We have been tasked with the provision of a Digital Market plan for E M Properties. The plan itself has been researched, revised and drafted by Dominic Online Solutions. Dominic Online solutions is comprised of the following members: Mr Ephraim M Pitere, Mr Mpho B Pitere together with Ms Rea R Pitere. The team comprises of Website specialists as well as traditional and Digital marketers. As Dominic online solutions, we offer a lot of services ranging from the creation of digital market plans, website development as well as website hosting. Most of the projects that we have worked on appear on our website and one must proudly say, all of them have positive reviews.
E M Properties approached us so as to come to their rescue as business seems not be doing good anymore. A survey/research was carried out to find out as to what could have been causing this. Upon conclusion of the study undertaken, it was discovered that their downfall was due to the traditional/conventional methods of marketing that they were still employing. As such their marketing efforts were not reaching most of the market that is most suited for their sales/rental/valuations transactions. It was upon these findings that we embarked on devising an up-to-date version of how marketing is carried out nowadays; Online Marketing for Real Estate agencies.
2.2) Business Demographics
E M Properties is a Real Estate company that is focussed on the assistance of residential housing needs ranging from entry level to top of the scale. They deal with sales, rental as well as valuation needs. Based in Table View, they operate around Parklands, Sunning-dale and Table View areas. It is a real estate business that has been in operation for the past 15 years, been built after Table View and Sunning-dale experienced an influx of people to these areas. This necessitated an increase in the number of residential properties and most of these got developed around Parklands. The business seemed to have done well about five years back, however, they have experienced a decline in their business although the area seemed to extend and expand continuously.
Demographically, elements like age, family situations, income, ethnicity, gender, economic mobility, employment and other demographic factors like business planning to healthcare infrastructure, from education programs to style choices were considered to determine the shape of the society. A diverse market exists made up of a young population that is still in single relationships thereby still requiring basic accommodation type, to single type family homes with multiple bedrooms and plenty of space for children to run. Most of them are employed, earning middle to upper income and mobile, resulting in homes that would have secure parking for their vehicles.
The area itself is surrounded by healthcare as well as educational facilities and shopping centres on all sides. An industrial area that is still in the making exists towards the exterior of Parklands itself. Development is on a continuous basis around these areas; a promise of jobs in the making, and ultimately the population is on the rise and as such, some type of housing would be required over the next couple of decades. All the above-mentioned factors especially economic mobility assures one of a promising future for E M Properties and as such a proper marketing plan would assist them in their quest to attract potential customers whether for sales or rentals.
3) General Company Description
Company mission, form of ownership, customer profile, long term vision, and short term goals are fully and effectively covered.
The following are the Mission, Vision, as well as Values that define both the short term and long term goals that E M properties that the company and its employees strive for so as to satisfactorily warm their clients’ hearts.
Helping you find a house is not a job to us, it is doing what we love.
As a team, we find joy in housing everyone that comes into our midst.
“Our core values exist upon the love that we have for each other as a team, and the same love towards what we do, resulting in a love for our clients who we value most. This manifests itself as follows;
L……Loyalty to all, either team members or clients;
O……Oneness, in all we do, we strive to operate and deal with clients as a unit;
V……Vigour, be as it may be, a lot of effort is always put into what we do;
E……Expertise, our team is comprised of Specialists in their respective fields.” (E M Properties)
Short and Long term goals
“Our short-term goals involve facilitation of our clients having over their heads warm homes in the fastest time possible. On a long-term, we will strive to out-beat competition and continuously be regarded as masters in the art of real estate operations. This in turn, will result in better living standards for both our clients and employees.” (E M Properties)
4) Situation Analysis
4.1 SWOT analysis
A way had to be brought into place so as to perform an analysis on both the internal and external areas of the business. This was done so as to define the business’s advantages and general strategies that would be introduced according to its specific necessities as a real estate company. This was an analysis which should take into consideration the real estate´s specific characteristics and act according to the market´s characteristics for the area where the real estate is visible.
The method employed for this is referred to as the SWOT analysis (an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). This methodologic resource is used for the internal and external analysis of organizations. SWOT’s main target for E M Properties was to manage to define the company´s advantages and the general strategies which should be introduced according to the specific necessities of the real estate.
In the field of Real Estate, SWOT analysis is constantly used in order to cure those points that the real estate lacks both internally as externally. It is also an excellent tool for creating a methodologic research for the real estate or for its members. As an analysis methodology, the SWOT model is efficient when we need to define clearly the Weaknesses and the Strengths of a real estate and also for detecting the Threats and Opportunities of it. The real estate´s Weaknesses and Strengths are considered factors and Internal characteristics, while the Threats and Opportunities are the External factors.
? Strengths – These are factors which the company got right and which it can capitalize on. In a way, they are confidence providers if they exist.
? Weaknesses – Shows the major weaknesses within a company which the company needs to work on
? Opportunities – Informs of the opportunities available to the company to increase business and get further customers
? Threats – Determines the major threats for the company, mostly in the external environment.(6)
Through the use of a SWOT Matrix, the following areas were established through a table of double entry, showing points and elements that could either be harmful or helpful to the business.
SWOT analysis applied to E M Properties
The following were arrived at after a thorough analysis of the Strengths and Opportunities that the business would have as positive aspects; against its Weaknesses and Threats that would pose negatively or harmfully against it.
Internal analysis of E M Properties
4.1.1 Strengths (positive points):
? Valuation of the different capacities.
? Individual abilities reflected in a group.
? A higher level of available resources.
? Good levels of proactivity, assertiveness and resilience.
? Well-defined individual competencies.
? Well-defined action conventions.
? An effective, productive and vigorous team
4.1.2 Weaknesses (negative points):
? High level of resistance and adaptability to changes.
? Gaps in the organizational leadership.
? Motivational problems of the staff.
? Limited levels of the individual abilities.
? The stress and the difficulties to process them.
? Lacks in the social abilities and training.
? An absence of organizational policies.
External analysis of E M Properties
4.1.3 Opportunities (positive elements):
? Implement the new technologies in an effective way.
? A weakening of the competition.
? Strategic real estate visibility.
? An effective use of the new ways of communication.
4.1.4 Threats (negative elements):
? Take on high levels of risk.
? Changes in the real estate positioning environment.
? Changes in the real estate market.
? Changes in the potential buyers´ preferences.
? Eventual legal modifications especially the recently introduced legislation dealing with credit. (6)
4.2 PESTEL Analysis
The following factors that have to do with Pestel analysis were looked into as well;
4.2.1 Political Analysis
“Populist statements being made by politicians as they jockey for position ahead of the 2019 national election, are driving levels of business confidence right down, to a point where only 30% of the business’ are feeling confident about the economy”, says Annabel Bishop who is the Chief Economist at Investec.
Around February 2018, the National Assembly voted on a majority to adopt a motion for a review of the Constitution that could make it possible that land could be appropriated without compensation. It was upon this motion that a joint Constitutional Review Committee was set up. Its purpose would be to hold Public Hearings that would debate amending Section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses. If necessary, this would make it possible for the State to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation. On top of this, Parliament is busy strengthening the legislation around the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA). All of these, are reverberating across South Africa. (1)
4.2.2 Economic Analysis
Tony Clarke, who is the Managing Director at Rawson Property Group said, “As South Africans reel from the news of a 2.2% GDP decline in the first quarter of 2018, property experts remain optimistic about forecasts for the remainder of the year. The property market, which has been experiencing some lethargy since early 2017, is not predicted to see any dramatic repercussions as a result of the recent economic bombshell. Property market demand isn’t driven purely by investors – it’s driven by people needing a roof over their heads. That need doesn’t disappear just because our economy hits a speed bump, and the resultantly reliable demand makes property, a much more resilient asset class during otherwise unstable or volatile economic times. However, that is not to say the economy has no effect on the property at all”. (2)
Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group said, “While the economy may be subdued at present, home buyers continue to capitalise on buying opportunities in the residential marketplace. This is especially evident below the R2m and R1.5m mark – a price band with particular relevance to first-time buyers seeking starter homes which, if wisely selected, will appreciate in time, enabling them to move up a notch on the property ladder.” ( )
4.2.3 Social/Demographic Analysis
Under this analysis, factors like population, their cultural trends, age and employment status were looked at and how they would socially affect the market. (3) Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that a large majority of the buying activity in Parklands can be attributed to younger generation consumers (18 to 36 years old), who account for around 45.75% of the buyers in the area. Another very active demographic are consumers aged between 36 and 49 years old, who are responsible for approximately 35.9% of recent buying activity. This group also represents about 47.41% of recent sellers and 46.19% of the current homeowners in the area. Of recent, it has been established that an influx of people emigrating from other areas to Cape Town, and especially Parklands is high. Reference to this appears in APPENDIX ….
4.2.4 Technological Analysis
This analysis pertains to innovations in technology that may affect the operations of the industry and the market favourably or unfavourably. It would refer to research and development (R;D) that could lead to automation as well as the amount of technological awareness that a market possesses. (3) This, unfortunately, is the way the entire world is turning to and an area that E M Properties seems not to be making full use of. It is an area that can never be overlooked and it is one that E M properties will have to heavily invest in for a good Return On Investment(ROI). At the same time, the establishment of a number of new, low-commission, purely online estate agencies raise the question whether there is an ongoing role and need for traditional agents.
4.2.5 Environmental Analysis
These factors dealt with here include all those that influence or are determined by the surrounding environment. These do not only deal with the physical factors of the Earth factors like climate, weather, geographical location, global changes in climate, environmental offsets etc. but would include the availability of resources for an example, energy or water. (3) From our standpoint, E M Properties is operating from any an area with good potential as none of the mentioned factors seems to be thorny in any way.
4.2.6 Legal Analysis
Legal analysis has both external and internal sides. What do we mean by this? There are certain laws that affect the business environment in regard to the country as a whole, whereas there are certain policies that companies maintain for themselves. (3)Factors that are mostly legal and stated under Political Analysis (4.2.1) will again take centre stage here.
4.3 Competitor Analysis
The analysis carried out here dealt with the identification of E;M Properties’ competitors and evaluating their strategies. This led to a determination of their strengths and weaknesses relative to E&M Properties’ own product or service. This type of analysis can be seen as a reactive approach where one is basing their strategy as a reaction to how their competitor will run their company. It is with this evaluation, that a company can establish what makes their product or service unique, and therefore, what attributes to play up in order to attract the needed target market.
This analysis was approached as follows:
? Identifying competitors
? On-page analysis
? Backend and PR Analysis
? Ranking of Competitors
? Competitor Traffic Analysis
? Benchmarking competitors
The main competitors were researched by analysing their Websites, their Social Presence and their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) reports.() These were measured against E M Properties’ current brand presence. ( )
EM Properties Brand Positioning and Presence
Organic Yes/But low
Facebook Yes/But low
Google + Yes/Low
LinkedIn Yes/But only an account
Business listing No
Competitors Brand Presence
PLATFORM Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Competitor 3
Facebook Yes Yes Yes
Twitter Yes Yes Yes
LinkedIn No Yes Yes
Instagram Yes Yes No
Pinterest Yes Yes No
G+ Yes Yes Yes
Youtube No Yes Yes
Adwords Yes Yes Yes
Business listing Yes Yes Yes
The objective of a Digital Marketing plan for E M Properties would be to create brand awareness, increase traffic and sales to its website by using different marketing channels that will soon be mentioned. Moreover, it is to achieve amongst others, the following
? Reaching and engaging with the right audience
? Acquisition and conversion of leads into customers and their retention
? Customer satisfaction and motivation of the audience to take action
? A positive brand reach coupled with multiple web visitors, mostly offering positive sentiments
? Defined measurable Key Performance Indicators(KPI’s) set at the planning phase
? Efficient spending on the campaign
? And of course, return on investment (ROI)
6) Marketing Strategy
The marketing strategy section has been effectively completed covering all the relevant sections (STP). These are based on customer profile, departments, geographics, etc + web enhancements, Branding digital footprint.
4.1) Segmentation strategy
Under this strategy the following were mostly concentrated on, not excluding Geographically as the search would primarily happen online and in reference to the location where the property in question would be. Both the Psychographic and Behavioural segmentation will somehow get consumed by the new segmentation model to be introduced, Sociographic segmentation. This recently intoduced form of social network psychographic segmentation is known as Social-graphics and its role will be to dictate where and how activities are taking place online.
4.1.1 Demographic segmentation
As mentioned under the Social/Demographic analysis in 4.2.3, a large majority of the buying activity in Parklands can be attributed to younger generation consumers (18 to 36 years old), who account for around 45.75% of the buyers in the area. Another very active demographic are consumers aged between 36 and 49 years old, who are responsible for approximately 35.9% of recent buying activity. This group also represents about 47.41% of recent sellers and 46.19% of the current homeowners in the area.
4.1.2 Sociographic segmentation
As an extension on the conventional methods of segmentation, digital marketing introduces a new type of data that captures the attitudes, characteristics, behavior, and most importantly, motivations of customers online. This is termed, Socialgraphics. An understanding of the audience’s social graphics allows us as marketers to design internet marketing strategies that attract and retain customers in different online venues.
The following are the key questions that Socialgraphics ask?
1. Where, online, are the customers operating at/from?
Firstly, it is found out where the customers are online. Knowing which websites they are participating at, will reduce guessing. One should not aimlessly approach social networks without knowing if they are there.
2. What are the customers’ social behaviors online?
This prompts one to find out how they use social technologies. Could it be sharing? Do they only comment? Or do they use is to create their own content? The answers to the questions raised here allow one to select which social features to deploy.
3. What social information or other people do the customers rely on?
The data found here helps with determining resource allocation on advocacy programs. Once this has been ascertained, a marketing program that encourages customers to share with others can be put in place.
4. What are the customers’ social influences and who trusts them?
If the customers are trusted by others, they are highlighted in front of the community that they are in.
5. How do customers use social in the context of one’s products?
One should be confident in their resource allocation by understanding when customers rely on social tools or their peers in pre-sales, awareness, decision making, implementation, or support of a product.
The results from these questions, allow us to determine the following;
? Internet use data
? Mobile use data
? Goals and motivation
? Emotional and psychological needs. (5)
Once all of these questions have been answered, they can be plotted on what is referred to the Engagement Pyramid. This pyramid simply depicts different areas where potential customers could be positively located and easily targeted. Use of this type of segmentation method, helps companies, their agency partners, and business units to be more effective in their planning and deployment, with the result that risks from deploying without having knowledge are reduced. A model of the Engagement Pyramid that appears underneath, was used to categorize potential clients. This would serve as a platform for segments to be specifically targeted.