FSBO: A marketing plan
29 January 10
Although we decided to sell our house by ourselves, we still invited real-estate agents around in order to learn 1) how they would market our unique property and 2) what they thought it was worth. Although we met some interesting people (and some not-very-nice ones), we didn’t get a satisfactory answer for either of those questions.
Basically, the real-estate agencies promote a house through a bit of newspaper advertising (for a premium), a listing on realestate.com.au (where you can also pay a premium for a featured listing) and their window display. One agency proudly stated that they worked as a team, so everyone in the agency would be selling our property for us. (So is that not the norm?)
Several agencies assured us that they already had a buyer waiting, and we just needed to list with them (today!) in order for them to bring their client around. If this truly was the case, then why would we need to market the property at all?
Anyhow, David and I worked out our own marketing plan which includes:
- • street signage
- • pointer signs directing people to our house
- • flyers distributed to relevant letterboxes
- • a letter to local residents
- • hand-outs given to those who visited our property
- • our own website with lots of details
- • listing on real estate websites.
This was quite easy to arrange, and not very expensive. We designed and emailed our sign to S4Signs, and within a week, we received our nicely framed 1200 × 1600 mm sign delivered to our door.
We live quite close to a local arterial road, so we’ll put a couple of signs up on trees or poles, directing traffic to Eagle Drive. David will make and install these next week.
I developed a DL-sized postcard to catch people’s eyes. We are having it delivered to local businesses addresses and post office boxes. We’ve also targeted some local industrial estates but are not delivering to home addresses. If someone can see that they can buy a property with a shed instead of renting something similar just for storage purposes, they will probably be interested. We got 2500 flyers printed by CMYK online — 1700 go out through Australia Post and we’re hand-delivering 300 to streets around ours along with the letter.
Because we live in a special sub-neighbourhood, it’s possible that our buyer either rents in this area or has family/friends close by. All the properties at our end of Eagleby are on large blocks — many have sheds, and most have dual street-frontage (which is attractive for those with businesses or a lot of large, wheeled toys). We’ve written up a letter and enclosed a couple of flyers, basically just letting local residents know that we’re selling and asking them to pass the flyers on to anyone who may want to move into the area.
One real-estate agent that visited our home gave us this idea. Whenever he showed someone through the property, he always gave them a glossy colour flyer to take home with them. He found that it kept the property fresh in the browser’s mind (especially compared to all the other properties they may have viewed). Of course, he charged a premium for a vendor to use this fantastic idea. We designed and printed 50 of our own flyers (again at CMYK online) and will hand them out to visitors.
Our own website
Of course, I’ve already plugged our website several times. Although it took some time to set up (taking the photos was what took the longest time!), the cost to us has been very low. I simply used Blogger to create the site, so the hosting cost is free, and the domain name was very cheap at Go Daddy.
Listing on real estate websites
This appeared to be the trickiest part of our marketing plan. The main player in Australia (realestate.com.au) does not accept private listings. An alternative (domain.com.au) does accept private listings, but for a $500 premium. Without a listing on these sites, our other marketing efforts are possibly useless. With a bit of research, I found this guy who is a licensed real estate agent and charges a set fee to list on all the main website. So that’s taken care of! We’ll also list our house on all the free FSBO sites we can find. (That’s something for me to do next week, when I’m not keeping the house immaculate.)
Marketing costs break-down ($1283)
- Street signage: $132
- Flyers: $295 for printing, $265 for specialised delivery
- Hand-outs: $97
- Our website: US$10 for hosting
- Listing on other sites: $484
It’s possible that even if we did list with a real estate agency, we would be persuaded to spend something close to this on marketing as well. Anyhow, we’ll see how it works/if it works.
The crux of our marketing plan is that we have planned everything to happen at the same time. We figure that we really have only about two weeks to garner interest, and we would like all our interest to arrive at the same time and possibly push the price up.
So it’s all planned for next week. Australia Post will deliver our flyers between the 1st and 5th of February. On the 4th, our listings on the websites will go live. We’ll deliver our letters to the local neighbourhood on the 4th and will probably put up our street sign and pointer signs on that day too. Hopefully it will work!