The minute a “for sale” sign is put in front of your home, a specific, detailed and professional marketing program needs to be in place and ready to go. The first few weeks your home is on the market are the most critical. A valuable opportunity is lost and your home could be begging for buyers much like a fish out of water gasps for air if your home doesn’t have the right promotional materials behind it.
What amazes me is the number of homes for sale right now that have no marketing plan whatsoever. This should always be one of the top questions you ask a perspective real estate agent: “How will you market my home?” If they give you an outdated response, such as some print advertising, a sign and a homemade brochure, then walk away. They aren’t really interested in making the effort to sale your home.
So let’s get started:
What makes a home marketing campaign undesirable? Have you ever seen a really bad photo of yourself? Who hasn’t? Would you consider publishing that photo for everyone to see? Of course not! Well guess what? You would be surprised how many ugly home photos are uploaded on websites, placed in brochures and promoted to buyers. Not one buyer will make an appointment to see such a home unless it’s listed for free. And even that is questionable. Photos that show a dirty home, or out of focus, have no business being used when trying to sell your home. And also note that photos turned sideways, not properly cropped, showing pets on the furniture and a room is too dark because the drapes or blinds are closed are also big mistakes. These amateur photos only show the buyer that a home is not represented professionally.
Other “ugly” marketing campaigns contain misspelled words, bad graphics, horrible, loud music behind a virtual tour and anything else that takes your attention away from the subject, which in this case, is your property.
What makes a bad marketing campaign? Let’s say you have a home in an ideal school district where homes are very rarely on the market. A bad marketing campaign would fail to mention that. Which of the following sounds more enticing to a buyer that has a family?
Great Home In Great Location!
Rare Opportunity to Own a Phenomenal Home In One of Windsor’s Most Highly Desired And Sought After School Districts!
A bad marketing campaign won’t mention highly coveted details of a home. By finding your target audience, you will know what to promote. Another example is if you are selling a condo or townhouse. Most buyers today looking for this type of property are singles, young couples or those recently retired. So by directing your marketing to them, you need to include what they want in a lifestyle. Which is better?
Updated and Spacious Condo For Sale!
Beautiful Condo With Open Floor Plan in Gated Community In Quiet, Highly Desirable Neighborhood! Close to Work, Shopping, Parks and Public Transportation!
Simply throwing out an address and listing how many bedrooms and baths just won’t lead buyers to your property, and certainly won’t entice them to make an appointment to see your home. With so many homes on the market, why should they?
And bad marketing doesn’t stop there. Make sure your home is available for buyers. If buyers and their agents don’t see a lockbox on your property, or you require restrictions, such as 24 hour notice, shown by appointment only or even certain hours that a home is available for viewing, then chances are, your home will be on the market for some time.
What makes a great marketing campaign? Well certainly, you can say to yourself, “Just don’t do the above and I’m good to go!” Yes, but there are still lots more.
1. Excellent photos taken by professional or close to it. Include more than one photo. If a buyer only sees one photo, they will assume you are selling a foreclosure or that the rest of the house looks pretty bad. Don’t leave them guessing.
2. Find your target buyer. As mentioned, make sure you know the type of buyer that will want your home and go after them with a direct and organized campaign.
3. Excellent sales materials. All of your brochures and advertisements must be professional looking and with the right keywords that explain why your home is special, unique and highly desirable. List any home improvements and completed repairs. If you have a brand new roof, let buyers know.
4. Make your home assessable. You will earn a reputation as a “difficult” seller if you don’t make your home available for showings. If this happens, real estate agents will shy away from having their clients view your home.
5. Have a heavy online presence. This is key and probably the most important part of your marketing program IF you have the above steps in place. Once your sales materials are created, then it’s time to promote them. Once your home is on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), then it’s time to also include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest as well. Your real estate agent should be all over this and also use their website to highlight your property as well. If they don’t have one, then a separate custom website should be created as well.
6. Virtual Tour. No home on the market should be without this valuable tool. Ninety percent of all homebuyers start their home search on the Internet. Searches that include virtual tours are often the most looked at as it gives buyers a feeling of “being there.” Stay away from gimmicky music and over the top production. Make it simple and direct.
Sound easy? Selling a Windsor property takes work and lots of it. To do it right and to generate the traffic that leads to a sale takes time and a budget. In today’s market, with so much inventory out there, it is imperative to create a marketing plan that makes your home stand out. When a home is priced correctly and has an organized, professional and well thought out promotional tool behind it, then you are more than halfway there.