Video consumption is increasing every year online and it is favored by all major social media platforms. Whether it be Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, video is certainly on the rise.
If you’re using an agent who truly knows how to market a property you should definitely be using a property video. This content can be distributed amongst multiple platforms and create an engaging way to show the value of your property.
The value of Property Videos
This Hubspot article highlights the value of video in modern marketing. The main takeaways are that:
More than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands… more than any other type of content
On marketing landing pages, video can increase conversions by over 80%.
So the question is, why would you not include a growing medium, demanded by consumers, in the marketing of your property?
With some real estate video campaigns going viral and earning views in the thousands, this content can create the edge in a campaign. Video creates intimacy and familiarity before prospects have even seen a home. So it can not only be valuable, but invaluable to ramping up demand for your property.
Choosing the right agent for a real estate transaction can be the difference of $10,000’s or $100,000’s.
This can appear difficult in a marketplace saturated with options, however we’ve provided 6 no-nonsense tips to look out for. What you’ll find is few agents possess all of these especially not Number 5!
Selling a home may from the outside look like an easy process. An agent puts a few pictures online, shows up on Saturday and then gives a contract to the highest bidder.
The reality however is completely different. There is so much involved in the sale of a home, including but not limited to:
Pricing the property
Tailoring a marketing strategy for the property
Preparing photography, copy, documents and other advertising material in order to put the property on the market
Handling enquiries diligently
Monitoring campaigns and feedback
Alerting off-line contacts about the property
Following up buyers and negotiating
Therefore, a great agent will have robust systems in place, as well as a clear and detailed sales process that guarantees the best price will be achieved.
2) The right track record
When choosing the right agent, looking at their track record often provides a very useful insight.
Look at factors like the volume of transactions they work on, feedback from other clients and the prices they achieve.
This will provide an insight into the traffic they can direct towards your property as well as the result they can negotiate. Don’t be deceived however by volume alone. Many sellers will list with agents who have volume but mask under-performing results.
You want an agent who is not purely about turnover but also has the following down-packed:
3) A strong marketing strategy for your property
I was in a listing presentation once for a client whose previous agent had given him a very bad experience. They had pointed to their massive record but then failed to deliver on the listing.
The client really had the right perspective… “I don’t care what you’ve done elsewhere, I want to know how you’re going to get a result for my property”.
A marketing strategy for a property should never be completely cookie-cutter in nature. It should be tailored at least somewhat to the specific unique selling points of your property.
In short, look for an agent who is focused on creating a marketing campaign and getting a result specific to your property.
4) Someone who handles calls and follows up professionally
When choosing the right agent, this is a major factor you need to weigh up. I say this because me and my team mystery shop our competition, even high performing and reputable agents.
We find that more often than not, agents will never return your call or give you basic information you request.
When attending a NAB Property Event once, CBRE’s head of projects pointed out to the audience that enquiries are strongest in the following order:
Attendees at an inspection
Ideally, enquiries on email or phone should be responded to as fast as possible and booked in for an inspection. This is because the chances they will attend an inspection falls steeply 2 hours after they enquire.
It’s obvious why.
In this time they are re-thinking buying and looking at other properties. To convert leads, a smooth sales process compresses the decision-making time to remove room for the lead to change it’s mind.
We thoroughly recommend mystery shopping your agents in each of the following ways:
Attending an open home for another listing and seeing if they follow you up during the following week
Making a phone enquiry and seeing how long it takes the agent to get back to you. You will find that if the agent can’t answer your call straight away, they will forget to call you back at all more than 50% of the time.
Making an email enquiry and seeking how long it takes the agent to get back to you.
5) Strong Negotiation Skills
There is major dollar value in having a strong negotiator working on your behalf to secure a stellar price for your property.
A strong negotiator will be direct in their attitude and have a stern resolve to achieve the best result possible. What you need to look for is a professional who understands how to qualify buyers, ask them tough questions and get the best price the buyer is willing to pay out of them.
You also want someone who is going to provide you with assurance when you need to reject the temptation of a poor offer, and hold out for the right result.
They should also be no-nonsense when they need to give you bad news.
6) Marketing and Presentation
Don’t forget the importance of presentation skills when choosing the right agent. Your property needs to present immaculately to the marketplace, and an agent will offer assistance in enabling you to do this.
They will discuss options like refreshing the property or styling it. Your agent should understand that marketing is about making your property stand out. It should appear remarkable in the marketplace, in order to garnish good attention.
Check your agent’s presentation skills on their other listings online or by inspecting their other open homes!
7) Choose an agent you’re comfortable with
At the end of the day it’s very important above all else to feel comfortable with your agent.
Your most important resource will be your gut, and your instincts. Remember to listen to them! Educate yourself on agents, and what you will need in your agent (as you are doing by reading this!) because you want to make the right choice the first time!
An agent in control of the sales process tells you to get a pest and building inspection done before you even hit the market. This will give you the ability to identify if there are any problems with a property early, before you start showing to buyers. It is much easier and less costly to address these before you actually hit the market.
The alternative is to get this done after signing up with an agent and hitting the market. However, in this order, a major problem found during the inspection will halt your progress and devastate your campaign – some issues can completely halt the sales process and require a property to be withdrawn from the market.
This will ultimately hurt the price you achieve. If you need to begin and execute the sales process, please begin here.
When to get a Pest and Building Inspection done?
In our opinion it is better to get it done first and out of the way. This is a small expense to save time and hassle and even streamlines the closing of a sale at the back end of the process. Savvy buyers will always insist on a pest and building inspection, so to have this done before hand makes your property stand out on the market.
It says that you and your agent are professional, definitely here to sell and have nothing to hide. There is no message that is more appealing to an investor or someone looking for their new home.
Pest and Building Inspections for Buyers
Pest and building inspections are also a great idea for buyers to complete when purchasing a property. This can be useful as the last thing any new buyer wants is a nasty surprise after settlement that could prove costly.
Should you display a price or not when advertising your property for sale? In this day and age, speed and convenience are more important than ever before, shaped by a digital and consumer world where everything is faster and more optimised.
Buyers don’t want the headache of trying to track down an agent that usually doesn’t answer their phone. They want to know straight away without the hassle or headache. They want to know the price immediately so they know whether they will come to the Saturday inspection.
List your price to the market when advertising your property for sale
You should list your property to the marketplace. If an agent is telling you not to display the price, it may be because they don’t have the confidence in the actual price point. Sometimes, they may even be misleading you with the price. One of the cheapest tricks in the book to get listings is over-quoting.
At times the thinking is to display ‘contact agent’ in an attempt to drive inquiries. This is because buyers will have to call to find out the price. But when a price is listed, we know that any phone inquiries or attendees at an open home are already interested in this property at this price range.
If the price has disqualified them, why would they show an interest?
Obviously there is an exception for those who are just browsing or at the earlier stages of looking at the market.
How to get your property priced accurately
Before you reach a price when advertising your property for sale, it is important to price cautiously. Pricing should take into account:
You and your agent need to carefully consider where you place a property in the marketplace.
Going too low
Going too low is never ideal. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to maximise your sale price in the market. Even if needing a quick sale, the right agent can tailor a strategy for your needs and balance speed with a great result on price.
Going too low can also make some buyers wary that there might be an issue with the property, and scare off their interest.
Going too high
There is a downside when going too high and not being priced competitively in the marketplace. This fails to get enough buyers through the front door to be able to create competition. Competition between buyers gets them bidding against each other and is what creates the best sales results!
To do that buyers need to be attracted to the property, and not scared off by a high price. Many counter this by saying that ‘we only need one buyer to buy a house’ but really, to price your property to achieve the best sale price, you need multiple buyers.
Psychologically, seeing other buyers competing for a property draws attention away from any shortcomings in the property, and creates a fear of missing out, as well as validating the price for the property.
Think about urgency like competing for the girl (or guy) next door…
Think about your days chasing a romantic partner. What happened when you heard that your friend was making a move on your long time crush? You realised it was time to make a move and not sit on your haunches anymore! Competition creates urgency, which is desirable for your sale.
Overpriced properties that sit on the market too long invite negotiation when an interested party sees that no one else is bidding.
How to price the property correctly
Work with an agent who compares sales and comparables in the marketplace, to understand them and the differences between these and your property. Agents are constantly talking to sellers and buyers to get raw feedback on demand in the market.
It is better to use an agent with negotiation skills who can then achieve the best price, rather than simply list the wrong price. At Sydney Listings, our goal is always to cover our fee through our negotiation skills alone, understanding how much a buyer wants your property so that we can extract the best offer possible out of them!
A property stylist’s job is to create that attraction or warm fuzzy feeling for buyers as they walk through the door. If you can create this atmosphere, you almost guarantee that you will get a sale away a lot sooner and at a premium price point.
It is a sure way to get good value on investment, and attract buyers.
Why is property styling so effective?
Take a look at this Volvo ad campaign for example for the Volvo V60.
What do you notice? The advertisers use visuals, a soothing voice and music, all to reinforce the theme of family. They trigger a response in the viewer, and create an association between family and the model.
Advertising and sales take nothing for granted, and don’t bank on customers having imagination. They make it as easy as possible for customers to see themselves using the product or service.
Your product or service is not a house, it is a lifestyle and a home. So you need to make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to see themselves living in the home. Avoid presenting your property sparse or bare. This will take the buyer away from picturing their new life in this home, and onto small defects and features.
If two identical apartments hit the market, and one is staged and styled whilst the other is bare, which one do you think will sell first?
Do I require full staging? How much will this cost me?
Cost and how much effort should go into this will vary from property to property. If you’re selling a mid range residence, this can be as simple as a tidy and freshen up like new lights, a fresh coat of paint and item rearrangement. De-cluttering, making the property look minimal to finish up, and you’ve done some cheap and easy things to improve your property’s value.
There are some more exotic examples. Check out this video from Coldwell Banker Real Estate for some more examples and a discussion of how important presentation and styling is.
You should price your property competitively to reduce the time it takes your property to sell. As we explore in this article, pricing high generally leads to a blown out days on market and takes your property longer to sell.
The most popular methods of sale are auction and private treaty. In Sydney, auctions are very popular and can be a great way to create competition and encourage emotional bidding among buyers. Private treaty sales on the other hand are less visible and can create uncertainty amongst buyers.
Choosing the right agent helps reduce the time it takes to sell your property. Make sure they have the perfect sales process, and a sound strategy for selling your property that they will execute well.
If you need to see an example of a strategy session, just click the link below to request an easy, no commitment sneak peek all done online. Here you can run through campaign elements such as social media tactics, breaking down buyer source and activity as well as presentation.
Look at your agent’s track record – are you comfortable that they’ve got strong negotiation skills and the perfect sales process? Do they have a history that proves they can get the job done for you?
The right agent is someone you are comfortable with.
It is always important to get along with and feel comfortable with your agent. After all, you will be spending a lot of time together! Someone who earns your confidence will create trust with you, and take the stress out of the sales process.
Negotiation, negotiation, negotiation
This is one of the biggest skills of an agent and the biggest thing you take advantage of when getting an agent to sell your property. Agents with sales experience frequently negotiate with buyers and learn how to identify behaviours, read people, and determine how to get the highest possible offer out of a party.
A skillful agent disguises their sales process with subtle qualifying questions that provide the information they need to later weaken a buyer’s negotiating position. For example, buyers who have been looking for a while and are frustrated having just lost out in the bidding of an auction will be highly motivated. A good agent would identify this and realise the potential to bring their offer up.
Select an agent who can run a marketing campaign, not just upload an advertisement.
One of the biggest frustrations you will come across are agents who put no effort into making your property stand out in the marketplace. The agent’s job is to market your property and negotiate a sale. It is not worthwhile to have one without the other.
Many agents only offer a rigid, repetitive sales campaign for every property. They don’t highlight the unique selling points of and lifestyle that comes with the premises. This is not marketing!
It is something we talk about in more detail in our article on how to sell your own property without an agent.
Make sure your commission is covered by a higher price.
These elements are all pieces of one elaborate jigsaw puzzle. When all the rough pieces come together, the result is one smooth masterpiece. When negotiation and marketing are executed correctly, you don’t really pay commission, because all this represents is a small percentage of a price you would not have achieved otherwise.
A good agent will urge you not to take $700,000 if they know there will be a buyer for $750,000. That will be worth a fee of 2-3%. Whereas an agent charging 1% commission who offers a poor service, marketing campaign and negotiation, has ripped you off more.
Whilst most people think a low commission equates to a good deal, this makes little sense if they could get the same price by simply uploading pictures online for even less with the modern ‘no agent’ businesses available.
When you do the math, saving on commission might be losing you more money than using an agent who is worth their fee.
Our article on how to sell your own property without an agent tries to educate people on this. The style of marketing campaign described here cannot be executed by a seller who is not an agent, with marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing and video marketing expertise.
Get a quick and easy run through of a sales strategy below!