Hitting The Spot

Got a great property to sell? How about an ordinary one? To have the best chance of selling to the right buyer you should make sure the message in your marketing is clear. Story by Tony Rowe.

Got a great property to sell? How about an ordinary one? To have the best chance of selling to the right buyer you should make sure the message in your marketing is clear. Story by Tony Rowe

TWICE this year I’ve received marketing from local agents, which was not (to say the least), of the highest quality. I took one flyer back to the agent to give some constructive feedback, and initially defensive, (“What’s wrong with my marketing?”), it soon became clear she had not seen it before.

I pointed out some obvious errors – the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’; the missing dot point that suggested a car space was available for $740,000; grammatical and spelling errors; the layout was amateur at best, and “not a good look” at all. It was a black and white photocopied page, distributed to all apartments in the complex, inviting “early inspection” and explaining (in the third person) what a professional and specialist agent was selling this apartment. It was then “signed” (in the first person) by the agent’s digital signature.

Then I got told “Oh, that was young John’s (not his real name) doing! You’ll see the difference when the glossy professional flyer comes out next week.”

It didn’t really matter what the next one was going to look like. This one went out under the Principal’s name and it was, in fact, her responsibility to ensure the accuracy and presentation of the property. She could blame poor “John” if she wanted to, but it was still her business that was made to look bad by sloppy marketing procedures and poor attention to detail!

Fortunately, the vendor lived overseas and probably never got to see the poor quality of that flyer.

The other marketing piece came in 3 separate flyers, for the same property from the same agency.

The first was a glossy flyer with an open inspection date that had already passed. The second was a black and white photocopied flyer inviting local area residents to an open on the day before the flyer arrived. The third (a colour photocopy) gave the Auction Day open times as 10.00-10.30 am and the Auction time as 10.30 pm on a Saturday night! Now everyone knows that’s a typo – but it was a series of silly errors that made the agency look unprofessional, with scant attention to details.

Warning: if you copy and paste, check the details before printing!!!

It’s important to make sure the information that goes out of your office – every piece of information – is accurate, consistent with the branding of your office, and error-free. It is still important that spelling and grammar be correct. There should be a system in place for proofing all marketing before it goes to print or gets posted – the details should be crossed-referenced and confirmed.

There should not be any excuse for the wasted ‘spend’ on sloppy advertising. The ‘spend’ is considerable and it needs to be good value for money. The vendor should be assured that when they’re paying for a professional job, a professional job should be what gets delivered.

7 Top Tips for Effective Marketing

To present the best possible image of the agency and the selling agent, here’s a checklist to follow, which will enable you to market your property listings to the right audience.

1.Have a clear idea of what you’re “selling” – if you don’t know exactly what the selling point is, how will your audience? A particular property feature, location, price? What is the key feature to sell – “great views” probably should not include a main picture of the bedroom! Selling agents need to engage with the vendor on the main features of the property and provide professional advice on the marketing and sales strategy that will best suit.

2.Make sure the language you use is appropriate to your audience – who is going to want to buy this property? What’s the likely buyer demographic? Make sure the key words and phrases in your message will speak to the audience and capture the attention of that target market.

3.Keep it concise – make it accurate – the K-I-S-S method (“Keep it simple!”) is more and more relevant to the “time poor”. If using photography, get professional shots done. If you attempt to ‘mislead’, it could land you in trouble.

4.Make sure your marketing looks good – first impressions count. You need to have an idea of what will work and look good – so make it work, and make it look good! If the marketing doesn’t look good, nor do you, nor does the agency – so take the time and make the effort.

5.Make it easy for potential clients to contact you – all your marketing should have a prominent contact phone number. Have a message on your phone that’s welcoming (don’t sound like you’ve got a cold or a hangover – be enthusiastic and make like you want to speak to potential clients). This is a ‘people-focussed’ industry – you have to believe that yourself and you have to convince your potential clients that you believe it. The message on your phone is marketing for yourself and your business.

6.The Call to Action has to be clear – “call now” is fine, but WHY would I want to do that? You need to make sure there is an imperative for the potential buyers to contact you. Make it worth the spend on the advertising – W-I-I-F-M applies to potential clients too – they want to have a reason to call you (and it shouldn’t just be because you’ve got a nice friendly photo of yourself somewhere – you’re not just selling Real Estate, you’re selling your skills as an agent (your ability to get the best price for your vendors – all day, every day – that is your job!)

7.If you’re prospecting, have a “freebie” – offer a sector or suburb report, an appraisal, or something similar. Is it a big “give-away”? (answer should be “NO”). Is it costly? (answer should be “NO”) Is it “valuable” to the potential client? (answer has to be an unqualified “YES”).

If it’s too much trouble to put in the effort to sell a particular property to the very best of your ability, then I’d suggest you don’t! A bad (or a lazy) job harms your image and that of your agency – so, please take care and give it your “best shot”, every time you take a listing.

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