So, you want to market a unique property.
This can be challenging and such properties can be on the market for longer than necessary if certain conditions aren’t taken into consideration.
How do you market a unique property then?
Identify crucial and non-crucial features to determine the right price.
From the features, you can derive the unique benefits and determine the different interests of potential buyers.
By knowing this, you can target them in different marketing channels, such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and/or property listing sites for unique properties.
What Is a Unique Property
There are all kinds of characteristics that can make a property unique or unusual.
These characteristics can include a unique location or remote area, an unusual layout, a rare amenity or an ultra-high-end price point.
The common denominator of all these characteristics is that the potential buyer pool for these properties is usually quite small, which makes these properties harder to market.
And when you look for advice on how to market them, you may come across the advice to use unique marketing methods.
But taking a closer look at the proposed marketing methods you then learn that they first aren’t marketing strategies and secondly, they are actually the same things that should be applied to even ‘normal’ properties in the first place.
What is mentioned very often is producing high-quality photographs, drone photography and/or high quality videos.
These are not marketing methods and strategies, but marketing materials or different types of marketing content.
Since the main problem with unique properties is a smaller than usual group of potential buyers you can target, it won’t help to just up your quality game with marketing materials.
That’s what everyone else is doing anyways with even ‘normal’ properties.
What Will Actually Help You Market a Unique Property?
When you know how to prepare a good piece of sales copy, you will probably know the answer.
Saying this is already getting old on this website, but it is knowing your potential target group (the potential buyer group) good enough and planning your marketing strategy based on that knowledge.
What kind of knowledge is important?
To be more specific, it’s knowing which needs, wants, desires and motivations of a certain target group the product (the unique property) can satisfy.
So, what needs to be done first, before we determine the ideal buyer?
Identify Current and Potential Benefits of the Unique Property
We need to identify different current and potential benefits of the particular property in question.
How do you find the current benefits?
Features that often are confused with benefits can give us hints regarding the actual benefits.
Let’s take an example.
Suppose the unique property in question is a very remotely located 7-bedroom 6-bathroom cottage style house on a lake with 2 bathrooms and 1-bathroom treehouse, located on an 8-acre property 2 hours from a major city.
The floors are all made of precious hardwood. It has a lot of natural light, large windows and nice ceiling beams.
Most rooms feature great views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
Additionally, the property has its own water and electricity supplies (off-grid), but is also connected to the public grid.
It has an open floor plan and the kitchen, dining and living areas all connect with each other.
It has sliding doors from the living area to the covered terrace.
From the terrace, a track leads through a garden and then to the guest house, which is the treehouse.
Let’s summarize the features:
- 7 bedrooms, all with views of the lake and mountains
- Remotely located but 2 hours to a major city
- Precious hardwood floors
- High ceilings with ceiling beams
- Large windows
- A lot of natural light
- Open floor plan between kitchen, dining and living room
- Covered terrace that connects to the living area
- Guesthouse as a treehouse with 2 bedrooms and one bathroom
- Bordering lake
Converting the Property Features into Benefits
Now, let’s see if we can convert the above features into benefits always keeping the question “so what” in mind to dig deeper.
1) The benefit of 7 bedrooms with views of the lake and mountains is that they can be used to offer space for a larger family and for different touristic exploitation.
This means that you can have a place for your family where you don’t have to get on each one’s nerves and everyone has enough space for themselves but are also able to be together at the same time.
With regards to the touristic use, you can use that many bedrooms to offer the property as a retreat center, for workations or as an Airbnb and get a return on investment.
2) The remote location, but at the same time 2 hours from the next larger city makes the property further suitable for a touristic use or for a private family retreat from the busy and stressful city.
It’s ideal for people who need to recharge their batteries over a longer weekend, because they have a stressful life in the city.
3) The precious hardwood floors create a warm and cozy atmosphere, that easily make new guests feel at home. They help increase the feeling of safety.
4) High ceilings with ceiling beams, large windows, a lot of natural light, and the open floor plan between kitchen, dining and living room, and a covered terrace that connects to the living area, all these features create the feeling of openness and offer the ability to take a deep breath to relax and be creative.
They help in the process of relaxation and give a contrast to the usually narrower city life.
5) The Guest-Treehouse offers a unique feature with further benefits of renting opportunities for tourism use and from the investors’ perspective, a unique selling proposition, that’s a further advantage to attract tourists.
Should this property be used as a private family retreat, the treehouse is a good option to accommodate let’s say problematic energy-sucking family members without being rude and not including them at all.
6) The benefits of the bordering lake are potential physical activities that can be done there (e.g. swimming, kayaking, playing, etc.).
In the next step, we can try to align the found benefits with well-known needs that all humans have.
This can give us further advantages in finding the right potential buyers but also to later make the copywriting more powerful and persuasive.
The Life Force 8 originates from Drew Eric Whitman, author of the book Cashvertising (highly recommended) and includes a collection of needs that all humans have (unless you have dominated your subconscious mind), which are:
- survival, enjoyment of life, life extension
- sexual companionship
- comfortable living conditions
- to be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses
- care and protection of loved ones
- social approval
- enjoyment of food and beverages
- freedom from fear, pain, and danger
The same book has also a collection of 16 core desires and needs that are also strong, but not that strong as the life force 8:
- Desire to Influence
- Desire for Knowledge
- Desire to be Independent
- Desire for Social Standing
- Desire to Play
- Desire to Get Even
- Desire to Obey Moral Code
- Desire to Improve Society
- Desire To Exercise
- Desire to Courtship
- Desire to Raise Own Children
- Desire to Organize
- Desire To Eat
- Desire for Approval
- Desire to Avoid Anxiety
- Desire to Collect
Let’s align them all now in a table to the identified benefits of the unique property example from above.
|Unique Property Benefit||Life Force 8||16 Core Desires|
|Space for a Larger Family as a Private Retreat||Comfortable Living Conditions, Enjoyment of Life||Desire to be Independent, Desire to Raise Own Children|
|Return on Investment from Tourist Exploitation||To be Superior, Winning, Keeping Up With The Joneses||Desire for Social Standing, Desire to Collect|
|Cozy Ambiance, Feeling of Safety||Care and Protection of Loved Ones, Freedom from Fear, Pain, and Danger||Desire to Avoid Anxiety|
|Relaxation||Freedom from Fear, Pain, and Danger||Desire to Avoid Anxiety|
|Flexible Accommodation Options||Care and Protection of Loved Ones, Social Approval, Winning, Keeping up with the Joneses||Desire to be Independent, Desire for Social Standing, Desire to Obey Moral Code, Desire to Organize, Desire for Approval, Desire to Avoid Anxiety|
|Physical and Health Activities||Survival, Enjoyment of Life, Life Extension||Desire to Play, Desire To Exercise|
Some of the benefits could potentially be amplified to attract a broader audience.
Maybe this property can be converted into a 3-bedroom 3-bathroom luxury home, by merging many of the already existing bedrooms.
This depends on the local property market and what is usually selling faster in the area.
If this can’t be done before it hits the market, it can at least be mentioned to potential buyers.
To help potential buyers visualize these modifications, you could create a virtual floor plan apart from the actual one you might do already for the existing property.
Another important thing to do would be home staging.
It’s already difficult to make a cluttered ‘normal’ home appeal to a potential buyer.
For a unique home, this might be even harder to do.
In this article, I already discussed how much home staging costs and whether it is worthwhile.
Attracting the Right Potential Buyers for Your Unique Property
Now that we have collected the features, found some benefits and aligned them with common needs, we can derive from this information which type of buyer could be targeted via different marketing methods.
The potential buyers are likely part of the following three broad interest groups:
- Large families with a high disposable income
- Remote living and off-grid living enthusiasts
- Real estate investors with a focus in the tourism and wellness niche
- All the above living in and around the city two hours away
The already carved out features and benefits presented in the table above can now be used for the sales copy that should be used for the property listing page and/or landing page.
With regards to the right marketing channels, you could look for property listing sites specialized in unique properties and then also use marketing campaigns via Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
The advantage with Facebook Ads is that you can probably find the above defined interest groups easier.
If you would like to dig deeper into Facebook Marketing, you can also read my larger Facebook marketing for real estate article here.
Google Ads is another option but there will be some additional keyword research involved.
This will be a bit of guesswork at the beginning and you will have to do some guessing whether someone using a particular keyword is part of one of the above interest groups.
Let’s use the example of the keyword “off grid living”.
Someone searching ‘off grid living’ is likely interested in the topic, but among the searchers could be also people that just need advice on how to install solar panels or want to generate their own water.
A certain percentage might also be potential buyers that think of buying an off grid property.
As you can see, you will need to think more about the search intent, and ask yourself how likely it is that there is a potential buyer among the searchers.
To some degree, you could also use Google display ads, where you can also choose interests.
However, keep in mind that the variety of interests to choose from is by far not as large as that of Facebook Ads.
To make a long story short.
In contrast to Facebook Ads, with Google Ads you will need to go broader and guess at the beginning if your potential buyer group will be among the searchers.
The Right Price Could Be a Challenge
Finally, another important factor is coming up with the right price to market a unique property.
Finding the right one can be a challenge because there are fewer comparable properties on the market.
In the above example property, the 7 bedrooms don’t add much value if in the area properties with 3 bedrooms have the highest demand.
The additional 4 bedrooms might not be wanted by the market.
So, in this case, not much additional value might be added by them, but maybe if they could be converted into a second independent living area for birdwatching or another usage, the demand would be higher.
But in turn, the large property size, the bordering lake, and the treehouse are the features that would add more value.
So, if you need to come up with the right value of a unique property you would first need to identify the crucial and not so crucial features that have a direct influence on the value and then go from there to appraise it.