Investors in the property industry are shifting to exhibitions and mall activations as preferred marketing channels to reach home buyers buoyed by research findings showing about 60percent of all potential buyers believe that face-to-face encounter is the most important source of information when making buying decisions.
Speaking as he unveiled the theme of the incoming 19th edition of Kenya Homes Expo, Mr. Daniel Ojijo, Mentor Holdings chairman and co-founder of Kenya Homes Expo, said property exhibitions are increasingly becoming more efficient, effective and inexpensive marketing channels available to most players in the real estate sector.
“The popularity of home exhibitions has been fueled by the fact that no other form of marketing can get you in a room with so many potential customers actively looking for sellers. Compared to the cost of such advertising vehicles like newspapers and television, exhibition is far much less expensive and delivers immediate and tangible results,” said Ojijo.
Exhibitions gives a developer a cost-effective opportunity to sell face-to-face to tens of thousands of potential buyers; 57 percent of whom have lauded it as the best option when obtaining accurate and concise home buying information, says a survey conducted by Home Improvement Research Institute in United State.
“Expo visitors have intentions of making purchases and 64 percent of them do so while they are at the Show. Additionally, 77 percent of attendees plan on making a purchase within six months after the Show,” the survey reported.
Nodding to these findings, Mr. Joe Mungai of Tamarind Properties Limited, located in Westlands, and who has been participating at the bi-annual Kenya Homes Expo for the last 5 years says he first interacted with majority of his clients at the expo.
“We take part in all real estate exhibitions in the country especially the Kenya Homes Expo held at KICC. 80 percent of the buyers who knock on our doors claim to have first interacted with us at the exhibitions,” said Mr. Mungai.
Mr. Mungai’s sentiments are echoed by Gideon Ngure, a marketing manager at Sigimo Enterprises who claims to be pursuing a huge number of clients his firm obtained from expos in the last 2 years.
According to Ojijo, there are more than a dozen property exhibitions and expositions taking place in Kenya every year a surge from two expos that existed before 2005.
“Every developer is keen on return on investment and none is willing to spend on unyielding channels. However, great results would come from a mix of advertising and face-to-face channels such as exhibitions and mall activations,” he explained.
Also contributing to the current shift to face-to-face marketing is the multiplicity of projects which present close or similar offering in the market as this is not only confusing but also rendering buyers unable to make decisions via advertising messages alone.
“Increased interest in the real estate sector has brought about huge competition where most developers have come up with similar or conflicting propositions and this too is making head-on selling most ideal,” said Ojijo.
The 19th edition of Kenya Homes Expo is scheduled to take place on 10th-13th April, 2014 at KICC. The expo, said to be the biggest homes show in East and Central Africa, held its maiden edition 2005 but has now come of age.
In 2013, over 200 exhibitors took part and the show received over 50, 000 visitors, at an average of 10,000 visitors per day. Due to surge in the number of exhibitors, the expo now occupies 3 halls comprising 2 floors and the courtyard at Kenyatta International Conventional Centre.According to Ojijo the expo theme in 2014 is ‘Scaling New Heights’ which signifies its effort to highlight new ways to help investors, industry players and buyers reach higher heights of their investment and buying decisions..