The Property Doctor
The Internet – Your Property’s BIGGEST Shop Window!
By Sean Woolley
Various recent studies have shown that 90 per cent of prospective buyers begin their hunt for an overseas property on the internet. This is a startling figure, although perhaps not wholly surprising. The internet has enabled property hunters to sift through hundreds of properties, look at all the pictures and imagine themselves living the dream… all from the comfort of their sofa.
When we began our business in 2002, we took the bold decision (well, it was bold at the time) to concentrate our marketing efforts into online options. Those were the days when it was relatively easy and cheap to dominate search engines like Google and quickly build a thriving online presence.
Of course, now things have changed and most overseas property companies have online marketing budgets stretching into several thousands of euros, all vying for the attention of prospective purchasers who are browsing online.
There are several marketing tools that agents will use to market your property for sale, and these include exhibitions, magazine and newspaper advertising, billboards and the shop window of their own premises. But when you consider the statistic from the opening paragraph of this article it is safe to assume that the biggest shop window for your property will be the internet.
So if you’ve got a property for sale here in southern Spain, how do you get the online exposure you need?
Firstly, you will need a reputable, professional agent who has a significant online presence. By that I mean that, if a potential customer searches for properties in your area on Google, the agent is listed on the first page of the search results.
But that’s not all. Your property needs to be visible and easily found by anyone looking for something like your property, so make sure the property is “coded” correctly. By this I mean to make sure that your agent has correctly described your property and allocated it to the correct area, with the correct price, size, number of rooms, etc. You would be surprised how many agents don’t do these simple things correctly.
Of particular importance is the quality of the photographs relating to your property that potential buyers will be able to see. Don’t forget, this is YOUR shop window and it’s absolutely vital that your property looks its very best. That means clear blue skies, clean pool, de-cluttered interior, lights ON. Trust me, nobody will want to step inside your property, let alone buy it, if it’s set against leaden skies with a dark interior, with the toilet seats up and yesterday’s washing still on the line!
Make sure your agent takes top quality photographs, using a camera with a wide-angled lens and an editing suite back in the office. Too many vendors and agents under-estimate the importance of this, but it is absolutely vital in selling your property here in Spain. Don’t forget: first impressions sell!
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Sean Woolley, our resident property expert, can be contacted at Cloud Nine Spain: Centro Comercial Guadalmina 4, Local 88, San Pedro de Alcántara (Marbella).
Tel: (+34) 692 254 432