August 14th, 2011
The raison d’etre for estate agents everywhere, is to get the properties they sell, noticed ! Simples.
These days unless you’re selling property in central London where the upper end of the market is on fire (yes, I know, but I started writing this a couple of weeks ago), you’re likely to need to exploit every trick in the book to get your home noticed by the best available buyers. You could, for example, throw in with your sale a free Ferrari or Mini but that little trick was done to death in the ‘70’s; or you could make your home a raffle prize, but that’s not a new idea either and let’s face it, raffles are a bit down-market and much better suited to raising funds for the village hall roof repair.
One part of the world that’s light-years ahead of the UK and even the USA when it comes to getting property noticed is Australia/New Zealand. Not everything they do would likely be well-received by the UK market, (not yet, at least) – if you want to see what I mean take a look at this,,
Ladies in lingerie aside, it’s certainly true that the Aussies have taken property marketing to a completely new level and they’ve won admiration from other property professionals throughout the world.
Professional property photography has played a huge part in their advance and you’ll see from the above example that video is catching on in a big way too. If the UK market goes the same way as theirs, (and why wouldn’t it – we’ve followed them and the USA for the past 40 years to my knowledge), then over the next five or so years we’ll see our market becoming much more aware of how excellence in property marketing (getting homes noticed) leads to improved selling prices and more sales opportunities.
Why is that? Why would anyone bother to spend time and money on professional property marketing and why would that lead to a better selling price?
In short, your home is in a beauty parade on the portals and in the newspapers and magazines. Once someone has plugged into a portal and said where they want to live, and defined the price range and type of home they’re looking for, they’ll be presented with dozens of homes, if not hundreds, from which to choose. So you need something that makes your home stand out from the competition – and the most obvious device for this is a property’s photography. A huge part of professional property marketing involves producing images that show property in its best light; your property’s images can make the difference between buyers clicking on your home’s details – or not… You need your photos to not just show your house, but to show it off! You NEED buyers to click on YOUR property’s listing. In particular, you need the ONE buyer who would value your property higher than all the other buyers to be MOTIVATED to make a viewing appointment. Otherwise, if instead they skip over your listing, perhaps because the photos are under par and haven’t grabbed their attention, then you’ll have missed out on achieving your optimal selling price.
My Vendor Doesn’t Understand Me
If your objective is to sell your property for the best price in the shortest time then your agent and you need to understand your buyer: mostly they’re busy and work harder and for longer hours than others in Europe. At least 75% (87% in Australia) of them, therefore, search for property on the Internet using all manner of portals. They are very price-savvy and time is at a premium. Your potential buyer needs your agent (and you) to smooth their path, oil their wheels and make it really easy for them to decide to come and view your property before they go to someone else’s. Very few people have the creativity or the time to spare looking at bad photos and trying to imagine what a property might look like with a modicum of effort. So, if you really want, really really want the best price, then (there’s no kind way to say this and there are no shortcuts either) you have to deliver your property to the majority of buyers, at its best, on a plate! And your property’s photos absolutely MUST reach out and grab your audience’s attention by the eyeballs. This is a reality that country house agents such as Knight Frank realised years ago – they use only the best photographers – and yes, I love working for them.
Success is In the Mind
One of the biggest reasons for our antipodean cousins being so far in advance of the rest of the world as property marketing professionals is that they are culturally predisposed toward winning – they hate losing, (one word – Ashes); also they know that salesmanship alone is not enough when it comes to getting the best price for their properties. They are very much marketing-oriented, always at the cutting edge, looking for new ways to get their properties ‘out there’. – whereas in the UK, we’re much more out of the ‘if it’s not broke, why fix it’ mould.
Very rarely will a house sell itself for the maximum possible price; and when it comes to squeezing the optimal price from a house sale, it takes more than a winning way with words and having a trustworthy estate agent. What property marketing professionals have to do is build desire in a completely honest way – by knowing who their buyers are, knowing their needs and then by showing them appropriate properties in their very best light so that they’ll WANT to view; but in order to do this, even for homes more humble than that shown in the video, a process is involved – and it’s a process that involves you – the vendor…