With the winter season now in full effect, most sellers are changing their strategies for marketing properties. How do you maintain genuine visibility for properties during this time when many potential buyers might be distracted with other holiday obligations?
In actuality, buyers in our region seem to be quite focused on real estate. Even though the holidays exist and parties, etc. are in full swing, the number of showings has dramatically increased, as we have numerous clients in town for the holidays. As an example, I have a couple who have been looking at homes in the $600-$700K range. Their entire family on both sides is here for the holidays – nearly a dozen in total. They wanted the entire family to view one home that they are seriously considering. So they hired a van and everybody came over to the home and shared lunch and beverages while viewing the home. It created a sense of cohesiveness and everybody was able to offer their comments to the parents. This will be a family retreat for everybody to enjoy, so the parents wanted all feedback to make sure everybody would enjoy it.
What market trends do you predict for the New Year?
It would appear that Americans are coming back into the market in a meaningful way. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a stronger demonstration of buyers amongst Canadians and Mexicans, with Americans holding only 1/3 of the position of the buying community. However, with securing fears allaying and evidence of a strong Mexican economy, it appears that Americans are ready to venture back into Mexico. In addition, concerns over the political climate in the States has also made Mexico far more attractive to many. The recent purchase of the Four Seasons Hotel in Punta Mita by Bill Gates for $200M USD was another vote of confidence in not only Mexico, but specifically the Puerto Vallarta region of the Bay of Banderas.
How will you continue to brand yourself in 2014? Are you using social media?
Social media certainly is one of the benchmarks of our marketing strategy. We have put additional attention in this avenue as it seems that even the Boomer generation has gotten into Facebook. But to effectively market via social media, we are cognizant of the fact that buyers simply don’t want to be inundated with information. As a result, we are careful to make sure that the information we provide is beneficial to the clients, whether it be specifically about real estate, or the region in general and/or events, culture, etc.
Going viral? Using video?
We are looking at more creative ways of marketing, and that certainly will include video. YouTube has become a significant player in the marketing of real estate, but individual and somewhat more personalized videos are on the table to attract attention and send the desired message. Our client list is top-heavy with satisfied customers and we’re looking at video as a means of transmitting that message to our target audience so that they see our clientele, hear their message, and feel the meaning behind how their experience was to purchase or sell through us.