“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
I bet your wondering how that idea relates to real estate in Costa Rica? Well, simply put… if there was ever a time for property owners and real estate agents in this marketplace to be “innovative,” it’s now.
LISTING IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP
Here’s how listing a property usually unfolds in The Zone—
- Step One: Call up The Guys and set up an appointment to preview the property.
- Step Two: Determine if an Open Listing or a Modified Exclusive Listing is appropriate for you.
- Step Three: Wait for The Guys to bring you a buyer.
The problem is that Step Three is taking much longer than most Sellers anticipated.
LOOKING BEYOND PRICE
We all know reducing the list price is the easiest way to increase property showings, offers, and sales. However, if your property is in the ballpark of current market value and it is being shown but not selling, there could be other reasons limiting the sale.
Here at the Guys office, we continue to ask ourselves what can we do to speed up the sales process? At the risk of sounding trite, one answer is: “think outside the box.” Here’s an example of how The Guys have applied this idea.
Ben started his Costa Rica blog in 2003 (before many of us knew what a blog was), and it helped increase traffic to his website Dominical.biz. A few years later, The Guys began posting regular articles about Costa Rica real estate. We created a Talk Show, first in the form of a podcast, then live video. We re-designed our websites. We ramped up our Social Marketing efforts (Facebook and Twitter). We even moved our office to a prime locale in central Uvita. Safe to say, “thinking outside the box” is why I’m still here writing this article.
A PICTURE IS WORTH A 1,000 WORDS
The spark for this article was provided by a property owner of a lovely, ocean view property (search for “ocean view” on our website and you’ll get a return of 80+ properties) called El Brenõn. In addition to monthly chopping (perhaps grooming is more accurate), the owner recently differentiated his offering by providing us and potential buyers with renderings of a unique home design for this sloping lot. I added these renderings to the web listing, and I have them in-hand when I show the property.
If you are selling raw land or a lot in this marketplace, it needs to be chopped. Most clients are reluctant to tromp through tall grasses to get to the building site, nor are they favorably impressed when the view is obscured. Yes, regular chopping has a cost and many property owners will say, “I can’t afford to pay someone to chop my lot 4 times per year.” Our response to that statement is “Can you afford not to?”
If you own a house, it needs to be clean and tidy inside-and-out. It doesn’t have to be immaculate, but I’ve never heard any buyer say, “That house was too clean for my taste.” In some cases houses need to be repainted and/or landscaped. Some home owners will even have coffee and cookies waiting for us when we arrive with clients. It’s a smart strategy, because like my uncle (with years of real estate experience in California) always tells me, ‘You have to give them the experience.’ Ten minutes of sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee and a cookie can do wonders for a sale.
MAKE IT EASY
This article isn’t about seller financing or price reductions, although they can translate into more property showings, offers, and sales. This article is about what happens when the clients arrive at the property. How does it move them?
If you make buyers use their imagination, you’re going to lose most of them. Give them every opportunity to fall in love with the stylish finishes of your home or a clear view of the building areas. If buyers are in Costa Rica, or even visiting our website looking for real estate, they are already thinking outside the box.
My first visit to Costa Rica was in 2002. I immediately fell in love with the warmth of the climate and people. After spending two weeks in San Jose, Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side, and Tamarindo in Guanacaste, I knew there was a good chance I would return sooner than later. Sooner came just 6 months later when my uncle mentioned he was flying down to Costa Rica to close on a piece of property in the Southern Pacific Zone. On that trip I found my own piece of paradise above the small town of San Buenaventura, home to the San Buenas Golf Resort. Two years and 8 trips later, I decided to move to Costa Rica full time. Every day I am thankful for that decision.