Trend Spotter

One size doesn’t fit all

‘Discreet marketing’ is an unlikely phrase that has become part of the estate agents’ vocabulary in recent times. It refers to the quiet marketing of a property – no advertising, no presence on the website, no for sale board, no PR; but the property is very much for sale. The only buyers who know about it are those that are registered with the agent, (or a buying agent who has been quietly informed), and who has been qualified by that agent as a serious prospect.

Whatever the reason for preferring to keep the fact that they are selling beneath the radar, more and more vendors are coming to us and asking about discreet marketing. About 25% of the properties we’ve sold in the last six months have been by this method. For many, the idea is attractive, but the reality of a considerably slower process is a concern. So we’ve recently been adopting a range of low-key marketing strategies that fall somewhere between a shout and a silence.

Bridging the gap between ‘discreet marketing’ and ‘full-on marketing’, ‘low-key-marketing’ allows some publicity, but clever photography and descriptions mean that few people are able to identify the exact property that is for sale. This means we can market to a much wider audience, but the vendor can stay private, and we can retain the possibility of a full marketing launch at a later date.

We fully expect this trend to grow. So buyers who have previously been able to do a vast amount of research on a property – identifying the location on a map, doing a Google street view assessment, looking at historical sales values, and having an in-person sleuth around the property itself – will have to first go through a vetting procedure with us. As agents, we’re very pro this route – we don’t want our vendors to have time-wasters inflicted on them; and serious buyers don’t have a problem, preferring to build a relationship with us so that we don’t waste their time showing them unsuitable property. Many buyers prefer to buy a property without everyone knowing exactly what it looks like and how much they’ve paid.

At Crayson, our entire philosophy is built upon providing a made-to-measure service that suits the individual vendor, whatever their requirements. Our marketing programmes are customised for the property and for the vendor; we refuse to market property on a ‘one size fits all’ basis. When confidentiality is a prime requisite, we have ways of attracting buyers willing to pay the best price, without attracting attention. But when it’s called for, we’re good at making a lot of noise too.

Nick Crayson