Disclaimer: These comments are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the current opinions and policies of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.
Finding the right buyer for your property is the main role of your real estate agent. A thorough, well considered and properly implemented marketing plan will go a long way to achieving this by targeting the largest of the buyer groups; the active “unknown” buyer. These buyers tend to seek out advertised property, undertake their own research and visit home opens on the weekend. The other two buyer groups can be described as the “active known buyer”, those the agent have on a data base and the “latent buyer”, those buyers not actively looking but tempted to buy after seeing a particular property for sale on their morning walk.
Targeting the different buyer groups involves assessing which marketing media and approach might suit that particular group. Latent buyers are often attracted by a sign board for example, whilst known buyers respond best to direct contact from the agent. But as most buyers are happy to “go it alone” in their search for property, an effective marketing campaign is crucial if they are to easily find your property listed for sale.
Interestingly, the majority of buyers are local folk simply moving about within their immediate neighbourhood. My agency’s statistics across more than 5500 sales shows that about three-quarters of buyers come from within the localities of Cockburn, Melville, Fremantle and East Fremantle. That is why local press advertising and an agent’s buyer data base can be so effective. We also found that only about 5 per cent of buyers come from overseas or interstate and the remainder are from elsewhere in WA.
Given the majority of buyers are locals then it makes sense to target property marketing locally and thankfully, the nature of the world-wide-web captures everyone else anyway. It follows that sellers clearly benefit from gaining access to a local agents’ network of would-be buyers and data base of active known buyers.
There are tangible benefits in using a local REIWA agent when selling. A town like Fremantle has a uniqueness punctuated with subtle nuances that an “out-of-town” agent will easily miss. Local agents are familiar community faces most of whom enjoy a positive reputation that, in turn, boosts a buyer’s confidence in dealing with the agent.
Local agents are also “networked” to a certain extent and often introduce buyers to each others’ properties under conjunctional arrangements that benefit both buyers and sellers.
by Hayden Groves
REIA Deputy President