IT MIGHT feel weird and unusual to buy real-estate properties in a completely virtual set-up, but this trend is becoming the norm and there is nothing the industry can do but adapt.

Jarvie Harlem Gantalao of the Pinoy estate realtors shared that since the lockdown in March 2020, the industry’s marketing efforts drastically changed from traditional to digital. This change is inevitable as Covid-19 protocols forced, not just real-estate, but almost all aspects in the society.

He said social media has become the new home of their target clients. In the Philippines, social media giant Facebook is where most of their sales were generated.

“Before, when we did fairs, conventions, and mall-based events the opportunities were limited. I’m not saying that it is not effective but with online platforms, the opportunities become endless. We can reach more people who want to buy a home,” he shared.

In doing online marketing and selling in real-estate, Gantalao, who is also the vice president of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association (Creba), said a deep know-how on doing digital initiatives is a must.

“With my realtor group, we really underwent a series of training on how to market the products that are visually-appealing, informative, captivating, and clear,” he emphasized.

He added that with the new normal, the usual site trips before are now done through Zoom meetings. Video communications, he said, is also crucial because clients would want to ensure that the one they are talking with is a human and not a robot.

“Online and virtual platforms are really the new way of selling real-estate products. This will continue even after the pandemic is over,” he said.

Asked on how the sales were doing during the pandemic, Gantalao said, the figures also surprised them.

“Our sales as a team tripled compared to pre-pandemic. On an average, we can sell 70 to 80 units on both vertical, lot, and horizontal projects,” he revealed.

He added that a big factor as to why more people invest in real-estate could be that people's money were saved from their supposed travels and other leisure activities.

“This is a good sign because it means, more and more people are now being wise on where to pour their money. Real estate is always a good investment,” he said.

Gantalao also shared that a big part of their success as real-estate professionals are their partner companies who offer quality products and services like Santos Land Development Corporation (SLDC).

“Santos Land never really failed us. We are always proud to present their products because they have a good track record of delivering quality homes to everyone,” he said, adding that they average to sell three units of high-end units from SLDC.

SLDC Sales and Marketing Manager Estela Aguilos, in a separate interview, said that they currently have 144 lots left for their lumina Estates II.

Ilumina Estates II is a mid-cost to high-end development that offers peaceful and luxurious subdivision living. The project is situated in a 25-hectare area in Communal, Buhangin, Davao City.

Another horizontal project is Laureana Grand Plains located in Libby Road Puan, Davao City.

“Laurena project will be available this fourth quarter because we expect to have our license to sell around that time,” she said.

Meanwhile, for its vertical project, The Ivory Residences, she said SLDC is targeting to open the project by December this year.