Friday, September 10, 2010

What color is your COW?

I was recently reminded of that great book on branding yourself by Seth Godin called "Purple Cow." For those who haven't read it, it's a good read. So along that thinking QTS came up with some ideas on how to market your listings without spending a single dollar! Want to keep reading? Great!

The goal is to create attention to your listing for it to stand out as a PURPLE COW! The concept is simple, if there are thousands of cows in the field, why will yours stand out? Here's some ideas:

What does every buyer in this market want? Bragging rights. They want to be able to "get a deal" and tell people about it. Does that always mean they need to get the home for less than list price? Not if it's already priced right. What if we highlighted for them the "PEAK VALUE" scenario. For example, if a home today is worth $250,000 and in the last peak it would have sold for $325,000, that's their deal! Check your market for accuracy, but I would bet that if you looked at past peak markets you would notice a trend. That trend is each peak market was higher than the last. If the home was peaking at $325,000 last time and it's true each peak surpasses the next, could the home be worth $350,000 in the next peak? If so, sell the buyer on the $100,000 in equity they'll gain, rather than focusing on the list price today.
Check SOLD property MLS remarks. Did those properties have anything clever or specific that could have attracted extra attention. Was their description better? Is there anything that stands out that could have created the sale that you can duplicate for your listing?
Highlight any incentives. The idea here is figure out what the prevailing challenge in your market is and create a solution. Example: A builder offers up to $25,000 in closing assistance on his CURRENT home. The problem is, prospect wants to buy in the builder's development but is $25,000 upside down on the sale of his home. Problem solved! Example: Seller guarantees a specific figure for rental income in a resort market. The problem is, buyer wants the home but is unsure of the income for the first year or lender wants something concrete in order to qualify the buyer. Problem solved!
Encourage your sellers to use 6 month pricing. Remember back in the rising market, buyers were willing to pay full price and often times, more than full price. Why? They knew prices were rising and in 6 months or sooner the value would be there. Well buyers are no different today. In this declining market, they want to buy the home at what the value will be in 6 months. Figure out the rate of depreciation and price the home as close to what it will be in 6 months and it will sell FAST! Not to mention, you want have any issues with the lender on appraised value.
Rent vs. Buy. What is the average rental price in your market? What price range would a comparable mortgage payment be? Finally, how many listings do you have in that magic price range? Example: My market average rent is $1250. That will get you about a $240,000 home with FHA 3.5% down at a 5% rate. Currently their are 143 homes available under $240,000. What if the listing agents marketed each of those homes to tenants paying that rental rate?

We have to be creative and think outside the box. It's about using the logic the market is providing us to our clients' advantage. Hope these ideas help you sell a listing this month!

Happy Selling!

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