Marketing Your Property Is The Key
There’s four pieces to the marketing puzzle that you must fit together to quickly find a buyer for your property who is both willing to pay your price and close the deal when you need it to close:
- Place; and
Your property isn’t just a house on a plot of land with a shed and a fence. No, it is a product - a bundle of value for which the end user will gain from its control and use. When it’s time to sell your property then you have to attract a buyer from within your local real estate market seeking your product. In order to get your price then the buyer has to value your product as much as the price that you offer it for sale at.
Think of the real estate market as a very large auction barn with three distinct players valuing your product very differently:
- Retail Buyer;
- Wholesale Buyer; and
- Institutional Buyer.
First, there’s the retail buyer - the person buying the property for their own gain and has an emotional interest in the outcome. The retail consumer sets the “market price”. If the feeling isn’t there then there’s no deal.
Second, there’s the wholesale buyer - they’re looking to buy the property at a discounted market price so that they can resell it at a profit. These are often contractors or professional “flippers” that buy, renovate and resell inside of 90 to 180 days. There’s no emotion here - it’s all about a fast, high-rate of return with as little down as possible. If the numbers don’t work or the timeline doesn’t work then there’s no deal.
Thirdly, there’s the institutional buyer - they’re in the business of real estate to build a diverse portfolio of investments that will hedge their ability to weather economic storms by buying small, medium and large properties in a variety of markets. If the future value numbers don’t work then there’s no deal.
This is where an experienced, licensed real estate practitioner becomes a valuable adversary in that they can quickly identify which need is looking at your property and why, while morphing your property’s positioning to present itself in the most favorable light to that need.
Positioning is a marketing term that helps describe how your property is placed in the mind of a prospective buyer against other similar properties that compete for their attention. There might be a couple of three bedroom homes in the same neighborhood but one is a bungalow which caters to buyers that don’t like stairs whereas the other is a two story such that the shift worker doesn’t hear the kids playing or the TV on downstairs while they sleep.
Seperated? Divorcing? Then Beware Of Vultures
There’s another type of buyer out there, too - the vulture. These are well funded (deep pocketed) businesspeople looking to gain from vulnerable sellers often involved in volatile legal situations such as divorces, family feuds and estate disputes where the only solution for them is to liquidate immediately in order to rid themselves of their pain and suffering. The vulture networks with divorce lawyers, accountants and estate consultants to find opportunities and their immediate value is a cash closing measured in days rather than months.
The vulture also plays both sides of the auction - networking with divorce lawyers gives them the ability to find freshly separated and divorced buyers looking to start over. With such deep pockets they can finance properties, too. Sometimes, though, the buyer is in such an emotional state that any piece of paper put in front of them is executed without understanding the terms and conditions. So, high-risk borrowers enter into glorified rental agreements or questionable mortgages that transfers large deposits to the vulture with the expectation of default where they swoop in and take back the property with the laws of the land behind them.
A licensed real estate practitioner is a unbiased 3rd party and will always be on your side with the wherewithal and professional acumen to advise you and guide you towards what’s best for you. If you are ever in a situation where you’re forced to sell a property then seek the services of a licensed real estate practitioner to help you - let them act as the referee ensuring that all the players on the field are working with your best interests at heart.
Market Price vs Fair Market Value
Market price is the price that a good or service is offered in the marketplace.
Fair market value is highest price that a property would bring in an open and unrestricted market between a willing buyer and a willing seller who are both knowledgeable, informed, and prudent, and who are acting independently of each other.
Now, a seller can offer their property for whatever price they want but you have to find a buyer willing to pay for it. Best selling author and business trainer, Grant Cardone, tells the story of pricing his home hundreds of thousands of dollars above what other properties in the neighborhood was selling for - and he got that price. Why? Because he positioned its value in a way that reflected the price he wanted vs what other properties had sold for.
Your property’s value is much more than its price. This is a huge thought to understand and accept. The property’s price is what a buyer will take and what a seller will pay. But, it’s value is different to both sides. The seller may value getting out of the property sooner than later and not having to pay the $1,000 monthly taxes or condo fees while waiting for the right buyer. The buyer may value getting a property that’s a bit more than they want right now but will need in a few years knowing that they won’t get that size home in that neighborhood in a few years at that price.
A licensed real estate practitioner knows what questions to ask both the seller and the buyer to establish who values what and why. Only THEN can you set a price and begin negotiating the terms and conditions of a sale.
If the price is too high for the buyer then your real estate practitioner works with the seller to increase the value proposition to where it equals the price being asked. Similarly, if the price is too low for the seller then the real estate practitioner works with the buyer to reduce the buyer’s perceived loss such as closing the deal sooner than later or accepting the property in a state of disrepair or damage for which the seller would have otherwise had to invest money in order to get a higher price.
The real estate market might be local to where your property is located but the pool of prospective buyers is truly global.
Too cool pricing in big Canadian cities, governments had to enact legislation to cost foreign buyers more than domestic ones. There was that much demand from buyers outside of the country to influence prices that much.
And, higher big-city prices are creating millionaires that want to cash out their fortunes - selling their city properties and moving to rural and underdeveloped suburbia where homes bigger than what they sold can be bought for 50 or 75 cents on the dollars.
The Internet is the dominate “place” these days to promote your property’s value. The expectation is a complete virtual walkthrough with magazine quality images and professionally produced video. You have about 60 seconds to help them discovered whatever it is they’re looking for in a home or they move on to the next property in their search list.
That said, there’s great risk for the DIY property marketer in placing your properties on the Internet. Some sites claim that they promote your property through “advanced SEO” techniques. Others charge you a nominal listing fee but your property ends up competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of similar properties. And, there’s no significant preventative filter between you and the person making arrangements to view your home in person like there is working with a licensed real estate practitioner. Your real estate practitioner takes the call, qualifies the buyer and then makes the arrangement to view your property ensuring that the prospect is supervised and chaperoned during the viewing.
But, all that aside where do buyers look? Particularly the ones who want what you have to offer. That’s the real question in considering place. They want a site that they can trust the images that they see, the numbers that are presented and the person promoting the property.
The MLS system is the most trusted online resource for all of that - it’s managed by the licensed real estate practitioner community ensuring standards are upheld in terms of quality and accuracy of information. And, it’s been around a long, long time with millions of dollars invested in making sure that the experience is what the end-consumer needs and wants. It’s known and respected around the world and accessible from just about any place in the world.
Working with a licensed real estate practitioner will ensure that your property is found by people looking for it. And, when the inquiries come then you can count on your real estate professional to pre-qualify the prospect before wasting your time prepping your home or risking a stranger coming into your home when you’re not there.
Another advantage of working with licensed real estate practitioners is that they can place your property in front of other practitioners with an active list of buyers looking for what you have to offer. They advertise in magazines read by other real estate professionals - places that you may not know about or, if you do, might lack the confidence to invest your advertising dollars there.
Promotion is all about time and money. And, you don’t get nothin’ for nothin’.
Promotion is about creating awareness while converting need into want and want into action. And, when the prospect takes action you have to be ready and waiting right then and there or they will move on. They don’t care if you’re child is sick, or that you have to work overtime or can’t take the call right then. Great promotion creates an intense frustration that has to be resolved immediately and if you’re ready to relieve them in the moment then they pursue other solutions - and that moment can be at 2am in the morning!
Licensed real estate practitioners understand that it is a 365-24-7 world, especially if you’re working a global pool of buyers. Two in the morning your time could be three in the afternoon for a buyer elsewhere. Real estate professionals have the systems in place to satisfy the demand for immediate information and can lead a prospect down the sales funnel right to the negotiating table, often faster than any other resource. And, working with a big brand real estate professional suggests that millions of research dollars have been invested in perfecting that system of product, place, price and promotion to capture not just the attention of a prospective buyer but their interest and desire for your property.
Understanding The Sales Funnel Is Critical
The process of selling is no different then baking. There’s a list of specific ingredients that have to blended together to achieve a certain end-product and there’s a sequential sequence of steps that one has to go through to mix, let rise, bake and let set in order to realize the expected experience of consuming that end-product.
For those trying to sell their property on their own puts the property owner in the role of salesperson and, more often than not, they’re so emotionally invested in the process that try to rush the selling process or, worse, don’t know what the selling process is.
There’s 3 steps to getting a prospective buyer to the negotiating table:
- Generating the lead;
- Presenting the opportunity; and
- Converting interest into desire; and
- Converting desire into action.
You can’t jump from 1 to 3 nor can you jump from 2 to 4.
Generating the lead - finding a prospective buyer - is the first step and that’s a result of effective marketing.
Presenting the property is all about getting inside the head of that prospect while creating the illusion that they already own it and are using it to fulfill their gain fantasy - the expectation of a joyful and happy experience in controlling and using the property.
Once their mind buys into that illusion then it has to realize it in the physical world to make the illusion real. The art of selling is intensifying this frustration to the point where the prospective buyers has to have your property and they become consumed with finding a solution to all of the things they perceive as obstacles in their way - selling their current home, qualifying for a mortgage, selling the idea to their spouse, etc.
A seasoned real estate professional understands how to facilitate the latter process - having answers and solutions to any questions and problems presented. And, more importantly, they also understand the ethical and moral concerns in transitioning a prospect through the selling process - concerns that might have legal ramifications for you later on if you fail to disclose or minimize critical decision making data trying to do things on your own, or working with unlicensed property “consultants”, marketing agents or advisors.
Selecting A Trusted Real Estate Advisor
You don’t “hire” a licensed real estate practitioner - you partner with them. Sure, they’re going to get paid but, only if they fulfill their role in the partnership.
Choosing a real estate practitioner is a dating and courting process - you wouldn’t pick out someone from an ad or by a referral, meet them and and marry them at the end of your first date, would you? Of course not.
You have to build rapport and trust knowing that they have your back and you have theirs - yes, remember that it’s a partnership, so they’re expecting that you to do your part, too. They’ll look after you but you also have to look after them by being honest, truthful and sharing your concerns and fears when you have them so that they can apply their expertise, training and experience in remedying the situation. And, when they do get the job done then there is a duty and obligation on your part to share that great experience with family, friends and co-workers because that’s what partners do.
What you’re looking for is a licensed real estate practioner for life - someone that will help you and your family throughout a lifetime of property ownership:
- Your first home;
- A home for a growing family;
- Income properties to help your family establish wealth and financial security;
- A cottage;
- A home that reflects the career success you’ve achieved;
- Transition from your own home to assisted living;
- Managing your estate and/or family trust; and
- Helping you start over if you get divorced or seperated.
And, that partnership is more than just buying and selling. It’s about having an expert professional in your corner when you really need them - a trusted advsior in your corner to protect you when you’re down on the mat - from emergency refinancing to administering a property of a loved one that died unexpectantly.
Finding that perfect partner and buiding that relationship needs to start BEFORE you think about buying or selling. It has to start now - so, ask your friends for referral and begin the dating process.