23 October 2007
Sales Centeres & Advertising prime factors in Property Buyers Decision
Sales centres and advertising are the most important factors influencing one's decision to buy a property, according to a study released by FutureBrand, a global brand consultancy firm.
It said that sales environments have posted a 25 per cent rating in terms of importance in attracting potential buyers. Advertising received a 21 per cent rating compared to six per cent for information videos and five per cent for web sites.
"We believe successful sales environments impart a clear and engaging message about the values of a development," said Gulf Real Estate Study, a 2007 survey commissioned by FutureBrand. "In real estate especially, customer environments become the manifestation of the design and quality of property developers' aim to produce."
The US firm said the study, based on 300 homebuyers and development professionals in the UAE and Bahrain, "allows us to better understand attitudes and perceptions of communities and developers, along with the factors that influence purchase decisions".
The 30-page study said that property branding is about a developer having credibility by adhering to the truth in advertising, and staying the course. This is the case in a saturated market because brand awareness takes time and money to achieve.
"As the market matures and gets saturated and sophisticated the role of the brand will become more significant in decision making among investors and end-users," said Rina Plapler, the company's executive director. "Brand needs to connect deeply with what the development is about."
The study said that a sales centre should be able to impress upon prospective buyers the project's future home technologies, environment-friendly features, the idea of exclusivity, post-purchase incentives such as access to spas and golf memberships, and personalised designs.
It added, however, that investors may also forego glamorous properties and consider buying one that appeals to the majority of the working population, which it said is an "underserved audience".
Another good long-term investment vehicle is supplying accommodation for hospitality employees, it said, noting that hotel management contracts often run for 20 years.
It described the UAE's Northern Emirates as having "excellent opportunities" for affordable houses and offices for those seeking alternatives to Dubai, whose per square-foot of space costs an average of Dh1,835.60 ($500).