Where is the proof of theory in Marketing Real Estate?

Barry Osborne

My career started in the Scientific World and even though in Science, a theory has to be proven, but it is only in Mathematics where proof is definite, and Scientific Theories can never be totally proven. So imagine the problem you have in the marketing world, anyone can make any statement as to effectiveness of Real Estate Marketing: proving it is another matter. This leaves a great opening for good salespeople to push forward theories as to the best ways in marketing Real Estate that can never be totally proven or disproven. In the Scientific World, this is overcome to a certain degree by running a control group and then having another group that has focused on a specific one or two factors having an effect. This is not really possible in Marketing Real Estate.

It would be great to run two Marketing Campaigns, both doing different things and seeing whether the effect of certain marketing strategies brought about the best results. But the major problem that we have here is that we would have to have two exact properties, going to sale at the same time, in the same suburb, in the same state of presentation to see the effects of the different marketing. This of course is impossible. So therefore, we have so many theories about the best ways of Marketing Real Estate and worse still, they become so ingrained in practice that everyone accepts them to be proven, when in fact they are not.

"But old facts don’t go away, so the improved theory will have to explain the old facts at least as well as the old theory explained them."

So just consider, the many theories that we have in Real Estate Marketing, such as:

  •          The seller should commit to a marketing budget of 1 to 2% of the value of the property
  •          Time going to Market is critical
  •          Preparation of the property is important to get the best price
  •          De-clutter the house for best results
  •          Auction is the preferred marketing strategy
  •          House for not selling quickly, is priced wrongly
  •          The bigger the Press Advertisement, the better the Price achieved
  •          Press + online marketing, outperforms just online marketing
  •          Buyers come from the immediate area, so a flyer drop in the local area is essential

This would be a never ending list of statements being made by Real Estate Agents and even Industry training people who want to appear knowledgeable and so come out with theories as if they are proven, when in most cases they are no more than “just a theory” which may or may not have an effect. There is an element of truth in what is being said, but to do just that one strategy will be no guarantee in achieving the desired result. Because there are so many factors involved, and they all interact in a way that it is impossible to appreciate the effect of one against another. More importantly, the market place keeps changing and buyer behaviours develop with the technology of the time.

The biggest concern that I have and the reason for this topic is that it appears from the market that certain strategies by certain groups are given the guarantee of achieving the desired result. The problem that I see is that the Marketing Strategies that are being used are old hat and in many ways are costing the Sellers much money and yet the property owners continue to support these practices. We need the rise of new ideas to match the ever changing market to ensure the effectiveness of real estate marketing today. If anything the marketing of property is a complex issue and there is no magic formulae in getting the guaranteed result, because of the simple fact that you can do everything right, but the thing that you cannot guarantee to achieve the best result, is ensuring that the ideal buyer (ready to settle now) is in the market when you are selling your home.

This sounds like a very negative blog as nothing is right and everything is wrong. So what can be done? Please make certain you read the next blog where I will focus on the steps to be taken that will make it possible to start getting better results without spending too much money in the hope of achieving the best result.