Selling a unique home requires savvy marketing tactics. If the property is truly unique, there are probably few buyers locally (and maybe even globally) who will want to pay for what you’ve created. But there’s always a buyer for even the most unique home at the right price.
Q: I’ve dedicated 35 years, plus a solid million dollars, to create a 200-acre rural sanctuary in the far north of Arkansas. It is the essence of natural beauty, total quietude, and complete privacy, and only 14 miles from a nearby town with food, other services, and medical providers.
I’ve constructed a 2,600-square foot “man cave” and related storage buildings suitable for a high-end hermitage or home for a couple. It’s truly an ideal family or generational compound, and a unique property. The only local permit requirement relates to septic placement. And my current total taxes on the combined home and land are under $1,400 a year! (I know that’s shocking but true.)
But now I have been told I have cancer and am getting my business in order. A major aspect of that process is to find the right buyer for my property. I don’t want to sell the property before I die because I want to live here in peace and quiet for the rest of my life. I want the marketing plan to kick in following my demise.
My question relates to how to best establish a savvy marketing plan to most effectively reach out to the “perfect” buyer on a national or even international basis. By all measures, this place is a dream come true for a pre-retirement individual (aged 45 to 60), with a love of land and the resources (and health) required for both its purchase and upkeep. Do you have any suggestions?
A: We’re sorry about your health issues and hope that you can overcome your diagnoses in order to have many more years to enjoy your property.
But when it comes to marketing your property, there are plenty of options and opportunities. While your estate may need to ultimately go national to find the right buyer, it’s much more likely that you’ll find someone who wants to buy your property within a few hundred miles of its current location.
We suggest you start at a local level by talking to people in the community and targeting real estate brokers and agents that handle larger and more expensive real estate transactions in your area. You’ll want to find agents that work with larger land purchasers or with wealthy buyers from outside of your area that seek land or properties like yours.
While the property you describe sounds beautiful, there is a limited market for people that might want the property for the use you have envisioned or who can afford to maintain it. But there may be more people who could envision a small development of weekend retreats or even retirement homes, or who might have other ideas in mind for the land.
Depending on your site and the natural amenities it offers, your target audience may not be an individual but a developer.
Since we haven’t seen it (send pictures!), we can’t say for sure what your land may be best suited for but real estate agents who deal with large properties may be able to give you better insight into this issue.
Once you determine who prospective buyers might be, and where they might be coming from (the nearest metropolitan area, or perhaps New York or abroad), you can develop marketing plans to target them. This will undoubtedly include building a website loaded with photos, video and other information about the property, getting the property listed inside websites like Trulia and Zillow, which draw millions of “eyeballs” each month, and running ads in local or national magazines and newspapers that target your prototype buyer.
If your property is in an area that is well-known nationally, like the Ozarks or within an hour of Branson, Missouri, you’ll have a better chance at marketing the property to a national or global audience. You can use your marketing to leverage the brands of those well-known attractions.
But, people who already are familiar with your area are far more likely than a national or global audience to look at and ultimately buy your property. To that end, you might want to get creative with the marketing of the property, offering to host an event for a local charity at your property, which might draw the right kind of people with deep enough pocketbooks.
If you draw a circle of about 150 miles all around your property, that’s most likely where someone will come from to buy a vacation home. It might well be that your buyer is in Tulsa, Memphis, Fayetteville, St. Louis and other metropolitan areas that are within a couple of hours drive of your property.
You’ll certainly want to interview real estate agents and brokers who have connections to brokers in all of the communities that fall within your area of opportunity. Many agents and brokers have referral networks, either through their own personal connections or their affiliates through the national real estate brands they work for (like Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s, Berkshire Hathaway or Century 21).
Finally, you could set up a global auction for your property. There are many good companies (both online and off) that provide this service for high-end properties, and take care of all of the marketing work that goes along with it.
We hope this information helps, and that you have a speedy recovery that gives you many more years to enjoy your unique home.
Ilyce Glink is the Publisher of ThinkGlink.com and the Founder/CEO of Best Money Moves. Sam Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney.
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