Is your agent tech savvy?
Selling your home quickly and at the right price is no longer possible without technology and in a tough market, your agent should cover all the bases
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hen appointing an estate agent, there are a number of factors that sellers take into account, but one that is often overlooked is possibly the most critical – their agent’s marketing strategy and the agency’s marketing reach.
“Sellers quite rightly consider aspects like sales track records, area knowledge and the all‑important property valuations when choosing an agent, but the benefit of a comprehensive marketing strategy when selling a home should never be underestimated,” says Grahame Diedericks, manager principal, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Midrand. “There’s no point in getting excited about high‑end valuations if your agency doesn’t have the local, national and international reach on the correct platforms to communicate with a targeted audience of serious buyers.
“Not only is a good marketing campaign essential to gain the edge in a tougher and more competitive market, it can also significantly impact the final sale price achieved as well as the length of time a property spends on the market.”
New property era
In the not-too-distant past, there were only two ways in which to house hunt: by poring over the weekend newspaper property sections or perusing estate agency window displays, but technological advances have forever changed the way we market and search for property.
“These days, at least 80% of homebuyers do extensive online research before making their final purchase and, with so many websites and properties to wade through, a lot of homes will fail to catch their attention,” he says.
The majority of consumers who have the means to be in the market for property, access most of their information via their’e phones or tablets, so it’s important for an agent to be technologically and digitally savvy.
No other form of media in history has made as deep an impact on property as digital marketing, with one of the biggest changes the convenience of being able to do most of the initial ‘legwork’ without actually leaving home.
“Accessibility to information means clients are better informed than ever before and this is a good thing because informed buyers and sellers make better choices, and buying property is usually a financial decision that will affect your life for a very long time,” he says.
According to Diedericks, an optimum marketing strategy should now include social media, database advertising, property search portals and app placements, and digital media showcasing, as well as show days and outdoor boarding.
Strategic digital marketing can help agents reach a broad demographic of potential buyers at a pace never imagined before. “Studies of consumer brand interaction reinforce why it’s vital for sellers to select a real estate agency that has a strong online presence. And at the upper end of the market, which has borne the brunt of the market decline, international marketing reach is imperative.”
When one understands that more than 70% of sales are the result of online enquiries, then agents and sellers can begin to recalibrate where time and money need to be spent.
“And an agent with the correct digital support and knowledge is likely to achieve the best possible price for your home in the shortest possible time,” says Diedericks. “That said, there will also always be a personal element to marketing property. When it comes down to the wire, having a professional, experienced and legally‑savvy estate agent at your side, is a no‑brainer to ensure a smooth sale that doesn’t reveal any nasty or costly surprises weeks or even months later.”