We are about to launch a website to boost effectiveness of real estate ads. Here's some of our copy from one of the stories to come...
Several years ago when I was ready to sell my home, I knew that I might have a small problem. My home was a large, 1920s bungalow. If you live in the Midwest, you know that a bungalow style is very common and does not translate to what I would call a popular style in a higher price range.
Granted, my home was extremely attractive--for a bungalow, that is. It had great overhanging roof lines supported by ornate "piano key" soffits. All brick, except for some stucco with tudor-style beams, and accentuated with many dormers, the house actually had a very majestic air about it. It was so large it took up most of the city-sized lot that it sat upon-another problem I had to face.
What could I do to enhance the market of this type of architecture? How was I going to attract the right buyer to a "showing?" First, I focused on the positive elements. This magnificent home had gorgeous maple floors, extravagant use of oak trim, solid oak doors, leaded stained glass china cabinets, an updated kitchen, and over 3,000 square feet of great family living space.
Next I went about correcting the small lot problem. In addition to the reality of this large home sitting on a small city lot was a 3 1/2 car garage. Needless to say, the rear yard was comprised mostly of concrete. So, an elevated deck was erected, large enough to easily hold 10 to 15 people. This eliminated much of the grass to cut in the back yard, while adding valuable space for outdoor entertaining.
Before I ran my first ad, I went to the library and did some research on bungalows. All I could come up with was another name for bungalow: the "craftsman." Any pzazz in that name?
"Hey, I just bought a 4-bedroom craftsman." I don't think so.
As I mulled over many books, I happened to flip to a page which described older homes with pictures of notable owners. One in particular showed the family home of Shakespeare's wife. It had overhanging roofs, many dormers--with a little imagination, it could be my bungalow!
Shakespeare's wife's family name was Hathaway, and her name was Anne. I could feel the karma!
I advertised my home as an Anne Hathaway Bungalow, and the first two buyers who viewed my home submitted offers. Yes, indeed, I can honestly report that the first person who viewed my home bought it.
The buyers later told me they were not looking for a bungalow, they were looking for a traditional colonial. But the ad for an "Anne Hathaway Bungalow" intrigued them enough to warrant a look-see.
I call that kind of marketing "romancing the architecture." Don't just call it a cape cod; use descriptives like Boston Cape Cod, Williamsburg Cape Cod, etc. Call a salt box colonial and Quaker Colonial, and on and on . . . Empower your advertising, romance the architecture, and you will reap the rewards of attracting the right buyers.
[fyi: this is a true story... and plenty more to come]