Monday, September 21, 2009

Listing of the Day - St. Paul MN

In an effort to improve the impact of the marketing of listings, I randomly choose current listings around the country in a variety of price ranges and comment on their effectiveness. No current clients of mine are used, nor do I know any sellers or buyers or have any additional information about the property.

1302 Hauge Ave, St. Paul MN 4 Bedrooms 1 Full Bath $234,500

It is not the fault of the agent that the primary exterior photo we see first adds lines to the exterior and makes it look as though the lower right corner is a few boards of wood that are falling apart. (Let alone that the primary exterior shot was taken on a rainy day, adding a dreary look to a $234,000 property.) Then I looked at the other photos and found that the interior photos are all excellent selling points. However, some potential buyers would see the primary photo and not even bother to take the time to look at the rest. So it is the fault of the agent that the interior photos are not the primary ones we see first.

Since I did take a look at the interior photos and find that those detail the strength of this house, I also find fault with the property description paragraph having the majority of the copy about the exterior.

Worse yet, the proof is there that the agent failed to revise the copy for this ad. In this instance, I found and chose this ad by going through the Star-Tribune web site, which is one of the two major newspapers serving the Twin Cities. This agent paid a pretty penny to advertise there.
That alone should be cause to seriously review the copy before being published.

Take another look at the last 2 sentence fragments in the "Property description" box. They say "QUICK POSS!" and "EASY TO SHOW".

The average potential buyer has no idea what "quick poss" means. Not only a waste of money for words that will not entice, but it leaves a potential buyer (who has stuck with it this long) with something that confuses them instead of enticing them to continue reading and looking. The "easy to show" reference is not relevant to a potential buyer.

Since I am not a potential buyer, I realize what happened. The agent, or assistant, and/or someone representing this agent, took the same copy that appears to other agents and ran it in the Star-Tribune. Those last 2 phrases are supposed to only tell other agents the home can be shown easily and is ready for quick possession. Other agents understand the terminology.

But this advertisement is not for other agents. It is supposed to be for potential buyers to get them excited and make them want to see it. Or at the very least contact the agent with more questions.

As it is, a 4 bedroom house with only 1 bathroom is enough of a challenge in this day and age. There is every need to showcase the nice interior, which would give the potential buyers the image that a large family would enjoy being inside.

We are told this is in a "super location" with "access to everything". But we are not given any details. Mall? Schools? Transportation? Airport? Expressway?This is written that way because local realty agents would already know the address and what is in the area. However, since this advertisement is not written for whom it is intended, the majority of potential buyers are not given the opportunity for a crucial selling point.

A potential buyer that has a family with 3 or more children won't know if the property is near the school. A potential buyer with a grown family or in-laws won't know if the home is near a bus line or shopping.

However, a potential buyer is not given any incentive to pursue more information.
Advertising is supposed to be constructed in order to reach the target audience. In this instance, it is not other realty agents, who could find this out by looking at the MLS.

Grade: D

Note: This commentary is uncompensated and for marketing purposes only and is no reflection on the featured property and is its accuracy is not guaranteed. Neither Dave Kohl nor First In Promotions shall be held responsible for any representations.

At this time, I have openings for more realty agent/office clients to critique current and brand new listings on an hourly basis. No current or past client listings are featured on this blog.Random listings are chosen around the country.

Your comments are most welcome!


CoachingByPeter said...

Proficiency in using internet is a great advantage in hunting valuable properties but then when it comes to getting down the details, consultation with a skilled agent is needed. An agent must know the latest trends in the market and must be knowledgeable of the current economic indicators.

Dave Kohl said...

Yes, but the property needs to be presented well in order to show its value.

This one and most of the others I come across are not. If the potential buyer doesn't see the value of a property he/she won't be interested enough to contact the agent.

With so many listings on the internet, it is so important to hold the attention of the potential buyer and get him or her to take the next step.