Developers urged to rethink sales strategies
Smaller low-rise housing developers should focus on customer needs and economical marketing strategies as well as improving product quality to increase their competitiveness against larger players who are dominating the market during a property sector slowdown, says a developer.
Knowing what customers want and developing homes to meet their various needs can boost sales amid high competition, said Vorayuth Kittiudom, chief executive of property developer Rungkit Real Estate Co.
"Developers should be able to pinpoint inconveniences that customers frequently have when looking for a home to buy and solve those problems," he said.
"Some of them include insufficient car parking space and lack of trash storage provided outside the house."
Mr Vorayuth said developers should create unique value and offer features like a better security system or face scan access to convince customers to make a purchase.
Giving customers more than they expect will not only impress them but also create word of mouth, he said.
"Since Covid-19 has changed people's lifestyles, internal spaces have become more important," Mr Vorayuth said.
"Under one roof, there are up to seven to eight family members from different generations, so the kitchen and living space needs to be larger to facilitate a new way of living."
During the pandemic, low-rise houses with spacious areas had a very good sales rate.
He suggested developers add special features to make products more attractive.
For example, a glass room in the house, an elevator, a solar roof, a swimming pool or a vertical garden should be considered.
As small-and-medium-sized developers have fewer financial advantages than large or listed developers, spending on marketing should be efficient and precise, he said.
"Developers should not market all over the place but be selective or focus on the right targets. For example, targeting only local people in that zone as they usually buy a new house nearby their existing one or in the same area."
A woman walks past miniature models at a property expo. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Developers should also market to specific groups like LGBTI, employees or the elderly by providing specific functions, designs, features, equipment or materials that match each segment's preference.
For instance, a home theatre room or a lift in a two-storey house.
"Do not copy others as everybody has their own way," Mr Vorayuth said. "Homebuyers are smarter today and use the internet to find designs, study products and search for information."
To be different, developers should provide innovative items like smart mirrors in the bathroom to tap into the new generation of buyers or a cooking gas tank cabinet outside the house.
Mr Vorayuth said everyone in an organisation can be a salesperson. It is the top management's duty to adjust staff attitudes and persuade them to become salespersons no matter their role.
He said his company did not use influencers or celebrities to help boost sales but made their own staff in charge of marketing through TikTok, which saw good feedback.
"TikTok helped create familiarisation with customers. When they visited our projects, they felt familiar with our staff at the sites who presented themselves through TikTok," he said. "It made the conversation more relaxing."
A chatbot is also an efficient tool to replace a salesperson. However, the time to respond should be no longer than five minutes as customers prefer short wait times.
Mr Vorayuth said smaller developers should avoid higher costs, which are usually derived from after-sales services.
They should rather improve and control product quality since the beginning to offload costs in after-sale services or home repairs.
To help homebuyers get mortgage loan approvals more easily, developers may offer a longer-period monthly instalment for a higher down payment so that homebuyers' credit line will be lower.
"Current customers can help developers with market research," he said. "Just ask them about your products and use this information to improve or adjust your products for the next customers."