Dear Ginny WTH:
I just listed a $2 million home for sale. I know it’s tougher to sell in the upper end of the market than the average especially now and there are fewer people able to buy a home priced in this range. What are your recommendations for marketing a high end property in a slower market?
Congratulations on getting the listing. Marketing a high end property (anything in the top 10 percent of the market) is more of a challenge than an average priced property in any market but there are certain tactics you can take to help to make a successful and quick sale. If this is your first time listing a property in the high end you should know that there are more expectations of performance from the seller and more pressure surrounding every penny of your commission.
Professional photos are a must when marketing a high end property. It might sound really basic, but photos are the foundation of all marketing that you will do surrounding this property so invest in professionally shot pictures of the house with the house staged, even shot at night to make the photos more dramatic. I always tell this to agents that I represent and inevitably I get someone who wants to take their own photos. DYI warning: Do not try to do this yourself unless you happen to have a degree in photojournalism; hire a professional.
Again basic but take those professional photos and get a respectable and professionally designed property brochure (direct mail piece and photo card) made. That’s not a one page flyer, but more likely an 11 x 17 folded, four color something that clearly shows the worthiness of the property. You should have detailed descriptive copy that speaks to the lifestyle of owning a high end property and glamorizes the amenities. You might consider hiring a copywriter, a little money for a lot less headache. DYI warning: do not try to layout a brochure or any other marketing piece on your own or have your sister’s nephew who dabbles in design do it; hire a professional.
Of course the broker open is important in listing luxury homes for sale. You should be able to find out who the agents are in your market that routinely list and sell upper end homes. Hold a private broker open for those agents. Have it catered. Make it elegant; hire a three-piece string quartet to play for a few hours, again adding a special touch to reflect the specialness of the property.
If you have past clients that you think might be able to move up, you should send a private invitation to view the property. You can buy beautiful invitations off the rack; throw in a photo card of the house suggesting private personal viewings of the property, making the “open house” seem a lot more special and targeted.
I would assume the house is in a neighborhood among other special homes so you should develop a tasteful mailer (note above reference to direct mail piece) to let the neighbors know that the house is listed. This is a great opportunity to position yourself with other potential and future sellers.
You still need to do the normal marketing that you do for every listing that you have, but the difference in a luxury listing and an average priced listing is that you have to give the house extra special attention to the details. You need to be aware of every piece of communication that is rendered to the public and to frame the upper end property in the appropriate manner, thus the DIY warnings. Make the impressions count!