IT’S getting harder to make properties stand out when it comes time to sell.
In a heavily digitised world, a click of a button brings up dozens of properties with the same attributes and amenities.
But rather than rely on luck, a handful of enterprising vendors and agents are finding new ways to stand out from the crowd.
Realestate has explored some of the more unusual and often effective methods that may end up changing the face of selling property.
Thousands of Melbourne properties go under the hammer each month, so just getting buyers to your auction can be a battle, and it’s often difficult for the auctioneer to coax hands out of pockets.
Coffee vans trawl auction sites to warm up bidders in the winter months and ice cream trucks are among the summer sweeteners luring bidders.
But with real estate running second to the AFL as a weekend Melbourne pastime, some agents have turned to the sport to help them kick goals.
Richmond midfielder Brett Deledio managed only the one disposal at an Ormond auction earlier this year, but after signing the football before handing it off to the first bidder to break the $800,000 mark, it was an effective touch, according to Buxton auctioneer Craig Williamson.
“It got the numbers up – we had called $840,000 on it ahead of the auction, but it went for $915,000 . . . and a football,” he said.
Ray White auctioneer Andris Crawford, faced with the challenge of an AFL Grand Final day auction last year, held a raffle immediately afterwards to give away a ticket to the game – bringing in a hefty crowd for the event.
The next best thing to bidders at an auction, is a crowd, says Mr Williamson.
“There’s certainly a correlation between a big crowd and a positive atmosphere and the premium prices being paid for properties,” he said.
Mr Williamson has used local musicians, face-painting, sausage sizzles and balloons to bring out the local community for auctions.
“A lot of local residents have a general interest in real estate anyway – they like to see what’s happening in their suburb out of interest – (but) this was like a carnival. From down the street, you could hear the live music and (people) were drawn to it,” he said.
A Warwick St, Bentleigh East, auction with the treatment sold for $627,000 – $37,000 over its reserve price – while a townhouse in Smith St, Hampton, went for $1.59 million, far above the $1.4 million expected. Both attracted about 200 people.
The local community and lifestyle are a major factor in residential sales.
But Hall and Hall director John Richards has furthered the concept, using video interviews with local businesses to let local personality make it seem more like home.
“(It shows) why you would want to live in the suburb, and then you are on your way to selling them a property in the area or nearby,” he said.
“The location would be, say, 70 per cent and the bricks and mortar would be 30 per cent . . . once you have them settled on an area, you start talking to them about their range.”
In theory, the process increases the buyer base for a suburb and buyers get a feel for the locals.
MAKE IT MEMORABLE
Good photography or a video of a property can help it stick in the mind of potential buyers.
Even baking some cookies or making some coffee just before an inspection can help make your home stand out.
But a recently listed Italianate manse on Phillip Island is offering prospective buyers a literal taste of the property, with each receiving a hamper of home-grown cucumbers, lavender, lettuce, rhubarb and zucchini. There’s even a pot of home-made raspberry jam and bottle of olive oil made on site at Villa Fortuna in Cowes.
The four-bedroom villa is tempting buyers in the $4.5 million range and needed an edge, says Mr Richards.
“The idea is that it keeps the memory alive and they go home and they are cooking and they use the olive oil and they see Villa Fortuna on it,” he said.
He believes similar approaches will soon be more common for properties with price tags north of $1 million.
Andrew Thomson, whose Benalla home has been on the market for more than a year, has tried a different tactic and recently offered to fly Queensland flood victims to it.
“I’m hoping to fly a successful bidder down – last time there were bad floods in Queensland, my real estate agent said he was inundated with people looking to move down to Victoria,” Mr Thomson said.
He’s also targeting city-slickers intimidated by the extensive lawn, offering to include a full year of lawn-mowing services for the 93 Grant Drive property.