Dos and don’ts for marketing property online

PUBLISHED 17 APR 2018   

There is no point in trying to fight it: the world has gone digital. From updating your debit orders to doing your grocery shopping, most everyday tasks have migrated to the realm of ones and zeros. Why should selling a home be any different?

“While it seems easy enough to market your own property online, it is trickier than it seems," says Goslett.

“In today’s market, most buyers will view a property online before they make the effort to view it in person. Sellers who do not take the time to ensure that their property is marketed correctly online are dramatically decreasing the true marketing potential of their homes,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of REMAX of Southern Africa.

Below is his advice on how to ensure that you get the most out of your online marketing:

DO: Insist on an online listing

Most reputable agents should offer to market a home on a digital platform of some sort or another. If they fail to mention it in their marketing plan, sellers should not be shy to ask them about it.

It is always advisable that sellers find out from an agent which sites they plan on using for their listing so they can be assured their property is receiving the widest reach possible, says Goslett.

DO NOT: Tangle the lines of communication

If your listing will appear on multiple online portals, be careful that the lines of communication do not get crossed. Experienced agents will double-check this themselves, but if sellers have chosen to market property themselves, they need to check that the information supplied is the same across the board. Factors such as price and contact details are particularly important in this respect.

DO: Fact check the listing

Copy gremlins are sneaky creatures that manage to slip past even the most diligent of agents. Be sure to double-check your online listing for any typos or factual errors. Buyers search according to certain filters, so if your listing information is misspelt or has not been included, your property will not surface in the list of results for certain searches. Beyond this, typos tend to make a listing look less professional, which could potentially deter the buyer from the property.

DO NOT: Neglect the description

“In today’s market, most buyers will view a property online before they make the effort to view it in person,” says Adrian Goslett.

We are living in an instant gratification orientated world where buyers have become lazy to ask questions. Leaving space for unanswered questions on your listing (photographs can only do so much to satisfy a buyer’s curiosity) is an easy way of redirecting buyers to a property where they can find all the information they need.

Again, an experienced agent will know exactly how to write a proper listing description, but, if sellers are trying to market property on your own, then you need to anticipate all the questions a buyer might ask after looking through the images of your property, and then try to answer as many of them as possible in your listing description.

Be sure to include key selling features that are not visible in photographs, such as underfloor heating or heated towel rails.

DO: Hire a professional photographer

“A highly marketable property can be overlooked if the listing images are poor quality or if they do not provide insight into what the property has to offer,” says Goslett.

To maximise the results of your online listing, most agents will advise that you hire a professional photographer to take your listing photographs. If you choose to forgo this advice, ensure that the images that are uploaded are not blurry, and that they provide an enticing view of each room. A virtual tour would be the crème de la crème of online listings, but in lieu of this, the more quality images you provide of the property, the better.

Finally

Goslett says while it seems easy enough for a seller to market their own property online, it is trickier than it seems. "It is best to leave it in the hands of a reputable agent who knows exactly how entice buyers to take leave of their computer screens and take the next step to view the property in person.”