Simply stated, the best marketing plan will achieve two things:
1. Expose your home to the highest number of targeted buyers.
At any particular period of time your marketplace will produce a slate of buyers for property. The goal of a good marketing plan is to ensure that every potential buyer for your home is made aware of it and that moving to the next step (whether it be viewing or writing an offer) is readily accommodated. Take for example a transferee moving into town who is here for the weekend. The first day is orienting themselves to the neighborhoods and then they wish to view homes on Sunday. Your home is at the top of the list, but you have a rule of no Sunday showings. This underlines the accommodation rule but beyond that consider the next step. The agent has shown several properties which the buyer is considering. They are weighing their decision on which home to offer on more information (for example, the energy costs of each home) and have requested this from each listing agent. One agent replies, providing detailed records while the other does not return the call. While the home was exposed to the market, it did not cross the finish line due to lack of response from the listing team. And while exposure is key, targeted exposure rules the day. The difference between shot-gun marketing and targeted marketing means that the perfect buyer for your home is fleshed out in advance and that the marketing message is targeted to that individual. While old school marketing would have you believe that you should blanket exposure to the entire market, the most effective marketing narrows the focus so that your home is more appealing to the target buyer while reducing appeal (and subsequent time-wasted showings) to the buyer who would never have purchased the home in any event. For example promoting the surrounding schools and kid-friendly neighborhood of a contemporary bachelor pad wastes resources that could be better utilized elsewhere, besides inconveniencing the seller with unnecessary showings.
2. Portray the benefits of your home in their best light.
In the past we imagined that any information (no matter the quality) trumped no information. In the current day of abundant information this is no longer the rule. For example when photos were difficult to produce and import to the web, any photo was better than no photo. Today with an overload of information available, we are better served to produce a few extremely high quality photos than a glut of low quality photos. The reason for this is that in the past the public was searching for information on the web, whereas today they filter information on the web – so to get noticed you need to stand out. Today’s buyers (and agents) have abundant listings available so the process consists of looking for a reason to filter the home off the short-list. A good marketing plan ensures that the photos and marketing information do not deter the right buyer from eliminating your home before they even get in the door. Two professional photos of HDR (high dynamic range) quality trump twenty pics from the agents iPhone.
The sister goal to portraying your home in its best light is to adhere to the rule “sell the benefit not the feature”. Many listing agents and sellers will list features of the home at length which often only serves to confuse the potential buyer. If you understand the target buyer and the “why” that buyers typically have you can speak to the “benefits” of the features that the homes boasts, and more effectively reach the buyers emotional decision center.
We’ve provided a few salient points to help guide you through all the claims that you’ll find in the real estate world selling you on their marketing plans. To be certain, there is much more involved, but we believe these are the two most important. Marketing your home using the best plan available is crucial to ensure you receive the highest dollar and sell your home in the shortest period of time. Be certain to ask any real estate professional to provide a detailed description of their marketing plan and compare their marketing plans with these points in mind to find the best value for you.