Should Real Estate Agents drop VPA spending in a booming market?
There’s no question that Australia is in a housing boom and it’s a seller’s market. Low housing stock has created a real shortage of houses available for sale, and those that are for sale are often achieving record sale prices with a much shorter time on the market.
All in all, there is very strong demand out there for houses across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast and further afield in Queensland. The demand is also strong across all price points from entry level homes up to multi-million-dollar mansions.
So, the question is, should you keep investing in property marketing during strong demand market conditions?
Based on our knowledge of the real estate industry, which we have been in since 1999, the reported home and auction sales, and input from our extensive contacts and relationships that we have in the industry, the answer is still a resounding ‘yes’.
The short reason is that for every property you listed and sold, you had the opportunity to expose your profile to future vendors and buyers. It’s not a secret that your presence in your local market is essential to your success in real estate. Additionally, even in a booming property market, real estate campaigns are proving highly successful in achieving record sales, especially at the middle and top end of the housing market. There could be some short-cuts that may be considered for the lower end of the market and in certain exceptions, which are discussed further in this article, as is the impact of interstate buyers on real estate marketing strategies.
Setting up for future success
The healthiest advertising cycle an Agent could adopt is the self-advertising. A big percentage of this advertising is funded by the properties you sell, usually in the form of sold flyers, sold sign-boards, etc.
Keeping that in mind, see below the best ways to disseminate your profile in your operating areas, based on conventional property marketing packages and complete property marketing packages:
Conventional Residential Real Estate Marketing Packages
Whilst there may be some small variations in conventional property marketing packages employed by real estate agents on behalf of their clients, they usually contain:
- Professional photography (every successful marketing package must start with this one).
- An attention-grabbing sign board outside the home featuring high-quality professional photographs of the property.
- Eye grabbing sold and listed flyers, and open for inspection booklets with professional photos.
- De-cluttering and removal of some furniture and household belongings.
- Home styling or virtual furniture (this is one area that is discussed further within this blog as it has the potential to be essential at the lower end of the market in a booming market, depending on the property).
- Property listing on open2view.com.au, realestate.com.au, and domain.com.au, and sometimes lesser-known real estate marketing websites, often to target international clients (usually the Chinese market).
- Accurate, interactive, and well-drawn floor-plans.
- Enticing descriptive text.
- Advertising via the Agent’s database of potential buyers.
- Weekly open homes.
- Follow-up leads.
- Excellent communication and sales skills.
Complete Residential Real Estate Marketing
Complete property marketing packages include absolutely all the vital elements of what we know to be standard real estate marketing packages. Complete property marketing packages also include some additional marketing features such as these listed below:
- More auction marketing packages and less marketing to a particular price point.
- Real estate and support team in attendance at each open home.
- Open homes are conducted not only on the conventional Saturday but also mid-week night viewing and Sunday opens, as well as by appointment showings.
- Complimentary bottles of water.
- Local letterbox drops.
- Aerial photography to showcase the property and surrounding areas.
- Three dimensional, interactive floor-plans.
- 360-degree virtual tours (virtual inspections).
- High-definition video tours.
- rVR technology enhancing the interaction of potential buyers over property marketing.
- Digital marketing (watch for future articles covering this topic).
Avoid Self-Destruction by Current Heated Property Market
Both packages above describe common selling/buying practices in the real estate industry, here in Queensland. Each action removed from your standard practices will gradually push you further away from the core objective every agent needs to nurture; to become and remain known as the top agent in their local areas.
These are the 3 “must ask yourself” questions for every listing you win during heated property market:
- Can I achieve even higher selling prices for this property by keeping it in the market a bit longer?
- Do I have enough time to put in place all possible marketing for this property?
- How can my profile awareness benefit from the marketing of this property sale?
Off-market sales can occur in a high-demand market where you already have a significant number of pre-approved buyers on your database that are seeking a home that ticks all the boxes. In this instance, a property can get sold in record time whilst achieving exceptional prices, greatly reducing your ability to expose your profile to your local mass market. In this case, try to increase your “sold” advertising.
At the end of the day, it is the vendor’s decision to pursue an ‘off market’ campaign and it is the agent’s duty to make the vendor fully aware of all the effectiveness of full marketing campaigns that can be employed.
Bottom of the Market Sales
In a property boom, there is often more demand for those older, entry level homes which can be snapped up for the land rather than the home that is provided on the land – i.e. a knock down and rebuild situation. Usually, wherever possible, an agent will recommend that even entry level properties should still have a standard marketing package. However, in a boom situation where the number of buyers seeking a property is inflated, it may well be the vendor’s decision that a marketing campaign including home styling and an attractive sign-board as well as professional photography is not seen necessary to achieve a top price for their property. It is important to keep in mind that this type of sale is dependent upon the agent having a number of pre-approved buyers on their books that they are confident are looking to snap up just such a property.
As has been the theme for the last year, the current housing boom that we are experiencing appears to be somewhat different from the norm with a larger component of interstate buyers of homes in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. It is being touted that continual lockdowns in southern states (particularly in Melbourne) are resulting in the sales of Brisbane and surrounding area’s homes being purchased unseen!
Given that this is becoming a more and more common occurrence, it is a very strong argument for robust complete property marketing strategies being essential for middle to high-end properties in our region.
The influx of interstate buyers has resulted in people becoming increasingly reliant on only market material available on the net and in hard copy, with no house inspections, complete marketing packages including a variety of professional photography (aerial, daylight, and twilight photos), exceptionally well-written content and all the bells and whistles such as 3D viewing, stunning videos, etc., is vital to ensure the best possible sale price is obtained, in addition to marketing your profile as the strongest local agent in the area.
Overall, the question of “should you keep investing in property marketing during strong demand market conditions” asks “Should Real Estate Agents stop investing in their profile awareness during a booming market?”
The answer comes as another question: “Can you afford to reduce your presence in your local market?”