What sets your property apart?

Special to the Packet and GazetteFebruary 10, 2013 

The recent Super Bowl commercials represent a fantastic lesson in marketing real estate property. Whether you have real estate that is listed for sale or you own a Lowcountry rental property, the companies that spend at least $3 million for a 30 second impression on more than 100 million people have created some interesting ideas on differentiating products from the competition.

The marketing companies that are retained to create the high powered Super Bowl advertising understand that they have to execute a specific message to consumers that explains why to choose their products over others in their class.

Yes, as with Super Bowl advertising, the key to marketing properties is all about differentiation. What sets your property apart from other similar properties? Why does a prospective renter or buyer choose your property over other similar properties that are available? It ultimately has to do with the factors that are different about your property that appeal to those who wish to rent or purchase it.

The great management guru Peter Drucker said that competitive advantage is created by differentiation. Competitive advantage through differentiation can be achieved by one of three methods: competition based on price, competition based on quality or competition based on the uniqueness of the offering.

PRICE Competing on price is all about creating buyer purchase value for your listing or rental. If you can price your real estate listing or rental below other offerings that are comparable, today's value driven economy and consumers will respond with solid demand for your property. Price competition is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to achieve the objectives of a motivated property owner; however the owner has to beware of the potential loss of a portion of the return on investment associated with this strategy. Competing on price creates the risk of leaving money on the table.

QUALITY Competing on quality means requiring a premium price because of location, quality of construction and/or the interior design and overall appeal of a property. Choosing this strategy enables marketing to those who want only the best properties to consider and are willing to pay for the best quality that money can buy. Competing on quality requires attention to every detail and accentuating the stunning aspects and potential emotional and experiential connections of a property.

UNIQUENESS With uniqueness, the focus is on those things that add value through creating a difference for a property. This can include offering free bikes, packaging in special event tickets or discounts for local businesses in a rental scenario. In real estate, uniqueness can be achieved by special improvements to the property, expert landscaping and even incentives for agents to show and participate in the owner's objectives for selling the property.

As a Lowcountry property owner, there are lessons that can be learned from marketing companies that create high dollar Super Bowl advertising that set their clients apart from the competition. The key to marketing your property is to create a specific message and value proposition that appeal to potential renters and buyers. As always, consult a local licensed vacation rental manager or licensed Realtor to achieve the best results.

Robert Stenhammer has been a resort executive for more than 15 years. He is the president of Hilton Head Accommodations.

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