“Smudge, what are you doing over there mate?”
“I found some loose bits of fur, I’m wrapping them in tissue paper to make some opposable thumbs for myself.”
“That sounds like a really bad idea, why do you need opposable thumbs?”
“I heard Maxine say she’s so busy she doesn’t know when she is going to fit in all of the property photos she needs to take. I thought I could grab the camera and help her out, but I can’t use the camera with my paws, hence the opposable thumbs!”
“You know what, that’s actually a pretty good idea, make some for me too! If we manage to use the camera perhaps we can have a crack at opening the treat drawer in the kitchen too.”
Opposable thumbs cobbled together, camera borrowed, photos taken…
Back at the office:
“Oh no, my test pictures have all ended up being of the skirting board and damp-proof course.”
“You know, we’ve given it our all but we can never pass these off as Maxine Lester photos, their’s are always amazing.”
“Let’s go and have a crack at that treat drawer though!”
In today’s property market, it is often said that “anyone can market their property for sale or rental” and, to some extent that is true. You can take your own photos, you can upload these to some online sites, and you can learn how to adhere to the legislation which covers property descriptions and protects consumers from false advertising. However, when it comes to getting the best price, appealing to the best applicants, and starting the process with the right impression, it is essential to market a property as well as possible, and, as for the legislation, there are a lot of pit-falls, which is why most people will choose an estate or letting agent to handle the sale or the rental of the property for them.
So even if you choose to use an agency, some just don’t get it right either, let’s take a look:-
1. THE PROPERTY PHOTOGRAPHS
At Maxine Lester, it is essential for us to use professional photography and that is why our valuers undertake photography classes as part of their training. In our opinion it is essential estate agency practice to have a great camera, with the correct lens, and know how to frame a property correctly, ensuring that the contrast and brightness is perfect and that internal shots are uncluttered and nicely staged to give the best impression.
We have recently had a perfect example of why our marketing works. When you are looking for a property you need to be attracted by the main photo:
When you consider that a very high percentage of property enquiries come from property portals, such as Rightmove or Zoopla, and that often, more than one agency markets the same property, it is hugely important for the main picture to catch the eye immediately and give a really good feel, not only of the house but of the road and positioning of the property. Photo A is quite dark, and not all of the house and garden can be seen. It looks very close to the house on the left-hand side, when, in fact, there is a wide gap between the 2 properties. Also in Photo B, you can clearly see that the property is an end terrace house, so not as deceptive as Photo A, which could leave some confusion as to it’s neighbouring houses.
Once you get into the property, you should always focus on the rooms which bring the most interest, traditionally a kitchen is top of that list. So take a look at these 2 property photos of the same kitchen:
The first agent has taken a picture portrait, which will not fit onto any of the property portals and makes the room look like a galley kitchen, which, in fact, is not the case! Estate Agents should always have a wide-angle lens for small rooms, so that you can clearly see the entire space and should take photos from an angle which allows the applicant to see as much of the room as possible.
2. THE PROPERTY DESCRIPTION
Firstly, it is important to point out that lettings and sales agents are covered by many pieces of legislation which determine the way a property can be described; primarily the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs). Agents must be extra careful about how they advertise properties, making sure their particulars on properties are accurate. Describing properties as ‘stunning’, ‘desirable’ or in a ‘quiet area’ must have evidence to back up the statements. Furthermore, the legislation also ensures that misleading omissions are not made, so agents have to ask far more questions about a property and do their homework, before putting it on the market!
Here are 2 descriptions for the same property, one is a Maxine Lester description and one is not:
Suffice to say, description B was the Maxine Lester descriptor and this property was marketed for 284 days with another agency, and then was let within 7 days (same price, just new photos and description) by us! However, there is still more to it: We register around 60 new applicants a week and make sure that we keep in contact to find out how their home search is going. There is a two-way benefit here for the landlord ~ the future tenant is being treated with respect and we are providing them with a great service ~ as well as the landlord getting a quick turnaround with minimal void and maximum income. In over 20% of cases, we have viewings set-up before the property even hits the portals.
So if you are having difficulty in finding a great tenant have a look to see how your property is being marketed:
- Do the pictures attract you?
- Does the description talk about benefits rather than features?
- Is there a floor plan?
- Does your agent actively look for tenants rather than just wait for the phone to ring? A great test here would be to ring them incognito and give them details which would match with your property to see if an appointment to view is offered.
Need any more help just give us a call on 01480 494939.