Marketing for development
The days of certain markets, easy lettings and malleable tenants have gone, and, for the foreseeable future they are unlikely to return. Property as a product has become more difficult to sell, and those responsible for selling it perforce required to bring a higher degree of professionalism to the market. Users' needs have to be more closely identified and more carefully matched with product design. As with other property services the agency function to date has been performed against a background that has rested heavily upon the historic monopoly enjoyed by established firms and a traditionally constant attitude towards transactions in land and property by owners and occupiers. This is changing.This chapter is organized as follows:
The marketing role
A useful definition of marketing is one provided by the Institute of Marketing, which runs:
Marketing is the management function which organizes and directs all those business activities involved in assessing and converting customer purchasing power into effective demand for a specific production or service to the final customer or user so as to achieve the profit target or other objective set by the company.
More simply perhaps, marketing is the skill of matching the needs of a buyer with the product of a seller, for a profit. It is probably true to say that development property used to be a soft-sell product. An estate agent would erect a board, place an advertisement and wait. Nowadays, however, those marketing property developments are faced increasingly with a highly competitive and discerning market, and one that demands better information and more active attention to the selling process.