More than 25,000 residential property listings were put on pause as New Zealand entered lockdown, many of which have relaunched as we scale down the COVID-19 alert levels.
New property listings are constantly fighting for your attention and digital tools have been tasked with keeping them front and centre for prospective property purchasers whether looking at the news, social media, or property-specific sites.
However, spending too long on the residential sales market can take the sheen off a fresh new listing, a phenomenon that has affected more than 25,000 properties listed for sale across New Zealand as we entered the COVID-19 alert level four lockdown.
Now as we emerge with fewer restrictions, and New Zealand’s $55 billion residential property industry shifts back into gear, Bayleys property reporter Katharina Charles investigates what marketing experts are doing to capture attention the second time around.
Selling approximately one in every three listings to overseas-based buyers, Bayleys Devonport residential sales specialist Linda Simmons says strategic marketing and exposure are key elements that have helped her to sell more than $50 million in residential property over the last year alone, putting her in the top five percent of Bayleys salespeople nationwide.
“Right now, there are few casual shoppers,” she says.
“Some buyers are hoping the market will plummet while others are reluctant to travel or attend viewings in person.”
“To capture their attention, and the interest of those based overseas I do all I can to make things as easy as possible, providing the maximum amount of information upfront,” Linda explains.
Utilising a mixture of traditional print, comprehensive digital, and a slick social media presence, Linda says that her marketing techniques have evolved to meet the demands of buyers and the new way they shop today.
“Information needs to be instant – professional photography, video and three-dimensional walk-throughs save busy buyers time and have enabled some purchases to proceed sight unseen.”
Social media is another really powerful platform, Linda says.
“Facebook advertising to expatriate Kiwis – especially those in Singapore, London, Hong Kong, and Australia has proven extremely fruitful, and the ability to broadcast viewings on Facebook or Instagram Live has opened up a whole market for buyers based in other areas.”
At a time when the news has become more important than ever before, Linda says, carousel advertising on the New Zealand Herald and Stuff homepages (of which Bayleys has exclusive use), offers incomparable exposure for property listings.
“More than 1.2 million Kiwis across the country – and the world come to these sites to get their news; when a listing is featured on the homepage viewers click once and it takes them straight through to the full listing.
“I can tell instantly when a property is marketed on the New Zealand Herald and Stuff carousels, as there’s a noticeable amount of new inquiry,” Linda says.
To draw new attention and maximum exposure, Linda says that leveraging networks are equally as important because it is after all about who you know.
“Communicate as much as possible,” Linda recommends.
“With every person that inquires, with colleagues, fellow salespeople, the neighbourhood and those in the wider community – and similar communities across the world.”
“With 82 offices across New Zealand and a strategic partnership with global property consultancy Knight Frank giving Bayleys access to more than 60 international markets, I really believe my clients have the edge of exposure,” she says.
To garner positive attention, sellers must put their best foot forward, Linda says because perceived flaws like maintenance issues support lower offers and homes which do not present well can be instantly dismissed.
“I recall a home I sold recently which was languishing with another agency on the market for up to five months, I took it over and brought the sellers three offers within three weeks, an achievement I credit with presenting the property in its best light,” Linda says.
Remove unnecessary furniture and reposition existing pieces to optimise the room configuration, or add small enhancements such as plants and fresh linen to increase value perception and liveability.
“It’s vital that the home feels loved and lived in – this can be achieved professionally with a stylist or at home using little known tips and advice, but ultimately builds the all-important emotional connection with the buyer,” she adds.
Despite uncertain economic times ahead, Linda is confident that the push-pull mechanisms at work across the property market will continue to encourage activity, as those who need to sell will sell and those that need to buy will continue to buy.
“The impetus for buying and selling has not gone away – people need to move, for work, for financial or family reasons and while the outlook for the economy is uncertain these factors persist.
Attracting the best attention to your property, Linda says, will result in an optimal sale price which becomes even more important in times of economic uncertainty.
“Invest in adding value through marketing, exposure, and presentation, this will help prospective purchasers to fall in love with your home, which will ultimately deliver a more pleasing sale result.