A note on advertising your properties.
I don’t care if you are renting or selling a house, you need to explain to people why they should choose your house.
I recently had a student send me a really bad advertisement. It was complete, it had all of the info, but he/she pointed out all of the bad features and skipped over all of the good ones. So let’s review some common mistakes that real estate investors make in their marketing.
Pointing out the flaws.
It may seem cynical to not mention the flaws that you see in a property, but it isn’t, your opinion of the flaws is irrelevant. What you see is ugly might be beautiful to another person’s eyes. Doubt me? Go to the closest shopping mall, for me it is the one in Robinson Township. Look around your mall, and try to find the ugliest person you can find, and then look at their wedding ring. I assure that the ugliest person that you find will have a ring on. The significance of that ring is simply an illustration that what you see as ugly is really beautiful to someone else. Your opinion is irrelevant. I just closed a deal on an ugly house that was over market price. I did this because I kept an open mind and found a buyer who thought the property was great. I would have bulldozed it; he will pay about $110,000 for it.
Not pointing out the best features.
Best features exist for every property. The house will either be pretty or it will be a bargain price. Choose the one that applies. If the school district is great, you are obligated to mention that. You may want to skip past the part where your property is in the bad part of the district. Renters and buyers will realize that bit without your input; however if you advertisement says “crappy part of good school district” then people will not read any further than that line.
Define the unique selling point.
In most of the property deals that I do, I offer owner financing, and that is unique (well not exactly unique, other people offer this, but it is rare enough to get a herd of buyers rushing towards me).
So what is unique or special about your property? Does it have new carpet? Does it have new appliances? Is the house walking distance to anything? What features are a short drive from your property? For example I have a house in Central North Side. In this one, I would list unique features like.
Easy access to Route 28, route 65, Route 279, and Route 376,walking distance to the park, walking distance to Allegheny General Hospital, walking distance to the Pittsburgh Aviary, and walking distance to CCAC. I would call the area North Shore as it has a more desirable name than North Side, and I would point out that it offers easy access to Downtown Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s North Hills, and the Greater Pittsburgh Airport.
I would also use my descriptive language to paint a picture. I don’t write things like close to park. I write “on a sunny day, you and your family can walk two blocks to experience an urban oasis at the local park. Your kids can play on the swing while you read a book and enjoy a hotdog from a local vendor. On Sunday’s you can gather up the whole family and bring fresh vegetables from local farmers at the park’s farmers market”. The idea is to place the buyer/renter in the story and to help them imagine what their life will be like in your house.