How to write a real estate ad for a 'fixer upper'

Kerryn Lyes, Published: Fri 12th Jul, 2019

How to write a real estate ad for a ‘fixer-upper’

Does the phrase ‘handyman's dream’ send a shiver down your spine? Unless you’re a well established agent who’s carved out a niche selling luxury properties, there’s a high chance that you’ll occasionally land a listing which is a real ‘fixer-upper’. If this kind of listing makes you want to run away at full speed, here are some mental cues keep your property ad on track without spending more time on it than you need to.

Think about your audience

Just as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, one man’s hovel is another man’s castle. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and imagine how they would perceive the property.

The importance of establishing trust. A successful career in real estate is all about relationships, not just transactions. Buyers and vendors alike want to deal with the people whom they already know and trust.

As Warren Buffet said, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Don’t underestimate the power of a truthful statement. Truthful messaging is essential to the sustained success of any business endeavour. If you look at cases from the U.S, like the famous Enron scandal, untrustworthy business practices will generally catch up with you sooner or later.

Resist the urge to oversell. If you exaggerate the property’s features in your ad, you run the risk of misleading potential buyers. Formulate your message so that it speaks to people with a genuine interest in the property you’re selling.

Service marketing theory essentially hinges on the idea of “under promise and over deliver”. When you exceed customer’s expectations, it ends in delight. However, when you over promise and fall short, it’s a recipe for disaster. It’s like when you go to a movie that everyone’s been raving about; you go in with high expectations only to find out it’s a dud.

Instead, speak to the property’s potential

To the right buyer, an unkempt property that’s in need of some TLC could well be seen as a sound investment or an achievable first home. Whether it’s dated, partially renovated, or in need of a new roof, write openly about the property’s flaws and highlight its potential.

Don’t be afraid to use a little humour, particularly in the heading. Your heading is one of the best places to highlight the property’s room for improvement. It’s the first thing readers will see, so it’s your best chance for filtering the audience.

Keep your goals in mind

The purpose of your real estate ad is not get as many people through the door as possible, it’s about as getting as many of the right people through. Focus on attracting a handful of highly interested viewers rather than droves of uninterested punters.

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