5 ways to revive an expired real estate ad

List not getting enough traction? Well, the good news is that there is a buyer for every home. Sometimes all you have to do is brush up on photography, copy, and marketing. Here are some tips to consider.

Even in a sizzling market, there are homes that for some reason just don’t seem to appeal to buyers at first glance. However, I firmly believe that there is a home for everyone and an owner for every home.

So when the hard times start, you need to get creative and breathe life into your persistent ad to find the right buyer. Here, you’ll find five ways to update the list and your approach to the sales process, without you or your customer having to spend a fortune.

1. Prepare the ground

Having the right setting in a home is crucial to capturing the hearts and minds of buyers, and if an ad is languishing in the market, it may be time to re-evaluate the space.

When potential buyers come in, they need to see how they live in space – where they relax and watch TV, relax with a good book or enjoy a meal with their family.

Selling an art of living is possible with staging, but it must be the law staging. For example, you can’t have oversized furniture in small spaces or small rooms in large spaces. You should also be careful to mix up furnishing styles to such an extent that it creates too unsightly juxtaposition.

The staging must also be functional and adapted to the seasonality of the climate. Note, if the house is empty and unstaged, you can still use a virtual staging program to create the desired effect for the images and marketing materials. The same principles will apply to the virtual staging as to the physical staging. (Personally, I like Spotless Agency’s virtual staging services.)

2. Increase attractiveness

Once your interior staging is in order, take a look outside to make sure your ad ticks all of the curb call service boxes. If the yard needs some maintenance, encourage your client to invest in a gardening service or pick up their weed killer and run the lawn mower for a family day out in the backyard.

Having an overgrown or unmaintained garden doesn’t create a good first impression and can signal the potential homeowner that there is a lot of work involved in maintaining the home.

Plus, watch how the exterior paint, driveway condition, and even the mailbox are maintained. Sometimes adding a new coat of paint to the exterior, fixing broken pavers, pressure washing or replacing a broken mailbox can instantly improve the first look of a home.

Of course, all of this work comes at a price, so make sure you can set realistic goals and expectations with your client.

3. Improve your ad photos

Now that your ad has been refreshed inside and out, it’s ready for its close-up. If you’ve made any significant changes, you’ll need to take a complete new shot of the house. Otherwise, make sure you capture the best bits of updates to add to your marketing materials and MLS profile.

Buyers buy so much online these days that the first thing they see of the house are usually the photos in the listing. Make sure you have a full set of good quality photos that showcase the best parts of the house on hand.

If you’d like some advice, have other agents review your ad images for feedback and, if possible, contact your marketing team. You can also ask other agents to show you ads that have sold quickly and take a look and see how your images compare to theirs.

4. Create a stylish copy

Now that your images are perfect, it’s time to take a look at the copy of the list. Once the images have captured the attention of potential buyers, they will want to know more about the home and all of the amenities and features it has.

Make sure your ad copy is easy to read, free of typos, and includes all of the house specials. Be descriptive where you can as long as the word count allows.

5. Consider a marketing makeover

If you’re on the right track with all of the above, but the list still falls short, it’s time to take a look at your marketing campaign.

Are you presenting the house to the right group of potential buyers and telling the story of the house in a way that would resonate with them? These are the first questions I ask agents to think about when it comes to evaluating a marketing campaign.

I always say it’s good to be creative and think outside the box when it comes to marketing. Maybe all your ad needs is an eye-catching video, a different image on the front of the postcard, or an updated headline in your electronic copy.

If an ad is languishing in the market, try taking a look at the staging, appeal, ad images, ad copy, and your marketing plan. As I mentioned earlier, there is currently a buyer looking for their dream home – your listing. You just need to make sure they are found using these proven techniques.

Santiago Arana is Managing Partner of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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