Real Estate Broker Trevor Freeman prides himself on utilizing the best marketing strategies to sell any property, including properties that other agents couldn’t sell.
“Just because another agent was unsuccessful doesn’t mean that we’re going to be,” says the broker from Freeman Real Estate Ltd., where he works alongside his father Douglas.
With 15 years experience in selling the seemingly unsellable under his belt, we asked Freeman:
What are your most successful strategies for selling a home another agent couldn’t?
I’d generally take a look at how the property was first advertised and marketed and see if there were any features of the property that were left out or if the property was not marketed to the correct type of buyer. Depending on what the property might be – a condo, a house, etc. – it might be attractive to a certain type of buyer, such as a specific individual or a group of investors, rather than families.
First, we have to identify the type of buyer that this property would be most attractive to, and tailor our marketing plan to ensure we’re maximizing exposure to that type of buyer. Through that, we also have to look at how the property was previously presented before we took over.
For example, if a property was left vacant and we felt that staging was required, that’s a really good tactic to enlighten the property in the right kind of way. If the property wasn’t shown to the best of its capabilities, we always want to make sure the property is on the market and looking as good and attractive as it possibly can.
With any property, we want to ensure there’s a focused marketing plan and strategy that we put in place so we are maximizing exposure to all potential markets, but focusing in on where the property is located, what the demographics are in that neighbourhood, and what the usual buyer might be. For example, a lot of the properties we sell in downtown Toronto are investment properties and not individual single family homes.
To align ourselves with an investor, we want to ensure that we’re marketing the right type of property and using the right kind of language to attract the kind of buyers that are going to appreciate it. If it’s a single family home in a family neighbourhood, we want to be marketing the highlights of that property to buyers that are looking at other properties for sale as well as buyers we’re working with. We will highlight aspects that work in a family home setting, such as keeping the marketing focused on the nearby schools or what kind of greenspaces or amenities are close-by. We want to highlight the features that are really calling to other buyers in that neighbourhood.
Another tactic we would use is reviewing the types of properties that have sold nearby and what type of strategy was used that was highly successful in selling. We ask ourselves, ‘Were those sold properties listed above market price before sitting on the market for a long period of time or have properties been successful selling in multiple offer scenarios where the property is at or slowly below the market value and then holding offers back for a certain period of time? We market properties in line with the most successful sales that have been seen in that type of area.
Our first thought if the property hasn’t sold is that it’s listed too high, but it’s also possible that the property wasn’t marketed or exposed properly to the masses in its best potential use. Perhaps there weren’t enough open houses or there wasn’t the right type of presentation for the property. Still, it could be a price thing. We are able to take properties that were not sold by other agents and we have sold them at prices they weren’t able to achieve, but sometimes it’s just that the property wasn’t exposed to the right kind of buyer.
Whenever we take over a listing, we always discuss what the best strategy is for that particular property. I don’t think you can just pick a strategy and apply it to any property. I think you have to figure out what is the best strategy for this specific property: should the property be staged and if it’s being staged, how should it be staged and setup? What types of other exposures and other aspects of the property should we be highlighting? For example, if the home is part of a very sought after school catchment a lot of young families will be interested. Some realtors might just assume the buyers know the features of a property or a neighbourhood, but assuming is never the way to go, these features should be highlighted. Of course every property and the strategy that goes with it is unique so we can maximize the selling price in an efficient period of time.