You’re trying to sell your property but instead of it leaping off the books with a flood of enquiry and quick sale, there’s little to no interest. What’s wrong and what can you do to reinvigorate your property marketing campaign?
It seemed easy enough.
You have a viable home for sale, you’ve advertised it and notified qualified buyers from your database.
So what’s wrong? Is it the property, the price or the vendor?
It may be none of these.
What can you review when you’re trying to get that campaign back on track?
Days on market
‘Days on market’ is one tool for measuring how well your property is doing against the average for your suburb.
But beware. It is only an average and even different streets in the same suburb can generate vastly different levels of interest.
According to Jane Booty, multi-award-winning sales agent and co-director of Century 21 The Hills District, you need to think about location and market volume.
At any given time, the volume of buyers can vary, depending on the economy, the time of year or any number of other factors.
When Jane has a home on her real estate books that isn’t doing as well as expected, instead of simply looking at days on the market, she checks other metrics.
Are we getting internet hits on the property?
Are buyers still coming to view the property?
Are we getting offers?
Are we getting requests for building inspections and pest inspections?
“If you still have buyers coming through and making offers or expressing positive interest, don’t worry too much about the number of days on market,” remarked Jane.
“However, when buyer numbers dwindle and we aren’t getting the internet hits we anticipated, it’s time to take another tack.”
“When buyer numbers and internet hits dwindle, it’s time to take another tack with your property marketing campaign.”
Do you have the best property marketing mix?
Before you go straight for the jugular and recommend a price cut, it’s worth reviewing your property advertising and marketing.
Jane explains, “Even something as simple as changing the order of the photographs on your online listing can make a difference.”
All homes have something special about them. Maybe it’s an ordinary-looking house from the front but it sits on a huge block? Put the pictures of the backyard higher in the order.
Small bathroom and kitchen? Put those photos at the end of the stream.
Perhaps the open house presentation isn’t all it should be. Vendors should consider how their home makes people feel.
Lose the clutter and the family photographs so buyers can imagine themselves decorating the space with their own belongings.
If rooms get limited light at certain times of the day, turn on all the lights.
In winter, keep the heating on so the home is warm and inviting.
In summer, turn on the air conditioning in time for the home to be cool before buyers arrive.
To be sure the house is presented in its best light, it’s a good idea for sales agents to ask for access to the home before the actual open-for-inspection time.
Could it be your vendor communication strategy?
Jane adds, “If you’re turning down the same offer time and time again, then it’s time to rethink the price or other aspects. And that involves communication – between vendor and sales agent, between buyers and the sales agent.”
According to Jane Booty, it’s vital that there’s excellent communication between the vendor and the agent.
“We check in with our vendors regularly, plus we use an online e-sales system at Century 21 that vendors can access 24/7. It’s updated in real time so they can see what we’re doing from minute to minute – phone calls, offers and more.
“We believe that our vendors should work with us as part of our team to enable us to get the best sales result for them.”
Jane recommends that agents should provide a report to their vendor at least weekly, and check in more often with buyer feedback where appropriate. Vendors often have expectations beyond what’s possible. It’s the agent’s job to manage those expectations and help the vendor move to a more conciliatory position so they can sell their home without undue delay.
“For best results, vendors should be encouraged to view themselves as partners with the sales team, to work together more cohesively.”
Could it be your buyer communication tactics?
Just as important is the communication between the selling agent and the buyers. If buyers have a negative reaction to the home, both the vendor and the agent need to know why.
Feedback from buyers is critical to the sales process and will help you to tweak your property marketing campaign.
It also helps vendors understand what they need to do to make their home more appealing to buyers. It’s often a simple fix that’s been overlooked or that a tweak in the advertising can address.
Jane recalls, “During the course of one sales campaign, our agent mentioned that buyers were asking about the school catchment area. The information was in the advertising but it was listed right at the bottom. That feedback meant that we moved the catchment area information into the headline.”
In other cases, it could be that the home has been misrepresented in the real estate marketing mix. ‘A luxury four-bedroom home’ is going to disappoint if buyers arrive to find the fourth bedroom little more than a cupboard. However, the perception flips if you’ve described it as ‘a three-bedroom family home with study’. Buyers can use their own imagination as to how they’d use that ‘study’.
Should you take the property off the market for a time?
Jane believes that there are many roads to travel before you need to consider giving a property a marketing holiday.
Changing photography or the order of the photographs on the website, or using new photography, can often push a property back up in buyers’ books.
Incorporating buyer feedback to address any niggling or unforeseen issues can often give your marketing campaign a new lease of life.
Notes Jane, “The agent can do some pre-selling before the potential buyer sees the house for the first time, managing expectations from that side.”
Remember, your key objectives (apart from the sale) are to overcome objections and sell the dream, albeit a realistic one to the most suitable purchasers. There’s a buyer for every home out there after all – you just have to identify who they are and why this particular property would appeal to them. So don’t give up – learn as you go and readjust.