Graduating from maal bikna chahiye to consumer empowerment.

Recalling an article on a year back highlighting an interesting trend in real-estate advertising. It was made up of only three words – offers, discounts and deals.Most of the marketing was skewed towards promoting an offer and not the main hero – product.

Presence of good brand ads or product-based advertisements was becoming scant, primarily because of the discerning nature of the market, shifting from being a developer-driven to a ‘customer-is-the-king’ kind of market.

With every passing month, the gap between the customer expectations and the developer’s communication was increasing, re-iterating the need for ‘quality advertisements’ in real-estate.

Relatively new to Real-Estate, but having strong roots in the industry, VTP Realty identified this need gap, where a home buyer belonging to a Mid-Income-Group was looking for better value-for-money and better customer care than just the instant happiness that owning a better price tagged home (under a discount scheme) would offer. After all, value on a high ticket-size, high involvement buying decision is to last longer.

Onset of the year 2017 wasn’t as welcoming as it was the post-demon phase where real-estate buying went down in the priority list of the customer and the investor buying shrinked. MIG segment in Pune, salaried people, mostly funded by banks were quite an exception though (being a real-estate marketer, I am quite used to using disclaimers !).

While the response to a developer’s communication by its customers was struggling both on quality and time front, VTP Realty was gearing up for an important launch of its 13 acres’ project almost touching Pune-Mumbai Expressway.

Going by the then prevailing hit formula of advertising, occupying billboards across Pune with max. font size of offer would have been the most obvious mantra to success. But being a a firm believer of insight-based marketing, I chose the unobvious.

The project – VTP Urban Life was far more superior than what the competition in the micro market was offering. Hence, while others chose ‘incredible deals and discounts’ as their survival mantra during comparatively tougher times in the industry. VTP Realty urged the homes buyers to choose their home wisely. Wisely, by evaluating the value they would get from the home and not from merely the offer.

It takes strength for a real estate brand that is young to graduate from the usual purpose of maal bikna chahiye’ to creating the magic of ‘consumer empowerment’. 

Focusing on the long-term viability of the brand – VTP Realty that is continuously aimed at building and delivering customer delight, this marketing campaign empowered the home buyers to say no to buying homes just based on discounts where the product was ordinary, instead say yes to the best value offering.
Since VTP Realty takes care of the entire construction chain in-house (planning, supply of materials, construction and handover), they have been able to deliver a superior product at a competitive price.

The said campaign worked with a single front door approach of TAKE UP THE WALK-IN CHALLENGE, which was not just a headline, but a call-to-action. Designed to inspire and enable prospective home buyers to visit and explore the best in Talegaon in the MIG segment housing, it did justice to the sales targets (ultimately also serving the underlying purpose of every piece of communication. This is the second and the last disclaimer of this article!)

While the word ‘challenge’ sound inviting, it was rather positively used to draw more number of site visits, where every customer walking out of the site had a positive to talk about VTP Urban Life, thus serving the purpose of the brand. So the challenge was not to compare the project with others, but to deliver an experience of ‘WOW’ on the site. Once you walk in, you wouldn’t move out without falling in love with it – is what it delivered.

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Hope you acknowledge this little step that a few marketers are taking in this industry and ample faith and support which they get from the management to get something like this rolling. So the quality of communication, reaction and action from the developers’ end is changing for good and will only improve from here with implementation of reforms like RERA 2016.

Written by – Ruchi Adlakha

Disclaimer: the article was written when I was heading Marketing for VTP Group.