October is Luxury Month on Inman. Inman Handbooks offer deep dives on luxury marketing and agent branding, luxury staging, referrals, and more. We’re thinking about what luxury means now, examining how the pandemic is reshaping the needs of luxury buyers, and talking to top luxury agents, all month long.
Even the most experienced real estate agent can find it challenging when listing a unique home. We all want the listing to sell quickly and for top dollar. But what makes a home unique might not make it appealing to some potential homebuyers.
More factors than a home’s exterior can make it unique, such as an unusual floor plan, interior design, features and size.
For agents listing a unique home to find success in the market, they must implement the right listing strategies.
We had listed a custom-built Amish home in Alliance, Ohio, which might not sound out of the ordinary. However, the 2540 South Mahoning Ave. home is over 4,000 square feet, clad in mostly white cedar, and located on a nearly 10-acre horse farm.
As you make your way down the property’s long driveway, surrounded by acres of greenery and tranquility, you feel like you’ve arrived at a nature preserve with a log vacation home. There is no other home like it in the city of Alliance.
When looking at this Ohio home, some might think this is the perfect way to experience luxury, a place that exudes rustic elegance in the heart of serenity. But others might see this home and have flashbacks to their worst childhood memory of summer camp.
We knew we had to be strategic when we listed this unique luxury home to get the best traffic for our listing.
1. Find the right price
Of course, you need your listing to have the right price to get the most engagement from homebuyers. However, we were having issues coming up with the best price for the home.
There are no other homes in neighboring communities with anything close to its exterior construction and over 4,000 square footage. The last agent had priced the house well over $1 million, and it didn’t get any offers.
The seller had heavily customized the home, adding to it ever since they had first bought it.
For example, the master suite has a vaulted ceiling; a cedar-lined, walk-in closet; and an en suite bath with heated floors, a jacuzzi tub, and a step-in shower, not to mention Amish-built woodwork.
Those are all great amenities, but a one-of-a-kind home in the neighborhood makes it hard to price when using a comparable market analysis (CMA). We found it challenging to perform the real estate comparative of the home.
We decided to test the market by lowering the price the former agent had listed it for after consulting with the seller. The plan is to make price adjustments as the market responds to the listing price.
2. Staging the home
The seller decided to leave the home fully furnished for showings. We depersonalized the house to make it as inviting as possible. We made sure the furnishings in each room did not mute the home’s unique atmosphere.
If the home had been empty, we would have hired a professional stager.
When staging, it is best not to hide what makes the property non-traditional. The stager should enhance everything that makes the property unique. Zoning in on the home’s uniqueness will only help attract the right buyer when marketing its photos and videos to the right targeted buyer.
3. Use multimedia to capture its uniqueness
After we were confident that the home was styled to exhibit its uniqueness, we captured everything that makes the home special. We included high-definition photos to showcase the home’s distinctive features and a 3D virtual tour with the same focus that allowed more potential buyers to appreciate what makes the home stand out.
To ensure potential buyers were engaged from launch to end, we organized our videos, pictures and our 3D tour into a portfolio for the upcoming social media and online advertising campaigns.
4. Market to target buyers’ interests
Even with the right interior styling and multimedia to show the unique home at its best, our online listing launch was not as high in traffic compared to other luxury homes we had listed in the same county.
No matter how competitively you price the home or how well it’s staged to showcase its best features, its uniqueness will still turn off some people.
So we built a profile of the home’s target buyer. We started with the seller. Noted their interests and hobbies and how they had enjoyed the home. For example, they built the Alliance property on a horse farm. The property has a 32-feet-by-24-feet horse barn with two stalls, a 98-feet-by-40-feet pole barn, two pastures and a riding rink. It’s perfect for equestrians.
We created online marketing campaigns to target equestrians. Facebook, Instagram and Google make it extremely easy to target people based on their interests. The key is to target buyers who will enjoy the unique features that the home offers.