There are enumerable phrases such as “the early bird catches the worm” or “you only get one bite at the cherry” or “first in – best dressed” – so it is with real estate, where based on research a new phrase can be adopted:
“Missed the first week and you may have missed the market”
A simple piece of analysis has been undertaken as shown in the chart below. Aggregating the daily viewings data of a sample of 1,079 properties listed on the website over the past 3 months from around the country shows that the most active period is the first week. Fully a quarter of the total of the first 2 months viewings takes place in those first 7 days.
The reason for this is not difficult to appreciate, active buyers are already subscribed to receive email alerts of new listings, realestate.co.nz has over 100,000 customers with email alerts set up. In addition for those eager to watch the local marketplace saved searches always show the latest listings as the default on realestate.co.nz – no need to filter by latest, we do it for the customer.
This buyer behaviour is critically important for agents and vendors to understand fully as it needs to drive a set of key actions:
- Getting all the photos ready and uploaded before a property is listed – you can never have too many photos, there is no restriction on realestate.co.nz on the number of photos, we also host videos which can be a great way to view listings
- Ensuring the listing is well presented in an emotionally appealing description that provides loads of facts about the property and the local area
- A clear indication as to the price expectation of the property – buyers are eager to understand if the property is affordable within their budget
- The #1 photo which is the one included in email alerts is the best – the best at selling the property’s best features. Often this is the view of the front of the property, professionally photographed from the road
Get these four essentials right and you are ensuring that your property has the greatest chance of grabbing that viewing audience. Get it wrong or decide to change some details after a week and you could already have missed the boat. This is especially true when it comes to price. A reduction in price of a property posted in the 2nd or 3rd week to reflect a weaker market is less impactful than getting the price right at the outset before someone rejects the property in their mind.
I am grateful for the US real estate company Redfin who first wrote about this analysis last month in an article titled you only get one chance to make a first impression, the story was then picked up by the Wall Street Journal .