The key to a successful vendor paid advertising pitch comes down to three critical elements, used in combination.
Understanding what motivates your clients,
Your own belief in the value of VPA
Social proof that it works.
The opportunity cost
You will always come up against vendors who believe that a digital marketing campaign consists of listing on a real estate portal, and that alone is enough to sell their property.
There are some very effective ways to overcome this resistance to spending money on marketing and help vendors understand the cost of VPA is an investment in their final sales result.
The first step is to treat vendor-paid advertising as a separate sale, requiring a separate focused pitch that will open your vendors’ eyes to the cost of NOT paying for marketing. It also helps ensure the vendors are clear that the marketing spend is separate from your commission fee.
While vendors’ instinct may be to pull back on advertising to save costs if they’re worried about getting a lower sale price in a slower market, your pitch needs to emphasize the false economy of that belief. It needs to clearly show that a slower market is exactly when VPA becomes essential, particularly in digital campaigns that target and engage a wider group of potential buyers.
As well-known real estate coach Tom Panos says: “Vendors aren’t scared about spending a few hundred dollars, what they’re scared about is getting less in their pocket.” This is what we mean by the opportunity cost of not including VPA in any marketing strategy.
Here are some tools to use in preparing your VPA strategy and pitch.
Case studies and statistics are some of your most powerful tools in convincing vendors of the value of VPA.
Prepare clear and visually engaging case studies from recent sales that demonstrate vendor price expectation, your sale prediction, and the final result. They should also show the levels of engagement, the number of days on the market, the number of pre-sale inspections, how many people registered for the auction (if applicable) and where the buyer was sourced from.
If possible use case studies from recent sales in the same area as your vendors that they may be familiar with, and contrast with other similar campaigns that did not use VPA.
It’s important to remember that for every claim you make about the value of VPA you should be able to back it up with facts you can clearly show to your vendor.
What these case studies are doing is telling your vendor a story about how they will get more buyer interest, higher engagement, more people interested in inspections, and more auction attendees, which leads to a higher sales price. You are giving them reasons to say yes to VPA.
“It’s not about selling a house, it’s about house price optimisation.” - Tom Panos
Talk about the different types of buyers
Helping your vendor understand the different types of buyers in the market, helps them understand the role VPA, particularly digital advertising plays in engaging those buyers.
For example, Buyer A is an active buyer who is regularly searching listing portals and getting digital alerts for their search criteria. They are seeking out their ideal property and are most likely to come to you. Then there’s buyer B, who is engaged but less active. They may have seen your listing or properties similar to it, but haven’t yet acted. VPA can remind these potential buyers of listings they’ve viewed or show them others they’ll like based on their searches so far.
Finally, Buyer Cs are the passive ones. You might not know they’re out there until your vendor paid ads find them, then they’ll often act quickly on properties that appeal.
“If you don’t use 100% of the media you have available to you, you don’t get 100% attraction into the market from buyers and you don’t get 100% of the interest so you might not get 100% of the price.” - Michael Tringali, McGrath, Australia
Offer options and guidance
When discussing the marketing budget, present your vendors with different options so they don’t feel they are being railroaded into a single package they may feel is expensive. Your job is to drive their decision with your expertise by clearly explaining the pros and cons of each package.
Your packages should be based on your knowledge and experience of what works, and keep in mind that some clients simply can’t afford some options, so flexibility is required.
Scripts can be an extremely powerful tool to help you outline the value of marketing for vendors. It’s not about sounding over-rehearsed, it’s about sounding confident and knowledgeable so your vendors know they are in good hands and feel comfortable saying yes.
Here are some scripts to try
How VPA can achieve a better sales outcome:
“What we’re looking to achieve from digital marketing is to reach as many interested parties as possible through channels other than the obvious real estate portals.”
We use our own digital marketing platform:
“We have our own digital advertising platform Be Seen. It’s an intelligent and automated digital marketing tool that optimises campaigns to get you the best ROI and results in real time.”
The target audience are buyers looking for properties like yours:
“We are able to reach a client base looking for a property like yours based on their behaviours and allow them to express interest quicker and faster than any other channel.”
How VPA increases buyer interest:
“What a strong digital campaign can do is boost enquiries, increase open home attendance, generate more buyer competition and in turn increase the sale price of your property. Digital campaigns target the people most likely to make this happen.”
And one more from Tom Panos:
“[Mr/Mrs vendor], what's more important? The fear of overspending on marketing by $3k or underselling your home by $100k?”