As we mentioned in our last blog, there are two main reasons why houses don’t sell – overpricing and insufficient exposure. Exposure relates to how your property is marketed, at whom it is targeted, and what methods of reaching your target market are used. Second only to pricing, marketing is of crucial importance – the more exposure your property gets, the higher your chance of selling it quicker and for top dollar. Therefore, after establishing your price, maximising exposure should be your number one priority. If buyers don’t know your house is for sale, they cannot buy it! It is that simple! Thus the primary aim of marketing is to get as many buyers to see the property as possible – the higher the traffic, the higher the chance of a sale.
Identifying a target market is very important. Once you have established who the most likely buyer of your house will be, you can then focus on highlighting features that will appeal to that particular buyer; determine what time of year to list; and ascertain which advertising vehicle you should use. For example, if your target buyers are young families with children, then the fact that your house is located close to high-ranking schools might be a good feature to highlight, or you might wish to draw attention to the large family room or the rec room in the basement. You should also consider listing in the spring, ensuring sufficient time for a closing before the start of the next academic year. And your advertising should have a strong Internet presence, as young buyers are more likely than not to initiate their home search online. Targeting the right market, therefore, will save you both time and effort, and affords you a higher chance at a quick sale, since you will be directing your efforts at your most likely buyer rather than just everyone at random.
Once you have ascertained who your target market is, your marketing materials, should mention everything that would appeal to them. Ensure that you have a folder on hand that highlights your home’s proximity to neighbourhood amenities, such as schools, swimming pools, shopping malls, restaurants, banks, Hospitals, public transit stops, and train and subway stations. The key is to determine what your target market is most interested in, and then market your house accordingly.
There are many advertising vehicles to consider and the best ones are those that address the needs and wants of your target market. With more than 90% of buyers beginning their search for a home online, Internet exposure is absolutely crucial. If you opt to list your home with a full-service or discount brokerage, your home will most likely be listed on Realtor.ca (MLS), Canada’s largest real estate website, which attracts more than a million unique visitors a month. In addition, you will also benefit from having your home listed on the conventional or discount brokerages’ respective websites. Furthermore, if you list with a full-service brokerage, your REALTOR® will ensure that your listing is syndicated to all relevant websites and social media platforms, thereby advertising your home all over the Internet. And, when it comes to advertising, too much is never enough.
If you opt to sell solo, you should ensure that your listing is advertised on every possible website available to private sellers. While you will not be able to list on the MLS, there are other sites such as Zillow, Kijiji and Craigslist that allow you to list for free. You should also make use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and YouTube to advertise details of your listing, photographs, and virtual tours. Facebook is a great advertising medium as virtually everyone uses Facebook these days, and the great thing is it is free and you have amazing reach. Do the math: if you have 100 friends and they each have 100 friends, imagine the number of people that could potentially get the word out about your house!
Another very effective medium is YouTube. It is a little complicated, but if you are tech savvy, there are a number of options available to you. Consider posting a virtual tour of your property with an added voice-over recording that points out all the best features and telling your prospective buyers what you most love about your house. If you don’t have a virtual tour, you could create a PowerPoint presentation that you can convert and upload to YouTube. Alternatively, if you have a video recorder you can record a walkthrough of your house as you explain and highlight its best features. And if you are not tech savvy, just ask your teenager to do it!
You may even consider featuring your home on its own website, by registering a domain name with your property address – https://www.YourAddress.com. Nowadays purchasing a domain and acquiring web hosting is relatively cheap.
Print advertising is also not to be neglected. “Just Listed” notices alert neighbours to your listing. Often, neighbours have family members or friends that may be interested in moving into their area, so they’re always a good source of potential buyer leads. Also, make a point of holding a “neighbours only” open house and personally distribute invitations. This creates an opportunity for your neighbours to show your home to interested family members or friends. Running ads in local newspapers is also a good way of maximizing exposure, as you will be well covered between print and online advertising. And don’t neglect foreign language newspapers – it will be well worth advertising your home in the newspapers your target market is most likely to read. In essence, you need to do whatever you can to maximise exposure.
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