Housing.com brings the stories of people and their extraordinary homes
Housing.com has been gaining good traction on social media with its campaign – ‘Houses of India’ – with an almost 25 per cent increase in followers on Instagram and an average engagement of 10 per cent (likes + comments) on Facebook. With over 4,600 followers on Instagram and over 734,000 on Facebook, Housing.com now has the highest number of followers within the real estate sector in India.
The social media-led campaign showcases some of the most unique houses across the country through photo-stories. The photo-stories capture the homes and lives of the residents and weave a narrative that takes viewers on a journey into the lives and dreams of ordinary people and their extraordinary homes. The campaign is aligned with the brand’s debut TVC launched in April this year, the central thought of which was ‘Yeh ghar sirf ghar nahi, Yeh ghar meri jaan hai’.
The content for the campaign is curated by the Housing Social Media team, who scout for unique homes through the length and breadth of the country, which is followed by a photo-shoot and interview with the residents. While the photographs capture the external architecture and internal structures of these houses, the real beauty lies in the pictures that showcase pieces of handmade furniture, family heirlooms, the family’s favourite corner where memories are created or splendid home gardens, which are tended to with love and care.
In a release issued, Nikhil Rungta, Chief Marketing Officer, Housing.com, commented, “The idea behind the ‘Houses of India’ campaign is to tell stories of unique houses and the people who live there. This inspiration of the idea came from the heart-to-heart conversations we had with home owners. We feel every home has a story and ‘Houses of India’ is a platform to showcase them. It is very relevant to our business as well, since home buying is a very emotional and critical decision of one’s life.”
Taking the conversation further, a spokesperson from Housing.com explained that ‘Houses of India’ was envisioned as a photo-story project, where the platform narrates the story of a home and its occupants in beautiful pictures and a short text snippet. Instagram offers the unique opportunity to have the focus on the photographs, while also being a medium where viewers are open to reading medium to long-form copy.
On the thought process and creative idea behind the campaign, the spokesperson added, “While Housing.com is a real estate listings company, we have always been on the lookout for genuine home buying stories. Instead of limiting this series to stories of urban dwellers, we also wanted to showcase how people all over the country live. ‘Houses of India’ is a way of celebrating the diverse communities of people, as well as houses we find in the country.”
When asked about using static pictures instead of video format to narrate the stories the spokesperson replied, “We source our pictures from freelance photographers, who either live in or travel to the places we get our pictures from. While we have guidelines in place for the type and quality of pictures we accept, controlling this in videos would be difficult. We also post new stories every week, so we expect a quick turn-around time from our photographers. Due to the limitations of time and quality control, we are sticking to continuing this campaign in picture format only.”
The kind of stories the portal narrates largely depend on what the photographers are able to click. Since there are also geographical limitations to how much they can travel for these stories, the Housing.com team usually receives similar ones from one photographer. To avoid content fatigue on the timeline, the portal spaces these out to ensure people see a different story every week.
Speaking on the challenges in bringing up the stories in the campaign, the spokesperson said, “Since all our pictures are sourced from freelance photographers, we need to mainly deal with logistical challenges. Photographers are often not able to get permission to shoot certain homes, or homes that are different enough from each other. There are also certain regions/ cities where photographers are not as willing to be a part of the campaign, so we end up with several stories from one particular part of the country.”
The stories are being cross-promoted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and on Housing.com’s blog platform (Housing News).
The spokesperson further informed, “Our bull’s eye TG is the first time buyer in the age group of 27-32 years, who is buying for personal use. We are on a journey to be India’s most trusted online real estate company when it comes to buying and selling homes.”