Friday, September 28, 2012

Marketing Hard to Sell Properties

Property owners tend to have a different view of the value of their properties when the time comes to sell, but from time to time it is necessary to market a hard to sell property. Whether the property is in a state of poor repair or there is a high volume of similar properties for sale in a the area, there are a number of techniques that can be used by for sale by owner (FSBO) sellers and real estate agents such as Minneapolis Realtors alike to market hard to sell properties. These techniques range from free methods to highlight the benefits of a particular property to expensive marketing plans developed by consulting firms. Each with its own benefits and drawbacks but the joint message is that you must identify your target market and your message in order for any marketing plan to work effectively.

Having a clear message in your marketing is a key element to marketing your property. Typically in the case of selling a property, even a hard to sell property, the message is that the property is For Sale. It does not matter how many things you say about the property if people don't know that it is for sale. Some real estate companies overlook this key aspect when they place signage. There are for sale signs that have numerous riders and large print contact information but a teeny tiny for sale or for rent message. The same goes for open house and yard sale signs. Often we see signs at the corner and don't bother to drive around the block because it is not clear if the sign is for an open house or a yard sale. Other messages you may want to consider when marketing a hard to sell property are: Reduced Price, Buyer Incentives or, Special Financing Offers. Remember though, one message per marketing piece. Now that you have a clear message make sure that it applies to your target market.

Identifying your target market is just as important as your clear message. You can send your message out to thousands even millions of people but if they are not the type of buyer who would be interested in your property the chances of your marketing message resulting in a qualified buyer are slim. Sending out a property flyer for a 5 bedroom family house into a neighbourhood designed for executive couples makes about as much sense as marketing a rib fest in a vegetarian establishment. Now if you sent that same marketing flyer into a family oriented neighbourhood where the typical house has 3 or 4 bedrooms, the chances of your attracting a family that is looking for a larger house greatly improve. Now that you know the importance of targeting your market, let's look at some of the free marketing methods that can be used to highlight the benefits of your property.

The internet is a great place to start. The majority of buyers look for real estate such as Minneapolis real estate, online. Here are a few ways to strategize your marketing plan:

Digital Pictures: Buyers like to see pictures! Even if the property is not in the best shape, pictures will allow the buyers to have an idea of what the property does offer. If you had two properties with a similar price and one had pictures that showed some flaws such as peeling paint or outdated decorating and the other property only showed the outside of the house, wouldn't you wonder what the seller was trying to hide? Furthermore, if you did happen to attract a potential buyer without posting additional pictures they would likely turn a run when they got inside the place and saw that it needed work.

You Tube style video tours: This is the new trend. FSBO sellers and real estate companies alike are beginning to make free You Tube type virtual tours of the properties that they are trying to sell. Similar to pictures the video tours give the buyer an idea of the overall picture of the property. You can even add audio to your video and give it that little something extra.

Blog-sites: In some cases you can set up a free blog-site that looks and acts just like a website. offers some easy to use templates that allow users to upload videos, photos, links and other information. You can even have more than blog-site that can be customized to highlight different properties. Take it one step further and purchase an inexpensive domain name as outlined below.

Email Campaigns: This is likely more applicable to real estate agents as they typically have at least a few contacts who are looking to buy at any given time. Email flyers and templates can be made up which include the information on the property. Effective email campaigns are an inexpensive method to reach a number of pre-qualified buyers.

Print marketing although lessening in popularity with today's buyers may be suitable for certain properties or in certain market places. Commercial magazines are still very popular in some markets and may be worth the price of placing an advertisement, if the above guidelines regarding clear messages and target marketing are applied.

Larger real estate companies or specialized industrial property owners may consider utilizing large scale marketing techniques. A few examples are:

Professionally shot video tours - these tours are often used to professionally highlight the numerous features of a particularly large or special use property.

Dedicated websites - similar to the blog-sites mentioned above, dedicated web sites are designed specifically to provide information about the property. This strategy involves a great deal of commitment, time and investment and is more suited for large and specialized properties that will take longer to sell.

Extensive Marketing Packages - an effective follow up technique used to provide interested and qualified buyers who have already responded to the initial marketing pieces. These packages generally include items such as estimates for repairs, information on repairs that have already been completed, property surveys, zoning information (where applicable), pre-listing home inspection reports and other property specific information.

In some markets it may be necessary to enlist the services of a consultation company. This can occur in markets that do not have a real estate company who specialize in the type of property in question. This typically applies to large and specialized industrial properties. They may use a number of the same techniques mentioned above and many will coordinate the entire marketing project.

When it comes time to market a hard to sell property there are a number of techniques that can be utilized by real estate companies and FSBO sellers alike. Knowing your target market and using a clear message in your marketing program can be applied to a variety of marketing techniques. These techniques rang from free online methods to highlight the benefits of a particular property to expensive marketing plans developed by consulting firms.

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