Marketing Spend One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Marketing a property is one of the most vital components of a successful real estate sale. It’s therefore surprising that not enough time is dedicated to training sales specialists on how to effectively track marketing, how to market more efficiently and how vendor’s dollars should be best spent.

One of the biggest mistakes salespeople can make in a changing market place is to place the same advert week after week for the same property. If the first run of marketing fails to bring the buyers in, or it’s attracting the wrong kind of buyers, then it’s time to rethink the approach and retarget the marketing. It can be a costly error to assume that the marketing is accurate and that buyers will eventually come forward.

It’s the agent’s role to help create demand through effective marketing. As declared in the movie Field of Dreams, build it and they will come!

Educate your vendor
In a competitive market place with fewer buyers, it’s an often costly mistake for salespeople to roll out the same marketing budgets for each and every property they list. Similarly, it’s unwise to give a potential vendor a list of alternatives and allow them choose which marketing spend they prefer, which will more than often be the cheapest or easiest option.

Another mistake agents continue to make is to allow vendors to fix the marketing spend themselves. Of course all vendors have different cash-flow situations, but you can’t sell a secret. Giving a vendor choice is important but, as the agent, you are the expert and it’s important to educate your vendors on what they need to do to attract the right buyers to their property.

Cast your net wide
One of my favourite analogies to help vendors understand the importance of advertising spend is that marketing a home is like fishing. If you fish with one line you will catch one fish, but if you use a net you will undoubtedly catch many fish. The same theory applies to buyers. It’s important to cast your net as wide as possible in a targeted manner.

Experienced fishermen don’t just throw a net out wherever they feel like stopping in the ocean. They seek out areas where they have caught plentiful fish before or they keep track of where the fish are swimming. Similarly, as a salesperson it is crucial to track your buyers.

Keep track of your marketing
At every open home, we collect details from each and every potential buyer who comes through on where they saw the property advertised. Once you begin to track where your buyers are coming from, you will have an insight into the percentage of hits that come from each press advertisement, internet, signboard etc. The stats can be very surprising at times.

To be an expert in your area, it’s crucial to know the exact percentage of buyers that come from each publication or marketing tool. If out of area papers are not attracting the buyers, then simply don’t continue to place advertising in those publications.

If the likely buyer for an apartment is downsizing from a large family home and you think that a down”sizer is your target market, your marketing should reflect this. If your buyers are likely to be older, perhaps they are less likely to be perusing the internet. It is also important to be aware of how many buyers from out of area are moving in to the area and looking to buy, and to know where they are coming from in order to know where to best to spend your vendor’s money.

Make use of innovative marketing tools
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest mistakes I see made is salespeople simply reusing the same marketing budgets over and over without working out a specific campaign for each individual property. This of course is due to a lack of comprehensive marketing training.

It’s important to research innovative marketing strategies, cost and effectiveness. Aim to think outside the square and be as creative as possible. Propvid movies have been a tremendous success in my business and have generated several sales that I would have never have achieved through traditional advertising methods. It affords a wider reach and enables me to successfully target overseas or interstate buyers.

Structure your spend to suit your market
Generally, the rule of thumb is that about 1% of the value of a property should be spent on marketing it. This of course though is an average and prestige properties perhaps may need a more substantial spend.

Becoming marketing savvy is crucial in ensuring you attract the right type of buyer and plenty of them. Therefore it’s essential to determine your target market for the property from the outset to prevent costly mistakes.

Make sure the right amount of money is invested by your vendor to market the property to attract the attention of the maximum amount of buyers. All vendors want to pay the minimum in marketing, but it’s the agent’s job to help them understand that marketing is the key to successfully selling their home.

The Internet is a fantastic marketing tool but interesting to note in my market place only 18% of buyers are actually coming from this vehicle. It appears more people window shop on the internet before they begin reading the paper and seriously buying. Often vendors can assume the internet has a bigger reach than it actually does. It is still only one crucial component of successful marketing.

Arm yourself with hard facts & stats
It’s essential that you are able to explain to your vendors why they need to spend the amount of money required which is where tracking your buyers comes in. You will need to produce evidence and hard facts to justify the outlay.

Keep vendors up to speed with readership figures, marketing statistics and the research results from your own buyer tracking. These facts will help put them at ease and enable them to understand that more than often you have to spend big to achieve big results.

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