For some sellers, the lure of free marketing may sound pretty attractive, but delve a little deeper, and free marketing can be a very expensive mistake?

The purpose of an effective marketing campaign is to ensure as many active buyers as possible know your property is for sale, and to invite them to make offers to buy it.

Without doubt, the most common place for buyers to search for properties in Queensland is realestate.com.au   In fact, it is the only place many people go to look for properties to buy.

Properties on realestate.com.au appear in four different categories, ranging from Premier listings all the way down to standard listings.

Premier listing appear first in any property search, are bigger, have more information, and constantly rotate back to the top of page 1 to engage with new buyers.  Standard listings start way down the list, below all other property categories and stay there.

Premier listings are viewed many more times than standard listings and attract far more buyer enquiry.   Premier listings are also accompanied by direct marketing email campaigns which standard listings do not.

If the purpose of a marketing campaign is to attract lots of buyers and sell properties for the highest price, why would a seller opt for anything less than a Premier listing?  As an industry, the answer is pretty disappointing.

Generally, free and low cost marketing campaigns are built upon standard listings, which are almost free from Realestate.com.au because of their limited value.  Owners often don’t know the difference between Premier and standard listings and are simply happy to know they are on realestate.com.au.

The fact that many less buyers will see their property and the property will receive far less enquiry from buyers is never explained to them, and so they think they are on a good deal.

Agents who promote free marketing often espouse conspiracy theories about other ‘unscrupulous’ agents using owners marketing money to promote themselves and their agency.  Sounds good, but we have never met a buyer yet who cared about whom the agent was – they just want to buy the property.

To illustrate our point, last year we had an owner of one of our rental properties (unfortunately recently widowed) who was now charged with the responsibility of selling their property.  We appraised the property and offered a great commission rate.  She chose to sell with another agency because they offered ‘free’ marketing.

The other agency eventually sold her property for $70-80,000 less the appraisal price we know we could have achieved via a proper campaign, and the agent charged her a higher commission for doing so.  The amount the agent lost for selling at a much lower price, was more than recovered by their higher commission rate – but the seller lost heaps!

In a nutshell, free marketing can cost the seller money – usually much more than the cost of a proper marketing campaign.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you are getting something worthwhile for nothing – because in all likelihood, you’re not.

Just remember:

“Proper marketing campaigns are designed to attract buyers,

Free marketing campaigns are designed to catch sellers”.