With the Australian property market slowing down and property prices forecasted to remain stagnant, marketing activities to lure in property vendors for listings is expected to become more competitive in 2016. When real estate agents face discussions about ethical marketing practices to build their property vendor database, the line can often be blurred when it comes to use of fad based marketing tactics. Real estate comparison portal LocalAgentFinder advocates agents’ success by building their brand and reputation as a strong negotiator and salesperson. However, news of marketing fads that use ‘sex appeal to sell properties has caught the attention of the Australian real estate industry and wider media.

Links Property director Lynne Hayden has claimed that using locals in images of the property listings helped with property sales. Ms Hayden said,

“People can see themselves in the pictures and the best thing about it is that it will be the house they remember … no one else is doing it so it is nice to offer something a little bit different and quirky.”

The sales result saw the following property at 18 Marine Drive in Torquay being sold for $849,000.

2 1 - Should Sex Appeal Be Used When Marketing Real Estate?

There are mixed feelings about the use of these tactics. While some people are commending the efforts by saying that it is good to see someone think outside of the box and that it is a way to help foster growth in the local community, others are sceptical about the value impact these people have when it comes to selling a property.

While this type of ‘sex appeal marketing tactic’ is relatively new in the Australian market, it is something that has been adopted for a while in the United States. A property based in Hollywood sold for $33 million after it was marketed using five bikini-clad models, helicopters and a $40,000 production video.

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While the tactic may seem cheesy or unethical to some, the gross commission earnings from the sale of the property would earn the realtor $1 million. Additionally, the extra PR exposure that the property would receive saves thousands of dollars in advertising costs.

In 2013, Australian real estate agent Mark Young made headlines for his video production promoting one of his property listings using scantily clad women.  Click here to view the video.

What about real estate agencies using an attractive workforce to lure property vendors?

According to a study by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), attractive agents earned price premiums of up to 2.3%. Domain.com.au claim that an attractive sales agent could net the property vendor an extra $23,000.

Although these tactics do work, it is essential that real estate agents implement the sales marketing fundamentals to successfully sell the value of their property listing. This includes:

  • Demonstrating the value of the property to the prospective buyers needs and wants.
  • Qualifying the buyers that are being targeted to view and bid on the property.
  • Committing to a high quality service that will give the property vendor peace of mind during the sale of the property.
  • Delivering the sales price for the property vendor.

It is great that real estate agents are being innovative in their marketing tactics and campaigns. Successful marketing in real estate does require trialling different campaigns to your target market. Sex appeal has been proven to work for the right market. For the realtor, they will need to decide whether any marketing activities that involve using sex appeal will attract the right types of buyers to bid on the property and whether the campaign will add or detract value from the final sales price for the property.

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