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AU Don't forget passive buyers

Property Here - Monday, August 19, 2013

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Andrew Winter is the host of  on Lifestyle

Andrew Winter is the host of on Lifestyle Source: Supplied

RECENTLY, a new term has emerged - the "passive buyer''.

I was unfamiliar with the term until this week, but as soon as it was explained to me it made sense.

So what is a passive buyer?

We are all potential passive buyers - it is a rather large, if unpredictable group.

You may have been a passive buyer before, but you cannot know if you will be one in the future.

The very definition means you will not know this is about to happen. It occurs without warning, preparation and, in some scary scenarios, without due diligence.

A passive buyer is someone who acts for no other reason than they see a property that is completely amazing for them and they buy it.

They can be the family searching for a four-bedroom home with pool and garden in a leafy suburb who suddenly buy a unit by the sea, the couple looking for a suburban home who without notice buy a hobby farm, or the urban cool funkster who suddenly buys a renovator's delight on the edge of town.

A passive buyer isn't prompted to act, nor can they be predicted. Out of the blue they see a home they fall in love with and they leap in.

They have been seduced by something they didn't know existed, or was within their budget. Or they may not have considered the area.

If you are selling, they can be a useful group to know about.

We are filming another season of Selling Houses Australia for Foxtel's Lifestyle Channel, which is how I came to learn about this new buyer demographic.

In the modern world much of our property research is pretty focused - it has to be due to the sheer volume of data available.

We focus on areas; we look at block size, property type, etc.

We look for bedroom numbers, parking options, new and old.

If we don't, then you need to take a week off work just to go through the volume of information at your fingertips and that is just too overwhelming.

But as the property we are working on does not fit the standard categories, there is a strong chance our buyer doesn't know yet they are looking for a property like it.

They may have never considered the idea of something like it, never knew it even existed, or because they are not even really in the market at all yet.

That means that this kind of property needs a broadcast marketing campaign.

A broader campaign will attract buyers from all areas and attract attention even from those who didn't want to buy right now, but fall in love with the opportunity.

I have been a passive buyer.

It occurs when you see a property that fulfils a brief you didn't even know you had. If you find yourself in this situation, don't be scared.

Take a breath, do your research and get to understand the location, median prices of standard homes in the area etc, so you can make a full and proper assessment.

Sellers of these types of properties need to be aware and honest. If you think your property is not ``typical'' in any way, you may need to attract passive buyers, which means a bigger, not a smaller marketing campaign.

A standard online listing will not be enough.

You will need to spend more, not less, on attracting buyers to your home with promotion both residentially, and possibly commercially.

And the good old real estate section in your local paper is essential - because that is where passive buyers browse.

I wonder how many of you have been a passive buyer and now just realise it?

Andrew Winter is the host of Selling Houses Australia on Lifestyle.

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