11 August 2020
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Active vs. passive buyers

John McGrath
21 June 2013

At any point in time, there are active buyers out in the market looking for a property like yours. Active buyers are committed to buying. They’re out there every Saturday attending open homes and they’re online looking for new listings. If you advertise only online, these are the buyers you’ll reach.

The buyers you won’t reach are what we call ‘passive buyers’. These are the buyers who are still ‘just thinking’ of moving. They’re open to inspecting a great property but they’re not really looking yet, so they’re not online. But what they are doing is reading the property sections in their local newspaper.

These days, advertising your property online is a no-brainer. Not only does it reach active buyers, it also casts a wide net to reach local and out-of-area purchasers. A number of sellers think online marketing is all they need to do. But if you only advertise online, will you get the best possible price?

Print media is worth the investment because that’s the best way to reach passive buyers, and in many cases passive buyers add competition. The more competition you have, the better the price you’ll achieve. Print media also gives your property extra credibility with active buyers. Research shows buyers assume advertised properties are higher quality homes and it certainly shows you’re a serious seller.

News Limited recently released some stats gathered by independent agency, Pulse Research, showing 81 per cent of respondents read their paper’s property section even when they’re not looking to buy. These are your passive buyers and they’re really important to you. You’d be amazed at how many times my agents encounter buyers who tell us they weren’t actually planning to buy but they saw the ad in the paper, came to the inspection and now they’re in love and they want to buy it.

We see this more frequently at the higher end of the market, so it’s not surprising that the research shows 70 per cent of respondents believe high end properties will always be advertised in the paper.

The reason not all sellers want to advertise in the paper is because it can be expensive. The argument for it basically comes down to the old saying, ‘you have to spend money to make money’.

Selling a property is a rare opportunity to significantly increase your wealth in one fell swoop. Broadbased high quality marketing is far more likely to bring in more buyers than online advertising alone – and more buyers means more competition and a better sale price.

Think of your marketing as an investment. If I told you if I could guarantee an extra $100,000 for your house if you spent $10,000 on marketing, would you do it? Of course! That sort of extra money is one or two years’ wages for many people and if you had that guarantee, you’d do it. But as with most investments, there are no guarantees. What we can tell you is the likelihood of a maximised sale price is higher if you invest in marketing.

A good general rule of thumb is to spend 1 per cent of your property’s value on marketing. Organise your marketing to appear in the first 21 days as that’s when listings get the most attention.

Ask your agent for advice on print advertising. A good agent will be able to tell you which publications are most effective and where you can cut corners if you need to stick to a budget.

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