The 4 P’s are all about the marketing mix but in home marketing the Product is king. And the product is not just shelter. Buyers are also choosing a community and a lifestyle. It’s the whole package you are marketing… not just the house.
Here are ten tactics than can make your listing more competitive. Pick and choose with your client.
1. Pre-inspection. Deals fall apart over inspection issues. Get them out of the way by fixing everything. Challenge the buyer’s inspector to find anything else. If you have a reputation for doing this with your listings, buyers’ agents will remember it too.
2. Home Users Guide. Put it on the counter in the kitchen next to the brochures. Some inspection franchises like Pillar to Post provide a guide for homes they have inspected. Build on it. If you have had a pre-inspection done, include it along with the resolution of the recommendations. Include appliance warranties and operating manuals, maintenance schedules, etc. You are trying to make the buyer feel comfortable about the purchase and the buyer agent anticipate a hassle free transaction.
3. Home Warranty. Easy add. Include the details in the users guide.
4. Green elements. If the seller has made an effort in incorporate “green” energy saving or environmental protection elements in the home, catalog them. These would include energy efficient windows, a composting pit, low water landscaping, rain barrels, solar orientation, etc.
5. Community profile. Use this in a separate brochure or a first person letter to the prospective buyer. Cover schools, recreation facilities, neighborhood organizations and covenants, even favorite local restaurants. Include pictures. Talk about the composition of the neighborhood but be careful of either misleading or steering.
6. Staging. If the owner can afford it, go beyond the typical advice of de-cluttering and cleaning and hire a professional stager. Little touches make a big difference. Include the landscaping. Again, try to go beyond just neat and clean. In almost any season you can have something bright and blooming.
7. Grand Entrance. Staging is especially important for the entrance both outside and inside.
8. Investment potential. Have the home pre-appraised or provide one of the more sophisticated market analyses that includes not only comparables by historical appreciation information.
9. Interior Signage. Use discreet and tasteful signage to point out features that might be missed or become a question mark, for example, an elaborate chandelier in the dining room, a dedicated dog room or powder room mirror picked especially for the space that could be taken as personal property or left.
10. Pictures. Get the best photography you can afford of the home. Great evening views, holiday views if they are available, and landscaping in different seasons if they are attractive. “Stage” the photographs. The wine glass in the foreground of the picture above adds a little bit of interest and sophistication to a fairly mundane backyard view.
How all this is used to promote the home is a “Promotion” topic but as you gather and document the “product” elements keep this in mind: the goal of most of your promotion is to get showings and getting showings involves impressing two audiences, potential buyers and buyer agents. In both cases the promotional materials should create a desire to find out more. The showing then becomes the venue for satisfying that curiosity.