I’m a sucker for technology. I am what you called an “early adopter”, that guy showing all his friends the cool but buggy new tech that he just overpaid for. It’s no coincidence that the technology available in the real estate space got me excited!
When the news broke about open homes and auctions being banned to assist with social distancing, I didn’t anticipate much changing in the industry. We’ve been doing virtual reality and FaceTime inspections for over three years now; it was nothing really that new.
It is no secret that technology has had an enormous impact on the business world, and the next big thing is virtual reality. If you take a closer look at some of the technology that will be commercialised in the next few years, it is easy to see why. Just recently I trialed a VR experience using haptic gloves, which give your hands the feeling of whatever virtual surface you are touching. For example, you could be walking around the lounge area of our Mosman office but virtually walking around the kitchen of a home for sale in Beauty Point, running your hand along the bench top and feeling the cool, smooth sensation as if you were really there.
I know you are thinking “this guy is a weirdo, unsubscribe”, but stay with me for a moment. My point is, the virtual space was always going to take a more dominant hold on the business world. We were always heading here, we’ve just been pushed a little further a little sooner than expected.
Winston Churchill said “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. So where is the opportunity and how do you capitalise on it?
With the AUD being so low, and Australia’s coronavirus statistics proving that it has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, I think foreign investment will rise even higher than it already is in this country as more and more people look for a lifestyle in the greatest country in the world.
To help you capitalise on this I want to take you through 5 must haves for marketing your home post-COVID-19. These are tips I would give to everyone and have used for years, whether your targeting overseas investors or not, however with overseas investment tipped to rise you will be doing your future campaign a serious disservice by leaving them out.
1. Property detail roadmap
This is a written walkthrough of the property from front to back listing every single little detail about the home. What brand the taps are, what material the flooring is, how many power points in each area, how many cupboards and shelves in each bedroom etc. This will give buyers who are overseas every single detail and value point they need to know, and combined with the other 4 points I will go through will allow them to formulate an educated buying opinion on the property.We have been doing this for over five years now for every single property we put to market, because every little feature of your home has a dollar value. Let’s take two exact same properties, one with floor heating in the bathrooms and one without, the home with floor heating should sell for more money 10 times out of 10.
I recently bought a home and when I walked into the bathroom I saw a heated towel rack on the wall. I said “I like the heated towel rack” to which the agent responded “oh, I didn’t even know it was heated!”. I rolled my eyes and thought to myself “this will be an easy negotiation”.
The great thing about this list is it forces the agent to learn every single detail about your home. As agents we should know your home as well as you do, if not better. How else can we convince a buyer to release every single dollar they can to secure the home? You need to demonstrate the value in a home not only to overseas buyers, but to every potential buyer.
2. Virtual Reality Tours
If you can’t physically inspect a home, this is the next best thing. A lot of you would have used the Matterport home walk through, however I find this very buggy, slow and frustrating. I suggest using panorama VR technology to allow the potential buyer to virtually stand in the centre of the room, and look around each area of the house. All they will need is their smartphone. If they have access to a super cheap Cardboard VR headset, the experience is even more impressive and gives you a strong sense of the home.We have branded Cardboard VR headsets that we use in the office to virtually show properties, and at open homes to show attic storage or basement parking. The cost of these is only around $15 each. Here is an example of a property tour that is can be viewed with VR headsets.
3. Professional Internal & Drone Videography
Good videography will allow you to really show off your home and give buyers who can’t physically inspect it a good feel for the property. I am really against property videos where the agent just shows off his BMW and then talks your head off, because who cares? Let the home shine.It is ok to do a little bit of commentary about the homes standout features that you wouldn’t know about from just seeing the footage, but for the agent to feature in almost every shot is simply self promotion and won’t serve the desired purpose of getting the viewer to fall in love with your home.
Drone footage is also a must have when dealing with overseas buyers or any buyer for that matter. Buyers will want to look at the home from above on Google Maps anyway, so it is better that you remove any chance of a grainy satellite image making your home look bad, and provide them with a quality aerial shot that will showcase the location. Near the water? Show the water. Near the shops? Show the shops. Sounds like common sense but you would be horrified at the number of aerial photos I see that mostly show the roof of the house and really serve no purpose other than to waste your money. Here is an example of a video featuring the property and drone footage as well to show off the location.
4. An “About The Area” section
When considering a property, buyers who aren’t local will want to know all about the area. Give them information on schools, local restaurants and cafes, things to do and just a general brief on the overall features and benefits of the local area. None of us would buy a home in an area we knew nothing about, so we can’t expect potential buyers of our homes to part with their hard earned cash before knowing about the area either. They will do their own research regardless, so once again it is important to control everything you can. Get a head start and give them a positive run down on the area and everything it has to offer. Consider including photos of the most popular local attractions such as beaches, shopping centres etc.
5. A well analysed list of comparable sales and rentals in the area
Once you have sold them on the home and the area, it’s time to show them why the asking price is what it is, and give them the confidence to put their best foot forward. Sorry for repeating myself, but again they will always look around at comparable sales to get a gauge of value and these comparable sales will play a huge factor in the amount they are willing to offer. Providing them with these figures shows confidence in your product and price and will go a long way in assisting during the negotiation.
Comparable rentals and a rental appraisal are also very important because there is a strong chance that overseas buyers will be looking to lease the property out before moving in. Give them the information so they can quickly calculate their returns and make an informed buying decision.
It sounds like a lot, and you must be thinking “how long are this companies brochures?” The answer is 16 pages long. You buy a toaster for $39 and you get a 100 page booklet, it is a joke to think that you can sell homes for millions of dollars using a double sided A4 piece of paper. What is the cost of these 16 page brochures? A whopping $3.60 each! Well worth it to properly showcase your home and maximise the end profit you receive.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “build a better mousetrap and they will beat a path to your door” but I say, if you get your marketing right, people will sleep outside your store to buy a telephone they’ve never touched or seen.
If you have any questions, I’d love to help. Get in touch and get serious about your marketing campaign.