THE REAL ESTATE BATTLEFIELD AND THE IMPORTANCE OF MARKETING

One of the most important things to realise when you make the decision to sell your home is that your property doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Homes aren’t sold in isolation, they’re sold in competition.  You have to contend with all the other homes on the market, and in today’s market you really have to fight for attention. You have to work hard to make your home stand out, and that’s where marketing comes into play.

We sat down with two of Canberra’s top agents, Mark Larmer (REIACT’s Auctioneer of the Year) and Jonathan Charles (REIACT’s Salesperson of the Year) to get their views on just how important marketing is to a successful sales campaign.

“Marketing is crucial,” says Mark Larmer, “There’s an old saying in the real estate industry – you can’t sell a secret. Finding the right buyer isn’t as simple as putting a sign up in front of your home and expecting people to magically appear and start offering you money. To find a buyer, you need to let people know that your property is for sale. The more people that know about your home, the more enquiries you receive, and the more enquiries, the more potential buyers you will have.”

To get your home to stand out, you need to think strategically. According to Jonathan Charles, “The first step in any marketing campaign is looking closely at similar properties that were sold recently. You’re not just looking at price, you’re analysing how they were marketed and what you can do better.”

Having a competitive mindset helps. You want to give your home an advantage over other properties. To do that you have to work out who you are up against. Imagine there is another seller, with a similar property to yours, sitting opposite you at the other end of a chessboard. How are you going to out manoeuvre them and find the best buyers? You need to make your home more attractive than your opponents.

“The main purpose of marketing is to get a buyer’s attention and get them interested in the home,” says Mark Larmer, “but you have to be careful how you do it. Good marketing is not about telling people everything there is to know about a property, because then you run the risk of them thinking they don’t need to look at it. You want to tell them just enough to pique their curiosity and get them to inspect the home. It’s a delicate balancing act, but when you get it right it makes a huge difference.”

So, while marketing is important, not all marketing is equal. What you should be worrying about is whether or not you have the right marketing.

Jonathan Charles has this advice: “Good marketing is targeted marketing. You need to think about who is likely to buy your home and tailor your marketing to suit them. If your home is really going to appeal to downsizers, then you need to make sure your marketing is seen by downsizers and talks to them in the right way. It’s better to have 10 people who are really interested in buying the property come to an open home, than 20 people who are just there to have a look around.”

So what are the key moves for success?

  • Think multi-media – you want a wide reach, but you need a targeted approach not market saturation
  • Ensure you have a strong relationship marketing strategy – you want buyers to feel attached to the property
  • View marketing as an investment and act accordingly – too much is a waste, but too little can leave you at a disadvantage and impact your end result
  • The first 2 weeks are crucial – that opening gambit can set the scene for success so make sure it is well planned and executed

The last thing you want to do is waste your time and resources on an ill-thought-out and haphazard marketing campaign. That’s like moving your chess pieces around the board at random. The right marketing means targeting the right buyers in the right way with the right product.

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