Together with Lion & Lion, one of Malaysia’s top property developers Tropicana Corporation Berhad (Tropicana) has taken advantage of the digital opportunities available. The result was an increase in the number of prospective homebuyers and a boost in the sale of properties.


In this article, we will cover the challenges property developers face today and how Tropicana and Lion & Lion used data to better understand current and potential customers behaviour and needs. We also explore how we decided on correct marketing tactics, and created relevant content in order to effectively target Tropicana’s audience.


Digital helps speed up the sales cycle

Before the digital era, prospective homebuyers would reach out to real estate agents to inquire about a property and wait days, weeks even, before getting a callback. Today, partnering with automation tools like SalesCandy makes it possible for prospective homebuyers to register online, and have the contact details instantly routed to a salesperson available to follow up with a call.


Being quick at following up with interested buyers is key, as the degree of interest significantly decreases within a very short period of time.


According to a study on lead management, there is a hundred times greater chance of reaching people on the first attempt within the first 5 minutes vs after 30 minutes, with this further decreasing as time passes [1, 2]. More so, the odds that a person who is contacted continues on to the next phase of the sales process, decrease 4 times from 5 to 10 minutes [1, 2].

The number of unsold residential properties in Malaysia has reached the highest recorded in a decade, according to recent data from Bank Negara Malaysia [3, 4]. This makes it particularly interesting for property developers to look at optimising every step of the sales process.


With an oversupply of properties, developers are increasingly competing to reach the same group of potential homebuyers, given this, smarter choices need to be made when it comes to keeping the interest going and for the developer to close the sale. Property developers need to seek out new opportunities to identify and attract more prospective homebuyers and increase the likelihood of them actually purchasing a property,” says Cheska Teresa, Managing Director for Lion & Lion in Malaysia.


1. Finding the right buyers for each property

Firstly, different segments such as first-time homebuyers vs more seasoned property investors, and mid-income vs high-income were defined, which made it possible to show individuals specific properties and ads that were more likely to suit their needs.


In addition, it was possible with Facebook lookalike audience to find and reach an even larger pool of new potential homebuyers with potential interest in Tropicana’s properties, as their profiles were similar to those who had previously shown interested in one of the properties. This helped to ensure that the marketing effort was focused effectively, and increased the likelihood of reaching and finding new potential homebuyers.


Finally, it proved effective to use ads with pre-filled forms to find prospective homebuyers, as people could share their interest, which provided the sales team with real-time information and the opportunity to follow up.


Lion & Lion helped Tropicana achieve an increase in the number of prospects who showed interest in one of their properties and decreased the cost per sign-up through online forms. Likewise, the number of prospective homebuyers who had an intent to purchase increased significantly during  Q4 2017 to Q1 2018.

2. Be selective with SEM strategies

For most purchases, customers seek information online, especially for high-value investments or purchases, which also applies to prospective homebuyers as 9/10 search for relevant information before purchasing [5].


To map in detail for Tropicana what prospective customers searched for when they search, and where they search online, tools such as SimilarWebGoogle Analytics, and Google Keyword Planner was used. As a result, it was possible to differentiate between keywords that drove organic vs. paid traffic and determine the right impression share and budget. As shown in the below 3 examples of Google searches, maintaining branded keyword relevancy vs more aggressive bidding on location-related searches was employed for Tropicana.


Example 1: “Tropicana

When searching for “Tropicana” on Google, Tropicana’s home web page instantly shows up. It was therefore not necessary to spend much on this branded keyword, considering that it already had a #1 organic ranking. However, it was still important to maintain a minimum 90% impression share for project specific keywords to increase the likelihood that competitors do not capture the prospect’s interest as shown below.


Example 2: “Tropicana + area”

To help direct prospective homebuyers to specific projects for Tropicana, bidding for certain areas + Tropicana was carried out. For Tropicana, it was necessary to be a bit more aggressive with the bidding, as other brands within the industry were bidding as well. This is common practice and is done in an effort to drive traffic to competitors projects and properties.


Example 3: “Specific area + project”

Additionally, marketers can set their search campaigns to pick up on the search context.  E.g. “Serving Kajang projects” to people who are searching for projects in Kajang and nearby areas.


Finally, another tactic that worked well, was to optimise biddings in regards to when and what time of the day the ads were active and taking holidays into consideration. By optimizing the bidding for Tropicana, a total of 5% reduction in cost-per-lead for branded keywords was achieved.


3. Test your audience assumptions and change tactics accordingly

With online advertising, creatives and visuals also need to be tested. It is important to test each element separately to find out which prospective homebuyers respond better to which visuals, copy and call-to-action.


For Tropicana, it was tested whether interior vs exterior shots for Tropicana Heights worked the best. Results clearly showed that the exterior shots delivered almost 150% lower cost per sign-up from a prospective homebuyer, thus it was decided to use exterior shots for the remaining ad spend – ensuring the advertising spend was used as effectively as possible.


Picture:  1. Facebook ad with photo of the exterior and 2. Facebook ad with photo of the Interior


Your byte-sized wrap-up

So what lies in digital data for you as a marketer? It provides you with a valuable means of engaging a brand’s prospective customer in the most efficient and effective manner as shown above. Not only that, with more marketing spend being used effectively, there is an increase in potential for return of investment as each and every ad created is not only relevant to the group of potential customer but displayed according to the right time of day. And if the niche is small, find similar lookalikes and target them as well to increase your pool of prospective customers.

Interested in partnering with Lion & Lion? Drop us a message or give us a call.



Isabella Poulsen

Corporate Communications Manager

M +60 17 6556 302



Cheska Teresa

Managing Director, Malaysia

M +60 11 3388 3452