It’s the natural order of things – when you decide to look for a property to invest in, your first round of research is done online. You look for reviews of the property, the builder as well as the area that you are looking to invest in. Often, the information you are looking for is found on real estate portals or websites that are dedicated to documenting properties and all the information related to it. While you read through all of the information available, one of the first thoughts to cross your mind is the accuracy of the information. “Are the details authentic?” “What is its nothing like the images online?” and many more queries scamper through your mind, don’t they?
There is no doubt that real estate developers are promoting their brands and properties online. In fact, larger budgets are being allocated each year to online brand management and promotion. Of late, the rise in the number of online flash sales is another indicator of how well the industry is doing on the web. But, somewhere along the line, the thought that lurks through your mind is, “Is possible that the true image of a brand is manipulated online to enhance sales?”
How to Sift through Information On The Web?
There is a lot of information available online on real estate. You will find this in multiple formats such as:
- Property/builder reviews
- Comparison charts amongst properties/builders
- Analyses and trend discussions
- Location analysis
- Builder profiles and much more
If you are looking for reviews and conducting research on the overall feasibility of investment in a particular project in a city, here are some tips to cut through the fluff:
- Know where to look: There are a few well established portals and discussion forums that govern the space. Look for sites that moderate comments and have a sort of regulatory system in place to ensure some level of accuracy in reviews and information provided.
- Look for details and not statements: The fact that review portals allow the general public to log in and write about anything, makes the portal susceptible to misleading information. Always try to opt for a detailed post rather than a rant. Look for reviews that qualify a complaint rather than simply rant about it. This will give you an idea of what possible issues may come up and what you may ask the builder yourself.
- Look for Commonality: There may be a customer who is dissatisfied with a builder for a particular reason but that does not mean that you shy away from the project. Read through multiple reviews and look for factors that repeat – if at least 5 of 10 reviews say that a project has been delayed, then chances are it will happen to you as well. Don’t write off a project over a single complaint.
- Look into Poster Profiles: It is a common practice to create fake profiles and write in reviews or information on a site. This works both ways where you have positive as well as negative reviews coming in. This makes it difficult to ascertain who is telling the truth. Ideally get into the public profile of every poster, especially those with negative reviews and ascertain whether profile is genuine. Some telltale signs are:
- No profile picture or that of an animal or celebrity
- No prior posts
- An overly positive or negative review with no justification
- The lack of response to any queries that come in
With these 4 simple tricks, you will be able to weed out the unnecessary information and get on decision-making mode. Not all information available online is of bad quality. The trick is being able to differentiate between the two and make some smart decisions based on your research. Make sure you do ample research before you boil down on a project.
- The Internet is the most popular source of information, but weeding through unreliable information is necessary.
- There are 4 simple ways to set aside the fluff – know where to look, know what to ignore, look for commonality and look for details.
- Online research is convenient, if you know how to make the best of it.
Nimmy Joseph is a marketing specialist and has a deep knowledge on the online consumer behavior. Over the course of her career she has interacted with many home buyers, noted their grievance and gained actionable insights. Her strong communication skills helps her to connect with the consumers faster & create a comfort zone for them.
Nimmy holds a MBA in marketing and Post graduate diploma in corporate communication and Advertising and is currently working with Vakil Housing in their Marketing Department.