from their mobile devices, and your website must be up to par when they do so.

Quick Load Time - Website load time also has the potential to make or break your conversion rates. Instant gratification is the norm, and brands that can’t deliver are judged harshly for failing to accommodate buyer expectations. If a page takes longer than three seconds to load, you’ll lose 40% of consumers.

Calls to Action – Your website needs strong, well-placed calls to action to help guide buyers through the sales funnel. Any visitor should have a clear understanding of what they are expected to do next and how to act in order to learn more or receive one of your offers. Every page on the site should contain easily accessible options to contact your online sales team, fill out a form or engage with your content. Don’t make it difficult for visitors to convert – offer targeted links and buttons for easy action!

9. Ignoring Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategies

How easy would it be for buyers to search and discover your company? Where would you appear among their search results? If you’re unsure of the answers to these vital questions, you’re probably not focusing on your SEO. Without optimizing your site design and content, you’re missing opportunities to place your website on the first (and most visible) pages of search results. If your website is not included on the first page of search results, the chances of users discovering your page drop significantly.

Maintaining SEO strategies ensures that your company has a strong online search presence but ignoring this approach could mean losing potential leads. SEO offers the ultimate key to maintaining great organic traffic to your website. Your website’s SEO can be affected by several factors including page speed, mobile optimization, content quality, links used, the videos on your site, keywords used in blogs or descriptions, etc. Investing substantial time and effort into your SEO can result in fantastic traffic growth and more conversions.

10. Not Measuring Key Performance Indicators

It’s one thing to conduct marketing strategies, but it’s quite another if there is no set plan for measuring the results. Once you’ve executed tactics, how will you know if they were ultimately successful in helping achieve your objectives? Developing an idea of your key performance indicators (KPIs) is a must for understanding the ROI of your marketing investments.

KPIs enable you to measure success, gauge failures and learn how efforts can be improved moving forward. Various metrics to measure could include total leads, total sales, total visits, average time on site, lead conversion rate, cost per lead, sales conversion rate, engagement rates, etc. The indicators you choose to focus on will depend on the intended outcomes of your company’s marketing strategy. Keeping an eye on key metrics will allow you to gain valuable insight into how buyers are responding to your efforts, as well as actionable data that points you in the best direction for your marketing to maximize success.

11. Neglecting the Power of AI

In today's competitive market, real estate developers can't afford to ignore the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to personalize their marketing efforts and nurture leads more effectively. Here’s how failing to leverage AI for smarter marketing can hold you back:

Limited Personalization – AI can analyze user data and browsing behavior to create highly targeted marketing messages and recommendations. This allows you to showcase properties and highlight features that align with your buyers’ specific needs and interests. Without AI, you might be sending generic marketing blasts that get lost in the noise and fail to resonate with individual preferences.

Inefficient Lead Nurturing – AI can automate tedious tasks like lead scoring and drip email campaigns. These tools help you to prioritize your outreach efforts and keep potential buyers engaged throughout the sales funnel with relevant content and updates at the right time. Without AI, you might be only manually nurturing leads, which can be time-consuming and less effective. You may also miss out on valuable opportunities to reengage website visitors who haven’t converted yet.

Limited Market Insights – AI can analyze vast amounts of market data to identify trends and predict buying behavior. This allows you to make data-driven decisions about everything from pricing strategies to community amenities. Without AI, you might be relying on gut instinct or anecdotal evidence, which can lead to missed opportunities or costly marketing misfires.

By embracing AI, you gain valuable tools to personalize your marketing message, nurture leads more effectively and gain deeper market insights – all of which can give you a significant edge over competitors who are still relying on traditional methods.

12. Neglecting Homeowner Engagement

Many real estate developers focus their marketing efforts solely on attracting new buyers. However, fostering a strong sense of community among existing homeowners provides significant benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Happy homeowners are your best community and brand ambassadors. By creating a thriving community through engaging events, homeowner programs and consistent communication, you can encourage positive word-of-mouth recommendations that attract new buyers organically.

Developers working on long-term master-planned communities especially want to focus on homeowner engagement. Homeowners who feel connected and have built a life withing your development are more likely to consider upgrading within the same community down the road.

Dissatisfied homeowners may take to social media or online review platforms to express their concerns. The negative publicity can be damaging to your reputation and your brand, deterring potential buyers. However, if those homeowners know an open line of communication exists with your company and they trust you’ll be responsive, they’re more likely to come to you to express their dissatisfaction first. 

Avoid These Real Estate Development Marketing Mistakes and Stay Ahead with Milesbrand

Real estate development marketing is constantly shifting, and it’s vital to ensure your plan is up to par. Achieving strong brand awareness, engaging buyers and increasing lead conversions is only made possible by implementing an effective marketing strategy!

As an experienced real estate branding agency, we’ve seen countless real estate development marketing mistakes, and we have solutions! Reach out to our team to learn more about making the most of your real estate marketing strategy.

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