Drawing up a private property marketing strategy

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

Marketing – and subsequently selling – your property privately is not nearly as difficult as you think. In the simplest terms, it’s all about attracting the right buyer. And here’s how you can do that.

The first step is to get your property correctly valued. An estate agent can do this for you. But using an online calculator that has been tailor-made for this purpose is also a good option. Private Property’s Property Index takes the area in which your property is situated, as well as prevailing market conditions, among other aspects, into account. Another major bonus is that this service is free for property owners.

Your next step is to draw up an estimate of your possible costs and this entails a considered analysis of the marketing options that are available to you. Studies show that most consumers go online first when looking for a property to purchase, so an online portal should be key to your strategy. These electronic services are generally very budget-friendly and have various costing and timing packages available.

When selecting a property marketing website, be sure that it offers all possible benefits, including the ability to film and host virtual tours and show floor plans, as well as being able to show your property’s position and proximity to schools and other amenities via google maps or GPS co-ordinates.

Signing up for a virtual tour means that you’re offering potential buyers 24-hour “access” to your home, at their convenience. In addition, you can be assured that only serious buyers will contact you, as they will already have a good idea of what home encompasses.

Another good place to target is the property section of your local weekend paper. Rates vary, and sometimes package deals offer extra value, so it’s best to contact the papers directly and negotiate. Bear in mind, though, that newspapers generally have a very short shelf-life, while_ online exposure is not limited_ to just one weekend.

Also think about utilising your_ social media channels_ – Facebook and Twitter, your blog or your personal webpage. Although these do not incur any cost, they will require regular effort on your part to drive traffic to your front door – but getting your friends and followers to share and repost means that a good deal of this work is done for you. A good online advertising portal will allow you to share your listing on these channels.

Before committing to any of these options, consider doing essential maintenance on your property to improve its aesthetic appeal. And then think about contracting a home stager and professional photographer to make the biggest impact possible with your marketing campaign.

Your next decision revolves around show days. Are you prepared to give up your Sunday afternoons and open your home to the public? Or would you prefer to host “by appointment only” viewings? There are pros and cons to each scenario. For example, there are fewer security risks associated with appointments, and these are easier to manage. But they do mean that your home must always be in pristine condition and ready to show at a moment’s notice.

A conventional show day means that you only have to prepare for potential buyers once a week. But you’ll need to consider the cost of having “for sale”, “on show” and directional boards printed (although some online portals, like Private Property, offer these as part of the package).

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