When sellers approach real estate consultants like us to sell their house they should understand the purpose of marketing of a property and what to expect from the process.

First and foremost many clients want their real estate consultant to release ads about their properties in the newspapers. Some people don’t even hire a realtor and go ahead and start releasing ads themselves. These newspaper ads especially the ones released in financial newspapers and business magazines read by business people and corporate executives are expensive – running into lakhs of rupees for a few square inches of space. Most home sellers assume that serious buyers respond to these ads and immediately pays full asking price for the house! And everyone lives happily ever after 🙂

Releasing Ads in Newspapers is Like the Lottery

Depending on property ads in printed publications to sell your property is similar in a lot of ways to buying a lottery ticket. You have to remember that winning does not happen regularly, you cannot rely on ads to sell your property and its not something that you can easily duplicate. Which means just because one of your friend happened to sell his property with the help of a newspaper ad you will also be able to similarly sell your property by releasing an ad in the papers. It will not work that way. A lot of factors have to be in alignment for the smooth sale of a property.

Selling property with ads

Nevertheless many owners of high end properties see ads being posted regularly about other properties in the newspapers and demand the same expensive ads of their brokers when they want to sell their own houses. A lot of such sellers believe in the concept of quantity i.e. the more newspapers have ads about their houses, the faster their property will sell.

Behind the Scenes

For property owners who have asked a reputed real estate broker to sell their property, ads about their property is the only visible proof that their property has been launched in the market for a sale. They do not know the number of man-hours that are otherwise being spent behind the scenes by the assigned real estate broker in order to sell their property. There are phone calls being made on a daily basis to prospective buyers who might be interested in the property. The seller also does not have much knowledge of emails, whatsapp forwards and other ads being released in the online world that are otherwise being seen by hundreds of potential buyers for their house. Because property sellers cannot see this aspect, they focus mainly on the ads of the house to feel happy.

I happen to know for a fact that some sellers select their real estate brokers on the basis of who will post the most ads about their property in the offline world. They feel that more ads released will translate into a quicker sale and a higher sale price. We do not blame them. Most property sellers may be professionals and experts in their chosen line of work but in the business of selling houses they are clueless.

The Truth
Let me inform you as a real estate expert with over twenty years of experience who has sold hundreds of homes across two continents that releasing ads about your property in print publications is the most expensive and least effective way to find buyers for your property. I am saying this from experience. Newspaper and magazine ads about your property will rarely lead to a sale with the highest price, in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of headache.

Avoid the Ineffective 4 P Plan

Most real estate brokers in India including some of the MNC ones are prone to using traditional outdated techniques even in the year 2020. I call it the 4 P plan 🙂 Despite dodgy results, the 4 P Plan is commonly used in today’s real estate industry in India. It includes:

  1. Putting the house on multiple property portals online
  2. Putting an ad in the paper
  3. Patting the seller on the back
  4. Praying that the property will sell

Buyers Use Ads to Eliminate Options

Try and understand the idea behind advertising. The whole idea behind advertising in the real estate world is to create a sense of competition among buyers who are directly interested in your house or have friends and relatives who might be interested.

People often mistakenly assume that when their house goes on the market they need to find a buyer who lives in the vicinity of their house. Though true to a certain extent in other countries, India is a special case. Globally, India has the largest amount of non-resident Indian (NRI) population spread across the world who retain strong bonds with the city of their birth and want to invest in property in cities where they grew up or where they may want to come back someday in the future. Also in cities like Mumbai, the ideal buyer for your property may reside in other states and cities. Buying a home in Mumbai is seen as a status symbol and a sign of being upwardly mobile for say someone in Patna or Surat. Besides many families have children who want to move to Mumbai to either pursue their education or make a career and have a permanent residence here makes it easier for their children to concentrate on their studies or career. In our experience at Gupta & Sen, most inquiries for high end properties costing above ₹ 10 Cr. are made by people who live far far away from the property being sold – even thousands of miles away! Good marketing in today’s world needs to appeal to a wide cross section of buyers – ones who live near your property and also the ones who live far away.

Selling Property Print Campaigns

Let me also inform you by my own experience that marketing or advertising both online and offline will not sell the house all by itself. If your house is overpriced for the market to begin with – something we have covered in an earlier article (read it here) – you could spend crores of rupees marketing the property and still not be able to sell it. If only advertising managed to sell properties on a consistent basis there would actually be no need for real estate consultancies like ours to exist!

Having a Marketing Plan with a Mix

If you are in the market for selling your luxury home and want to get the right price for your property you will need to have a marketing plan that has a mix of everything. It should include:

  1. Direct Calling to Prospective Buyers
  2. Print ads
  3. Internet ads
  4. Video Marketing Through YouTube
  5. Channel Partner Sales

Most importantly the sale of your house will depend on the real estate agency’s own circle of influence and client base. That is why it is difficult for home sellers to think that they can sell the house all by themselves just by buying online classifieds listings or newspaper ads! Let me illustrate this fallacy with an example:

Lets say you walk into a fashion store to buy a new suit for yourself but find that there is only one suit available in the store. It is in blue which is not your preferred colour and the size is also not right. What can you do? Because the shop owner does not stock what you want you walk out of the store. You are specifically looking for a store that has lots of inventory from which you can choose the style, fit, size and colour that you want.

Strategy selling properties

I happened to know a commercial tenant whom I helped find a space for her ladies clothing store in New York City. She has sadly passed away but in her time she was one of the smartest business brains that I have had the pleasure of knowing. I once asked her the recipe of her success and she said, “Chloe you cannot sell from an empty aisle. Always make sure that you have lots of inventory because that’s what draws people in.”

This is a sound business principle that can be applied to any retail business. Lets apply the same principle to the selling of your house. You or your agent puts an ad in the papers. Its difficult to sell because you only have that one house to sell. Real estate consultancies like ours have a lot of different listings and houses to sell to a prospective buyer. When a potential buyer calls us, we know the right questions to ask. Rare is the case when a buyer calls up and purchases the same house that they saw in the ad whether it was released as a newspaper ad or as a sensational YouTube walkthrough video with millions of views. There are property buyers calling us all the time and we often cross-sell properties to them because most buyers at some point say, “Ok. But what else have you got?” Your property could be one of the ones we propose to a buyer who has called up inquiring about some other property. He likes it and your property gets sold!

Moral of the story: Properties do not get sold only on the basis of ads. You need a sharp and experienced real estate broker to sell your property! If you have a wonderful property to sell call us today!

Chloe Dodd
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