As the festival of light approaches, real estate and its ancillary industry in South India are optimistic about the season with spends expected to be on par with last year
Traditionally, Diwali is considered to be an auspicious time to buy property and to refurbish homes. While the first half of the financial year was impacted severely due to the on-going pandemic, the real estate and its ancillary industry are optimistic and betting on the festive season.
Commenting on how the consumer sentiment has evolved and why consumers are looking at the realty space, Eshwar N, Chief Marketing Officer, Casagrand says, “The definition and importance of owning a home have changed during the pandemic. Residential real estate is considered to be one of the safest investment options in the current scenario. The overall consumer sentiment has improved in the last few months. During the festive season, we expect the sentiment to be increasingly even more positive. We at Casagrand witnessed an increased buyer’s interest in the last couple of months.”
This sentiment is also echoed by another real estate developer Viswajith Kumar Navin, Director, Navin’s who says, “Consumer sentiments have definitely improved in the last couple of months, compared to, the first three-four months of this financial year and in fact, it is also translated into sales. I don’t know if it’s pent up demand, or it’s actually rebound of the economy. One way or the other, there is traction and sales happening, especially for the right product, which is readily available for purchase, move in, so on.”
The uptick in consumer sentiment is also benefiting real estate ancillary players and Mark Titus – Director Marketing, Nippon Paint (India) Private Limited (Decorative Division) says that the company has seen a surge in demand on account of the festive season.
He says, “There is definitely a positive sentiment among customers due to the festive season. We are witnessing enhanced sales owing to this surge in demand. The work from home scenario has also led to homeowners becoming a lot more cognizant of their surroundings, with an increasing amount of time being spent within homes. Consumers have consciously begun to spend more on home décor, renovation and decorative painting in a bid to improve their working environment. This has led to a tremendous scope for players like ourselves, in the home decor space.”
Festive Spends & Beyond
While advertisers held back spends in Q1 and Q2, what is encouraging is that brands like Casagrand say that the ad spends will be comparable to last year’s. Says Eshwar, “Compared to last year as well as Q2 of this year, our media spends remains the same. Our media mix comprises digital, print, TV & radio and outdoor. 30% of our ad spend will be on the digital platform. As we still see a lot of traction in traditional print ads, we have allocated 30% across all print channels. 20% has been allocated to TV, 5% to radio and 20% of spend to outdoor.”
On its part, Nippon Paint says that its investment this year is expected to be on par with last year’s. Says Titus, “We are not pulling back on spends and are looking to invest similar to previous years during this festive season as well. However, compared to Q2 we are spending significantly higher owing to seasonality as well as the increased traction and demand surge. Investments made on Digital platforms specifically have increased by close to 50%.”
He adds, “We have always aimed for a complete 360-degree media mix, one that encompasses every possible consumer realm (TV, print, radio, digital, and retail visibility). While our investment in mainline media like print and TV continues to be on the same level as the previous year, we have consciously increased our spends in the digital space owing to an unprecedented surge in online media engagement post lockdown. And this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. We will also gradually increase our ad-spends as the season progresses and more people begin to focus beyond essential products.”
Putting forth his perspective Navin says that historically, real estate sector in Chennai and in South India doesn’t see much of traction during Diwali. He says, “Our spends for Q3 for this financial year is already been substantially more. Post-Diwali, we would be reducing our spend. We will increase our spends in December. That’s our strategy for Q3. Overall, the spends will be more than what it was last year.”
Commenting on the media mix Navin says, “Certain media spends will be more than certain others, obviously digital going to get a big chunk of the pie followed by print. The other mediums might get some small share of the media spread. We also cater to the upper mid-income groups. There will be less TV and as fewer people are travelling and almost the entire IT industry is working from home the outdoor spend maybe a little lower than last year.”