The challenge of marketing one-of-a-kind properties

How Concierge Auctions approaches unique listings

Every property is unique, but some have features that really make them stand out. A unique property might be in a remote area, perhaps it has a rare amenity, or it comes with an ultra-high-end price point. That means the buyer pool is small and can be difficult to access and activate. As the listing agent, a focused marketing and sales strategy is critical.

From the onset, it’s important to consider all of the outside tools available, including staging, targeted advertising, and tactics to increase buyer motivation such as an auction. The goal: to find as many potential buyers as possible, make them aware of the opportunity, and prompt them to act.

Positioning is paramount

Unusual homes are particularly challenging to price. It’s important to consider not just local comparables but also to research other markets with similar lifestyles.

This is especially helpful for homes in resort destinations. For example, when it comes to ranches or waterfront estates, the local comparables may be limited, and buyers may not be geographically specific. The same buyer who is interested in a ranch in Aspen may also be open to similar properties in Jackson Hole, Big Sky, or Vail. Buyers of these properties are often more attuned to the properties themselves than the exact location.

Consider the type of property and how similar listings are performing. Is the interest level high? Is there potential for another type of use? What are the rental regulations in the area? All of these factors will help draw focus to the variety of buyer pools that can be targeted.

If a property is a second home, buyers are likely to come from particular feeder markets or interest groups, and it’s important to target each differently. In the case of a recent sale of a Hawaii estate that had been in the same family for generations, Concierge Auctions started by meeting with the agent from Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers and the seller to learn how the property had been used in the past and its potential for future use. Three use cases were identified — continued use as a family estate, development opportunity, and vacation property — and a separate outreach campaign was conducted for each.

Finding the niche

Homes that have been highly customized or enhanced for a specific use need an equally specific strategy. Traditional marketing will not be enough. For example, with a property that Concierge Auctions sold alongside Harbor Sotheby’s International Realty in Charlevoix, Michigan, the fact that the home had two boathouses meant that potential buyers with an interest in the nautical lifestyle were targeted. Marketing materials honed in on this unique amenity, and the auction date instilled a new sense of urgency. Prior to engaging an auction, the property was on the market for three and a half years, and very few real buyers had come through the door. Once the auction campaign launched, more than 500 people came to see the property. The seller, Claudia Baird, said, “The entire town was abuzz, which was both exciting and fun. Concierge Auctions created urgency and interest around my unique asset in a niche market.”

Auction forces action

For sellers who want to produce a sale within a specific timeframe, an auction is a great tool to consider — to aggregate all potential buyers and allow them to present their offers in an open forum. It also underlines the fact that the seller is committed to selling the property and provides a level of differentiation versus all other inventory.

Auction is not only a tool for difficult-to-sell properties or “down” markets. In the case of a resort property in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, the home was sold prior to auction for the full price of $17.5M. Listing agent Mary Jurkonis of Dickson Realty stated, “After much vetting, my client and I turned to Concierge Auctions as the leader in the luxury auction space to bring heightened awareness and help us find the right buyer. The momentum was felt from day one.”


Learn more about how Concierge Auctions works with agents to sell properties here.