On a recent episode of HGTV’s „Selling New York,“ the CORE real estate group took over the marketing and sales for a historic building located in Chelsea. Upon visiting the model units to assess what was needed to get the units sold, the Realtors noticed an inconsistency in the current marketing efforts with the overall theme of the building. In their efforts to re-brand the marketing, they needed to transform the „stark white“ campaign of the collateral and the real estate staging to align it with the context of the building by creating a warmer and more traditional feel. This included putting a darker stain on the hardwood floors, stripping the paint off of an architectural column, painting the walls, rearranging the floor plan and revamping the design style altogether.
This brings up the point I make regularly that „making it pretty, doesn’t make it sell“. During their tour of the larger model unit, one of the comments made was that the furniture was beautiful, but it was not reflective of the building. It felt more like Miami than Chelsea.
This is a critical observation because the most important thing to understand about setting the stage for a successful sale is understanding who the buyer is and allowing your marketing campaign, which includes staging, to connect the dots to those buyers. For example, how you market and sell a bachelor pad in the city is going to be different from how you market and sell a family home in suburbia. The experience you create for each of those campaigns will determine how successful that sale will actually be.
Understanding who the buyer is is extremely important for all parties of the transaction to take into consideration. Realtors need to have in depth knowledge of the neighborhood and what the prospective buyer profile is. Staging Professionals also need to know this information and incorporate it into the staging design plan. The goal is to leave very little to the imagination of the buyer and create a lifestyle that helps them quickly identify themselves as the future owner of that property. Remember, if trained professionals walk in and „don’t get it“, the likelihood is that your buyers won’t either.
The most commendable lesson from that episode was the fact that the Realtors were not afraid to make the changes necessary. It was clear that the investors had already spent a significant amount of money on the original marketing efforts and asking them to spend more money can be intimidating, but the Realtors trusted their expertise in the neighborhood and knew what would attract buyers. When it’s wrong, it’s our job to fix it in order to achieve the results everyone is looking for.