A good marketing campaign can make or break a property sale; here are a few simple but effective things that will help you generate buyer interest
It’s an old retail cliché that having a great product to sell won’t benefit your business if you don’t let anyone know about it. The same could be said of selling your house — it’s pointless putting your home up for sale if you don’t make the effort to marketing it properly so that prospective buyers know it’s available and why it’s unique.
The property market has slowed in many parts of New Zealand and in a lot of areas it is now a buyers’ market. This means that marketing your property effectively has become increasingly vital if you are going to generate the interest needed to attract multiple buyers and attain the best result possible.
You should address the way you are going to market your home, and what a realistic budget is to get maximum cut through, at the outset when you are appointing an agent.
Here are a few considerations that will influence the success of your marketing campaign:
Choosing your agent:
When assessing what agent to appoint, ask each to give you a written report on a proposed marketing strategy. This will usually include a number of options in terms of the extent of the campaign and budget. Make sure there is a breakdown of costs for each option.
Be aware that whatever marketing campaign you decide on it is usual for this fee to be paid upfront and it is not refundable— whether your property sells just 10 days into a four-week campaign, or doesn’t sell at all, you will not be refunded.
Ask the agent to give you examples of marketing campaigns for other properties they have sold recently, and the length of time it took to sell.
Also check out their personal contacts — a good agent will be able to tell you about the database of current buyers who they are in constant communication with. Many will have significant online activity with a wider client base, often sending out weekly reports and emailing when new properties are listed. Many agencies will also have joint marketing strategies over their portfolio of properties that can give you extra exposure.
Last but not least, have a look at the agency’s street presence. Many real estate offices really work their front windows with displays of their listings which can get surprising results from people who are not actively looking but are enticed by a special property.
Invest in quality photography:
In these days of short attention spans you only have a moment to get that click through to an online inspection. Sites like Trademe Property have a huge influence on buyer interest. It is imperative that you make the most of this marketing opportunity and invest in a professional photographer to make a great first impression.
De-clutter and style your home before the shoot and maintain this look for viewings and open homes. Ensure that you have a shot list of the major features of the property that you want to focus on. These photographs will also be used on signage, and any print activity and brochures so they are a major marketing tool — a significant number of buyers dismiss a property after only looking at online photos.
Similarly invest in making a professional standard video that gives a real sense of the house’s attributes and is informative.
Getting a properly drafted floor plan can also be a big help for people wanting to assess the house’s layout online, and as a reference after visiting an open home.
Craft your communication:
Once you have the photos it’s important that you tie everything together in a clever package. Selecting photos that highlight special characteristics is vital for the online presence, sign and print advertising but don’t underestimate the power of the word.
There’s nothing worse than advertising that is full of superlatives but lacking in basic information, or that is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Many real estate agents will have contacts for professional copywriters who can help to craft your written communication. Use them.
As well as drawing attention to the key features of your home, online marketing copy should also mention the benefits of the location and highlight neighbourhood amenities for people who are not familiar with the area. Make it easy for buyers — offer all the relevant info like LIM reports, zoning if applicable, etc, and have any relevant links online.
See how other people in the area are marketing comparable homes and make sure your marketing material has a point of difference so you stand out from the crowd.
Print can give prominence to your property and attract the attention of a wide base of buyers. Consider running ads in the local paper and specialist real estate publications. A letterbox drop in your vicinity of glossy flyers can also be a very effective means of communication if you live in a desirable neighbourhood that doesn’t have a lot of housing stock. It is a direct way to reach those who may not be actively looking to buy, but considering up or downsizing and don’t want to leave the neighbourhood. They will also tell friends and family who may have expressed interest in moving into the area.
Consider having brochures available for distribution at open homes, especially if you have a distinctive home. If people are visiting several homes in a day it’s an easy way to remind them of how appealing your home is.
Words by: Sarah Beresford.