By Connie Adair
For Realtor Sue Anfang, one small comment was all it took to spark an “over-the-top” marketing campaign for a home she had listed. It encompassed everything from a dedicated website to the type of candy in a bowl at her open house. The campaign resulted in multiple offers, with the house selling in six days for $75,000 over the asking price.
Anfang, a sales rep with the Mike Clarke Team, Keller Williams Advantage of Toronto, was chatting with the homeowners when one of them said neighbours referred to their semi-detached home as “The Mint House” because of its light green exterior colour.
From there the campaign took on a life of its own, says Anfang, who worked in the marketing and advertising departments for such corporations as Coke and IBM prior to becoming a Realtor.
She created a plan focusing on lifestyle branding and carried that branding throughout all of the marketing materials.
The Internet is a strong component of any marketing plan and ‘the mint house’ site let potential buyers get a good feel for the home and area, she says. The site offered a wealth of information about the decluttered and staged house and many professional photographs.
“People want to be sure they’re interested in a house before they make a commitment to see the property,” she says. That’s why it’s important to include lots of professional photographs of the home. “Sophisticated buyers spend hours researching homes on the Internet and the number one thing they want are lots of pictures of the home. Professional photographs help motivate agents to send your listing to their buyers, and will encourage buyers doing their own on-line research to pick up the phone and book a showing,” says Anfang, whose husband Rusty’s company, Amrchair Open House, does the photos for her marketing materials.
The website copy is also an important way to encourage action on the part of potential buyers. “This home has a welcoming atmosphere that will make you want to stop and linger. So settle in with a cup of coffee or tea, and take a peek inside this wonderful home, then call us to book a showing,” the website says.
Valuable information for the marketing plan can be gleaned by asking simple questions, such as what do you like about the house? What is special about the house? What do you love about living there? What do you love about living in the area? They’re easy enough questions for a Realtor to ask a seller, but asking those questions “gets rich information and helps (you) emotionally tap into the appeal of a house,” Anfang says.
The challenge of marketing The Mint House was mainly timing. Because the homeowners purhased another house first, theirs had to be sold in the summer and during nearby road construction, which limited the amount of drive-by traffic.
To get the local market involved, neighbours and their friends and family were targeted. A neighbourhood teaser campaign was launched and Anfang delivered over 100 “mint bags”, each containing a business card, a photo of the house, mint candies and the website address. All of the marketing materials were branded with The Mint House website.
Neighbours were also invited to a wine and cheese open house.
It’s not something Anfang always does, but in this case, it was important to the sellers, she says. “Some people don’t like neighbours in their open house, but these (home-owners) wanted a buyer who would fit in with their friends” so their neighbours were welcome.
Luckily the road construction that was at first considered an obstacle, wasn’t. The main intersection was closed and traffic was rerouted on to the Mint House’s street and past the For Sale sign.
The marketing plan also included brochures, area information and 2,000 Just Listed postcards that were distributed in the neighbourhood. The Internet component included social media. Candy dishes at the open houses were filled with, what else? Mints.
The house was listed on a Monday, flyers went out on Tuesday and open houses were held for agents, neighbours and the public. The company’s agents toured the house during the regular brokerage tour. The house sold in six days.
After the house sold, the “schools” page on the website became the “marketing plan” page. The website, which outlines exactly what Anfang, did to sell the house, now acts as her portfolio.
When the house was for sale, the site had about 400 hits, but since it sold, the number of hits doubled. She says her clients, who are happy with the results, have told friends, who have told their friends.
Give Sue a call at….
Mike Clarke Team
Keller Williams Advantage Real Estate
1238 Queen Street East, Unit B
Toronto, ON M4L 1C3