How To Boost Investment Property Value By 171% With A Single SentenceBy JD Esajian on April 17, 2015
Words have power. When it comes to real estate sales, they pack a ton of value. So how can the right string of characters add 171% to the sales price of your next investment property?
There is one factor which can boost property values this much. There are a number of ways to leverage new home buying trends to increase profit margins. However, all of them will still rely on actually conveying the message to prospects and referral partners.
The Starbucks Effect
The ‘Starbucks Effect’ perfectly highlights this. CNN Money and Zillow data reveals that homes close to a Starbucks coffee shop appreciate faster. Nationally, the difference is about 30% faster. In Boston, MA, homes close to Starbucks rose 171%. Those more than a quarter mile away saw 45% less appreciation.
There can be other reasons for rapid home price appreciation. It could be argued that Starbucks chooses to locate stores in the heart of rapidly appreciating real estate markets. Though following Starbucks’ lead (or even better; getting ahead of it) could clearly lead to better profits for investors.
However, this is really just a symptom of a larger movement. Home buyers are increasingly basing purchase decisions on lifestyle and brands versus the math. Some are being empowered by the rising economy. Others have just switched their priorities. Today many individuals will start their home search based on the brands and lifestyle that are most important to them. Then they will see what prices and room counts are available in the areas that offer the brands they desire. For example; making living near a Starbucks, LA Fitness gym, Cheesecake Factory, and mall with their favorite fashion labels the priority. Then finding a way to squeeze into a place that is available in that area. They will probably end up paying far more. And have to squeeze into less space. But lifestyle is trumping cheap.
The premium on these properties can be justified to some extent. Health, transportation costs, and commuting time all play into the overall cost of homeownership. So if brand names have become the magnet and profit multiplier for selling investment properties, what are the most sought after brands?
Brand Name Magnets
MarketingProfs names the following in their top 10 most popular brands in 2014:
Statistica reports the top 10 retailers on Twitter have included:
- Victoria’s Secret
- Louis Vuitton
Tiffany & Co. ranks on RIS News’ list of top 10 specialty retailers for 2015. Facebook brand page traffic shows that providing you can get a Coke, Redbull, Oreo cookies, Nutella, Pringles, and Skittles nearby you are in good shape. Bonus points go to those with good enough internet connections for Youtube, Playstation, iTunes, Angry Birds, Google, and Skype.
The 99% Niche
Obviously, not everyone in America is shopping at Tiffany every day. Many wouldn’t spend $7 on a cup of coffee if their lives depended on it. For these renters and home buyers, affordability can be a big draw, but it still needs to offer convenience. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are establishing a national presence, but the National Retail Federation reports that when it comes to groceries there is still no close competition to Walmart. A pending Walmart superstore might do for many areas what Starbucks does in Boston.
Closing the Deal
Brands, fashion labels, and trendy services can draw renters and buyers. They can even justify them paying a high premium to live close to them. So can affordability, and convenience. But none of this matters much unless sellers and real estate investors can get the word out.
If these are the things that matter most to buyers maybe they should be among the first for sellers to shout about. Lot size, price per square foot, and even asking price might mean little to many buyers. Especially in comparison to the other factors. So how about leading in with more of what they want?
“Fashionable new loft next to Starbucks and Tiffany’s for sale. Will sell today!”
Seal the deal with an offer of:
“Home comes with free year’s supply of Skittles and Oreo cookies!”
Forget the price; my taste buds are already tasting the cookies. And I’m imagining curling up on the couch in my new crib with Starbucks on tap. Now that’s priceless.
This type of lead in will certainly help gain attention. In order to sell houses today you have to win attention. You’ve got to get on the buyer’s radar.
Associating your investment properties with buyer’s favorite snacks and stores isn’t the only way to add brand appeal. Or to add brand value for real estate professionals and companies. Many companies are winning the brand war by accumulating praise for workplace culture and customer experience. For others it is quality. Ask how you get to Coke’s position in the market. “Coke” can be used interchangeably with asking for a soda. So how do you get home buyers to prize your product? How do you get them to say “I want a CT Homes house.” Or whatever your brand of rental or renovated resale properties are? How can real estate pros work with local small business owners, cities, and tourism agencies to elevate their destinations and neighborhoods? Brand your location too.
There are many ways to increase demand and value of properties. Renovations are just a part of the game. Marketing and branding play a huge role. You can make plenty of money fixing and flipping or renting houses 100 miles from the nearest Starbucks. But make sure you are shouting about the benefits of your location. Make sure you are connecting with what buyers care about most. Then they’ll buy. They’ll by fast. And they’ll be happy to pay your asking price.