Communication drives sales11th Feb 2019
The residential community industry is enjoying year-on-year growth. The demand for a better-quality, family-centred lifestyle is driving the market and steering more and more individuals to invest in property in residential estates. Furthermore, foreign investors are now, more than ever, flocking to South African shores, and the communities in the existing environments are seeking opportunities to capitalise on their existing assets to compensate for a weakening Rand.
Current statistics show boundries of 6 500- plus residential communities in the country and solid growth of 15% in development and construction of residential communities on an annual basis. Competition in the market is healthy but fierce, so a solid brand communication and sales strategy is imperative.
The increase in new and competing developments is of particular interest to developers and estate management. Property prices are, to an extent, based on the service offering: state-of-the-art security, recreational facilities and a private on-site school facility usually make an estate more sought-after than one that doesn’t offer all of these amenities, and property prices reflect this. However, most estates these days are made up of very similar facilities, with a sound security system being a prerequisite, and as a result property prices are determined increasingly by location, demand and investment potential.
How a development brands itself and communicates to the consumer is a vital component of that developments perceived value. Brand management and communication are invaluable as the battle for market presence intensifies. A development’s brand is its mark of distinction, which helps set it apart from other developments of a similar nature, and holds out to the residents the promise of superior property values and investment potential.
A credible brand combined with a successful communication strategy is essential for maintaining a strong and lasting presence, attracting investors who will be quick to purchase, encouraging third-party suppliers to offer their best services, and retaining satisfied residents.
You’ve heard that “content is king”. By harnessing technology, the World Wide Web, social media, search engine optimisation and relevant linking – all necessary to communicating an experience powerfully – your content will gain grip and relevance and achieve mileage previously unimagined.
Your message, your creation, your campaign can now live on forever. You’ve created, not a Frankenstein’s monster, but a kind of miracle – a concept and environment that are both wonderful and daunting in their near-immortality.
This extends further than the last day of the last sale. Today’s news is no longer tomorrow’s fish-and-chip wrapping.
The longevity of content now also encourages quality of workmanship and credibility, and provides a long-term resource to tap for information, a kind of a guarantee at the beginning of any investment.
To create the most beneficial content, you need to go to the experts. Not just frilly wordsmiths, but rather experienced and insightful content curators. You need industry specialists who work the market every day. You want a team that’s been to your site, had drinks in your clubhouse, played golf on your course and, most of all, has got to know your community and others similar to it. For a new development, you want a team that understands what it takes to launch a new brand.
You should ensure that all content starts with credibility and association. You need to be showcased as a visionary, so it’s imperative to outline your vision. Detail your plans to make the vision a reality and discuss the solutions to real-time problems.
The communication strategy you follow should be holistic, incorporating print, digital, online, social and networking media platforms for best results. Your message is the silver thread that pulls it all together – and don’t underestimate the power of your images.
Estate Living is the industry expert that offers unique content creation and ensures the strategic distribution of that content. It’s a platform that fills a niche and plays an indispensable role in marrying aspects of branding, marketing, networks and communication between the market and potential investors, which ultimately drives sales.
As the conduit that brings together various relevant messages, all with the core promotional theme of driving the community and driving sales. Whatever you are promoting you need to do so in a manner that is reflective of your community and within its specific environments – direct, targeted and specific.
The Estate Living platform launched in 2012 and is dedicated to serving the specific interests of estates and developments in the domestic and foreign markets.
The platform and its people offer in-depth insight into this exclusive and continuously expanding sector. It serves as a go-to resource and an integrated communication channel.
The platform is an unbiased multimedia portal into the community, consisting of printed materials, digital publications and communications, a resource website and development portal, a referral business and affiliate network, an Airbnb division, and drone photography and videography services. Each medium and division serves to drive information, generate sales and opportunities, and bring the community together as a collective. This offers a superior and vital marketing instrument for you to utilise in formulating compelling branding, ongoing awareness and sales.
Publication:The Estate Living magazine is distributed to a database that expands with the industry. Produced in print and online, for many estate developments it is the only external publication permitted to be distributed to residents. The content features development reviews, investment and retirement opportunities, and educational lifestyle features. It is a showcase of the environments many covet.
Resource website and development portal: The website and development portal allows users to gain insight into the market. It is a one call to marketplace and a one-stop shop to the industry, which takes the luck out of finding the perfect environment for investment, a primary or secondary property, service providers and products, with an integrated lead generation and e-commerce offering. Content comprising of news and reviews, up-to-date industry data and more, all drives traffic which drives income for all participants.
Estate Living AirBnB offering: This disruptive business model provides a support system and infrastructure to homeowners across South Africa wishing to host Airbnb guests in their properties. The model offers services such as five-star Airbnb Superhost training, quality control, safety and security implementation and checks, products and concierge services. This is the opportunity to further open the estate community to foreign interest and South African tourism, while keeping in sync with Airbnb’s ethos of “unlocking unique spaces worldwide”.
Estate Living is proud to be ARC’s official communication partner and, in collaboration, publish this Residential Estate Industry Journal – an annual reference guide to best practice, policy and procedure, relevant and significant to residential communities. The journal serves as a tangible resource of educated and experience-driven industry knowledge, covering finance, human resources, security, risk management, law, conservation, occupancy standards and government legislation … and much more. It’s an essential tool for estate management and developers, and a unique fund of industry knowledge. All the information in it is relevant to the efficient and profitable operation of every community and provides the guidelines and framework according to which all communities should operate.
The residential estate industry is showing no signs of weakening. But the need to establish a visible and influential presence to ensure the profitability and longevity of this aggressive industry has never been greater. Estate Living has created a platform and network for communication in South Africa which will be the benchmark for a global reach.
Jaimé-Lee Gardner and Louise Martin