VPA… Go away!

The more exposure a property gets the better right? Well not entirely…

Although the real estate industry would have you believe this is true, expensive advertising campaigns can lead to two big dangers: the possibility of a far lower selling price and the loss of any upfront money paid by the vendor.

The Queensland Real Estate Institute’s website even states:

It is no secret that the greater the exposure a property has to the market, the greater the number of buyers who are aware of the listing.

Very logical indeed, however is this what we actually want? This isn’t taking into consideration what happens when great levels of exposure occur with no sale results. Extensive exposure is not always what is best for a property and there is a certain level that can be damaging, every buyer who looks but does not buy is essentially eroding the eventual sale price.

In order to maximise the final sale price a smart advertising campaign will target only the buyers who are prioritising the features and benefits that the property has to offer.

When vender-paid advertising or VPA was first introduced in the 80’s it allowed agencies to transfer the majority of advertising cost onto the seller. While this might sound fair enough, the system was inevitably abused.

At first the abuse came from agents using VPA as a way of promoting their services and their company. They could do this by having their name and/or image plastered across advertisements.

Then newspapers cottoned on to the potential. And they started to convince new clientele that bigger was better and that if you wanted to sell your house faster a more expensive shinny advertisement would do the trick, which as we discussed is not the case!

Finally, in the early 2000s the age of the internet arrived and there was a shift from print to digital marketing.

The shift came gradually, with print and digital working side by side for some time. The fees reflected this new collaboration and the standard model had the agency pay a set fee to the website provider, enabling the company to advertise every property they had on the market. It was cost effective and worked a treat for the seller as the fees weren’t passed back onto them.

This advertising structure still exists today, but with a slightly bitter twist. Due to the death of print media, online revenue had to be forced to pull its weight. So now we’re faced with that nostalgic Maccas moment where we get the option to Upgrade… Ooooo! For a hefty price of course and we can’t help ourselves, just like when they offer to super-size those fries.

Jokes aside, these upgrades run into the thousands and will increase based on the things like, the affluence of the suburb. Which is problematic to say the least, often expensive post codes will have fewer properties for sale and therefore don’t require such heavy advertising.

Every agent loves a seller who is willing to pay for large advertisements with their name branded across it. So before you make the call to go all out on your advertising campaign ask yourself this:

  1. Will increased views and enquiries help find a buyer?
  2. Will it increase the final sale price?
  3. Does your property need endless interested buyers to sell at its best price?
  4. Is the right buyer only going to find your property if your advertisement is grandiose?

If you weren’t nodding whole heartedly in agreeance to all four questions then you may want to pump the breaks on that VPA and contemplate the quality not the size of the advertising campaign you’re going to employ. Think fairness, honesty, sensitivity and competent actions… think Clark Real Estate!