My Property Marketing Campaign was Unsuccessful, Now What?
Real Estate agents often have a bad reputation, with over 20+ years in the trade we certainly understand why? However, we are not all cut from the same cloth. As professionals in an industry where transparency and honest and open communication is not always forthcoming, we have taken the time to chat to sellers and find out where their campaigns have gone wrong and have uncovered some common threads on why they may not have achieved a result, whilst shattering a few myths in the process.
Here is what we have discovered:
Fact 1: The agent has not taken the time to advise the seller on what repairs, maintenance, marketing and property presentation need to be considered and carried out before taking the property to market, in order to achieve a premium outcome for the client.
As Licensed real estate agents and property professionals we owe our clients a fiduciary responsibility to not just get the property sold but sold for the best possible price in the market at that time.
We have been in a predominately sellers-market in Brisbane over the last few years and some agents have become complacent and have rushed property to market thinking the result will be quick or if it doesn’t sell will at least be great profile, nothing like a vendor paid signboard for free advertising!
Fact 2: The agent has used inferior photography, videography or our biggest pet peeve, no video, and no floorplan.
How can you expect a premium result without a marketing campaign designed specifically for the property? Every home is unique and deserves to be showcased appropriately to get the right buyer through the front door. Great photography and videography are crucial ingredients, you have just 30 seconds to make an impact.
Fact 3: After languishing on the market for some-time, the agent suggests an Auction campaign.
What sellers do not realise is the campaign is doomed from the start. It is highly likely that a “price” that the vendor will accept is already out in the marketplace. Agent’s these days do not always adhere to the rules when marketing without a price, as we recently found out while sending a mystery shopper to check out the competition. This was on a call back – “He’s desperate, he’ll take anything, offer a million and you can buy it at your price” low and behold that property is still languishing on the market after an “Off Market” period followed by an Auction, now priced at $1.4M plus. Anyone can access CoreLogic these days and view a property’s campaign history, so sellers be wary and make sure your agent has clear instructions on what they can and cannot say and the initial strategy is sound and can easily transition if need be.
Here’s a tip! If you are thinking about going to Auction – Auction first, then after the auction use a pricing strategy post auction. If your agent has done their homework and the seller’s expectations are reasonable the property will be sold under the hammer or post Auction, if not before.
Fact 4: The very popular offers by a given date or FOR SALE is not a pricing strategy, it is basically a poor man’s auction without the benefit of transparency.
What we have discovered is that the best offer by the closing date is not necessarily accepted, making the process misleading and leaving buyers un-satisfied with the process. The no price strategy is off-putting for most buyers and if the agent follows best practice set out by REIQ and the Office of Fair Trading, the agent cannot give an indication as to price or a guide around price.
Fact 5: Cookie cutter REA and Domain Facebook social marketing campaigns, which are a set and forget, do not make the cut regarding leads from social media. Nor the in-house social media expert who is usually the 20-year-old receptionist.
Social media is a complex marketing tool, where the algorithms change constantly – unless you have a degree in multi-media advertising or are highly skilled in this area, i.e. not your side gig! A professional digital and social media marketing expert should be consulted and personally manage your campaign.
Real estate agents are not social media strategists, although they like to think so. Being the most influential agent on social media is not a selling strategy. It is a great Listing tool!
At Iconic we have an out-sourced professional digital and social media team personally handling each of our campaigns both in-house and for our clients. Each campaign is bespoke and designed with the property in mind and the appropriate buyer demographic, including local, interstate, and international buyers as well as those that are a match on our database.
So how do you choose your next agent? Here is what to avoid and a few tips to make sure the second time around is smooth sailing?
Scenario 1: The new agent you are thinking of hiring suggests you put the property on the market without a break and re-uses the exact same marketing materials, copy writing and photography as in the previous campaign? Think again…different agent, probably same result.
Resting a property or “Withdrawing” for a short period of time allows the property to be re-launched to the market with a fresh-face and invigorated marketing campaign, superior photography/videography, and fresh, professionally written advertising copy. This approach will attract new buyers and potentially past buyers that have previously dismissed your property.
Scenario 2: “Off Market Strategy” – Secures your business with minimum effort for the first few weeks. Agents will often give complimentary photography in exchange for putting the property on their website.
The question to ask yourself? How do you know you have achieved the best possible price if you have not presented the property to all the potential buyers in the market?
Taking your property to the open market creates competition. A saving of $2500 to list on realestate.com.au and a $250 photoshoot, could ultimately cost you thousands.
When is an off-market strategy successful?
When an agent has a buyer willing to pay a premium price to secure a property before it hits the open market. If the agent has a genuine buyer fitting this scenario the agent will not require photography, web listing or a 90-day agency agreement. A 14-day agreement covering 2 weekends should be sufficient to get their buyer through your home and secure a written offer on a contract that you would be happy to sign.
Ask Iconic Estate Agents about Domain’s new “Off Market” product? If you would like to go down this route, we can guide you in the right direction.
Working with a Buyer’s Agent/Advocate
Buyers agents or buyers advocates as they sometimes call themselves can be fantastic when you are buying. We work with some of Brisbane’s best and if you need one, we are happy to refer you! However, you do need to remember that they work for the buyer and will negotiate accordingly. If you would like an experienced negotiator to negotiate with a buyer’s agent on your behalf Iconic will always handle the sale for you at a reduced fee, (1.5% of the purchase price, making sure you have proper representation). Buyers agents usually charge an initial fee of $1,000 – $2,000 and some offer a sliding scale depending on the value of your budget, we have seen some initial fees as high as $5,000 – $6,000. Some agents will rebate this initial fee at settlement; however, you will end up paying 2.5 – 3.5% in commission on the sales price of the property. In a market short on stock a buyers agent can be worth their weight in gold. Our experience working in the United states market make us experts in this realm, so please ask us for some guidance before making a decision on engaging a Buyers Agent and we will make sure you’re working with the best.
“Nationwide Database of Buyers” or “Company Wide Database” – this is a myth, remember a franchise runs and operates as an independent business. The company is not one big happy family sharing data. How do we know this? We have worked for just about every real estate brand there is in over 20 years of industry experience. Please note, most high-profile agents protect their database and operate independently.
“We have all the Local Buyers” – this is another myth, active buyers are searching on realestate.com.au and domain.com.au each week, they will see your property regardless of who you are listed with and will receive alerts when your property comes to market. Passive buyers, those buyers who are not actively searching realestate.com.au and domain.com.au but would make a purchasing decision if they found the right property can be successfully targeted through a skilfully executed social media campaign, ask us how!
Are you considering hiring that high-profile agent?
Make sure your high-profile agent will be attending your photo shoot, overseeing all your social media and print marketing. Conducting your open homes, buyer feedback calls and negotiating the deal with your buyer. Some agents, those we call “Listing Agents” will sign you up and then next thing you know your whole campaign is being managed by a Junior or what they call their “Buyers Agent”, “Associate Agent” or “Co-Agent”. After all you hired them not their team of salaried staff that have little incentive to get you the best possible price for your home. These staff members are often incentivised on volume of deals.
Just remember to ask the pertinent questions and if their answers are satisfactory and they have been upfront regarding their processes and involvement in the sale of your home, then go ahead and sign the listing agreement.
At Iconic, our focus is on fewer and better client relationships; this means that you will always have two senior agents working for you. We attend every photoshoot, we are very selective about our photography and videography, we personally look down the lens of every shot and work closely with our exclusive photographer/videographer. We work with a great team of stylists and interior designers to make sure your home “Pops” and if you need help? There’s Iconic Concierge.
Please note, we have two agents attend every open home, we personally conduct all our buyer feedback calls, handle enquiry, attend your building and pest inspections and bank valuations – this can be crucial, often pertinent information can be picked up at these inspections if you are experienced and know what to listen for.
“My Home is now Under Offer, where is my agent?”
Just because you have accepted an offer and you are now under contract; does not mean you are sold and often the hard work begins. Make sure your agent is continually involved in this process. Quite often high profile or high-volume agents will step away and move on to their next campaign and not deem it necessary to keep marketing your home until unconditional. Or you may find yourself in the hands of the junior agent, who is wrapping up the deal for you.
At Iconic Estate Agents we personally negotiate the deal, follow through with open homes and private inspections until the property is un-conditional and through to settlement. We have found in our 20+ years of experience a premium price is achieved when both parties are thrilled with the outcome. Buyers are always happy to pay for great service, particularly when you have helped them secure their dream home.
Your property is most likely your biggest asset, make sure that the agent you choose is going to treat the sale of your home as if it were their own. Real Estate is a very personal business, make sure you do not become just another statistic.