A luxury villa in Brazil marketed by a Brisbane-based agent has been sold after a two-month campaign using Facebook.
Josef (Seppel) Egger and his wife Jacqueline, Australian citizens with Brazilian permanent residency, sought the help of southeast Queensland-based Mel Vaisey of RE/MAX MV Real Estate in November 2010 to sell their Brazilian property.
The couple were put in touch with Mr Vaisey by a former client.
After 18 months on the Brazilian property market, the 450-square metre historic beachfront Portuguese Manor Villa, restored, refurbished and with four bedrooms and five bathrooms, had still not sold.
Mr Egger had been using traditional marketing websites but with no success.
The idea of using social media to advertise the property came about more by chance than as part of a well-thought out marketing strategy, Mr Vaisey admits.
“We had been using Facebook as a means to get the MV Real Estate property listings and news to the public and got sent a “coupon” for a Facebook advertisement, so it seemed an opportune time to try it,” he told Real Estate Business.
“The client had a website set up for the property so we ran Facebook ads with the link to the property website.
“We also had the link on our other websites and on our Facebook pages and also in LinkedIn forums.”
Once Mr Vaisey posted the property on the social media pages, interest in it gathered pace.
“The responses certainly increased, and with the responses directed to us we filtered them accordingly,” he said.
“It is hard to determine which enquiries actually came through Facebook ads as it referred them through to the website.
Responses came from the USA, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Vanuatu and Qatar.
“The enquirers were quite interesting in themselves,” Mr Vaisey added. “We had a famous ice hockey coach, an American attorney, Australians who wanted to change their lifestyle, and even a couple from Vanuatu who move round the world every few years to enjoy a new adventure.”
After just two months, the property was sold to a Brazilian politician for between US$300,000 and US$400,000. Mr Vaisey was not advised of the final figure as the sale was completed in Brazil.
He did not earn commission on the campaign. “[However], it was great experience and, other than time and effort, the cost was minimal and we learnt a lot,” he said.
“We learnt that the rules for ownership and transfer of title in Brazil are vastly different to here in Australia. The contract process is much more casual as well.
“Technically, we became more aware of social media and how successfully it can work in real estate.”