The global real estate sector and of course housing hunting by real estate consumers are going digital on very fast lanes, leveraging on information technology and marketing communication digital tools in their real estate business transactions. In advanced economies of the world, housing hunting by real estate consumers is fast gaining ground.
The COVID-19 pandemic which saw so many businesses operating digitally from home has equally given leap to this development that has seen so many real estate firms, agencies and brokers and their consumers closing deals without meeting physically with any of the parties.
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As a matter of fact, so many global real estate businesses that were hitherto not strong online before the advent of COVID-19 are today operating digitally, embracing the entire spectrum of integrated marketing communication – public relations, marketing, advertising, and media bunched together. Such businesses can never operate optimally without their online marketing strategies post COVID-19.
In 2020 for example, the pandemic paved way for online searching and real estate business transactions. The global real estate online market saw a significant increase. An online real estate company should be data driven; most consumers prefer to shop online and have their homes and apartments delivered to them. This is empirically proven by over one hundred per cent real estate transaction by the global company in its post-pandemic business activities.
In the Nigerian context, where most real estate firms are yet to embrace digital communication as a business development and sales strategy, it is imperative for them to quickly align with the changing global trends and remain competitive in the global real estate market.
At present, few Nigerian real estate firms are embracing digitalisation at a very slow pace and online consumers are on daily growth, searching for the best online platforms to connect and meet their housing needs both for commercial and residential purposes. Incidentally, there are online platforms that deliver services across all sectors, but they are not real estate professionals to efficiently drive the need of real estate consumers in that space. As real estate professionals, we must own and manage our online spaces so effective and deliver real value to our clients, prospect and stakeholders at large.
Operating well in the online space of the real estate industry comes with manifold benefits. Besides brand repositioning, it distinguishes the firm from the crowd; builds brand equity for the brand, and gets connected to so many online opportunities and prospects.
Gaining local and international relevance for immediate and far-reaching market dominance is another benefit that comes with the digitalisation of a real estate business.
As forward-thinking organisations, real estate firms should adequately leverage the social media platforms to promote their business, connect to online clients and prospects. Their digital campaigns should be top-notch, resonating and engaging enough to drive the needed online traffic and impressions that will lead to sales.
Real estate professionals with a very strong knack for media creativity should be hired by firms to develop their online marketing and sales strategies. They should equally be trained to run the campaigns and manage their website and social media handles. The benefits of going digital as a real estate business, agency, or firm cannot be overemphasised.
Nasiru Gaya Maje, an estate surveyor and valuer, sent this from Abuja.