Marketing starts with knowing who your buyer is

Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin

Q: I own a large farm that I wanted to sell. I’ve had cattle, we make hay and we have a hunting lease. But a buyer would not be able to make enough money to pay for this farm to run. I had listed it with two different agents who basically did nothing and made no suggestions. I haven’t put it up for sale anymore.

What can I do to attract people with money and sell the property? Most agents want to get the listing, put up a sign, and just wait. I need help.

A: Well, it’s hard to sell your property if it’s not listed. That’s just common sense. There are many reasons why properties don’t sell, but it usually comes down to bad marketing (so not enough people know about it), price (often too high), or problems with the property (how the property is in bad shape) or is not commercially viable). Any of these issues could mean that your property will stay in the market and wait a long time for the right buyer to arrive.

The good news is that you have options to speed up the process.

First, let’s talk about unique properties. Whether your home is a large farm, ranch, or mountain lot, or whether you have spectacular water views, next to a golf course or train tracks (not all unique features are wonderful), or whether it is As a penthouse, unique properties can take longer to sell than properties that are more conventional. Often this is because marketing a unique property that fewer people may be interested in or can afford takes a little more effort.

For example, suppose you own a unique property with acreage. Maybe it has a great view or maybe it has a regular basketball court in the basement. You could stick a sign in your front yard, but only buyers driving past the property will see the sign and it won’t tell them much about the property’s special and unique features.

What you need to do is let the largest number of potential buyers know that you are putting the property up for sale. Nowadays this usually involves hiring a broker who specializes in marketing these properties or an auction house who can reach out to the buyers you want to attract. This definitely includes online marketing, placing specially crafted ads on websites that your buyers spend time on, or using newer “geo-fencing” techniques where you attract buyers in your zip code for properties in yours Search price range.

Good home marketing starts with knowing who your buyer is: You said your farm wouldn’t generate enough income that a perfect buyer could be a weekend farmer or rancher, or someone looking for outdoor space and lots of land. Maybe someone who is looking for a rural lifestyle and has plenty of room to roam (a hot commodity during the COVID-19 pandemic), someone who wants to own or train horses instead of cattle, or someone who can shoot theirs own property.

If these are the characteristics of the buyers you want to attract, you need to find ways to market your property in locations where these buyers will be. You can play around with Facebook or Instagram ads and view your listing by zip code. You might want someone to take professional photos that you can post on Zillow or on your own website (Note: use your address, including city and state, as the URL that will be helpful when searching). Hire an enterprising teenager with a camera drone to capture an airborne video of your property.

You should let everyone in town know that your property is for sale and that you are ready to pay a bonus to the agent who brings the winner to the door. You can even put your home up for auction, with the auction house turning its attention to properties for sale around the world at any given time, including yours.

Ideally, you will find a broker who knows how to do this and who is motivated to try some or all of these common marketing strategies to sell your property. If not, use some (or all) of these marketing strategies and try selling your own home. Surely you can’t make it worse and you will likely find a buyer who loves your home as much as you do. Remember, your home was right for you, but you cannot market the home as an income generating property knowing that no one will be able to get it up and running. So you have to market it differently.

Contact Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin through their website ThinkGlink.com.