Contrary to popular perception, real estate developers don’t design and sell projects all on their own. In fact, thanks to firms like Virtual Marketing Realty, their units are designed with mass appeal.
In fact, Virtual Marketing Realty helps developers with everything from their pricing strategies and market research to actual sales, marketing, project management and building design, says the company’s CEO Kathleen Xie.
“Developers can either go out and enlist everybody individually or hire a one-stop shop like us, which alleviates the need to hire individuals to handle broker relations and market research,” said Xie. “We have expertise and the track record to help these clients through every one of these stages rather than them going one by one with different companies to do all this. We look after presale, land acquisition, sales and post-sales relations.”
Virtual Marketing Realty specializes in the sales and marketing of new master-planned communities, including condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes. It also handles market research for developers, including determining prices structures and studying market trends, like how much both the presale and resale segments increase annually.
“Sales and marketing can involve our in-house team or it can mean that we partner with external brokerages—for example, it can be one that specializes in condos—to help market the product with maximum exposure,” said Xie. “When we partner with other brokerages, we refer to it as broker relations.”
A major project Virtual Marketing Realty is working on right now for which it’s been tasked with all of the above is Mapleview Terrace in Barrie. The developer recruited Xie’s brokerage, which she co-founded with Sunny Sharma, because of their CCIM designation—although this typically applies to commercial real estate, the duo have become experts in determining higher uses for properties, irrespective of whether they’re commercially or residentially zoned.
“We handle project management and figure out what provides leads, what doesn’t, where we need to advertise and where we need to increase or decrease our budget,” said Xie. “We’re also in charge of brand positioning, which means we come up with themes or names. Think of Oscar Residences in the Annex, a condo that uses movie stars as its theme throughout the building.”
Virtual Marketing Realty additionally amends building designs for developers in order to help the latter extract the most dollars.
“We optimize the designs to what we see selling more versus what the architect drew. We picked one up recently with a dozen floor plans and we enhanced eight of them to allow the developer to make more profits later on.”