GUIDE: Do You Still Need a Brochure to Sell Your Home?
Back in the 1980s, I remember sticking coloured photographs on the front of typed particulars and writing all about Artex ceilings and how many power points were in each room. Even funnier, it was important to mention that a property had both hot and cold water!
How times have changed; I certainly can’t remember the last time I saw a stuck-on photograph. If your agent is marketing your home properly, you should have had created for you an individually prepared brochure with anything from 4 to 16 pages, on thick card, packed full of beautiful images and with a description expertly written to emotionally convey the lifestyle available to your buyers. This is not a set of ‘particulars’, but a brochure, as important a brochure as those you find representing top hotels, travel destinations or fine jewellery and watches. It is, after all, representing your home, which is often worth considerably more than any of these.
The best brochure is not just a description of the bricks and mortar; it should showcase the lifestyle to be enjoyed. We want people to feel proud when they show one of our property brochures to their friends and family, and to feel sufficiently motivated to see it as their potential home.
Sometimes I look at a client’s property brochure and I can’t quite believe it!
The home could be gorgeous and full of character, but you certainly can’t tell this from the brochure. Instead, the ‘brochure’ is often a flimsy, folded A4 sheet with dull, dark photographs (having been printed on the office printer) and a description completely lacking in any warmth or atmosphere, the result looking cheap and amateurish. Instead of taking the time to create a beautiful showpiece for the property, they have simply demonstrated a complete lack of interest and care. If a property isn’t treated as something special, then how can we expect a buyer to view it as their potential dream home? It is so important to engage a prospective buyer’s attention long enough for them to book a viewing to see the property for themselves.
Sometimes, I hear people say that ‘too good’ a brochure can ‘oversell’ a property. Fair to say that if you set a buyer’s expectations low, then they could find themselves being bowled over when they actually see the property, but that seems to us rather a risky strategy. The greater likelihood is that if you undersell your home, nobody will bother looking at it. With people often viewing 10 to 15 properties before they settle on the one they want to buy, you need to make sure that your property brochure will make your home stand positively apart from the competition. Think of a well-constructed property brochure as the ‘gateway’ to your home, and if the gate is not firmly open, then nobody will want to step inside.
Special homes need special brochures
If you are lucky enough to own a unique home, something which cannot necessarily be appreciated without visiting it in person, you will understand the need to fascinate and intrigue a prospective buyer in order that they book that all-important viewing. A key way of doing this is via an inviting brochure commensurate with the value and calibre of the home it portrays.
At some point, people’s search will involve looking online, but simply viewing a property on screen can leave the viewer feeling uninvolved, with many houses appearing cold, unattainable, even unloved – in short, not ‘homely’. Having a beautifully-crafted brochure physically in their hands, with its warm and inspiring description and photography, can really engage the reader and bring a home to life. We firmly believe this results in more – and better quality – viewings.
How often have we heard the story of people phoning agents to ask for a brochure to be posted to them, only for them to be told they don’t send ‘hard copies’ as standard, but on this occasion they will – as if it is a massive favour? How can it be a ‘massive favour’ to send out a brochure to a prospective buyer, and since when did a property brochure get reduced to being called a ‘hard copy’? I have to ask myself why household names still send out brochures if they don’t think it works? I suspect Mercedes, Next or Argos may have something to say about physical paper marketing not working.
Maybe we just like to feel that buying a property is something special, and maybe some agents think that’s old fashioned, but I reckon there are a lot of people like us about – and some of us buy houses.