The essentials of modern real estate marketing

Article from 28.01.2022

There are a number of factors to be considered in terms of marketing real estate in our digital era. However, this does not necessarily mean that finding potential buyers has become more difficult. Many aspects of the selling process have been made easier and more efficient.


The current developments on the Swiss real estate market speak a clear language: Already before the pandemic, demand has been higher than supply, and it continues to be that way.  And while there are still many interested parties for any property being advertised, more and more potential buyers seem to be biding their time. Some of them have put a stop to their search or have decided to wait a little longer to see where the regional market and the prices might be going - which in the best case is further up.


New generations, new laws

Additionally, real estate agents in Switzerland are observing a trend towards shorter holding periods for properties. Younger generations back away from owning a house or apartment for life, which hitherto seemed to be a tradition set in stone. The trend towards so-called off-market transactions is another phenomenon: Properties are being sold “underhand”, with certain real estate agencies working with internal lists. As well as being a special feature, digital quotation management is a new trend  that sees properties being passed on to the highest bidder in a bidding process.


Another trend can be observed in terms of renovation prior to a sale, with many purchasing parties calculating costs for potential alterations, which is why previous owners should not spend too much time and money on refurbishing their property last-minute.  New owners want to realise their own ideas and wishes after the purchase. Generally speaking, any property should be closely inspected with regards to its structural condition; however, it does not really make sense to completely refurbish a traditional single-family home just before selling it as costs and returns won’t add up.


Professional cosmetic changes, for instance on the living room’s parquet flooring, on tiles and gaps in the bathroom or on the wall paint are ideal to achieve major effects with relatively little effort. The initial appearance as well as all documents related to the house or apartment are what matters when wanting to sell a property. The latter includes the year of construction, exact address and a detailed floor plan as well as information regarding heating and additional costs. In case of condominium ownership, this also includes information regarding the renewal fund and investments in recent years, while for houses cubature as well as exact property size are important. It is not advisable to omit significant issues, neither for agents nor for selling parties. Some may claim that “honesty does not pay off” - however, this is definitely not true when selling real estate.


How to reduce the period of marketing 

The period of advertising property can be reduced significantly thanks to certain digital solutions. These include, amongst others, a virtual 360-degree-tour or the visualisation of a new building’s interior. There is a wide range of digital tools available, such as the virtual “home staging”, which allows for an aesthetically pleasing presentation of existing apartments to potential buyers. In case of redevelopment properties it may make sense to compile a before- and after-visualisation that can provide first glimpses of the future look. Videos of existing buildings including drone footage are another increasingly popular option.


An important marketing aspect to be kept in mind when placing ads: Major platforms such as Homegate, ImmoScout24, Comparis or Newhome all have their regional strengths and weaknesses. Depending on city, region or canton, different platforms are better or worse than others and there are significant differences in terms of reach and use. At the end of the day it all boils down to the crucial question of the final price. Real estate agents have the following message: In terms of real estate marketing, the “POA” (price upon application) has clearly served its time.


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