Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Listing of the Day - Dearborn MI

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.

711 Meridian St., Dearborn MI 4 + 1.5 $299,900


This advertisement is another example of why the primary photo is so important toward attracting potential buyers on first impression. The angle is not favorable at all. The eyes are drawn to the left side of the home, which has what is either an enclosed patio or an add-on. (The description copy doesn't even clarify.) We don't get to see whether or not there is a driveway and/or garage from this photo. This is Dearborn, home to a lot of auto company executives, and yet the parking situation is not dealt with at all in the exterior photo or the description.

In addition, this advertisement is still running in April, and the only exterior photo shows snow all over the property. Put these factors together, and the initial impression is that this home has been on the market for weeks, looks smaller because of the emphasis of the add-on or patio in the photo, and may not have any form of covered parking, despite an asking price touching $300,000.

As for the remainder of the photo spread, the majority of the interior photos are well done, but with one exception. Most of the time, including a photo of a bathroom is a positive, showing a nice design, plenty of room, new or modern fixtures, and the like. The bathroom photo on this spread is nothing but a negative. This enables us to see how narrow the room is, how "basic" its contents are, and how people can see into the room from the outside. (You can see the house next door looking out through the bathroom window in this photograph.) How on earth is that a selling point?

For those that stay on this property long enough to read the description copy, we have a case of too many abbreviations. I would like to think that for a nearly $300,000 property the agent would spend a few more dollars to have enough lines in the ad to actually indicate the selling points. What likely really happened is that the agent (or whoever handles the advertising) merely took the already written copy for the MLS and stuck it in the ad. As if that isn't bad enough, the opening line of copy refers to the "$150,000 in updates". Hopefully the view of the neighbor's house from the bathroom isn't one of those updates, but it's hard to say what they are.

It's the very end of the ad copy that tells a lot, "fam rm w/heatilator f/place, and sep kitchen eating". I'll admit that I don't know what a "heatilator" fireplace is, so I'm not sure if that's good or bad. (And if I don't know after seeing thousands of property descriptions, it likely isn't good for the occasional home shopper either.) The "sep kitchen eating" (without a period to punctuate the end of the copy) makes no sense. Do people have to eat in a separate kitchen? Or did they intend to say "eat-in kitchen". Guess we'll never know.

As careless as this advertisement is, it doesn't take that much time and effort to turn it around and make it effective. A more recent exterior photo from a better angle, one less interior photo, and copy written to show the true selling points would make all the difference.


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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