Sometimes, when properties sit on the market for a while, we get stuck for ideas. If you ever find yourself in that situation, this checklist will help.
Small changes can make a difference and they show your owner that you are working hard to find a buyer for their home.
When your listing isn't moving, it's time to make changes.
If you are unsatisfied with the amount of enquiry you are getting on one of your properties, use this checklist to come up with ideas to get things moving.
How often should you make changes?
In most markets, prices should be adjusted every 2/3 weeks if you haven't received an offer or generated strong interest.
Adverts can be adjusted as often as you like, but every 2 weeks is probably ideal in most situations. You have to give changes time to work, but you also have to remember that time is of the essence. Those expiry dates come around quickly!
It's also ok to make the same changes twice. Eg. Take the price off, then put it back on again 2 weeks later. New buyers are entering the market all the time and you never know exactly what might grab their attention.
Note: If your listing has had the same main photo and same advert headline for 3 months and still hasn't sold, then you need to look at whether you are part of the solution or part of the problem?
Download Printable Checklist (Microsoft Word friendly)
Listing changes to consider...
- Use stronger wording in the property advert. Ask your owner's permission to use their reason for selling. Motivation works! If your owner is sceptical, show them an example of a recent sale with a strongly worded advert that achieved a premium price.
- Change the advert headline. Use the owner's motivation for selling if possible.
- Make sure you have a strong call to action at the end of your advert. 'Our owners are determined to sell and are ready to do a deal. Call me today to ensure you don't miss out on this home...'
- Focus on a different target market. In an ideal world, your advert would focus on one target market and speak to that audience, eg. 'first home buyers'. If your current focus isn't working, try targeting investors, or down-sizers, or whoever might suit the home you are trying to sell.
Tip: While we are on the subject of adverts, read How to write compelling property adverts.
- Change the main photo. Canvas the opinion of other people (particularly those in your target market, if possible). Ask which photo would attract them to the property. The answers may surprise you, especially when you ask people of different ages or backgrounds.
- Go through the photos of the property and remove any that may be putting buyers off. In general, the more photos you have online, the better. But certain photos may make a buyer lose interest before giving your listing a chance. Look for photos that could be taken out of context if you haven't seen the property in person.
- Add a price indication. If you didn't have one before, try putting one in.
- Change price from 'Buyer Enquiry Over' to a set Asking price. Buyers sometimes find buyer enquiry ranges confusing and might think they need to be way above that level to have a chance. Keeping it simple can sometimes make a difference.
- Remove pricing (switch to 'by negotiation'). Every buyer wants a price but sometimes it pays to remove the asking price, to see if that sparks more enquiry. This works best when you also add motivation to the advert. When a buyer calls and asks about price, respond with: "Our owners are motivated to sell and are open to offers, we'd love to show you through and see what you think it's worth." Your job is to get them to the property.
- Remove the Rateable Value (or council value) from your advertising. In some markets, salespeople use local rating valuations to garner buyer enquiry, but sometimes it can put people off or send the wrong impression. Removing this may help increase enquiry.
- Text / Email / Phone all past visitors. Tell them the price has been changed or updated. Sometimes just reminding them that it's still an option might spark another viewing. Maybe they have missed out on a more expensive home since they last viewed your listing? Or maybe their budget has increased. Just because they didn't show immediate interest last time they visited, doesn't mean this home won't work for them.
- Text / Email / Phone visitors of similar properties. This is so often overlooked. Don't presume every buyer in the market has looked at your listing online. Go through open home registers of similar properties, call those visitors and invite them to view this listing too.
- Try a Facebook boosted post. These are great value and you can target certain demographics that might be looking for a home like yours. You can also try posting the property on Facebook marketplace. This isn't often used for selling houses but agents I have spoken to say this strategy definitely makes the phone ring!
- Upgrade the online presence. Most property domains have upgrades you can buy. If you think the property is well-priced, you might even consider paying for this upgrade yourself if your owner doesn't want to foot the bill. Top agents often invest in extra marketing for their own listings to increase enquiry and get things moving.
- Run a Google Display Network campaign. There are companies in all markets that offer a set package for this now. They are often good value, with campaigns usually starting around $100+ and it's worth a shot if your property has great photos and represents good value. One you could try is Spoke (no affiliation).
- Add a rental appraisal figure to the advert and start targeting investors.
Download Printable Checklist (Microsoft Word friendly)
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