I find it really hard to process the fact that if I want to buy a pair of trainers or a mobile phone perhaps, I can find an abundance of information and details to help me make my decision. Yet how much information in comparison is provided on a property for sale?
Seriously consider that point.
Go and check out the description, photographs, advice, reviews for a product you are interested in buying. Then go and view the same for a standard home listing. For what may be the most expensive thing you ever buy, surely more should be provided than the basics?
We all understand that there are many factors that going into selling a home. There are also many stages that have to be taken to make this a reality.
Inevitably there will be photographs, advertising the property, viewings and then likely more viewings; and finally the period of completing the sale.
Within this process there are a number of things that can prevent a home from selling. This may well be that the home is simply not suitable, or within reach of potential buyers.
What I believe each estate agent should do is to ask have they done everything they possibly can.
The answer may be a quick fire yes, but after reading on I strongly believe that will change.
Within this article I will put together a strategy to give a property the very best chance of selling. At Expropria.com we have looked at a number of different property markets including the UK, the US and Australia.
We have found that there huge differences in tactics and approaches when comparing both nationally and internationally. However we do feel there are elements that can be combined to create a winning formula.
We will be taking a look specifically at single page property websites, and examining how these can help your site, and why they are a growing trend.
We will then provide you with a step by step guide to create your own single page, single property website will little cost or effort.
Why create a specific page for a property?
Have you ever looked at a property listing and thought, “that’s ok but I wonder if…”
I know I certainly have on numerous occasions. This is why I like the fact that in 2015 and probably more so in 2016, that more and more agencies are using single page websites to help market a property.
If done correctly, then this can really enhance the profile of a property that is for sale. It can showcase the property in its full glory or potential. As well as providing a lot more information than a standard property listing.
However if done poorly it really can have a detrimental effect. I believe in the saying that a bad website is actually worse than no website at all.
This can help to pre-empt questions, concerns or reservations about the property. It also provides an opportunity to add a personal element to the listing.
I personally believe that too much reliance on the viewing of the property for the buyer to gather information. This can actually prevent the information being found as often emotion takes over on a property viewing. There is often too much to take in that important questions are not asked.
Having a single page dedicated to this information can build a great foundation of providing the buyer with all they need to initially understand, regarding potentially the biggest purchase of their lives.
What should be included?
There are some vast differences between different agents, and certainly by country.
So real estate agencies appear to have a unique separate page for each property, others only have a basic listing; and there are those that only create a listing for a property over a certain value.
When you look at the costs involved, this is certainly something you could viably create for a very cheap price.
What is evident is that this is a growing trend across the United States, more and more agents are creating unique sites for the properties being advertised. However the UK market appears some way behind.
We will provide our recommendations for what to include, it is then up to you to decide if this works for your style; or indeed if you wish to tailor it slightly.
I am going to show you all of the details of this when I create a brand new page for this site. However let me run through all of the things I would look to include on the site. This should all become very clear later on with the example I provide.
– Photographs are an obvious but essential component to any property listing. You will have your own view on how many should be published on the site. However we have found that 10 – 15 seems to be the optimum number to display the full features and potential of a property.
– Description of the property is once again a standard essential inclusion. Initially we would look for you to include the price and basic details. This includes number of and description of rooms, size of property, land and other specific details about gardens and garages etc.
Specific features of the property should also be included such as open fire or marble worktops etc. This is a real opportunity to show the property in its best light and highlight the benefits and unique selling points.
I would also look to highlight storage options within the room descriptions or images. This is something that homebuyers pay a lot of attention to. Lack of storage is a very real reason to put someone off a purchase.
– Parking is certainly worth pointing out. Especially if in an inner city congested area.
– EPC rating is a very important factor in the sale of a property. In fact 55% of the homebuyers in the UK said they would be put off buying a property if it had poor energy usage figures; whereas people were prepared to spend more on a home with a better rating.
If this is a benefit to your property then point this out, it could be a very significant factor in the sale. If you have improved the glazing or boiler to increase the rating, then again shout about it.
– Location needs to briefly here. So that it is extremely obvious where it is located what is nearby.
This should include transport details, shopping facilities and restaurants. As well as any other specific local attractions.
We also recommend to include a specific area to highlight schools and colleges, if that is relevant to the type of property being advertised. It may not be the case for a one bedroom apartment, but more so for a family home.
A map of the area which pinpoints the exact location of the property is essential. This lets people locally understand exactly if the property is in a street they wish to live, and gives those moving to the area a better understanding of the surroundings. Understanding that there is a park within a 3 minute walk and visually seeing it on the map can inspire different emotions. So in our view this is essential.
– Video can be extremely powerful. By this I do not mean a slideshow of the photographs that have been taken, but a short video which shows the features of the property. This can really add an extra dimension and help the home stand out amongst others.
If this is something you take on yourself, then be sure to focus on the most positive features of the property. Look at other examples for inspiration and most importantly edit the video for a professional finish. Something like iMovie will help.
It can be expensive to hire a professional videographer for this task, also if done poorly it can have a negative effect.
The purchase of a video camera and time spent practising can become a fantastic investment. Although better still, you may be able to get the home videoed and edited for free.
Yesterday I contacted a local college and spoke to a media studies tutor. I asked if it would be valuable experience for some students to record and edit some videos. He discussed that they do need real life experience so he felt it would be a nice collaboration.
He asked that they can showcase the footage as their own afterwards, if I could provide a reference for their portfolio and that I help with travel costs if we go ahead; up to the value of £5 per property! This means I will get good quality videos, that are edited for up to £5. I see that as a no brainer of an investment.
You may well be helping your local education systems also. Consider if there is anyone in your area that could contribute.
The added benefit of a final video is the option to share over social media channels such as Facebook and YouTube.
– Transport links are a positive thing to mention. Again it just creates an ease and familiarity to the potential buyer. Try to think how powerful this could be to someone moving to the area that does not drive; yet it is so simple to include.
– Local amenities details can be very useful to a buyer from outside of the area. You can get advice from the current homeowner to help compile this.
Remember though to make it relevant. I love a story that my friend told me of a real estate agent discussing the best takeaways in the area, which was all he discussed. The husband was a PT and the wife was pregnant. Not once were schools mentioned.
So try to think of who may be interested in the property and appeal to as many people as possible.
– Attractions can be a fantastic draw to people considering moving into an area. What is there to do all year around?
Also if there are any seasonal events locally then be sure to mention these. Include things like parades, Christmas fairs, New Year celebrations etc.
It will help to sell the area as well as the property; all whilst making an emotional connection with the buyer.
– Local developments can play a huge role in the decision to buy a property. Highlight anything that is likely to benefit the value of the property or appeal of the area in future years to come. Or indeed anything that improves accessibility to the neighbourhood.
– Expansion opportunities are something that could appeal to a potential buyer of the property. Is there planning permission in place or potential to do any work? If so then highlight this with an estimated upgrade cost. This could save the interested party a lot of time, as well as opening up the home to a larger audience.
Someone looking for a 4 bedroom property may not consider a 3 bedroom, unless there is the opportunity to expand.
Also consider if any neighbours on similar properties have completed any work. This can give a better idea of the properties true potential.
– Homeowner interview can be a very powerful tool. It can include things they enjoy about the property and things they like about the area.
One question that is often asked is why the owner is moving. So that could be included to. Possibly also include their thoughts on the street and their neighbours, if it is positive of course. Is there a friendly family atmosphere? Is it quiet? Sociable? etc.
– Crime rates are something that could be mentioned and compared, if they are favourable to other areas. Again we are just looking to highlight as many assets as possible here.
– Community information can also throw up some nice additional information. Once again this could be tailored to the type of person likely to purchase the property. Is there a church or community centre? Is there a neighbourhood watch scheme in place. All of this information can help sell the sense of a life in the home. Rather than just viewing it as bricks and mortar.
– When was property last bought is something you may wish to consider including. How long ago did it last change hands? This will also let the buyer know how long the owner has lived there.
If favourable you could also include the details of other homes in the street that have sold. How much did they sell for and were their differences in the property. However this isn’t always a great avenue to go down as each house is unique.
-any major work done to the property can be discussed also. This would allow the prospective buyer to understand the level of investment that has been made.
– Local recommendations of professionals who operate in the area is an option which I have seen some people implement.
– Contact details are something so extremely obvious that I have seen these missed off…twice. It was a fantastically constructed ad, without that one key detail.
I would always look to include a telephone number, an email address and a link to your agency website if appropriate.
I would look to make this information be provided in the form of snippets, rather than an information overload. If you give too much detail there is the danger that the buyer will simply not read it. Also consider if there is anything that could talk them out of buying the home, to not include it. We are looking to appeal to the widest possible audience here.
All of this information can help the prospective homebuyer to view their potential lifestyle and not just the property itself. Remember what you are selling. To you it may be a house, to a family it could be their very first home.
We often make decisions based on emotion, so this positive first impression could make a huge difference in the ability to sell the property; all with minimal effort.
What costs are involved?
If you choose to go down the route of a specific website for each property, then it can help to impress both homeowners and buyers alike. This isn’t a necessity, and a designated page on your website will certainly suffice. However it does provide more options to create a custom and truly individual option for the property.
If this is something you did wish to consider then let me just highlight just how cheap an option this is.
On the example below I have used the address of our UK office. The property is on a street name Rushmore Grange. Therefore I would simply look to purchase a domain with the door number and street name of the property for sale.
This highlights just how affordable and option this is. For the .com version it is translating to just £7.33. Most websites I purchase, I tend to take the .com option to show more authority. However that does not need to be the case here.
As the URL is so specific, I see nothing wrong with choosing the £1.29 option of .space for the domain; especially if you are working on a budget.
Even if you require hosting services as well, you can pick up the domain and hosting for as little as £6.78 combined.
If you consider what exclusivity feel this would add to the property, then that may be an extremely smart investment on your part; and also stir interest in the potential buyer.
I have created a very basic sample page just to highlight the things I would include.
However I have seen one theme that I particularly like from themeforest. I feel this could work quite well for a single page site, which importantly is very simple and easy to put together http://themeforest.net/item/condio-single-property-real-estate-theme/12775274.
Once familiar with this theme you could literally put it together in less than 30 minutes.
Things I would include on site are listed above; however here is a very brief example page so you can see that in practise:
I hope I have provided you with enough to think about with regards to how you advertise real estate properties online.
We have shared some of the best practises that we have discovered whilst trawling through countless housing ads. I genuinely believe there is something for everyone to take away from this.
Whether you choose to include everything I have mentioned or just some of the elements. Do bear in mind that everyone has their own style and location will always play a part in how important certain specifications are.
I would however revert back to my original point and consider how much detail we see in a property advert compared to an everyday product. Surely we should be supplying homebuyers with more than the average generic content available.
I like to think that the more we put into things, then the more we receive in return. This does feel like the case here. If you can go above and beyond expectations, then consider what impact this could have, and not just with regards to selling a single property.
How would this affect your reputation and brand perception? By creating something special and unique for each property, this would surely allow you to stand apart from your competitors.
Do not forget how little effort and time this takes to set up. In my honest opinion creating a unique website for a property is a very worthwhile investment indeed.
Thank you as ever for reading,