Have you ever noticed that Petrus Pomerol wine ($1,459/bottle) doesn’t advertise their product during ultimate fighting matches or football games? And have you also noticed that you don’t see billboards for “2 buck chuck” (Charles Shaw wine – $3 buck chuck in New Hampshire!) at Yacht races or Polo matches?
The purveyors of these respective products, or their salespeople at least, know their market and know how to get the most mileage out of every marketing dollar they spend. Are you doing the same thing while trying to sell your home? Is your agent?
The trick to selling almost anything is to know where your potential customers are and putting your product in front of them. Saturday morning cartoons give us toy commercials. Monday evening news gives us car commercials (and “little blue pill” ads). Once you see this pattern, you will start to notice “who” the advertisers are going after as it relates to what show is on TV.
We are starting to see this trend online as well. If you utilize a “portal” site or news aggregator like (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) you will notice that there are ads displayed all around the main data section of the page. They make no apologies for utilizing your browsing patterns (yes, they can see that!) to determine which ads you are most likely to click on. (Yahoo! does give the user the right to edit this feature or simply turn it off.)
I stand at 5’ 10” tall and weigh a tolerable 175 pounds. Every time I land on my news site (I’m a Yahoo! guy), I am presented with weight loss ads! Clearly they have some work to do in perfecting their algorithms, but the technology is there. Perhaps all my searching for cycling and hiking equipment has belied my fitness level.
Getting back to selling your home, I’m confident these same principals apply. Badger Realty did some research a few months back, to determine the best market in which to sell higher end or “luxury” homes. It turns out buyers for these homes, just like everyone else, are looking online to start their search. We also learned that referrals are of even greater importance when dealing with higher end homes. People trust their friends and relatives over a salesperson any day of the week. The trick is making sure you are the one they recommend!
Which brings us back to knowing your audience or “market”. Where are your buyers? Where do they live? What do they do for fun? Why are they moving? Who do they socialize with? When are they moving? Is this going to be a second home? Are their kids in school? All of these questions will help you (and your agent) narrow down the field of possible buyers and allow you to produce more targeted, efficient and effective marketing.
In the North Conway market, much like many of the destination-resort towns in the White Mountains, a significant portion of our homeowners do not live here full time. In the Loon Mountain area, the percentage of second homeowners is around than 70%. Here in North Conway, we are at nearly 60%. That means your buyers are not likely to be your year-round neighbors.
When marketing your home, you and your agent should have your “selling” sites set firmly on the MA and RI markets. Google and Facebook offer geo-targeted ads and Facebook even offers demographic-targeted ads. This helps eliminate displaying your “North Conway home for sale” ad to an audience of 13 year olds from Omaha!
The data is out there which helps you determine exactly where they buyers are coming from. Simple adjustments like marketing to INSIDE the 128 belt in Boston, vs. OUTSIDE that belt can make a huge difference. People in Western Massachusetts tend to ski in Vermont so they don’t buy ski-homes in North Conway. Of course these are just general observations, but the numbers don’t lie and why not stack the odds in your favor.
Knowing your existing market as well as knowing your “potential” market is vital to the success of any business. The sale of your home is vital to you and your family taking the next step in your life’s journey. Make sure you and your agent are both educated on how best to take this next step. And save the advertising during cage matches for the beer guys!