Friday, March 19, 2010

Listing of the Day - New Haven CT

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.

Fountain St., New Haven CT $216,900 3 + 2

Listing advertisements such as this one are the reason I first got involved with the advertising and marketing of properties more than 20 years ago. The people have a right to know.

This home was built in 1937. This advertisement comes off as if it was designed when the house was brand new. There is no address given. I even checked on the company web site and didn't find one there either. The map feature shows the arrow on Fountain Street, but that isn't confirmed. Thus, no one could possibly drive by this property.

There is no description copy either. No selling points. Not even fluff copy. Other than being told 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and the square footage, we get only one other "fact". As of press time, this so-called advertisement shows "Monthly tax: $4,961". Say what? If I read that right the owner of this property pays $59,532 per year in taxes alone. No wonder the address is a secret.

All of this "information" comes after the primary photo, which I couldn't even identify when I first clicked on the ad to review it. Turns out it is a photo looking down on top of a fireplace. Unless this is the only fireplace in a house within miles, this is hardly a big deal. In more than 20 years of looking at property ads, I have never seen a single fireplace given such priority.

Out of 8 photos in the photo spread (the only redeeming part of this "ad"), only 3 have any merit toward a potential buyer. One of the exterior shots shows 2 cars in the driveway. Besides being a security concern, it reminds us that we don't know if the garage appearing in one of the photos is for this property or not. If it is only single lane parking for 2 cars, it means that a home owner with more than 1 car has to be concerned with the order of the cars being parked and struggle getting in and out on a daily basis.

Two photos show the back yard. Normally that would be fine, except that the lawn is in poor shape. Even if due to the season, these photos do not show the property in a good light. One of the living room photos reveals a poor quality table covered with a cheap looking table cloth. Not flattering for a home asking more than $200,000.

After all this, there is no agent name listed (which is almost understanable given the presentation), and the "Contact Information" link goes to the office web site and not a specific name or anything further about this property.

How a seller would allow this as a representation of their property is beyond me. How an agent from a name brand real estate office can, in 2010, put an advertisement online with no selling points and a possible serious financial error (not sure what to think about the "tax" line) is even further beyond me. The only way this agent would get a commission is to sell others a list of anyone who would actually inquire about this home based on this advertisement.

That there are a couple of decent photos raises the grade from F- to a straight F.


Note: This commentary is uncompensated and for marketing purposes only and is no reflection on the featured property. 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!

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