Before this photo of me graced the pages of Pumped On Property, I starved myself for a month existing on lean protein and fruit and vegetables (a horrible way to live – if that’s what you call it) and I paid an angry little ab-muscle to make me to run, squat and burpee 5 times a week. Finally I called in a Stylist, Photographer and Digital Artist who after 4 hours and 876 shots produced this natural, casual photo of me.
Of course we all considered my demographic before the shoot otherwise I’d be suds up in a dirty bath chewing my finger nail or something like that…
One picture has the potential to reach thousands of possible buyers. More importantly it can reach the one person who will buy your home – don’t underestimate the importance of getting the perfect shot.
Buyers searching for the cream of the crop on the internet have already filtered down the basics; suburb, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, parking and property type so the next hook is the first image – that image is what will stop their search and cause them to click on the link. That’s not to say that they wont look at every option that suits their requirements (buyer demographic) but the first ones they find, they will remember and will become the yardstick against which all others are measured.
Real Estate Photography Tips – Here Comes the Visually Appealing Aeroplane
- Employ a Real Estate Photographer (yes they exist)
- Keep It Real – Stretched out ‘wide lens’ shots do nothing but scream small room – a good real estate photographer will find the room’s best angles and use an appropriate lens
- Photographers Are Artists – Utilise their skills combined with your stylist to stage each shot
- Get The Light Right – My current home is at its absolute best late on a sunny afternoon, inside and out. I prefer dusk photos for exterior shots especially when exterior and garden lighting (and sometimes staged photography lighting) is designed to make maximum mood magic
- Remember Your Demographic – Target the selected images directly at your demographics requirements
Caught In The Web – Advertising On The Internet
The web marketing campaign as the primary form of advertising is a given, however the internet is a big place so make sure your house is on the front page of all relevant search results.
DIY listing programs make finding your home easier with options such as featured listings or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) done in the back end by correctly naming your file types or something. It’s complicated – the best advice I can give you is to know the buzzwords, then call in the professionals.
I’ve seen custom websites created for individual homes along with social media accounts filling the feeds of very targeted demographics using social media marketing applications – extreme perhaps, but whoever is having these innovative ideas I want to be looking after the marketing of my home.
If you’ve been following my Definitive Guide to Preparing Your Home For Sale, Property Styling was the final step before launching your marketing campaign to sell your property. If you’ve missed my previous posts in this series on Pre-Sale Maintenance and Buyer Demographic, click the links and catch up while you’re here.
A Good Sign – The Hansel and Gretel Theory
As creepy as it is in reality, the ‘Ginger Bread House’ is a perfect example of marketing genius targeted specifically at a demographic.
The onsite signage for your property will speak volumes – it should be scaled to size, contain 1-4 ‘Hero Shots’ and list the key features such as bedrooms and bathrooms plus a couple of sought after unique features. It should have prominent, simple contact details for the listing agent along with the details of the next open home.
I’ve never understood how a huge sign with the agents face on it works to sell the home as a primary objective or why some signs include an image of the front of the house when the sign is positioned at the front of the house.
Floor Plan – Any Plan Is and Good Plan
I personally love to see a floor plan and I love it even more when the floor plan has options. A 3 bed, 1 bath might have the option of adding a second bath by altering the current floor plan. At a cost of around $10k this option could be perfect for me – so listing the floor plan has possibly opened the home up to a whole new demographic.
The floor plan will mean nothing to some buyers just as it will mean everything to others so it is vital that your listing has a plan.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye – Use Your Network To Get The Word Out
During the preparation stage you will have a multitude of opportunities to publicise certain positive improvements you do. Nothing gets higher ratings than a good before and after photo providing it’s not a negative before – like the house is sliding down the hill in this shot and in this one it’s back where it should be… A better option might be before it has been professionally styled and then after.
Your social network will like this, your neighbours will appreciate it and so will the people in the industry who know who are buying – the real estate agents – so be kind to them and benefit from who they know. Take the chance to show as many of them as possible your home and once you’ve made a decision on the agent who works best for you, let the others down easy and thank them for their valuable time and give them a reason to come back to you in the near future.
Open Home – It’s A Red Carpet Event
It goes without saying that Open Homes are a must in any campaign giving buyers the opportunity to see the home in person without the pressure often associated with a one on one viewing.
There is so much palaver that surrounds the perfect open home and I’m left wondering if a basic approach is often the best. Is music, fresh cookies or champagne and hors d’oeuvres really necessary?
Personally after a day of house hunting I love nothing more than the time to go through the home without being ‘sold to’ and without having to ‘share’ the home with other buyers and leaving with an informative yet concise flyer with images and a floor plan and perhaps a bottle of water.
- Open Home’s are scheduled in advance and are consistent – Thursday Nights from 7pm to 8pm and Saturday Afternoons from 4pm to 5pm
- The house is clean and staged
- Toiletries and personal grooming items are packed away
- Pets are having a day out with you and pet paraphernalia is along for the ride
- Temperature is comfortable
- Lighting is perfect
- Doors are open
- Create a positive, welcoming entry – Try to avoid negative instructions such as asking people to remove their shoes or not touch items as this will make some people uneasy
- Brochures and water are there for those interested
- Agent directs and controls the amount of visitors in the home at any one time
Other popular marketing ideas include the below, however there are many others, some of which can be effective for one demographic and ineffective for another. Ask you agent how their marketing ideas directly target your demographic.
- Direct Marketing to a Database – Non-specific, blanket marketing to thousands of people – can be as useful as cold calling, but does have a place
- Cold Calling – If anyone ever mentions this phrase, check out the front – the DeLorean is probably parked there… Cold calling is an extremely ineffective marketing technique
- Letterbox Drops – Can be effective marketing for locals or their network looking to buy in the area. Information must be targeted and relevant
- Real Estate Shopfront Advertising – Much like your onsite sign but with the added bonus of being in the local shopping or entertainment precinct – ‘If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now’.
Your real estate agent should be the ultimate sales guru with a plethora of marketing ideas carefully catered to your particular property needs and demographic. I’m always put off when an agent’s marketing promise is simply realestate.com, for sale sign and open homes – surely we can do better than that considering all the specialised experience and knowledge we have?
The great news is that if you’ve been following The Definitive Guide to Preparing Your Home for Sale you’ve pretty much got the marketing side of it sorted. All that’s left now is to show, tell and sell.
The Definitive Guide to Preparing Your Home for Sale – Read The Full Series Here:
Good Luck – keep me posted on your progress!