Work­ing to put the ‘grub’ into Grub­forth

Otago Daily Times - - OPINION - Jim Sul­li­van is a Patearoa writer.

AD news, Grub­forth. A D­mi­nus and yet so far you’ve been an A stu­dent. Dis­ap­point­ing.

With­out your New Zealand Cer­tifi­cate in Real Es­tate (Sales­per­son) (Level 4) you won’t be sell­ing houses. NZCRA(S) (4) is a se­ri­ously rig­or­ous qual­i­fi­ca­tion not like a BA in his­tory or a post­grad­u­ate diploma in ob­stet­rics and gy­nae­col­ogy.

Real Es­tate is for Real Peo­ple. You will know that Don­ald Trump is a real es­tate man? So far you’ve not put a foot wrong. Good teeth. Your own, I be­lieve? Nice car, but not too flash and you wear your firm’s green and orange uni­form with some flair.

‘‘But this pa­per on Real Es­tate Ad­ver­tis­ing is a shocker. I re­alise that you have proven to be vir­tu­ally un­em­ploy­able in a dozen other fields and, like many of us, have turned to real es­tate in des­per­a­tion. For that rea­son, I’m re­luc­tant to have you fail so let’s go through your pa­per and see if you can do bet­ter in a se­cond go.

Here’s your ef­fort. ‘For Sale. Four bed­room house in Bed­ford St, St Clair, with large sunny sec­tion, garag­ing and new range. Seller shift­ing north. Price, $400,000.’

‘‘Great heav­ens! You’ll never sell any­thing that way. Let’s perk it up a bit. We need a head­line. Try ‘Your Slice of Par­adise’. No­one wants four bed­rooms. Put ‘Three gen­er­ous bed­rooms and study/games room.’

‘‘Re­mem­ber, it’s never a ‘house’, it’s a ‘home’, prefer­ably ‘much­loved with mem­o­ries which could be­come yours’. Don’t ever use some­thing as bland as ‘in Bed­ford St’. It’s ‘on Bed­ford’. Maybe al­lit­er­ate a bit, ‘Bliss on Bed­ford’ is the style of thing.

‘‘It’s in St Clair. Great! Don’t for­get the golden rule, ‘Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion’. Any­thing re­motely near St Clair must in­clude this sen­tence, ‘an easy stroll to the sandy beach, trendy cafes and world fa­mous salt­wa­ter pool, all of­fer­ing a vi­brant life­style only St Clair can pro­vide.’

‘‘OK? You haven’t men­tioned a view. By climb­ing on the roof of al­most any home on Bed­ford you can see wa­ter. In­clude some­thing like ‘sea vis­tas to die for’.

‘‘Now, ‘large sec­tion’. ‘Large’ means hours of back­break­ing labour. Use ‘a gar­dener’s heaven with room for the pony’. Re­mem­ber, it’s al­ways ‘the’ pony, im­ply­ing that any­one as­pir­ing to this up­mar­ket prop­erty will nat­u­rally have a pony for the kids.

‘‘You’ve left out ‘child­proof’. That must be in­cluded be­cause it’s a come­on both ways. It sug­gests your own chil­dren will be safe and at the same time the pesky brats from next door will be kept out. Win­win.

‘‘ ‘Sunny’, by the way, should be ‘bathed in sun­shine’. ‘Garag­ing’ tells us noth­ing. Spell it out. ‘Ex­ten­sive garag­ing to ac­com­mo­date the cars, the 4WD and the boat.’

‘‘This ‘new range’ bit may tempt the women but it’s not enough. Make it ‘present own­ers have spared no ex­pense in in­stalling a state­of­the­art kitchen to make en­ter­tain­ing a breeze’.

‘‘ ‘Seller shift­ing north’ is just not on. Firstly, ‘seller’ is al­ways ‘ven­dor’ and their ‘in­struc­tions are clear’ which is the eu­phemism for, ‘Sell this damn place be­fore it falls down!’

‘‘No­one in their right mind shifts north un­less com­pelled to, so you need some­thing like ‘ven­dor on trans­fer’ or ‘fam­ily rea­sons force a move’.

‘‘In­ci­den­tally, al­ways avoid ‘gen­uine rea­sons for sale’ as it im­me­di­ately arouses sus­pi­cions that some­thing shady is afoot, which it usu­ally is, but there’s no need to shout it from the rooftops.

‘‘You’ve men­tioned a price. Don’t! Leav­ing it out gives you a chance to off load the place for a grossly­in­flated price if your tim­ing is right. Try POA, Dead­line Sale, Auc­tion or Of­fers.

‘‘If you must put a price in the ad, avoid a string of noughts. $398,500 will al­ways look bet­ter that $400,000 and the pre­ci­sion of $398,500 sug­gests that the prop­erty has been care­fully val­ued and a fair price set.

‘‘The worst part of your ef­fort, Grub­forth, is the com­plete ab­sence of a sense of ur­gency. Throw in ‘Must be Sold’ or ‘Ven­dor has Pur­chased Else­where’ or ‘This Won’t Last Long’. Be care­ful with that last one as it may sug­gest the place is fall­ing to pieces.

‘‘The pic­ture of the house is OK. Taken at an an­gle from up the hill it looks far bet­ter than it ac­tu­ally is. I no­tice you’ve not in­cluded a pic­ture of your­self. Prob­a­bly wise. With those teeth and the toupee there’s a touch of used­car sales­man about you, isn’t there?

‘‘You say you want to be hon­est and ac­cu­rate. Good grief! It’s an ad for a prop­erty, not The Road Code.

‘‘Leave hon­esty and ac­cu­racy where it be­longs, in ser­mons by the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury or the in­struc­tions sup­plied with DIY kit sets. Lis­ten to Ques­tion Time in Par­lia­ment and you’ll learn all you need to know about avoid­ing ac­cu­racy and hon­esty.

‘‘I shall watch your ca­reer with in­ter­est, Grub­forth. Good luck.’’


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