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Guest Blog: Why Personality Makes All the Difference

Bruce Burkitt

By Bruce Burkitt, founder and managing director at Property Experts

In today’s world of unprecedented consumer choice and market saturation, it is becoming increasingly challenging for businesses to distinguish themselves amongst the competition. In the property market, this is no different, in fact, for developers this challenge can be even greater. In the midst of the housing shortage crisis the UK is experiencing, demand is spiralling upwards and competition between developers therefore increasing.

This is why in the modern age when business and consumerism is all about personality and engagement, it is imperative that developers become the face of their businesses and provide their target audience with an accessible figure whom they can buy into and trust.

In this piece, I expand on the rising prominence of the personality of a property developer and how to make personality your best sales and acquisition tool in such a competitive market. Discussing the importance of how a property developer should be constantly visible and use social media to attract your target audiences.

Use Your Personality to your Advantage

Getting to know the owner of a business you as a consumer choose to shop from has always been important, but never more so than it is now, following the pandemic. Missing human interaction, we have all enjoyed shopping locally and having greater interaction with the community.

In property, this is doubly important, especially when engaging with first time buyers. Buying a property, notably a first home, is often one of the most important and expensive investments anyone is likely to make.

Although we always look to appoint estate agents to handle our development resales, I am always happy to meet with potential buyers when on site. As the developer your knowledge and passion of the product being sold is invaluable. In many instances face-to-face contact with potential buyers can help to close a sale as it gives them confidence in the development they are buying into.

Giving buyers peace of mind and making them feel valued by spending time with them goes a long way and whilst admittedly people may ask “why bother instructing a selling agent”, from our experience working as a team will pay dividends for future potential purchasing opportunities. Developing your relationship with selling agents increases the odds of them calling you first  with their next deal before putting it on the open market.

Standing out on Social Media

From the supply side of the property market, we’re seeing a big increase in the number of potential development and investment opportunities being offered to us via social media. Only a few months ago, Property Experts purchased a development site for over £2.5m in Horley, introduced via Instagram. This opportunity came to us from a follower who had been tracking me on Instagram for several months and had bought into myself and the ‘Property Experts’ brand. The initial phone call between us was relaxed as the agent made several references to events that he had seen on my Instagram feed – which meant he felt he knew me already. After viewing the site in question, we proceeded with the purchase and the ROI (Return on Investment) will exceed £1.25m. Given the level of engagement we receive from potential buyers and sellers on Instagram we shortly plan on using the platform to launch the development.

With most prospective buyers, sellers and agents already using social media platforms daily, as a developer having an online presence has never been more important. Maintaining a constant online presence allows you to stay at the forefront of your target audiences’ minds which gives you greater opportunity to find out about deals that you otherwise wouldn’t have. Whilst uploading posts of your projects and industry knowledge will give you a degree of credibility, it is imperative to allow followers to get to know the real you so, be sure to include updates on your personal life too. Ultimately “people buy from people” and keeping your content varied will encourage higher levels of engagement.

Pressing all the right buttons  

As a developer, ensuring you – as the face of the business – have a media profile has additionally become very important. Although many developers already attempt to engage with the press to provide a voice and figurehead for their companies, having a personality will assist you in being featured more regularly.

Ultimately your target audience want to see something different from expert commentators in the industry. By adding a sprinkling of personality to your media profile and showing that you’re up to date with the latest market trends, your business will be distinctive from the competition.

Another benefit of ensuring that your personality stands out in the press, is that it adds a level of legitimacy to your business over simply having a presence on social media.

The End Result

In saturated markets, standing out from the crowd is no easy feat. But in my experience, having the personable approach has enabled us to distinguish ourselves from our competitors. Within the property market, personality goes a long way in generating new business. Be personable, even before you’ve met your future buyers, or the owner of your next potential purchase and you’ll place yourself in good stead to be a successful property developer.