Mortgages, Money and Me

It Pays to Advertise your Home

A friend of mine recently sold her home via Auction in Melbourne. The total cost of the sales and marketing campaign for the Auction was $22,000 – which they paid for out of their own pockets. “That’s madness!” I hear you say, but that level of expense was considered quite normal for their area, with advertising and marketing costs typically being the equivalent of 1 to 1.5% of the value of the selling price of a home.

Do an online search of property for sale in Perth, or visit some local home opens, and you will see that there’s wildly varying degrees of investment in, and quality of, property marketing and advertising. Grainy photos taken by reps on their own phones or cameras, lack of attention to property presentation (I once saw a photo of a kitchen covered in breakfast dishes…), signage that advertises the rep more than the house, minimal or lesser positioned website presence in which the property debuts on the fourth or fifth page of the most popular websites and goes backwards from there, poor quality in-house brochures, uninspiring written descriptions (or worse – novels!), or lack of additional value-added information such as floor plans can all contribute to a buyers decision not to view or shortlist a property. So what do you think that lack of attention and few saved pennies eventually cost some of those sellers?

Don’t get me wrong, not all properties benefit from or need all marketing strategies – I strongly believe that campaigns need to be tailored to the individual property and the target market. But some stuff, like attention to presentation, is a no brainer. Before you list your property for sale, read the Agency’s listing proposal or talk to your Sales Rep and find out more about: a) What type of marketing campaign is being proposed for your property and why? b) What amount of marketing contribution are you being asked to make and why? What will it buy you? Is it too little, too much or about right? And c) If the Sales Rep says they’ll sell your house for no marketing fee, what will that mean in terms of the quality of the marketing campaign and amount of advertising that will be undertaken?

The last point is probably the most critical but often overlooked, particularly by buyers who chose their listing Agency on the basis of fees only. Think about it – what incentive is there for your Sales Rep to put together a tailor made, quality marketing and advertise campaign for you and your property if it’s fully or predominantly funded from their own pocket? If that Agency or Sales Rep has 10 to 20 properties advertised for sale, and accrued advertising and marketing expenses of $30k to $60k that they have to pay, how focused are they going to be on getting you the best possible price for your property versus just getting it sold? What incentive do they have to keep marketing your property if it doesn’t sell or look like selling in the first few weeks? For us it’s a fundamental conflict of interest, and we won’t take on a listing that doesn’t have an agreed amount of vendor paid marketing contribution.

In Perth, the typical cost of a standard 6 week marketing campaign that includes feature placements on the most popular website/s on the internet, professional photography, photo signage, floorplans, decent quality (not in house) brochures and weekly newspaper advertisements is somewhere in the vicinity of $2500 to $3000. If you add to this twilight or elevated photo shoots, professionally voiced video tours, a property’s own web page, interior staging or furniture hire, copywriting, and local pictorial newspaper ads you could be looking at total fees anywhere between $5000 – $10,000.

So ask questions about how your Sales Rep is proposing to market and advertise your home and think really hard about what a few saved pennies could end up costing you. First impressions count: make sure your property is positioned and presented to make a great one.

About the Author:

For some people there comes a time in life when they are able to combine their talents and passions and call it ‘work’ – Natalie Hoye is one of these people. Natalie is a real estate agent based in Mt Lawley, Western Australia. You can call Natalie on 0405 812 273 or send us an email via our contact form if you would like to speak with her.