Monday, December 14, 2009

Guerilla Marketing for FSBOs

December is the time to plan your 2010 campaign to market your home using standout ideas and placements.

With so much inventory on the market standing out is more important than ever.

Selling a home by owner is 90% marketing and 10% real estate.  Good guerrilla tactics can help you beat the competition - but like any good marketing campaign a little planning pays off.  So take the next couple weeks this holiday season in between family and food to create your own campaign to find the most buyers.

1.  Know your market:
Who is your home right for?  Is it a starter home for a young couple, a retirement option for empty nesters or a  great option for a growing family?   Think about the likely buyers and rewrite your listing copy with them in mind.  No home is right for everyone and the more you can let your target audience know why this house fits them the better.

2.  Headlines count: 
Don't bore potential buyers. You have just 5 words to catch people's attention.  Now that you can picture your possible buyers, write a headline that helps your house stand out:
  • 3 Bedrooms near the Park
  • Family home in great neighborhood
  • Starter home with great kitchen
3.  Print some nice brochures.
Get your one page brochures ready to place around town - but also think about non traditional places to put them like nearby apartment complexes.  Renters in your neighborhood are a great pool of possible buyers who have reasons to stay in the area and may now be ready to buy.

4.  Reel in the Realtors.
You may not want to hire an agent yourself but Realtors represent a lot of buyers.  Create a nice brochure just for them.  Pattern it off the ones you find handed out at Tuesday showings - the traditional day Realtors connect with each other to show new listings.   Consider making your home just a bit more attractive by offering the 3.5% to a Realtor who brings you a buyer.  You'll stand out from the rest of the 3% offers and you'll still save big by not hiring a traditional seller's agent

5.  Get your photo seen.
The first photo is your most important one.  Make sure it is a great image of your home - try shooting it from ground level to help it stand out.  Then plan out a campaign to make sure your listing shows up everywhere you can.   Post it every week on Craigslist.  If your house is empty consider placing it in the rental section to generate more interest, post it with a lease to buy option.  The point is you can get more exposure for your home than any agent, because you have more to gain.  Take advantage of all the channels that they would ignore to bring in buyers.

Planning pays off.  Use this time to get prepared and you'll hit the ground running when the selling season comes around.