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Real estate turns to Net advertising

02-July-2004
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Real estate turns to Net advertising

The real estate developers have brought the Internet back in fashion as a medium for advertising. Several Delhi-based developers including Vatika, Sahara and Omaxe Construction have earmarked 5 to 10 per cent of their advertising budgets for promotions on the Internet.

Omaxe Construction, for instance, has set aside a substantial sum for Net advertising. With an outlay of Rs 4,000 crore for an assortment of projects in parts of northern India, the company has plans to spend about Rs 50 lakh solely in advertising and promotions on the Internet.

“We view Internet as a powerful medium to attract non-residents Indians (NRIs) for our premium projects,” says Ganesh Mahalingam, executive director (marketing) Omaxe Construction.

The company is using Internet advertising to push its high-end residential project ‘The Forest’. “NRIs are our prime target for this project where homes are worth Rs 1.25 crore. It is only through the Internet that we can reach our desired clients,” he says.

Omaxe has earmarked Rs 5 crore to promote ‘The Forest’ project whereby the majority of the ad spends have been directed towards print.

For starters, it has placed full page ads worth Rs 18 lakhs in various national dailies. Other than ‘The Forest’, the NRI City project, worth Rs 150 crore, also saw a major ad campaigns on the Internet.

Omaxe is also directing a substantial chunk of its promotion expenditure towards commercial projects like ‘Connaught Place’ in Greater Noida, the Rs 80 crore Wedding Mall and various township projects in and around Delhi.

“Internet and direct marketing will be our focus as a part of brand building so we have increased our budget to Rs 20 crore from the Rs 8 crore we spent last year,” says Mahalingam.

Among other builders, the Vatika group, for instance, has a project outlay of Rs 900 crore. To promote its properties, the construction company has set aside 10 per cent of its total ad spend for the Internet and for the international magazines.

The company will put in about Rs 2.5 crore this year on the Internet to attract NRIs to its Rs 630 crore residential project Vatika City. “We have hiked our ad budgets from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 14.5 crore,” points out Gaurav Bhalla, marketing director, Vatika Group.

The Sahara Group, with its numerous residential projects has also pumped in money into the Internet. For the premium Amby Valley project, Sahara put in about 10 per cent of the project cost on Internet advertising.

Other projects like Royal Palms saw an ad spend of about 3 per cent of the project cost on the Internet. Television is also being seen as an advertising medium for the otherwise print-loyal developers.

“We will spend 60 per cent on print and another 25 per cent on television as we have projects like the Sahara City Homes in 217 cities and 2000 units of Sahara States in places such as Lucknow, Hyderabad and Gorakhpur. Sahara’s next round of Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya endorsements will also be launched in October,” informs a source in the Sahara group.

Invariably, most of the developers prefer the property sections of websites like Rediff, Yahoo and Times Of India as these are the most visited sites according to them.

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