Selling your house? Here’s a few tricks from the advertising industry to help you think like Don Draper.
The advertising world has much to teach homeowners and their agents about selling a property. Houses are a product to be sold like any other product.
Advertisers love to overcomplicate with jargon, strategies, techniques and theories that are alien to most of us.
I was in the advertising industry for over 10 years and was guilty of all the above.
Now I’m a home stager and, by way of apology, this article simplifies the advertising process into 3 steps and relates it back to selling your house.
Positioning your property
How you position your property in the market is a crucial first step to getting it sold. You need to consider three things:
The features of your product (property)
Look at your house objectively and write down the key features e.g. spacious living areas, architect designed, near good schools, subdividable block, original fireplaces.
The what’s in it for me factor (WIIFM)
In other words, if someone were to buy your property, what are the benefits to him or her? What will it get for them or allow them to do? E.g. entertain friends, have their mum live with them, catch the train to work, no weekend maintenance.
Who is your most likely buyer?
Your property won’t appeal to everyone, so based on the above features and benefits you now need to get clear on your most likely buyer.
Firstly, think about their demographics. Are they married with two primary school aged kids? First time buyers with no kids? Single professionals? Downsizers?
Overlay this insight with their lifestyle. Do they like entertaining? Do they spend a lot of time at home? Will they want a big garden to maintain if they’re always travelling?
Finally think about their values and what motivates them. Is it freedom, fun, excellence or something else? Remember that your most likely buyer might not be like you or at the same stage of life as you.
Now you’ve got a good picture of your most likely buyer, the benefits to them of buying your property and the features they are looking for.
The idea is how you communicate your positioning with the most impact.
In advertising terms this is the actual ad.
A successful ad makes the product appealing and forms an emotional connection that persuades consumers to buy the product.
When selling, your property is now the ad and it’s your job to make it appealing to your most likely buyer.
Here are some examples:
- Change a storage room into a nursery
- Set up an entertaining area near the pool
- Find a quiet study area away from the living room
- Change a kid’s play room into a formal dining room
Remind yourself that everything communicates.
From the cookbook in the kitchen bench, to the style of quilt cover on the master bed, to the magazines on the coffee table, and the hand soap in the bathroom.
Your aim is for your most likely buyer to think ‘This house is for me. I have to live here.’
If you’re pitching to entertainers, make sure your visuals speak to them
Your message is how you communicate your idea. When selling your property this covers three main areas:
The copy should talk directly to your most likely buyer in their language and explain the features and benefits. Put simply ‘what will your buyers gain by buying your property?’
Pictures and video
With a correctly positioned property, picture selection will be easy and will showcase the features and benefits that will hook a buyer enough to view the property.
Images should always be vibrant and highlight the best aspects of what’s in frame. Video is being used more often, to offer tours and behind the scenes of your property ‘experience’.
Consider if this is appealing to your most likely buyer and partner with your agent to make it happen.
The famous Marshall McLuhan saying "the medium is the message" is important here.
If you’re selling a benefit of excellence then a door drop and the local paper isn’t the correct strategy but a Premiere property listing on realestate.com.au and a glossy magazine is.
Think about how different combinations of media can get your message across in the right way to the right audience at the right time.
And that’s it!
Position your property to your most likely buyer, make it as appealing as possible to them, then communicate that appeal through copy, pictures and the media they use.