The Marketing Plan

Are buyers looking for a forest or a tree?

by Jay on November 9, 2009

Are buyers looking for a forest or a tree?

As a veteran marketer who had worked in many industries I was initially surprised when I began my real estate career by how superficial the marketing plans were that we were taught to prepare for listing presentations to potential sellers. What I had failed to take into account was that in a sellers market with more buyers than sellers, you don’t have to be too sophisticated to get a home sold in a reasonable time-frame. If you don’t know any better, the only option in times like these is to simply wait for the market to improve. But if you really want to get your property sold quickly at a good price the only answer is to be more competitive.

With that in mind, here are the topics that we will deal with in this series of posts in the hopes that they will offer a few insights into what a more sophisticated marketing plan would look like.

1. The importance of correct pricing. There are several categories of homes where pricing is much more difficult than pricing in a commodity development. These include luxury, historic and rental properties. In this market where there aren’t many, contemporary properties may also be a challenge. In some cases it is still more art than science but the exercise of going through a pricing analysis is important for both positioning and future negotiations.

2. The Certified Home. BMW and other high end autos do it with “previously owned” autos and new home builders usually provide guarantees, so why shouldn’t homeowners give themselves an edge in the marketplace by providing similar assurances?

3.  Marketing the Community. Often the fact that this is overlooked can be blamed by focusing on the trees and forgetting about the forest.  But sometimes it’s more than that. In Durham in particular, sellers are often handicapped by an out of date reputation of the city.

4. Web Presence. How can you leverage the ubiquitous nature of the internet to compete more effectively?

5. Positioning and Promoting. Some simple copy writing techniques for positioning and promoting the real value in a luxury property.

5. Channel Marketing. Most really large companies spend enormous amounts of money marketing to their distribution channels. Is there an equivalent strategy in residential real estate?

The next five posts in this series expand on these themes and summarize them in the final post.

The next post in the series is about pricing.


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