Marketing a Northern Colorado home is part science and part art. One has to know who the target audience is, meet their need and make it memorable.
Marketing real estate is crucial in quickly attracting a buyer who is ready, willing and able.
I consider myself fairly creative.
I cook, sew, landscape, do home renovations, interior design and home staging … I love photography (thank goodness my Flickr Pro account helps me organize the 35,000 or so pictures I have uploaded) and occasionally paint. It’s true that I’m a visual and kinesthetic soul by all accounts.
Several years ago, I was contacted by a young couple, referred to me by one of my repeat investor clients. Mr L had purchased a townhouse when he was a student and had lived in it a few years before he met and married Mrs L. The townhouse was located in a subdivision FULL of townhouses just like his. All the same size, layout and finishes for the most part. Mrs L really didn’t like living there and since they were now ready to start a family, it was time to sell Mr L’s property and buy a detached house in a better suited neighborhood.
Easier said than done.
When I met our (less than) happy couple, Mrs L was in tears. They had been trying to sell the townhouse for a year already … With no luck. No offers, few showings… declining hope of ever buying their dream Northern Colorado home. Their contract with Realtor #1 was now expired and I had a shot at being Realtor #2.
I did a market analysis and concluded that the property was indeed priced appropriately. I visited their home and agreed they kept it in remarkably good showing condition. (No small feat after 12 months!)
By default, that just left one major area needing improvement: Marketing
A quick glance at the MLS showed me that there were no fewer than 14 units very similar to theirs, for sale. All priced around the same too.
*If you have ever looked for property to buy online, you likely did it in the late evening hours. You are tired, but its easy to scan the listings and pick out a few favorites, right? You tell yourself you will remember them in the morning and investigate further.
Fast forward to the next morning and you wake up excited to share what you found with your spouse or Realtor. Darn it! If only you could remember which one it was that spoke to you last night. All the addresses are so similar… all the photos are so similar.
And that is the problem.
Photography needs to fill a couple of roles in real estate:
- It must make you want to visit the house.
- It must make the house memorable. Can’t remember = Can’t set a showing appointment!
In the case of Mr and Mrs L’s townhouse, I listed the property for the exact same price and set about taking photographs that made this property stand out from the other 14 for sale.
Mrs L had a gorgeous golden retriever who liked nothing more than to be in the same room as me. I used Charlie as my model in every photograph! She relaxed on the shaded balcony, with a leafy tree hanging over her, she sat beautifully in the living room with a toy in her mouth etc, etc.
I just knew that Charlie was making her owners townhouse stand out. She added “life” to the small spaces, she demonstrated it was pet friendly and thereby captivated all those potential buyers with questions about the feasibility of having a medium sized dog in a townhouse; she made it easy for a buyer to call their Realtor and say “I don’t remember the address or the MLS number, but it had a dog in all the photos!” Yes Buyers, you all do this! LOL
Long story not as short as you might like, the townhouse was under contract in 2 weeks. We took it to a successful closing and Mr and Mrs L found the perfect house not far away, to start their family in.
Happily ever after. That is how all real estate stories should end!
Ok, and now for your viewing pleasure the creative marketing team for Kmart take memorable marketing to whole new level. (Turn the volume lower if you are at work!!)
I TOLD you to turn the volume lower! 🙂