Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pictures tell 1000 words...

This weekend marks the launch of a new era in South Australian real estate marketing! This is the very first edition of The Advertiser's gloss Real Estate Magazine!

My marketing mind has been going full speed ahead over the last few months, as we move from the traditional real estate lift out to today's magazine. We've been so excited in our marketing department, as this magazine has opened up so many more opportunities for vendors. There's a new ability to showcase their properties like never before!  

We have been working hard behind the scenes with our advertising and innovation team to explore and test new design concepts.

Our aim? To leverage these new capabilities and ensure our clients' homes stand out and capture a buyer's attention in print more than ever. 

Our print advertising has always been designed to capture passive buyers (those who don't know they are looking), to get their attention and drive them to our clients' own property web address! A property having its own personal website allows it to stand alone, with no other homes competing for the buyer's attention. From here we continue to draw people in with strategic, emotive photography and property videos which keeps buyers hooked until the first open... or better yet, drives them to pick up the phone to go through the property straight away! 

Our design has leveraged the new colour and detail capabilities of the magazine, as text becomes clear and crisp, no matter what the font size. With new colour processing we have been able to use the space cleverly and overlay photos with photos. This has allowed us to provide buyers the opportunity of putting a name to a face of the agent selling the property. Research proves that this makes buyers more comfortable in picking up the phone to chat with our agents about our clients' homes.

The old saying, a picture tells 1000 words has never been more powerful and it is the key to achieving these exceptional results. These results are possible when two or more buyers are emotionally invested in the property or at least one buyer is fearful of 'too many people seeing the home' early in the campaign. Only this week, we experienced a textbook example of this in Linden Park. The property was on the Toop Vault and the purchasers were interested in the home. Just before our properties are publicly released, our VIP Vault members are the first to see the professional marketing, photography and videos of the home. In this case, the emotive marketing sparked action, and the property sold before its first inspection, well above the asking price!

The Advertiser's move to a glossy magazine style, has enabled us as real estate marketers to take emotional selling to the next level... by extending the platform to even more passive/emotional buyers. This new look will increase the number of passive buyers through new and engaging editorial content, including lifestyle interest stories from around the globe. 

Combining this with the dramatic increase in print quality, a strategically thought out design, photography, and market strategy, we have been able to expand the highly sought after emotive buyer pool to new levels and we are excited to see this translate into exceptional results for our clients this spring!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Adding to landlords' back pockets

Quality marketing... is actually SAVING landlords money and improving returns, not cutting into them.

A quality marketing campaign in the sales world is, and has always been, seen as valuable. Campaigns of $1,500 to $20,000 are invested in to ensure the property is presented in 'the best possible light' and in order to reach as many potential buyers as possible. The main aim is to secure the emotional buyer who will buy at the optimum price that can be achieved for the home. This has been common practice in sales for over 20 years.

So why is it that as investors, we think differently? It is almost hard-wired into us that to get better returns, we need to not spend money... on anything... including marketing.

But the reality is, this conservative approach is having the EXACT OPPOSITE effect. By not spending money on marketing the property, we are seeing more and more investors lose out. The cost of marketing is actually saving an investor's back pocket... and is doing so quite significantly.

Let me explain with a few recent examples.

One client ran a marketing campaign that included professional photography and brochures, a large signboard and a one-minute property video. Our team leased the property in 3 days! According to RPData at that time, the average time on market was 37.3 days for the area. This saved our landlord over $3,500 upfront!

Another property was vacant for 6 weeks without a marketing campaign or strategy. We took over and the client put in place a marketing plan. We took a fresh approach with photography, copywriting and also incorporated a signboard. The property was leased within two weeks.

Not only has marketing saved these landlords money up front, but they will also have their professional marketing (photography and property video) available to use for finding quality tenants each time the property is up for re-let. The return on investment is huge!

It is a radical change in thinking but one that we believe makes so much sense.

Marketing is a proven technique in sales to attract a wide pool of buyers... and the exact same logic applies with tenants.

If the tenants are out there, a strong marketing campaign will find them. Chat to your agent today about your marketing options, or give us a call if you want to come in and check out our in-house Advertising Studio. Our photographers, videographers, copywriters and graphic design team would love to show you what we offer for marketing Toop&Toop investment properties.

Quality marketing campaigns... Investors, this is one cost that will add to your back pocket.

Suzannah Toop

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Spring sellers... It's time to leverage this calm before the storm!

Traditionally, winter is a quiet time in real estate. It's a time when sellers go into hibernation, battening down the hatches as they wait for spring to arrive before they even think of selling their property.

While the storms and snow have been in full force this week, now is ironically the exact time to leverage the calm before the real estate storm.

This winter properties on the market have frozen up. RP Data has recorded a 31.1% drop in property listings compared to last year and this is filtering through all aspects of the market. 

On the ground we are seeing the impact of these statistics regarding stock shortage, with many properties selling from the Toop Vault to our registered buyers before the public is even aware they are for sale! These sales are happening through all ranges of the market, from investment properties right through to the top end multi-million dollar properties. 

The trend is also flowing through to our rental department with our leasing team seeing extremely low vacancy rates of 0.8% and a large increase in demand for six-month rental agreements from buyers who are waiting for property stock levels to increase again. 

There is great news for vendors looking to sell, as right now is a great opportunity to leverage the market. For the first time, buyers are having to consider the possibility of short-term rentals to see them through this stock depletion, they can be willing to offer a premium to avoid the hassle and extra costs of a short-term relocation. 

Talking with an agent now will not only provide you with the opportunity to discuss the current supply shortage and how to leverage this, but how to get a head start on the competitive spring market... it's only three weeks away! It's important to find out exactly what buyers are looking for right now, as well as the market trends and how to optimise your sale. Working with your agent and finding this information out now will allow you to fully prepare your property - whether that is painting, fixing a few areas up, home styling or gardening, it will really set up your sale and give you the best opportunity for a fantastic result. 

As a team we are receiving feedback daily on buyer needs, which is important as different areas attract different groups of buyers. Discussing this information with your agent early can make a huge difference to your sale strategy, your negotiation leverage with buyers and ultimately your property sale result. 

Last weekend, Toop&Toop had 355 buyer groups through our inspections, and we currently have 3,257 buyers eagerly awaiting our alerts on new properties.

Supply and demand is the cornerstone of any market. Right now, we have a high demand for property and buyers at our fingertips, however, those thinking of selling, it's up to you to take advantage with your stock and use the opportunity to leverage it!  

Thursday, August 06, 2015

The tortoise and the hare

A 'two tiered' pattern of property growth is occurring across Australia at the moment, according to Core Logic's Head of Research, Tim Lawless. 

And we tend to agree!

According to Lawless, some cities are charging ahead of the pack (Sydney and Melbourne experienced growth of 48% and 32% respectively over the past three years) whereas other capital cities are performing steadily (growth of less than 13%).

What appears to be emerging is the age-old tale of the tortoise and the hare. Property investors and agents alike are weighing up which contestant is going to win... the big cities that have experienced huge growth, or the incremental, steady cities that arguably have not reached their peak. The race is still underway.

So what's our two cents? 

The tortoise is making its come back. 

Right now, our team is finding that demand for property across metropolitan Adelaide is significantly outweighing supply. Stock levels are low and buyers are really struggling to find a property. These desperate buyers are entering the rental market as a short-term solution and as a result our leasing team have seen a spike in the number of applicants looking for six-month leases.

Just like picking any race winner, however, there are the stats that sit behind each contestant... So let's check them out.

The latest numbers released this week show the total property market grew by a staggering half a trillion dollars over the first half of this year. This shows us that property is still very popular, so much so it has been making national news headlines this week. Naturally, this popularity is flowing through to the Australian house values and over the past 12 months values have lifted 11.1% across the country and a staggering 2.8% in just July alone.

What is the significance on the investing front?

As a property investor, looking for the right property and location that will maximise your return is key. It's extremely important to understand exactly what each capital city market is doing before making your decision, because right now they are behaving very differently across Australia.

So who is the current front-runner?

Looking purely at rental yields, Adelaide is leading the pack achieving an average yield of 4.2%, Sydney is yielding 3.5% and Melbourne investors are seeing an average return of 3.3%.

What is clear at the moment is that yields on the eastern seaboard are getting squashed as the pace of house price growth is far exceeding the rental growth in Sydney and Melbourne. The very fact that it has always been 'expensive' to live in Sydney or Melbourne is why further growth is appearing difficult. These cities are already coming off such a high base.

I experienced this first hand when I was living in Sydney in a four-bedroom townhouse in Surry Hills paying $1,250 per week... and this was three years ago! It's no wonder these rents don't have much more room to move.

It's an exciting time for the property market and there will no doubt be twists and turns in the race to come. What we do know is that affordability and steady growth is currently proving to be the winning mix.

Suzannah Toop