Unique point of view

Herald Sun - Property - - OPINION -

EV­ERY home needs a unique sell­ing point. With­out one, sell­ing the prop­erty will be a strug­gle.

A unique sell­ing point, or USP, is a term bor­rowed from the world of sales and usu­ally im­plies some­thing that dif­fer­en­ti­ates a prod­uct from the rest of the mar­ket, but it has a place in mod­ern real es­tate mar­ket­ing.

Hav­ing a USP helps fo­cus a sales cam­paign and en­sures that your real es­tate agent knows which of your prop­erty’s fea­tures will strike a chord with buy­ers. Th­ese sale points are not re­served for only grand homes, wa­ter­front prop­er­ties or ur­ban re­treats.

Ev­ery sin­gle home should have at least one USP to at­tract buy­ers in suf­fi­cient num­bers.

If the points are not phys­i­cal fea­tures such as an ex­tra bath­room or more space, they can be vis­ual el­e­ments, like a view.

It could even be the lo­ca­tion, street or po­si­tion within that street. If all else fails, the price or terms of sale may suit.

Many sales cam­paigns founder be­cause they don’t es­tab­lish the prop­erty’s USPs at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity. With­out th­ese points it’s dif­fi­cult for buy­ers to look past sub­stan­tial neg­a­tives, such as lim­ited park­ing or be­ing on a busy road.

Your USP moves the fo­cus away from th­ese and of­fers buy­ers com­pen­sa­tion.

The neg­a­tives of be­ing on a main road, for ex­am­ple, can be out­weighed by an at­trac­tive price tag. If you have a big fam­ily home with a sub­stan­tial back yard but no se­cond bath­room, you can es­tab­lish your USPs as the scale of the prop­erty and the block size, which are bet­ter than most other com­pa­ra­ble homes in your lo­cal mar­ket.

You can also show so­lu­tions for where and how that se­cond bath­room could be cre­ated.

The key is to ac­knowl­edge that what is spe­cial or unique in one mar­ket may not be wor­thy of that ti­tle else­where.

A stun­ning mod­ern kitchen is noth­ing ex­cit­ing in an area with many newly built homes. An acre of back­yard space for a home on the edge of a small coun­try town is nice, but noth­ing unique. A block one tenth that size in an ur­ban area is a rare find.

Even that re­stored her­itage stun­ner wor­thy of an in­te­rior de­sign mag­a­zine won’t stand out if it’s in a his­toric, wealthy sub­urb where prop­er­ties of this ilk are plen­ti­ful.

They ex­pect those fea­tures in the sub­urb, so all that char­ac­ter won’t get buy­ers over the line to pay top dol­lar.

A bet­ter USP would be some­thing like rear lane ac­cess or a view of the CBD.

I strongly urge any­one strug­gling to sell, pre­par­ing to list or even those about to rent out a prop­erty, to know their home’s USP.

Hope­fully it has more than one. En­sure they are unique to your lo­cal mar­ket, hous­ing type, price range and in­tended mar­ket. If your home has one of those clear neg­a­tives that seem in­sur­mount­able — a busy road, elec­tric­ity py­lons, a hideous house next door — dis­cov­er­ing your USP will bal­ance th­ese fac­tors out.

If all fails and you re­ally have noth­ing dif­fer­ent to of­fer, hit the mar­ket with the right price. That may be enough to tempt a buyer.

An­drew Win­ter hosts

on the Life­style Chan­nel

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