Is your real estate agent too old school?

Private Property South Africa

The world is changing. But, much like the hits by Queen, some things will never age. While certain marketing tactics will be completely lost on the younger generation, others will continue to resonate with buyers across the ages. Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, explains that the key to a successful sale is knowing which old school marketing tactics still work, and which don’t.

“Unless you associate with people outside your own age group, it can be difficult to know about new trends as well as older trends that have existed before your time. Our various regional and national events exist (in part) to allow networking opportunities that enable cross-generational knowledge sharing. In terms of our age demographics, around 27% of our sales associates are in their 50s and roughly 22% are in their 30s and below. By having these various age groups interact with each other, our agents are able to learn exactly which marketing tactics to lose and to hold onto,” Goslett explains.

“For starters, the emergence of certain low-commission operations has led to a belief that in this new digital age, marketing a property belongs purely to the online realm. However, purchasing a home is an emotive process that often requires a human touch. So, while some might call it old school, coffee dates with clients where discussions can be held around their property wish-list and other concerns can make the world of difference when it comes to matching up a buyer with his/her dream home,” says Goslett.

“Show houses are often another old school marketing tactic that many sellers feel to be an outdated practice. However, from a logistical point of view, inviting buyers to a show day can be far easier than arranging separate viewings with each potential buyer during the week. It also makes the home accessible to a wider audience, allowing numerous potential buyers who happen to be in the area the opportunity to view the property on the same day,” Goslett adds.

Read more: Do show days still work?

That being said, there are other marketing tactics that might not be as effective as their modern adaptations. Listing pages in newspapers, for example, can never be as up-to-date as online listing portals. While these pages might generate leads from an older generation that still reads the daily paper, the younger generation that consumes news through social media timelines and news applications will be completely missed by this marketing strategy,” Goslett points out.

In Goslett’s opinion, the best marketing strategy is therefore the one that makes use of both traditional and modern marketing tactics. “The real estate market has become a mixed bag of buyers, from Generation Z (the oldest of which are currently 23) who have most likely just entered the rental market to Baby Boomers (the youngest of which are 55) who are potentially considering investment properties. To make sure a home appeals to the widest pool of potential buyers, agents will need to adopt a mixed approach between modern and traditional marketing strategies. If your agent is only using online mechanisms or is only working through traditional print and word-of-mouth advertising, then I’d advise finding another real estate advisor who has a more rounded approach to selling your home,” Goslett concludes.


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