How ra­dio, ra­dio could be the sound sal­va­tion

We have the tech­nol­ogy – and elec­tri­cian Paul Reynolds de­cided to put it to use in his front gar­den in a novel at­tempt to sell his house. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

SELL­ING a house in a stag­nant mar­ket can be frus­trat­ing and de­mor­al­is­ing, so af­ter nine months and 20 view­ings with­out a buyer, Paul Reynolds is us­ing a novel ap­proach to at­tract pass­ing trade.

The elec­tri­cian has em­ployed the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to broad­cast the mer­its of his smart, fourbed­room semi in the sought-af­ter Leeds sub­urb of Roundhay.

He has rigged up a dig­i­tal photo frame in his front gar­den, which screens a guided tour of his home and un­der­neath is a sign board ad­ver­tis­ing 88.1 FM, the fre­quency he uses to de­liv­ery a ra­dio mes­sage to mo­torists.

“It’s about be­ing pro-ac­tive and think­ing out­side the box. I’m a gad­get per­son and came up with idea of us­ing some of the new tech­nolo­gies to pro­mote the house. I made it all last week­end and it works like a dream,” he says.

“I up­loaded pic­tures of the house onto a dig­i­tal pic­ture frame, en­closed it in a water­proof box and fixed it to a post in the front gar­den. The idea is that peo­ple will stop and look. It shows a new im­age of the house ev­ery three sec­onds.

“I then recorded a one-and half-minute ad­ver­tise­ment on to an iPod, then at­tached it to a small ra­dio trans­mit­ter, so driv­ers within eight me­tres of the prop­erty can tune their car ra­dio into the FM fre­quency and hear a de­scrip­tion of the house.”

Paul, who is keen to down­size af­ter be­ing made re­dun­dant, has done ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to sell the semi on Lid­gett Park Av­enue.

He and his wife Sylvia have the house for sale through an es­tate agent, they have dropped the price from £315,000 to £284,950 and have acted on feed­back from those who have viewed the prop­erty.

The house has three re­cep­tion rooms and four bed­rooms, plus an of­fice, work­shop, garage and gar­den.

“We did have five bed­rooms, but a cou­ple of peo­ple thought the two loft bed­rooms were too small, so I took the di­vid­ing wall down and opened the space up, so I’ve acted on feed­back and done ev­ery­thing I can,” says Paul, who has three chil­dren.

“I’m with an es­tate agent too, so the frame and the ra­dio broad­cast are just other tools in the sell­ing pack­age.”

His Heath Robin­son-style mar­ket­ing ploy may well pay div­i­dend, ac­cord­ing to Andrew Bead­nall, of Bead­nall Co­p­ley es­tate agents.

“We have a film pro­jec­tor in the win­dow of our Ripon of­fice show­ing im­ages of prop­er­ties for sale. It’s very ef­fec­tive, es­pe­cially in win­ter when it lights up the pave­ment out­side. Peo­ple stop and look be­cause it’s a nov­elty,” says Andrew, who has also em­ployed the cult of celebrity.

“We had a house in Hare­wood for sale a few years ago when the first lot­tery rollover was about to be drawn and the me­dia was spec­u­lat­ing what the win­ner could buy. So we got a pic­ture of Alan Turner from Em­merdale hold­ing a lot­tery ticket out­side the prop­erty and that was a very ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing tool.”

An in­creas­ingly com­mon sales tech­nique is the prop­erty raf­fle, though this can be fraught with prob­lems.

They fre­quently fail to sell enough tick­ets to meet the ask­ing price, leav­ing the seller the is­sue of what to do with the rev­enue. You also need to em­ploy a lawyer to check the le­gal­ity of the en­ter­prise, as raf­fle ticket sell­ers risk ar­rest on sus­pi­cion of breach­ing the gam­ing laws by run­ning an il­le­gal lot­tery.

Ac­cord­ing to Andrew Bead­nall a raf­fle is step too far.

“It smacks of des­per­a­tion to be hon­est and I wouldn’t rec­om­mend it,” he says.

Of­fer­ing a sweet­ener is an­other mar­ket­ing ploy and the most com­mon free give­away used to en­tice buy­ers is a car, though you are more likely to be asked to dis­count the equiv­a­lent sum of money off the prop­erty’s ask­ing price.

Mark Man­ning, of Man­ning Stain­ton, says: “I saw an of­fer for new-build prop­er­ties in Amer­ica dur­ing the re­ces­sion, it was a BO­GOF, buy one get one free, which I thought that was very amus­ing at the time.

“I’ve also seen an ad­vert for a house in Hamp­stead that has cre­ated its own brand, with its own web­site, video and photo gallery. I think this is quite a good way to cre­ate more of a buzz.”

It’s cer­tainly a win­ning idea if you have the right con­tent. For­mer jour­nal­ist Julie Akhurst has a web­site, www.pon­den­hall. moon­fruit.net, for her stun­ning coun­try home with Brontë con­nec­tions. It is well-writ­ten, in­for­ma­tive and in­ter­est­ing and was de­vised to com­ple­ment mar­ket­ing by Hal­i­fax-based es­tate agency Charnock Bates.

Mean­while, Pa­trick Mc­Cutcheon, of Dacre, Son and Hart­ley, ad­vises a prag­matic ap­proach for those who are strug­gling to sell.

He says: “York­shire prop­erty buy­ers seek and re­spond to straight for­ward hon­esty and re­al­ism in re­spect of price.”

MAK­ING WAVES: The house in Roundhay us­ing the power of ra­dio to at­tract buy­ers

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