3 of the quirkiest selling tactics agents have tried


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Welcome to our new segment, Property Buzz, presented by McCafe and Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli. In each episode we’ll meet a new person in property, and ask them any brewing questions over a cup of coffee.

This week, we meet an ordinary agent, with an extraordinary talent…

In the middle of the current property downturn, many home owners are looking to sell — and the real estate agents working for them are doing everything they can to win the attention of buyers.

Two years ago, the average Australian home buyer was in a very different position to the one they’re in now. Particularly in Sydney, buying a home required more money than many people were prepared to spend – and more connections than a Los Angeles highway.

Now the buyer is in a very different position — one where they have the power. Prices have dropped; in Sydney the drop has been hard and fast, with prices falling almost 10% from peak in just 18 months.

This means buyers are coming out in droves and we’ve seen the market react in interesting ways.

Here are some of the most creative things real estate agents and home owners have done to keep up the pace with the market and stand out from the crowd.

1. Dancing with the buyers

Before selling homes, Josh Horner danced for the Australian ballet, choreographed for Disneyland and was a judge on Dancing with the Stars. Sensing a theme?

Some agents rack their brains to find a schtick but Josh’s is an obvious one: He can dance.

Dance, dance, dance, to the sound of the hammer drop! Picture: Al Richardson

“When I started in real estate and sold my first house, I was so disappointed that there was no significant moment. I just gave them the keys and that was it. I was like, ‘where are the fireworks?’ That prompted me to start dancing with the vendors.”

Josh’s natural flair for movement, has certainly, uh, moved things along for his clients.

“I’m just trying to make a happy moment out of a thought-to-be stressful time.”

Despite the showmanship, Josh is disciplined in his approach to real estate.

“Correct price guide and marketing, they’re the things you can control. Buyers are a dime a dozen so when you find a buyer for your home you need to treat them like the Golden Ticket at the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory!”

Roll up, golden tickets.

2. Red carpet opening nights

Real estate agents are quite literally rolling out the red carpet for buyers.

Ray White Double Bay’s Evan Williams and Benjamin Goodwin are turning their million dollar listings into swanky nighttime hotspots, complete with lights, cameras and music.

Agents Benjamin Goodwin and Evan Williams have gone all Million Dollar Listing on us. Picture: Ray White

Arriving at 7 Weeroona Avenue, Woollahra or 133 O’Sullivan Road, Bellevue Hill on one of Evan and Ben’s Josh Altman-inspired opening nights, you would’ve been welcomed with a roving lights, a red carpet photographer and an Aperol Spritz that was promptly delivered by a tuxedoed waiter.

The Hollywood treatment not only makes buyers feel a million bucks, it helps them part with millions of bucks. Sullivan Road sold to happy buyers 10 days after its opening and Weeroona Avenue’s deal was done after just three days, selling for $1m above the price guide.

Check and mate.

3. Pooches in property pictures

Can a dog sell a home?

The real estate team at Sydney agency BresicWhitney would have you believe so. A browse through their listings becomes a game of spot Spot the Dog — and all of his furry friends.

The resident dog at 16 Simpson Street, Putney, NSW, which sold last year. Picture: BresicWhitney

Brendan Fearn, Marketing Manager at BresicWhitney, says capturing the dogs ‘in-situ’ at the home is not so much a deliberate strategy, but more something that occurs naturally when crafting the tale of a property through images.

Every home is different, and has a different story to tell, but pets in homes do create that sense of homeliness for those who love their furry friends.

“By capturing the story of each home, the people and animals that live there naturally tend to become part of the narrative,” Fearn explains.

“We don’t plan or stage this, but rather allow it to occur naturally. It’s not uncommon to have the family pet follow our photographers around during the shoot.”

Too cute!

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