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Brutally honest listing draws crowds

03 June 2014 Steven Cross

A WA-based property manager found enormous success after advertising an "ugly, functional little house" with listed features such as "a roof (that very rarely leaks)".

Cameron Ewers, director at Pure Leasing in Perth, has discovered that honesty is really the best policy after his copy attracted 40 interested parties through the rundown property.

“BEAUTIFUL, PICTURESQUE HOME – (said no one, ever...)”, the heading reads.

“This 'never been beautiful' classic, is sure to take you on a pleasant trip down memory lane... Back to the days when monochrome Gameboys, floppy disks, velour tracksuits and velcro joggers were considered a sign of prosperity.

“Complete with four clean walls, a roof (that very rarely leaks), certified electrics, functional kitchen (that even has a dishwasher!), front and rear patio (adds a little charm) and a double carport, where no doubt, a panel van once sat (probably).”

Speaking with Residential Property Manager at the 2014 Australian Real Estate Conference (AREC), Mr Ewers said treating consumers like idiots is insulting.

“Every property has its place in the market, we have some stunning homes at high price points, and the ads are articulated and written accordingly. Even lower price point properties can be very nice and can make excellent homes," he said.

“But there is a time when it gets to a point where you have a really ugly, horrible and terrible house – and there’s no point telling people it’s nice when it’s not.”

With the property set to be demolished sometime in the future, the owner was more than happy to experiment with the marketing.

“The industry already has a significant trust issue between consumers and agents in genera," Mr Ewers said. "People aren’t stupid, and I think telling people that a horrible house is a nice one is insulting the consumer.

“I wrote a very honest ad and I conveyed exactly what it was. We mixed it with a little bit of humour and people trusted the positive points we advertised because they understood we were being honest.

“We had 40 parties show up to the home open, some just to see if it was real and to have a bit of a laugh, but we had two very good applications overnight and the property was leased the next day.”

Brutally honest listing draws crowds
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