Brand EditorialElite AgentSelling and Marketing Property

Dominating the buy side: Ben Auchettl

Obtaining that premium price for any property is all about finding buyers and creating competition. Ben Auchettl wears two hats at realestate.com.au – he is the National Sales Director leading the sales teams as well as being responsible for the listing products such as Premiere, Audience Maximiser, Exclusive Showcase and Front Page. At the forefront of helping agents find buyers on Australia’s largest property platform for buyers and sellers, he sat down with Elite Agent Editor Samantha McLean to share some tips for how agents can dominate the buy side in 2019.

It’s all about understanding what your potential buyers look like. And then putting the right information in front of them at the right time.

That is the clear message from Ben Auchettl, who keenly watches enough facts and stats direct from the realestate.com.au platform to understand what branding and advertising strategies are working right now.

And, he says, it’s being armed with the right knowledge that can help you differentiate your service; not just to win you the listing but also to pull off the trifecta of finding more potential buyers while increasing agency branding at the same time.

“If advertising is vendor-funded it’s got to work for the vendor first and foremost. But we also understand that every agent is part of our sales team and it’s got to work for them as well.”

Getting initial eyeballs

To bring in the greatest number of potential buyers, you need to get the maximum eyeballs possible.

Auchettl says that most agents are aware of the hierarchy of listing products on realestate.com.au, starting with Standard, then moving up to Feature and Highlight, then finally Premiere, where listings appear at the top of all search results.

Additionally, Premiere listings reach a global audience on overseas partner networks, along with additional features such as custom videos, property brochures and more.

“Premiere alone is going to bring 80 per cent of your audience, possibly more,” says Auchettl.

Ben Auchettl

The extra ten per cent

Premiere add-on products such as Audience Maximiser regularly bring agents 10 to 15 per cent more enquiry than Premiere alone, says Auchettl.

But, while Audience Maximiser has become popular, he says the real power of the product itself is still not all that well understood.

“Imagine, Sam, that you are searching for a property in North Sydney on realestate.com.au and you click on a couple of them. We begin to understand the profile of the property that you are looking for in the area in which you want to live.

“What Audience Maximiser does is suggest other properties in that same location or close by on Facebook, Google and the news.com.au network while you are visiting those other sites.

“Basically it says, hey, if Sam was interested in that property, maybe she’s interested in this one or this one.”

Based on a Nielsen study, every week the average consumer spends around 44.5 minutes on the realestate.com.au website and app – but more than 42 hours in total online.

It’s during this total ‘online time’ that Audience Maximiser targets them when they’re not on realestate.com.au and brings them back to the site.

Auchettl admits that Audience Maximiser is not the only product that does this, but the major differentiator is the depth of information realestate.com.au has about its users due to size.

“That is really the secret sauce: knowing more about the market and being able to use that to re-target buyers and bring them back,” he says.

Premiere add-on products such as Audience Maximiser regularly bring agents 10 to 15 per cent more enquiry than Premiere alone.

The ‘paperless’ letterbox drop

Audience Maximiser has recently undergone a few changes to make it more attractive to more vendors. Previously it was only possible to purchase on a per-listing basis, but now agencies can purchase a contract to be shared between all listings at a lower price point – similar to Premiere All.

Auchettl says this is great for agency branding which is more targeted than the ‘traditional’ letterbox drop.

“If I had bought a 30,000 impression Audience Maximiser package and I had 10 listings for the month,” says Auchettl, “that would make it around 300,000 times my brand has been seen by an audience which isn’t searching on realestate.com.au.

“When you think about the money that is invested in billboards, outdoor, letterbox drops and those sorts of things,” says Auchettl, “this is way more targeted than that and reaches the audience with an experience they want, rather than something they don’t want or is being pushed on them.”

Listing points of difference

Once you understand the different products and when they apply, says Auchettl, you can use them as points of difference in your listing presentations.

“Some agents get the listing, then present the advertising schedule; other agents like to talk through how they are going to reach the maximum number of buyers before signing the agency agreement.

“But these agents know their customers well and can use their product knowledge to differentiate themselves from others.

“It all depends on what the customer is looking for. Some vendors really appreciate a detailed explanation of the products being recommended and how the agent will work to attract the best pool of buyers possible.”

Following ‘moving’ buyers                                                                             

Ultimately, says Auchettl, it’s crucial to think about not just what suburb your buyer may come from but also where your agency is at.

And this is where an Exclusive Showcase add-on might very well provide a win to both the vendor and the agency – and it’s now available on mobile as well as desktop platforms.

But, to use this product to its full advantage, you also need to closely follow buyer migrations, says Auchettl.

“Let’s say you have a property for sale in North Sydney, but you actually don’t think the buyer is going to come from North Sydney; you think it might be a great property for a new empty-nester couple coming from a house in Manly who want to move closer to the city.

“You might let the vendor know that you feel strongly that buyers might come from out of area. If you have an Exclusive Showcase in a particular suburb as it is an exclusive product, you will be the only agent who is able to say that.

“It’s a really strong listing tool.”

Helping customers to simplify the complexities of digital

Auchettl acknowledges that navigating the world of digital and the myriad of marketing options for anyone is a complex task. So, while focusing on improving the listing products in his set, he is also ensuring the sales team are well equipped to provide customers with the right solution at the right time.

“We’re putting ourselves through a number of digital training events. We want to be able to talk to customers about trends on a wider range of digital issues that we hope will be helpful.

“Adding value all round is an important part of the service we’re able to provide.

“2019 is going to be an exciting year, with heaps more to come in the area of listing products,” says Auchettl. “Watch this space!”

If you would like more information on listing products from realestate.com.au, contact your local account manager or visit the agent marketing centre: agent.realestate.com.au.

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