Average home vs luxury home marketing

There is no doubt that luxury homes need impeccable marketing campaigns. The photos should be amazing, and the video should capture the size of the home and the benefits of living in that particular area, whether it be the local ski fields, the beaches, forests, or the urban neighborhood. As David McHugh, a real estate agent with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado, said:

“Affluent consumers today are focused not just on a great property, but on the lifestyle that the property will provide their family How do they see their family using the property? Will this property be a draw for their immediate and extended family to use for family gatherings?”

Here’s an example of a video tour for a luxury ski property that does a great job of showcasing the location and the property:

A floor plan would help as well, especially if the home is large or has a unique layout, and perhaps a unique marketing campaign incorporating a party at the open home, or something else that’s a little unique.

All of that’s great, and any real estate agent would be fully comfortable with that approach when selling a multimillion dollar listing.

But when it comes to the average home, shouldn’t they be given the best possible chance at a top sale price as well?

I know the commission for the selling agent is not as high, and the marketing budget won’t be as large, but a smart real estate agent will still know how to create an amazing real estate marketing campaign for an average home, and do it all on a budget.

What should a real estate agent spend on photography and marketing?

Laura Ure, real estate marketing expert, says:

“If the home being sold is for $2,000,000 could easily have $20,000 go into marketing it.”

In other words, she suggests spending about 1% of the sale price on the marketing of that home. That’s a third of the commission for an agent, which is fine for a large listing, but it gets harder for agents selling homes in lower price brackets.

Jerry Rossi, author of Dog Eat Dog & Vice Versa: 9 Secrets to Put the Bite Into Your Marketing, suggests:

“A good rule of thumb for real estate practitioners is that marketing budgets should equal about 10 percent of their commission income …”

So if an agent is earning a 3% commission on the sale of a home, then that would equate to a marketing budget that’s 0.3% of the sale price. That sounds fairly achievable even for homes at the bottom end of the market, so let’s see how that might work out with a few examples:

A marketing campaign for a $700,000 property:

Assuming a marketing budget that is 0.3% of the sale price = $2100

That’s a healthy marketing budget, and with that an agent should be able to provide:

  • 20 high-quality photos
  • A video tour of the home and surrounding area
  • A floorplan
  • Flyers

… and still have some change left over for an online ad campaign and more.

A marketing campaign for a $200,000 property:

Assuming a marketing budget that is 0.3% of the sale price = $600

That’s a tight marketing budget, but with that an agent should still be able to provide:

  • 10 high-quality photos
  • A short video tour of the home

So although the marketing would not be as thorough as a larger property, a good agent should still be able to deliver a marketing campaign that stands out as amongst the best in that particular price range.

A marketing campaign for an $85,000 property:

This is a really low-priced home, and when I did a quick search of current homes for sale across the US in that price range, there were very, very few homes around that price that were presenting immaculate images.

To show you what I mean, here’s a sample of homes I found in that price range, and you’ll notice that most of them feature homes that present images that were taken by the real estate agent or homeowner. However, the listing that I found in Dallas features great images, and it really stands out as excellent value for a buyer in this price range:

So what could an agent that wants to stand out do?

Assuming a marketing budget that is 0.3% of the sale price = $255

That doesn’t leave much room at all, but an agent should still be able to provide:

  • 6-10 high-quality photos

Most agents wouldn’t even bother to spend that much, but at the lower end of the market a high-quality marketing campaign is going to stand out head and shoulders above every other listing on the market, simply because no-one else is spending money advertising there. So when those buyers and investors are scrolling through their search results, looking at homes for sale in that sub-$100K range, a property with just few a few exceptional images is going to get their attention.

Conclusion:

Don’t neglect the visual marketing of a home just because it’s average or low-cost. Sure, it’s easy to justify outlaying thousands of dollars on a million dollar listing, but it should be just as easy to justify spending a few hundred dollars on any listing at any price. Every home deserves to be shown at its best because the photos you use in a real estate marketing campaign impact upon the number of buyers you attract, it impacts upon the sale price, and it impacts on how buyers and sellers perceive that agent.

Unless you want to sell your homes, and yourself, short of their full potential then bring in a professional real estate photographer for every single listing you have. The numbers will work well for you if you do.