Put the buy­ers in the frame

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Front Page -

WHILE ev­ery prop­erty I see, ev­ery home­owner I meet, ev­ery lo­ca­tion, sit­u­a­tion and cir­cum­stance is dif­fer­ent, strug­gling sellers of­ten have some­thing in com­mon.

For a num­ber of clients I only re­ceive the “call in” af­ter months and months of failed mar­ket­ing … in some case years!

In sit­u­a­tions such as this I al­ways start with re­search specif­i­cally re­lat­ing to the mar­ket­ing history of the home.

I want to dis­cover what has gone wrong, why hasn’t the buy­ing public been inspired by this home to even have a look, as in­spec­tions ap­pear to be rarer than a hippy in high heels.

Oc­ca­sion­ally I am told the op­po­site is true, open houses have been more akin to footy fi­nal time.

The an­swer is in the main pic­ture used for mar­ket­ing, in print the head­line shot, or online the main thumb­nail pic­ture.

It is im­pos­si­ble for me to fathom how re­miss the selling public and yes you agents out there can be, for al­low­ing crappy, unin­spir­ing shots to be used. Equally dam­ag­ing of course is the stun­ning over stylised pic­ture.

This is ei­ther a clear un­der­sell or a mas­sive over­sell, both of which are wast­ing ev­ery­one’s time. Po­ten­tial pur­chasers are ei­ther to­tally ig­nor­ing that list­ing and mov­ing on, or ar­riv­ing at the home ex­pect­ing Cin­derella, only to dis­cover the ugly sis­ter.

Your prime mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­nity re­volves around pic­tures.

We en­gage with our eyes and you lit­er­ally only have mil­lisec­onds to stop buy­ers glanc­ing to the next ad­vert on the page or click­ing on­wards.

This is not a new topic of dis­cus­sion for me, but as I jour­ney to my next client my first com­ment will re­late to this is­sue.

Their online pic­ture, the main im­age ded­i­cated to at­tract­ing the buy­ing masses, is at best lack­lus­tre.

Now, be­ing the pro­fes­sional I claim to be, I al­ways re­view this im­age in con­text.

Of the other sim­i­lar value homes in that area and im­me­di­ate sur­rounds, what is ev­ery­one else do­ing?

In this sit­u­a­tion, they are not the only seller pro­mot­ing their home with av­er­age snaps, but a few are mak­ing an ef­fort.

It is not that the pic­ture in ques­tion is aw­ful, it’s not – it is sim­ply not in­spir­ing and, I ex­pect, quite likely un­der­selling the prop­erty’s virtues.

It is all a bit messy; clearly no one has re­ally looked at this im­age and worked out that things need to change.

I would love to show you another main pic­ture I saw online this week of a list­ing, but the ven­dor may get a lit­tle cross with my public out­ing of their mar­ket­ing faux pas.

The home is a sin­gle level mod­ern home, at­trac­tive in de­sign, well pre­sented and, for its mar­ket, a very pho­to­genic prop­erty.

How­ever, the own­ers have al­lowed green­ery to grow so high and out of scale it hides a whole chunk of the main fa­cade and then the al­ready weak pic­ture they took has been cropped by about 50 per cent.

What? You get half a house, all cov­ered in green­ery, and it hasn’t sold yet? No sur­prise. You can’t blame the agents this time, these sellers are us­ing one of those online “sell your­self” ser­vices.

A sim­ple prun­ing of the plant­ing and a new, care­fully con­sid­ered pic­ture would re­veal a whole new home to that lo­cal mar­ket. Right now the only in­ter­ested buy­ers are bar­gain hun­ters, hop­ing it won’t sell and wait­ing for the own­ers to reach des­per­a­tion point. My tips are: • The main pic­ture. You should have at least two to three op­tions and vary their use on a ro­ta­tion.

• Con­sider con­tent. Take a pic­ture your­self of the front fa­cade and re­view the con­tents.

Should you change, add or re­move any­thing?

Be self crit­i­cal, move planters, tidy gar­den ar­eas, move bins, raise the blinds and per­haps paint some­thing.

• Please keep it real. No wide-an­gled lenses that make your block ap­pear 40m wide, not the 15m it re­ally is. No photo en­hance­ments that con­tra­dict the re­al­ity.

• Don’t ac­cept sec­ond best. Get the im­age right from day one.

GRAPHIC DE­SCRIP­TION: There is no un­der­stat­ing how im­por­tant pic­tures are when selling your home.

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