Bottom Line: Commnication in the Indian real estate is all about monologue than dialogue. Within the offices the developers adopt this strategy with the employees and for the outside world the strategy is rolled out through advertising and public relations
The real estate sector is in dire need to communicate an connect with the stakeholders and society at large. In the name of communication all that they do is to hire a PR (Public Relations) agency for the purpose of brand building but do not understand what is communication in the right context.
The absence of skilled communication professionals makes the matters even worse. And media is not ready to take the industry and its practitioners who, more often than not, do not even read what they themselves send to the journalists on beat.
The Indian real estate has by and large failed to communicate & connect with the stakeholders in the right spirit
Some of the real estate advertising has evoked sharp criticism and outrage for being class-conscious than classy
Communication of Indian developers is more about monoligue than dialogue
The question is whether comunication is the weakest link in the list of best practices for the Indian real estate. The opinion may be divided over the weakest link, but what cannot be doubted or debated is the fact that media greedy developers do not understand how to connect with the media. More importantly, they do do not know the importance of connecting with all the stakeholders and keeping the communication uniform; something that will definitely cut short the role of the media.
The developer, in their quest to get noticed, often end up revealing the deepest instincts of their target audience. And when they cross the level of sensibilities, they generated public outrage as well. For example, recently a Lodha Group advertisement for a luxury residential project read, “You worked your way up to rise above the crowds. Not live with them.” While real estate groups routinely emphasise ‘exclusivity’ to their potential customers, this advertisement was criticised to be a new low for high-end projects.
While this was perhaps remarkable for its pointed and blatant reference to ‘the crowds’, other advertisements also strike a similar chord. For example, another project of Lodha group, emphasises that one of its projects features ‘Thane’s first by-invitation’ residences, and that people who buy houses in the project will ‘live a life only a handful will have the privilege to enjoy’.
Housing projects exemplify this trend of underlining exclusivity and privilege to potential customers the best. That is perhaps because they address multiple instincts—including security, comfort, ideas of purity and pollution and class consciousness. Gated communities are structured in such a way that they keep the ‘underclass’ at an arm’s length, allowing them inside for the sole purpose of serving the residents of the enclave.
In some cases, housing projects also explicitly aim at keeping out people with certain food choices. For example, a developer in Mumbai and another Chennai tried to promote vegetarian-only apartments. The fact that these factors formed the basis of a marketing pitch indicated that the company believed that they would work with their target audience.
But class consciousness does not reflect only in terms of the amenities available or the people it ostensibly keeps out. Even names bring with them their own set of biases. For example, in Mumbai, developers are resorting to names like ‘New Cuffe Parade’ and ‘Upper Worli’ to increase the market value of their projects. And hence, Lower Parel is rebranded as Upper Worli, as the former is associated with a working-class mill district.
So, while there has been much criticism of such advertising pitches, they only reflect existing biases and social divisions. Needless to say, such insensitive advertisements lead to Internet outrage. But it seems all that the developers believe is that the very purpose of an advertisement is to evoke response, no matter for right reasons or wrong reasons.