Marketing a home correctly can mean the difference between a property that languishes on the market and takes a long time to sell; and a property that finds an excited buyer quickly. It’s important for both real estate agents and home owners to work together to market the property. Here are seven basic rules of marketing to keep in mind when talking with your real estate agent or trying to sell your home by yourself.
- The first rule of marketing a property is that you actually have to market the property! You can’t stick a sign in the yard and expect the buyers to flock. Unfortunately too many people who are trying to do for sale by owner and even some professional real estate agents, don’t seem to know this important rule! The only people who are going to see the yard sign are those who live in your area or drive down your street. That is a very limited pool of potential buyers.
- Every property is unique, so every property should have its own marketing plan. A 2 bedroom, $65,000 starter home isn’t going to have the same pool of potential buyers as a $325,000, 5 bedroom, 3 bath house. Each marketing plan needs to define who may be interested in the property and target that segment of the population without discriminating.
If you’re marketing a cozy vacation home near a lake, such as the home for sale at 38 Beaver St. in Montezuma, target real estate agents and buyers outside of the geographical area where it is located. Target people with interests in boating, fishing or camping. On the other hand, if you’re marketing an economically priced, larger home in an established neighborhood near schools and shopping such as the home for sale at 925 Hendricks in St. Marys, you might target families, first time home buyers, or DIY enthusiasts.
When marketing a home with a higher price point, it’s important to build the luxury story. In today’s marketplace, luxury brands are cultural currency. They talk to the quality and value of a higher priced home. Real estate marketers should take a full inventory of the brands reflected in the home and use them to gain interest in the property. Emphasize features that are chic or modern. Currently, “smart home” technology is all the rage. Mention the smart door locks, smart thermostats, smart security systems, etc. in the marketing materials.
- The third rule of marketing is that it’s not about more marketing, it’s about more effective marketing. Don’t describe the home with a fact-based objective listing of the home’s features. A successful marketer will create a story-based listing that makes the home come alive and helps the potential buyer picture themselves living in the space.
Words are extremely important. According to Zillow, among higher-tier homes, the word “captivating” added 6.5% to the sale price. They also identified 15 other words that add value to home listings such as “impeccable,” “landscaped,” and “pergola.” Almost all of the words are descriptive and build a story or a picture in the buyers mind.
- Utilize technology and social media to promote each property. Many successful real estate agents use blogs to complement their marketing activities. Social media sites, such as Facebook, are another great way to reach potential buyers. Facebooks ads can be targeted to specific areas and interests. Utilizing videos online is a great way to catch people’s attention.
- Speaking of video, the fifth rule of marketing a property is high quality video and pictures. Never use pictures that are blurry, dark, or have poor resolution. According to the real estate association, 90% of buyers are first drawn to a property (online or otherwise) by good quality photographs. However, not all video needs to be professionally created. In fact, it is usually best to have videos that are more personable and more relatable. Walking through a property using Facebook Live, narrating as if you are showing a client the property is a great way to create an in-the-moment experience.
- The power of networking is the sixth rule. Make connections within the community and utilize them to your mutual advantage. Share listings with local human resources departments who may have employees relocating to the area and are in need of housing. You can even use beautiful and luxurious properties as backgrounds for local business’ advertisements to increase exposure.
- Clean and flawlessly groomed houses sell quicker and for higher dollar. First impressions are everything. Nothing turns potential buyers off more quickly than dirt or grime especially in kitchen and bathrooms. Curb appeal is extremely important. If there isn’t much landscaping or room for landscaping, you can always add bright-colored potted plants near the front door.
Keeping these seven rules of marketing in mind should help move your property quicker and at a higher dollar amount than those properties that are relying strictly on signs and/or limited online listings.
By Bonnie Marlow, Realtor, Cisco Realty