August 15, 2019

The Excitement And The Disappointment…

I love a good marketing gimmick and even though I know it’s always about the excitement and the disappointment – I keep going back and I think it is mostly FOR the excitement and the disappointment. 

I remember as a young person, grape flavoured purple Fanta hit supermarket shelves and milk bar fridges. It was, by broad consensus, about the most disgusting, over-engineered and loud sugary-water that science could conjure at the time…but it was new, so I wanted it. It was gross. I bought it again just to make sure it was still gross. It still was. Shame on me.

As I eat this new chocolate that has been manufactured with crushed up Jatz crackers in it, on purpose, (I know!), I think about some of the gimmicks that have come and gone in the marketing of property over the years. 

At one point, I was almost convinced that by 2020 buyers would be attending property inspections from full-immersion virtual reality goggles from their current lounge room couch. But no. I have the goggles. But no. 

You see gimmicks don’t work in the selling or leasing of real estate, and there are some very good reasons for this. 

  1. The value of the transaction is very different. Most people are happy to risk a $5 note on an alternative flavour of kombucha, even twice. But property is a big risk and for most of us, it’s not something to gamble with. (PS – one of the things I love about Byron property is that it attracts people who are happy to pay a lot more than $5 for alternative flavours of kombucha. It’s an ‘us’ thing.)

  2. With the complete transfer of registered title under the Australian Torrens system, there are no warrantees, guarantees or backsies when it comes to buying real estate. So a big part of the transaction is trust and a good real estate agent understands that trust is hard one, easily lost and a palpable part of the value of a home. Trusted agents build relationships within the community, they have deep product knowledge about property and they can capitalise on a property’s story – without transgressing to fiction. The free steak knives go a long way to undermine that trust and the gravity of an agent.

  3. Gimmicks are always temporary. Does anyone remember Vegemite-infused Dairy Milk? You know what I’m talking about. Gimmicks raise a curiosity, capitalise on the short term interest – the hype – then, they disappear. As the leading business in the area with agents who all have deep roots into this community, there is no going away. Trust is such a critical value in our team, and it is only built over time.

Plus, houses don’t need gimmicks because they have something much more powerful – they have story. Story has connected people to property in this country for tens of thousands of years and there is something so fundamentally important about the concepts of home and story. 

It’s not about counting bricks and calculating the costs of construction, because then housing would be ‘easy’ to sell – mathematical, and empty. Houses tell their story through their features and the lifestyle and identity it creates for its occupants. Sellers and landlords trust us to tell that story, faithfully. 

Maybe we should call ourselves house-whisperers. Nah. Too gimmicky.