You might have the most amazing home to sell, but if it you don’t choose the right agent with the right marketing campaign, you have little chance of attracting the right buyer.
In a perfect world, every real estate agent would not only be personable, they would also have a proven track record of selling similar properties, consistently achieve great results within a short timeframe, and do so with the utmost integrity.
Unfortunately we are far from such a perfect world. Just like any industry, there are some outstanding players that consistently outperform their peers, and there are some that paint a very bad picture for the industry. The same applies to sales campaigns. Some are designed to attract the maximum number of buyers to your property, but others are cleverly crafted to primarily promote the agent/agency.
So what should you look for in a sales campaign?
As a seller, you don’t really think about questioning the inclusions of a campaign that has been presented to you by your selling agent. You rely on their expertise and even though many sellers are often surprised at the cost, they assume it’s just standard. The fact is the majority of campaigns put forward ARE ‘standard’, but every property is different. Therefore a campaign should be tailored to your specific requirements, not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
As seller’s advocates, we are consistently making changes to the marketing campaigns put forward and the majority of the time, we are saving our clients thousands of dollars in doing so.
The key elements of a good sales campaign should include:
- great photography – not just the angles but the quality as well. Ensure the photos are of the highest standard of quality. This will mean the difference between colours that pop, versus being drab and boring.
- video – depending on the location, target market and value of the property, videos can work very well. Statistics show that more people prefer to click on a video rather than read an article.
- online advertising – advertising online is a real no brainer. If you’re not online you will simply not get the numbers through the property.
- Good copywriting – make sure the agent goes to some effort when writing a description for your property. However don’t give away too much information about the property either. Leave some interesting information to share with buyers when they visit the open home.
- for sale signage – you can’t sell a secret. If you don’t have a signboard, buyers won’t think you’re genuine.
- Brochure – an essential component to remind the buyer about your property once they’ve left the open house. A site plan is also a great option for freestanding homes.
- open house inspections – are an absolute must. The highest number of people will come through your property during the first 2 weeks. We believe this is the minimum amount of time any property should be on the market. Exposing your property to a large number of buyers will ensure you achieve the highest price out there at that particular point in time. Anything less and you may be doing yourself a disservice.
- tapping into an existing client database – A large database definitely has it’s advantages, however it’s more about the quality. How accurate is the information? Are they qualified and active buyers, or have they been in there for the last 10 years?
We have purposely left out what many agents regard as a major component of a marketing campaign – PRINT ADVERTISING. Unfortunately, due to the internet as well as the high cost, it’s slowly becoming a thing of the past. However, for an agent it’s the best method of attracting new sellers (not buyers) to their business. And guess who pays for it? That’s right – the seller.
The other way agents cleverly disguise their self promotion is through ‘Just Listed’ and ‘Just Sold’ cards to be distributed around the neighbourhood. This is a great way to show other potential sellers their agency is active in the area. It’s all about staying top of mind in this business. Needless to say, these flyers are one of the first things we scrap from our own seller’s marketing campaigns. And most of the time, the agent does it anyway but pays from his/her own pocket!
As already mentioned, within the first few weeks you should have a pretty good idea of how much interest the property is receiving via the numbers attending the open-for-inspections; return visitors; requests for contracts; requests to do building and pest inspections; and calls to discuss contract terms. If these vital signs are flat-lining, it’s time to act and sit down with your agent for a re-think. Review the advertising. Ask yourself, is it really compelling? Does it adequately highlight the features or misrepresent the property? If the copy isn’t spot on consider a rewrite and fast. Mix the photos around a bit. This sometimes gives the impression the property is a New listing again, and will attract some more ad views.
If after a few months (2-3 being the maximum) you’re still not getting the right interest, consider taking the property off the market. Rest it for a few months, and then relist with a completely different agent. Perhaps you can convince the new agent to cover the cost of advertising upfront and be reimbursed once you are happy and the property is sold. New copy, some property styling and new photography can make a huge difference. Sometimes it is better to retreat and regroup rather than make too many concessions just to sell the property. You’ll have learnt a lot from the first attempt and be stronger for it.
Innovative Property Advocates provide a unique Sellers Advocacy service. We interview and advise on selecting the right agent to sell your property, evaluate the sales campaign, negotiate the agent’s commission and much more. To find out how we could assist you call us on 0411 522 233.
Sources: Wakelin Property Advisory, Local Agent Finder, Innovative Property Advocates