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Five Ways To Stay Ahead Of The Curve In A Highly Competitive Marketplace It's not enough to simply stand out, businesses must find ways to stay ahead of the curve.

By Marcello Arcangeli

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The Dubai real estate sector is currently one of the hottest markets in the world, with more than 122,000 transactions worth over AED500 billion recorded in 2022. This unprecedented growth is great news for the industry and the economy. However, it also means that the sector is becoming increasingly crowded with brokerages, investment firms, and property management companies all vying for a piece of the action. In such a highly competitive environment, it's not enough to simply stand out, businesses must find ways to stay ahead of the curve.

Over my 30-year career in financial, investment management, and real estate sectors, I've learned that success in a crowded marketplace requires a combination of strategies that are interlinked, and that's what I put to use at the Dubai-based enterprise I lead, Manage My Property (MMP). As such, here are my top five tips that can be applied to any highly competitive industry:

1) Don't compromise your professionalism

In a crowded marketplace, businesses must differentiate themselves from their competitors to stand out and attract clients, but this shouldn't come at the expense of professionalism. Many people cut corners, and then say that they can do things cheaper and quicker to lure in customers, but this will only ever gain a short-term "win," and it fails to deliver a sustainable advantage, leading to poor quality work and unhappy customers. If you stick to your guns in terms of your professionalism and commitment to quality in all aspects of your business such as operations, client services, marketing, etc., you will attract, maintain, and grow a sustainable client base for the long term, and you will also set yourself apart from the competition, earning the trust and loyalty of customers.

2) Make innovation a necessity, not a luxury

Innovation is not just a buzzword, it's a critical component for success. Standing out among a sea of competitors requires businesses to constantly explore new ideas, technologies, and strategies to keep customers engaged. But innovation isn't just about being trendy. It's about finding new and better ways to meet the needs of your customers, and to stay ahead of the curve. It requires creativity, curiosity, and a willingness to take risks- but the rewards can be substantial. By embracing innovation, especially on the digital front, you can differentiate, increase efficiency, and drive growth. Like many industries, the real estate industry is a fast paced one, so, we at MMP recently created a bespoke business process management application with 125 automated processes that streamline the complexities of property management, and significantly reduce the risk of human error. It's been a gamechanger for our business, and that's something that's worth remembering if you want to succeed in a crowded marketplace- don't just follow the crowd, lead it with bold ideas and innovative solutions.

3) Flex your network value

In every industry in any country, relationships are crucial to sustaining and growing your business. A satisfied customer is not only an asset, but also a potential source of new business. By asking satisfied clients for referrals, you can tap into a powerful network of word-of-mouth or "network value" marketing. Referrals are not only more cost-effective than other forms of marketing, but they also have a higher conversion rate. Clients referred by other clients are more likely to trust your business and become loyal customers. In a crowded marketplace, where competition is fierce, client referrals can give businesses a much-needed edge. But it all starts with a quality service, delivering the utmost for your clients, and keeping them happy. It's an investment, often at a senior level, but it's worth it. We have a robust customer satisfaction policy and referral process, and our client turnover at MMP is less than 2%, and our average client tenure is eight years.

4) Know your market inside out

Real estate is heavily regulated, and it changes all the time; so, we at MMP make sure that we always know and understand all elements of the industry- it's essential from a legal standpoint. Your industry might not be as regulated, but you need to have an awareness of industry trends and competition. By gathering and analyzing data about your target audience, you can gain valuable insights that can inform everything from product development to advertising campaigns, as well as finding more opportunities for clients. In a crowded marketplace where competition is fierce, businesses that truly know their market have a distinct advantage, as it also allows you to pivot and bring a different approach. For example, we at MMP approach the property management market from the angle of investment, and coupled with our market knowledge, it's been a successful strategy for maintaining strong growth in a crowded market.

5) Step up your marketing

In a crowded sector, it's not enough just to have brand awareness, you need to be communicating your brand USPs and generating brand equity, so that your target audience can understand how you differentiate from competitors. We're in a world where reputation is everything- it's no longer a matter of aesthetics, so invest in marketing to make sure that you have visibility at all customer touchpoints, and that the content people come across about the business is positive, and reflects your company values, key messages, and commitment to quality. The key is to be strategic and creative, and explore traditional and digital marketing channels to connect with your audience. Also don't be afraid to try something new and bold, even if it's looking for a new audience to target, trying a new piece of content, or something experiential– push the boundaries, and that will allow you to make an impact on both your current and new customer base.

Related: Four Financial Lessons Learnt As A First-Time Founder

Marcello Arcangeli

CEO of Manage My Property

Marcello Arcangeli is the CEO of Manage My Property, which has been at the forefront of Dubai real estate management for 16 years, delivering hassle-free and profitable ownership experiences to landlords through its market-leading management software and dedicated property managers. With the founders’ extensive investment experience, investors can rest assured that every decision is made with their maximum return on investment in mind. MMP’s impressive track record of 98% average occupancy and zero insolvency cases speaks to its commitment to creating long-lasting relationships, and delivering a seamless and profitable rental experience for clients around the world.

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