High-flyers bet bucks on marketing

High-flying real estate agents making their name selling properties above the $5 million mark base their success on a mixture of direct communication with vendors and potential buyers and appropriate marketing.

Many suggest the ‘spare no expense’ approach to property marketing is the most effective and demanded approach when listing a prestige, luxury or high-end property. Many potential residents consider a $5,000 per quarter strata fee extremely reasonable when adding up the cost of all the bells and whistles commonly featured in such apartments.

Simon Polito, real estate agent for Laing, recently sold a 239 square metre three-bedroom apartment skirting Sydney’s Hyde Park for $5.7 million. The apartment, which features 'everything’, sold three days prior to auction on the back of a six-week campaign.

Mr Polito told Real Estate Business the main reason he achieved the high price was due to the successful marketing campaign.

“We went all out with all the premium print and online listings in local and international papers and we had a hot buyer who wanted to do extra due diligence, so we pushed a four-week advertising campaign out by two extra weeks and sold three days prior to auction,” Mr Polito said.

“It was a weird scenario because we sold to a local guy who was buying for friends overseas in China, which is also another reason we took that long … Last week we sold a property for over $3 million in the same building to a local family and we are finding a lot of people from Sydney’s north shore are currently downsizing.

“The upkeep of a large home is quite significant – we recently sold one apartment in Sydney’s lower north shore that was a huge estate with a full-time gardener for a downsizer, and we often sell studios for that very reason – the owners can live in the city and go back to their other home at the weekends.”

Similar situations occur for wealthy investors looking to buy holiday homes in Australia’s most pristine and welcoming surroundings.

Tom Offermann, pricipal of Tom Offermann Real Estate in Noosa Heads, said the interesting part about marketing a property for sale in Noosa is that interest can come from anywhere around the country or world.

He recently sold a holiday home for around $5.7 million to new owners from nearby Brisbane and said there is a very high proportion of discretionary property in Noosa, with around two or three homes primarily used as holiday homes.

Mr Offermann said you often need a fairly widespread marketing mix to reach into the areas where people are prepared to pay multi-million dollars for a holiday home that may even be left vacant for periods throughout the year.

“We have a marketing strategy that includes the major Australian outlets but we also advertise in a lot of expat publications around the world. Selling at this level often means furniture is included since most people see such a property as walk-in walk-out due to the high value to the buyers being the convenience to beaches and shops,” Mr Offermann said.

“We have a clearance rate of 73 per cent including post-auction sales, and under the hammer 40-50 per cent of some high-value properties have been taking up to a year to sell … Most people would believe spring or summer is the best selling period but an analysis of our high-end sales has found 63 per cent of all sales in the last three years have been over $3 million.”

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