The adage when it comes to real estate has been "location, location, location." A recent survey, though, shows that lifestyle options are a priority. These include health and safety, access to cultural activities, and family-friendly neighborhoods.
Of course, location is still important, but today's buyers are looking for a sense of belonging in a community as well as creating a desirable lifestyle with the home they buy.
More than 1,000 homeowners and future home buyers were surveyed for the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC and the Meredith Corp report. The respondents indicated that how satisfied they'll be with the purchase of a new home may depend significantly on the home's surrounding community. About 84 percent of those surveyed were homeowners and an additional 10 percent had plans to buy within three years.
Here are some of the results. The survey found the following lifestyle options are top priorities for buyers.
- Ease of commuting by car: 38%
- Access to health and safety services: 34%
- Family-friendly neighborhood: 33%
- Availability of retail stores: 32%
- Access to cultural activities: 21%
- Public transportation access: 19%
- Nightlife and restaurant access: 18%
- Golf-friendly area–access to golf courses: 6%
If you're a seller what should all this mean to you? It's an opportunity to target buyers based on their interest. Just like businesses need to know who their target market is so that they can build a brand and solicit to those consumers, so too, for sellers.
If you're selling your home and you know that the above priorities can influence buyers, it only makes sense to play up the lifestyle options that apply to your home.
Often sellers focus predominantly on their home and the upgrades and amenities. While those features are very important, remember that practically any home can be remodeled. If you're in an excellent location with easy freeway access, on a low traffic street in a friendly neighborhood, surrounded by retail stores and hot dining spots, it's time to play it up. Those features aren't always easy to find.
Promote your lifestyle features with not only creative writing in the Multiple Listing Service detailed section, but also in ads with photos. You should also try using video of your home and the surrounding area. These days marketing goes beyond the MLS and glossy flyers. An archived video on the Internet doesn't get tossed in the trash like a piece of paper often does.
Showcasing your home on social media sites and giving a taste of the neighborhood in a well-produced video can be a fantastic marketing tool. However, don't use a poorly shot video; that may hurt you more than help you. Hiring a videographer or even a video journalist to tell a story about the area is well worth the money you'll spend. This style of storytelling can greatly increase interest in your home and, ultimately, the sales price.
Another option is to use footage (link or embed the video) from local retail outlets and post it on your social sites so that you can showcase some of the fun, nearby entertainment establishments. Create an album on your social sites so that all these photos, videos, links to articles are housed in it and then share it with friends. Don't make this album about you and your family in the home. Instead, make it like a review of the area. You are showcasing, through pictures, videos and words, the great places that you enjoyed while living in your home. Putting all these items online gives you greater exposure as people forward them to others.
Reality TV is popular for a reason; it takes people along for the journey, exposing life as it really is. Showcasing your home, neighborhood, and nearby restaurants allows potential buyers an opportunity to imagine the things that they would do if they lived in your home. We are becoming a very visual society and because so many properties are viewed first, and sometimes only, via the Internet, it's worth making what buyers see online valuable and persuasive. Seeing all that your home and its surrounding area has to offer in a video is as close as they get to actually experiencing it. The next step is literally stepping into your home for a closer look.
A little extra effort and promotion to highlight what's important to buyers may get you the sale faster and the price you're hoping for.