The FAQ series answers all those questions that often crop up when buying, selling and preparing a property. Everyday I work with people seeking to understand the process of selling their home a little better. Today we look at the different kinds of advertising channels and tips you should consider when selling your house.
The main ways sellers advertise their property is through newspaper listings and/or advertisements, online listings and/or advertisements, and leaflet drops. Which channel is best for you is largely driven by the kind of buyer you’re looking to attract.
Selling your house is all about working with a great team so I asked Mark Kentwell, principal for PRD Nationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and (Real Estate Business Australian Regional Principal of the Year 2014 and owner of PRD’s Number 1 office nationally) his thoughts on this FAQ. Kentwell says there are four main types of buyers you’re likely to reach and each have particular behaviours that recommend one advertising channel or another.
1. Active buyers constantly scour online listings and directly receive alerts from real estate websites and agents. They are highly informed and often conduct lot of research before they make an offer, which means they are logical and analytical when it comes to purchasing. These are desirable customers who are ready to pounce on a property that suits their needs. Online listings and real estate agent relationships are the best way to reach this bunch.
2. Passive buyers generally come from the greater local area. They may be active buyers on a bit of a break, or simply happy to see what’s out there with no burning desire to buy. The trigger that makes these buyers jump is a match between their aspirations and what your property offers— and this could lead to an emotionally driven offer. A newspaper advertisement could be the best way to capture a passive buyer’s attention.
According to a recent survey from realestate.com.au, 81% of adult newspaper readers read the real estate section even if they are not looking to purchase at that time. If you’re going to advertise in a newspaper, keep in mind that the bigger the better. On average, a buyer spends 16 seconds looking at a page and they scan rather than read, so use the space wisely to capture their attention and hold them for longer.
3. Neighbourhood buyers are those who live in the immediate area of a property, and are usually looking to upgrade, purchase an investment, or refer a friend or family member to an area they’re familiar with and enjoying living in. You’re more likely to find these buyers through a signboard or a letterbox drop.
4. Out of area buyers will generally do an online search to find your property, so a newspaper ad is unlikely to be the best use of funds to attract these buyers. Invest in communicating details about the proximity of schools, shopping areas, transport and other amenities instead (don’t say ‘close to transport’ when you can say ‘600 metres from bus stop’). They also love video walkthroughs.
Decide on the mix
So we know the 4 main types of buyers and where they come from, what you can’t predict is where the best buyer(s) will come from. So it’s important to make sure your campaign has a mix of all channels and the investment is worth the return.
To give an idea of budget, in metropolitan areas, a good benchmark is to invest 1% of the property’s target value into the marketing campaign and in some prestige or highly competitive areas you might find that 1.5% or so I required to stand out.
In regional areas, 0.5% – 1% of the target value will often do the job of getting you above the competition.
This is separate to the agent’s commission, which is the fee you pay for their labour, strategy and skills in running the campaign and negotiating a premium outcome for your sale.
Properties with standout marketing campaigns regularly achieve 5% above comparable properties that haven’t used a campaign covering all channels. When combined with presentation works and home staging this can often amount to 10% over the competition, provided the right agent and sale method is used to extract the best from the market.