This year’s Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) survey delved deeper than brand surveys of the past by looking into multifarious factors that included brand awareness, brand perception, brand visibility, brand attributes and top of the mind recall.
Home Lands, Prime Lands, Kelsey Homes, JAT, Blue Ocean, Span and Fairway were found to be the top seven most popular developers in 2021.
The findings give some victories to all seven of the top players with the top two battling for gold. During the course of 2021, the RIU conducted a large-scale survey covering many hundreds of property buyers and investors in order to identify the top developer brands in Sri Lanka and to highlight the brand dynamics thereof. The survey covered residents of Colombo, non-Colombo residents as well as the diaspora community.
The findings provide a unique insight into how buyers think and how this impacts their investment decision-making. From a developer perspective, the survey has identified the top seven players in the market with each of these claiming one or more victories.
However, it is Home Lands and Prime Lands that are battling for the top spot. The Home Lands Group had the highest percentage of respondents that indicated the brand as their ‘first preference’ whilst Prime Lands Group took the top spot of the overall rankings, followed by Home Lands, based on the survey results which included local and Sri Lanka diaspora investors / property buyers.
When isolating locals from the Sri Lankan diaspora, Prime Lands remains on top, followed by Home Lands. However, amongst the diaspora, Blue Ocean was ranked highest, followed by Span. Respondents were also asked to rate (positive or negative) based on word of mouth with the developers. Here, Home Lands, with a 57% ‘positive’ result, was the only developer that had a client base with predominantly positive word of mouth.
In accordance with the survey findings, a large number of respondents stated that they had a very favorable past experience with JAT Holdings accompanied by Span Engineering and Fairway Holdings.
Top developers were also assessed in the survey in regards to brand perception: affordability, convenience, luxury, style/elegance, trust and value for money. The results highlighted the locals reckoned properties of Home Lands to be supreme in terms of luxuriousness and the diaspora acclaimed those properties to provide a better value for money.
The survey also revealed how respondents associated brands with the following attributes; brand, convenience, discounts, price, quality and time delivery. In regards to the ‘brand’ factor, Home Lands had the best result, while Prime Lands topped the list in terms of ‘convenience’ and ‘quality’. Blue Ocean, albeit marginally, is placed atop in regards to ‘price’, while Span is seen to provide the most ‘discounts’. Fairway tied with Span for top spot in terms of ‘timely delivery’.
The analysis shows significant differences between brand awareness and perception levels of diaspora and locals as well as residents from Colombo as against those who live outside the Colombo district. Similarly, there are differences between those who work in the private sector as compared to those in the public sector and those that use private as compared to public transport as well as differences by age groups.
The RIU survey also finds that the buyer information source landscape has changed completely in recent years. Now, social media’s influence in the real estate market dominates all other mediums and is highlighted in the survey. It was shown to provide the highest reach compared to other modes such as TV, radio, print media etc. This underlines the important function that social media plays in the current context for diverse forms of business communication.