Missing any opportunity to make an emotional connection could cost you business. It’s time to get personal with property marketing, using data driven and personalised ads.
What is personalised marketing?
The old ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing is no longer effective in today’s crowded marketplace.
Personalisation is about making a one-to-one marketing connection with your buyers or sellers – and I don’t mean using their name. It’s about understanding and anticipating their needs and wants, and not treating them as just another customer.
One of the advantages of the internet is individualisation, or control over what users see and receive. This individualisation (or contextual marketing) benefits you, as you can tailor information to each visitor to your website, each person who sees your ads or receives an email – and this can be an important competitive advantage.
With personalisation, each visitor sees tailored messaging at every touch point.
How does personalised marketing work?
Let’s face it – buyers and sellers of residential or commercial real estate are not a single target group, ready to respond to your every message.
A younger buyer just entering the property market, for example, will have different needs and wants from that of an older seller downsizing from a large home to an easy-care apartment. Your younger buyers probably won’t mind making a few changes to their property and may desire proximity to schools and sporting facilities. Your older seller is more likely looking for a property that is ‘lock and leave’, and demand proximity to cultural facilities, shops, health care and restaurants.
With personalisation or targeted marketing, you can use the the information you acquire each time a user interacts with their PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet to gain an understanding of how you can best help them to achieve their goals.
Sophisticated digital technology can help you provide your customers with targeted messages that show you understand their needs.
Respect and trust with one-to-one marketing
Showing your customers that you view them as individuals and understand what matters most to them will earn you their respect and trust. Better still, you’ll gain their attention and make an emotional connection with them.
Targeted messaging is the equivalent of hearing your name spoken in a crowded room. You’ll take notice.
Understanding your segments and their needs
Of course, it’s tricky to drill down to an individual level. Instead, you want to segment your buyer or seller niche groups and identify what matters most to that group. Once you identify primary needs, you can segment all the individuals with those needs, and direct communications that target that niche group.
In real estate, there’s usually a window of opportunity for data gathering. Most buyers of residential real estate or commercial property search for around six months before they find their ideal purchase. While they’re searching, we can gather information about their search habits, demographics and geographic preferences.
Once we’ve gathered data for a particular segment, it’s time to get really personal; it’s important to recognise the emotional needs of your targeted niche market.
It’s important to recognise the emotional needs of your targeted niche market.
Say you’re a developer selling inner-city apartments off the plan. These apartments may suit three groups in particular: foreign students from wealthy families; expats looking to invest; and empty nesters looking to downsize from their leafy suburban block to a more vibrant inner-city area.
Let’s take empty nesters. Maybe they’ve spent 40 years in the same house, and accumulated a lot of stuff. What might this group need? Maybe larger rooms and plenty of storage space? Proximity to transport, shops, amenities and health care?
What this group doesn’t want from you is a random list of houses in outer suburbs. Do this and you’ll lose their trust.
For commercial real estate, your audience is likely to be at the portfolio manager or fund manager level. There’s no point in offering a B-grade office building to a fund that invests only in A-grade property. Instead, create advertising subgroups, segment them in your database, and promote only those properties relevant to each group.
Personalised marketing, using data analysis, allows you to segment your market into need rather than the old-school location, demographics or gender.
In the end, it’s about how you make them feel. Do they feel understood? Do they trust your judgement in what you show them? Do they feel excited about the property and its potential lifestyle? You want to build that emotional connection with every ad they see.
Doesn’t personalisation get a bit creepy?
In short, it depends on the channel, the recipient’s emotional relationship with the technology, and the message.
Mobile phones, for example, are regarded as being ‘intimate’ technology. No one wants to feel stalked on their mobile phone. They’re ideal, though, for short specific messages to direct readers to a website, residential property open day or a new (and relevant) commercial property listing.
The channels you use to communicate with the various sub groups (or niches) will differ from segment to segment.
Mark Cairns, Business Development Manager, Campaign Xpress
Between finding the right property and getting the bank to say yes, there’s a tonne of info a home buyer has to read and understand. Often one of the first docs a home buyer will see about a property is the certificate of title (or as it’s more affectionately known by us law and property geeks, “the title”). A certificate of title is a legal doc that tells you who owns a property and other juicy info like the size the land area and whether there are any restrictions on the property, like a mortgage.
You might have looked at a certificate of title in the past and gone cross-eyed at all the law references and boring legal words. But don’t fear, because here are 5 steps to help you read and make sense of that title.
Step 1: Make sure you’re looking at an up to date title
A certificate of title can become out of date real fast so it’s important that the one you’re looking at is current. Ideally you want to be looking at a title search copy that’s dated the same day you’re looking at it, or is no more than 1 week old. To see the date of the title search copy, see the date being pointed to with the big orange arrow in this example:
Step 2: Check the plan
The plan of the property is usually on page 2. Check it and make sure the property in the plan is the one you’re looking at buying. You should be able to recognise the property in the plan by its legal description. You can find out what the legal description is on page 1 of the title here:
Then you turn over to page 2 and look for the legal description in the plan. In the above title, the legal description is “Lot 23 Deposited Plan 313591”, and you can match this to the plan on page 2 like this:
Use your knowledge of the property and its boundaries and its location on the street to make sure the property you’re buying matches the property on the title. If you have any concerns please talk to your lawyer.
Step 3: Find out the type of title
In NZ there are 4 main title types:
It’s important for you to understand the type of title you’re looking at buying and you should talk to your lawyer about this. Here is some quick info about each title type:
Step 4: Find out about the restrictions on the title
The restrictions are on a title are listed under “Interests”:
In this example, the only restriction is a mortgage registered over the property to ANZ Bank. Other kinds of restrictions you might see are easements, covenants, caveats, building line restrictions….the list goes on. It is important you get your lawyer to search and explain the details of each restriction so that you fully get how the use of the property will be restricted if you buy it.
Step 5: Get your lawyer to check the title
Buying a house is an expensive time but please don’t tighten your belt when it comes to getting good legal advice about the property you’re buying. After all, buying a property will probably be one of the biggest investments you’ll make. Bring up all niggly issues with your lawyer, and make sure you really understand what’s on the title of the fabulous property you end up buying.
Buying a property is like a dance between the buyer, the real estate agent and the vendor.
Let’s face it. The agent’s faithful partner is the vendor, but it’s also their job to impress the buyer with their extensive knowledge and transparency.
A top agent is always on the front foot and can alleviate what is otherwise a stressful and confusing experience.
Here are five things you should expect from a real estate agent:
1. Transparency around the bidding process
The agent should let the buyer know whether the vendor is willing to accept a pre-auction offer or if they’re definitely running it through to auction. When a property is selling privately, they should explain the sales method used for that property — whether the buyer can only make one offer, or would be notified if their offer is bettered. The steps involved in a sale-by-set-date campaign is significantly different from expressions of interest. Agents should also keep buyers informed about changes in the negotiation process, such as when a private sale turns into a private auction.
2. Expert communication
The listing agent should be present at every open for inspection and communicate with prospective buyers. “He or she are in the property, walking buyers through, being able to help out with any questions or concerns,” WBP Property Group vendor advocate Sandra Brizzi says. “And if it’s an unrenovated property, that experienced person can really showcase the property for what its full potential can be, [such as] reshaping a floor plan.”
3. Expert knowledge
Other than being able to describe the physical attributes of the house, the agent should know if there are any restrictions. Real estate trainer at Industry Training Consultants George Rousos says a lack of knowledge can be a concern; it may mean an agent has not read through the contract before selling a property or conducting an open for inspection. Agents should be able to disclose any issues related to the property such as heritage overlays, easements or caveats, he says. Mr Rousos says they should be able to answer questions related to boundary lines, floor plans, history of the property and what (if any) renovations have been done. “When you do an open, you want to do it with conviction. And it’s pretty hard to do it with conviction if you don’t have a sound knowledge of that property,” he says.
4. Professional photography and copy
Ms Brizzi says top agents will know the best photographers and type of type of photography that can maximise the property’s potential. Prestigious properties tend to be shot at dusk, which can help to draw in emotional buyers. The listing agent should not be shooting their own photos on a phone or camera. They should discuss with the vendors what improvements need to be made, such as painting, cracks that need to be filled and landscaping. Phillip Musat, senior trainer at the REIV says agents should also organise copywriting, sales boards and contacting the solicitor or conveyancer to request the preparation of documentation.
5. Expert support and resources
When vendors list with a real estate agency, they are paying for a team of people rather than one or two individuals, Jellis Craig chief executive Nick Dowling says. Agents should have resources to help get the property ready and looking its best, he says, and have plenty of people to man open for inspections and the auction. They should also have access to good solicitors, conveyancers, and people in finance.
6. After signing the contact …
When a buyer is found and negotiations are finished, the agent should ensure the legal process is complete and sound. “The agent is in charge of having the contract available for prospective buyers to view,” Mr Dowling says.“There are solicitors on the buyer’s and seller’s side that produce and provide legal contract and advice — but the real estate agent is responsible for provision and execution of the contract all the way through.”The agent should ensure the property is left in working order before settlement.
Brush painting tips:
3 steps to rolling like a super star:
Dip your roller into the paint, rolling it back and forth across the tray’s ridges a few times to remove any excess paint which will prevent drips. Make sure the roller gets evenly coated.
Achieving the perfect finish:
What would you do to avoid removing wallpaper? Probably whatever you could, judging by the stories of woe we found on the web.
DIYer Rachel Meeks wrote in her “Small Notebook” blog that she was so overwhelmed by the prospect of removing 40-year-old wallpaper from several rooms that she actually knocked down a couple of walls rather than spend time scraping. That fear and dread are also palpable in online forums on the topic, where many people strongly advise: Get a pro to do it. (Subtext: Have a cocktail instead.)
Can’t argue with the cocktail idea, but here’s a fact that will come as a huge surprise to many DIYers: With a little bit of know-how, removing wallpaper just isn’t that hard. If you want to save a few hundred bucks on a pro, it’s actually a fairly simple DIY project — as even Meeks later found out — so long as you have the right info, tools, and expectations. (It’s gonna take some time!)
First, Check to See If Your Walls Were Primed
Anyone who’s managed to remove wallpaper lickety-split likely (and luckily) had walls that were sealed with wallpaper primer before they were papered, says Geoff Sharp, owner and founder of Sharper Impressions Painting Co., which operates in several cities including Atlanta and Indianapolis.
Priming, which became more common in the 1990s, prevents the wet glue from soaking into plaster or drywall and forming a tough-to-break bond. Loosen a corner or seam with a putty knife and pull. If it peels off in a sheet, you got primed!
Being able to peel off wallpaper in complete or partial sheets after lifting the corners with a putty knife is called dry stripping. With well-primed walls, dry stripping should work for the entire job and you could finish a room in a couple of hours at most.
Trust in the Power of Water
Not primed? No worries. Removing wallpaper — vinyl, foil, or paper — comes down to high school chemistry. (See, it does come in handy!) “Wallpaper glue is water based, so water is a super-efficient remover,” says vlogger Chris Berry, known as The Idaho Painter, who owns B&K Painting in Boise. “It works so well, we use it instead of chemical wallpaper strippers on both drywall and plaster.”
Here’s what to do with water:
We won’t pretend this process is quick, even if it is easy. It could take you six hours for an average room, but that’s way better than the days of effort it could take if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Another option for harnessing the power of H20 is steam. Wallpaper steamers, which you can rent from home improvement or hardware stores, are effective and “much neater [than water] because you’re using moist heat,” says Jason Stratos, owner of Stratos Painting Co. in Springfield, Mass. But they can be tough for steamer newbies. They’re bulky and awkward to use (Done an upper body workout lately?) and it’s possible to burn yourself, warns Gina Paris of Gina Paris Design in Conneaut Lake, Pa.
So if all this sounds like a hassle, stick with a compression sprayer, which is easier to manage.
Tip: Scoring, soaking, and scraping are still the best technique even with dense, woven grasscloth. But factor in the extra, painstaking step of tearing off as much of the top layer as possible to expose the backing first, because “the material rips off in thin, stringy shreds,” says Berry.
Tip: Walls with wood paneling are the one exception to using water, since water and wood don’t mix. In that case, use a gel chemical stripper that won’t penetrate the wood.
Decide If Chemical Wallpaper Stripper is Right For You
If water is so effective, why does stripper exist? Some pros prefer it because stripper dissolves glue faster than water. But it likely emits low-grade VOCs, or toxic chemicals. And water is cheap. So why not go au naturel? By the way, if you use stripper, the pros recommend DIF Ultra Concentrate (pricing varies, ranging from about $5 to $35 online).
Don’t be Fooled by the Urban Myth of Fabric Softener
Through the interweb grapevine, you may have heard that fabric softener (diluted with water) is a brag-worthy way to remove old wallpaper. But we couldn’t find a single expert who agrees.
“Fabric softener just makes the process more complicated, smelly, and even messier than using just plain old water,” says Berry. You end up mixing glue with the chemicals from fabric softener. In addition, Berry says fabric softener may harm drywall.
So when it comes to removing wallpaper, the happiest journey (assuming your walls aren’t primed) involves water — and patience.
Strategy. It’s probably the number one thing that separates average real estate agents from top Agents.
Strategy is the reason Tall Poppy sell almost double the New Zealand average. And yet, so many agents have no idea how to do it. Which of course, is good for our clients. And us.
If you’ve made the mistake of choosing to work with an agent who isn’t a strategy expert, here’s what you need to know:
Knowledge is Power – Knowing the other side’s motivation is critical to being able to effectively negotiate with them. The more dirt you can dig up (on the house, the neighbourhood and of course, the other side), the more ammunition you have. You need to understand the market – what’s happening THIS WEEK. You need to understand your competitors. You need to understand yourself.
Keep People Talking – I learned this lesson many years ago in my previous life as an antique dealer. People will tell you anything – if you just give them enough time.
Time – If people invest time in something, they are less likely to walk away. During negotiations, you can use short deadlines to exert pressure on the other side. Or long deadlines to communicate how confident you are in your position. You can use time to avoid a bidding war, by making an offer mere hours after a house comes on the market or by making a strategically-timed bully offer.
Relationships Go a Long Way – Some people think they have to be bullies to get what they want. I disagree. Building trusting relationships goes a lot further to negotiating a good deal. From an Agents perspective, strong relationships with other key agents is crucial; and with our clients, well it’s my livelihood.
Principles Above All Else – Good agents are strategic AND have integrity. They use guerilla tactics to their client’s advantage while still being ethical. The best deal for my clients is always the best deal for me in the long-run. A great deal of my business comes from referrals after all – and my reputation is everything.
Of course my best advice to you is to work with a real estate agent who is an expert in strategy. Trust me, it’ll go a long way to getting you what you want.
Critical Seller Mistake number 1. Starting price too high
There is nothing wrong with ambitious pricing. It's okay to go for gold and try for a dream price. It's when the dream price is too ambitious that the nightmares begin.
A property is fresh and interesting when it first hits the market. There is a golden window of opportunity for sellers. This is usually the first half of the average selling period. Let's say the average selling time in your area is 60 days. The golden window is the first 30 days. After that, buyers are asking questions like "What's wrong with this house?" And "Why hasn't it sold?"
It's essential to get your price adjusted to attract buying interest while you're still within the golden window period. You may have already missed some good buyers but as long as you are priced right within this time, you still have a great chance to secure a top market result.
Keep in mind that competitive market pricing is the fastest way to attract multiple offers and competing buyers.... and that is every sellers dream!
Critical Seller Mistake number 2. Rejecting a good early offer
The road to selling success is strewn with tragic stories about the buyer that got away. Many early offers are rejected by sellers because they subscribe to the myth that things are just warming up when that first offer comes up after only days on the market. It's essential to remember that although you may have just put your property up for sale, your buyer may have been looking for months and is highly educated as to values in your area. In fact, a hot buyer will often have a better idea of value than your agent.
Critical Seller Mistake number 3. Poor presentation
When you put your property on the market, your enemy is other homes for sale in your area and price range. You are all competing for that hot buyer or buyers to inspect your home and make an offer. Words and your asking price are simply not enough. Your property is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it's worth the time and effort to get it looking great.
Well presented homes create an ‘emotional trigger' that communicates desire in a buyer to own your home. This is because they 'mentally move in' and see themselves living in your place. We've all done it. Check out home magazines or their websites for inspiration and ideas. Speak to your agent about hiring a staging or presentation specialist. If your mission is to sell for the highest possible price, then that is probably your best investment. Create the WOW factor and start the buzz happening about your place. Have some fun and get noticed.
Critical Seller Mistake number 4. Bad photos
Every time I see a poor quality photo of a home for sale, I see a real estate agent that doesn't care and a home seller that doesn't know any better. The digital image is now the most important item in your marketing checklist. Hire a pro and get a great image to WOW your buyers. A professional attractive image simply jumps off the page to a good buyer and says: "Come around today and check me out. I might be just what you're looking for."
Critical Seller Mistake number 5. Limited Marketing
You can't sell a secret. No matter how great you have your place looking, in order to generate real buyer interest you need to tell the world. Speak to your agent about ‘Power Launching' your listing to get things off to a flying start. Ask your agent where they are getting buyer enquiry and make sure you are featured there.
By Ray Wood. Bestselling author of "How To Sell Your Home For More"
In the last year there's been so much talk about foreign investors, both good and bad, true and untrue. It's easy to get in a panic about people you're rubbing shoulders with in the race to buy a home, but with the right information you can get a clear head and a clear way forward.
That's where Joanne Chen comes in. She is a business development manager at Squirrel Mortgages, and for the last two years she has been an invaluable resource when it comes to unlocking the Chinese investor market. Here's what she had to say about the current situation:
Legislation curbed the enthusiasm
On October 1 last year, the government introduced rules that meant overseas property investors had
to have a New Zealand bank account number and IRD number. Now, this is something that is daunting enough for people that live here - according to Joanne, it was a downright confounding prospect for many Chinese investors. "People didn't understand the policy," she says. "They didn't know what the IRD was, and were freaked out by the prospect of paying extra tax in a foreign country." For this reason, Joanne adds, Chinese buyers flocked to the NZ property market in droves leading up to October 1 implementation of the legislation. And once the deadline passed? "October and November just died," she stated. "Nobody was buying."
This afforded a window of opportunity for locals on the lookout for mortgage advice and a new property. After all, if you didn't have the buying power of an overseas investor that could put up in excess of $1.5 million for a home, you might have found it tough to get ahead.
It's especially true when you factor in the Chinese market last year. Joanne noted that terrible conditions in their economy and an inviting exchange rate saw lots of Chinese buyers looking to secure their money by investing in New Zealand property. So it's slowed down now - what's coming next? A triumphant return?
Eventually, Joanne says, the Chinese market will return here in full force. January and February are big months for families visiting New Zealand, she says, looking at homes and the lifestyle and working out if they will move to New Zealand. School zones - any kind of school zones - and family homes are often their focus.
These aren't the buying months though. Joanne adds that the process is still very complex, and Chinese buyers often have a lot to learn before they can confidently make a purchase in the New Zealand market. That's where she excels, teaching foreign investors the intricacies of taking out a home loan and buying local real estate. "We give them advice on how to buy, link them up with real estate agents, help them set up accounts and transfer money - everything they need to get a foothold here in New Zealand." Buying a property isn't a matter of waiting for the market, she adds. "If you're a first home buyer, you should just buy when your situation enables you to.
At the back of every seller's mind is a dominating thought: Is this the best time to sell?
If you approach this question scientifically, you might consider factors like the number of similar properties on the market that are competing with your home to attract buyer's, interest rates, the general mood of the market, the general mood of the economy, the occurrence of school holidays, gazetted long weekends and hours of sunshine per day.
Planning to sell your house in 2016? If so, you might encounter a “cooler” real estate market with fewer buyers. But you can still get it done.
The Nelson housing market is ticking along nicely. Demand for homes has risen in recent years, and house values continue to climb in most areas.
With that being said, the general consensus among housing analysts and economists is that the housing market will cool a bit in 2016. While home prices are expected to continue rising next year, they will probably do so at a more modest pace than the last couple of years. Sales volume is expected to decline as well.
The message to sellers is clear: 2016 could still be a good time to sell, but you might have to work a little harder to find the right buyer. I recommend using the PSP strategy outlined below.
The ‘PSP’ Strategy for Selling a Home in 2016
If you want to sell your house quickly in 2016, and for the highest possible price, you should focus on the PSP strategy for home selling. This proven strategy involves effective pricing, staging and promoting. PSP.