“Packaging” a home for sale

 

It seems I’m always on the bandwagon about marketing homes for sale. About how Carpenter Realtors® has the most effective and most comprehensive program to market homes for sale. How we consistently promote listings better than the competition.

But as a marketer, I can’t just consider promotion and take the day off. In fact, promotion is only one of marketing’s “P”s that I consider.  Doesn’t the business world now has five “P”s in marketing: Price, Place, Promotion, Package and Product? (I’ve seen four, five and seven. Can’t we all just agree?) In real estate, we have input in three P’s: Price, Promotion and Packaging.

Pricing a home for sale is best left to the agent, who has the knowledge and the tools to advise the homeowner on their options. A home for sale must be priced “competitively” in order to sell quickly and near list price. A good agent and cooperative homeowner will always make the right call.

Promotion. That’s what we do, what we reconsider and what we retool every day in order to stay ahead of the pack. It’s the Carpenter Home Marketing System, an exclusive package of online and offline promotional opportunities that has been shown to better expose a home for sale to more potential buyers. Ask any good marketer and they’ll tell you the key to promotion is just that: expose a product to the greatest number of potential buyers

Now for packaging. I’m not talking about a box on a shelf, or a logo on the box, or a usage claim below the logo. I’m talking about packaging a home for sale – prepping it for the best showing it can have. Can’t tell you where this came from, but I recall a study where 63% of consumers make a product purchase decision according to the packaging and decoration. You can bet that this number is much greater when it comes to buying a home.

In packaging a home for sale, consider these important points: photos; curb appeal; cleaning/clutter; paint/carpet. Too often we see agents and homeowners who ignore/forget packaging a home – the way it appears “on the shelf.”

The part of packaging I want to talk about is photos. The listing agent can control the quality of their photography. The homeowner can expect quality photography of their home. The broker can train their agents to take quality photos.

More than nine of ten homebuyers use the internet to search for their new home. By the time they even have a discussion with an agent, they’ve considered hundreds of homes. I call that process “speed dating.” A web visitor gives any home for sale a few second of consideration to decide on an “online showing.” Those few seconds, in seeing the price, reading the short description and … viewing the primary photos … makes it or breaks it. Thus the speed dating. We have a few seconds to convince a buyer to do go on a date, i.e. an online showing, which can result in a second, live showing. The primary photo is, well, primary, in their decision. Crummy photo = poor packaging = lazy agent. Quality photo – good packaging = involved, active agent.

At Carpenter, we’re always training our agents on how to take the very best listing photos possible. Training, coercing, nudging, yeah sometimes even a polite shove. All the promotion and pricing in the world can’t overcome poor packaging.

 

Posted by: Jim Newell

 

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