More developers, brokers see benefit of online marketing

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |February 10,2018 - 01:01 AM

More and more developers are seeing the advantage of going digital in marketing their properties.

Lamudi Philippines, one of the country’s top online property portals, has recently reported having 15 million user visits to their website for 2017 alone in a phenomenon they consider now as “property window shopping.”

Another Filipino-owned property listing site, Filipino Homes, is also optimistic that more customers will turn to browsing for properties over the internet.

Anthony Leuterio, owner and founder of Leuterio Realty and Brokerage Inc. which also owns Filipino Homes, said the growth of digital marketing for properties will continue to gain momentum in the coming years.

“If you look at our growth, we are so promising. In about one or two years, we will be number one. Our website is different in terms of operation. We personalize our service. There are persons and agents foe each listing,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Leuterio claimed that Filipino Homes is currently the third biggest online property listing portal in the country next to Lamudi and OLX.

But what sets them apart, aside from being Filipino-owned and free, is the number of agents that they employ which is now at 16,000.

Filipino Homes currently has 19,000 listings from 1,100 projects by 440 property developers all over the country.

In other online portals, he said there are no middlemen or agents that would be able to immediately assist customers for any inquiry about a certain listing. This is exactly where the strength of Filipino Homes is, he said.

“In our portal, we have a total of 19,000 listings all over the Philippines. We have 25 offices. We’re the only company that has live offices. That’s our advantage. Another advantage is our company has agents that will really support clients,” Leuterio said.

For Filipinos

Filipino Homes has only been operating for over a year as they started in December 2016.

The company has invested close to P100 million for the online portal.

And being a Cebuano, Leuterio said they have also been closely partnering with local property developers. There are currently 45 active local Cebuano properties in Filipino Homes.

However, he admitted that it has been difficult on their part to compete with other portals like Lamudi and OLX which are internationally-owned, considering the expenses they need to run such bigger portals.

“Filipino Homes is for Filipinos. It is free posting, and it is just to help all Filipinos. It’s the only website in the Philippines for free for Filipinos, so we’re asking Filipinos to support local brands,” Leuterio said.

“It’s not easy to compete with international brands with a mission. I can compete as a classified ads where people will have to pay. But for me, I have a purpose and a mission. That’s the difference,” he added.

Local developers

Among the local developers that are available in Filipino Homes are Cebu Landmasters Inc., Apple One, Tambuli, Grand Land, Nexus, Taft Properties, Maria Luisa Properties, and Primary Homes.

Jose Soberano III, president and CEO of Cebu Landmasters Inc., agrees that digital is the way forward for developers in terms of marketing in this age.

“It has been very useful for us. It is accessible not just by the brokers or agents but also even directly by the buyers. That becomes an easy connect to follow up on details and preferences that these buyers are eyeing on,” he told CDN.

Soberano said he sees that more and more of the real estate companies will be relying heavily on the internet and online property listing sites as a medium for them to market their properties.

With Cebu Landmasters, he said they are also using their website, Facebook accounts and Instagram accounts to multiply their digital reach.

“And we are now also touching even on this thing about online payments and trying to come up with updated inventory boards, knowing a particular project and what are the areas and units available. Things like these make us more accessible,” he said.

Soberano said they have been working closely with Leuterio and Filipino Homes and that their partnership has been “very mutually beneficial.”

With more product lines they are coming up with, he said it helps that companies like Filipino Homes would want to know and get updated with their offerings.

They also do this with other brokers to have more avenues of information.

Internet traffic

In an Inquirer report, Lamudi Philippines CEO Bhavna Suresh said during a press briefing last Thursday that they have hosted over 100,000 listings in their site for 2017 alone.

This accounts to over 1.1 billion square meters of properties that are for lease or for sale.

Based on their data, majority of their listed properties are still for sale at 61 percent while 39 percent are for lease.

Lamudi reported a total of 15 million site visits last year, but they were not able to show data on how much of these online views translated to actual completed transactions though.

But they pointed out that with the increasing popularity of this platform, most if not all of the largest developers in the Philippines have already promoted their properties through Lamudi.

While most of the supplies and demands come from Metro Manila areas, Lamudi reported that Cebu and Davao are also emerging markets.

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