Does Your Real Estate Have “Potential?”

“Wow – that house has great potential!”

We’ve all heard it before! In fact – pretty much every real estate listing that looks ugly or unattractive appears to have “Great Potential” these days. At least according to the Sellers or the listing agents. But let’s face it, the word potential is just a dolled up way of saying “I don’t know what to do with it” or “I’m too lazy to do it – so you figure it out!”

So regardless of whether or not your real estate has great potential, simply saying those words is no longer good enough! It’s like putting the word “green” or “eco” in front of your Company name. The words sound great, but they are so overused (green-washed) that they have lost much of their brand identity or appeal. You need to actually prove to customers what you are saying and no longer rely on simply saying it! Remember, buyers are smart and have plenty of options, so they don’t need to waste their time doing the leg work around this mystery potential themselves.

So how does this translate into action?

Well, it means you can’t simply say the words “great potential” and expect everyone to buy in. You need to show them that your real estate has great potential. Whether that means doing a little bit of the work yourself, or just providing them with a physical mock-up / sketch of what could be – you need to give them something to start with.

Let’s face it, some of us have vision and some of us don’t. Some of us can see “what could be” while others may only see rotten wood and dead grass. Why chance losing a buyer simply because they can’t see what $500 and a weekend worth of sweat equity can do?

Your vision may not be the same as what they want or see, but it will almost certainly be better than what is currently there.

Having worked professionally in commercial real estate for many years, I’ve seen this problem over and over again. We would be touring a potential business / tenant through our vacant industrial, retail, office – whatever it may be – and all they would see was blank walls and old carpet. As much as I tried to verbalize what the space would look like with their signage, their colors and their tenant improvements completed – the majority simply have a very hard time seeing anything other than what they are looking at.

The answer?

We send off the tenant’s branding information to our design teams and within a day, we have a mock up design of our vacant building showing exactly what that tenant’s business would look like inside our empty space. We didn’t have to spend big bucks renovating the units prior to securing a tenancy – we just needed to show our potential tenants via a single re-designed photo, how good they would look in our space.

But you don’t need your own design team on staff to make a great impression. Talk to a local graphic arts student, ask friends and family if anyone knows how to use photoshop, or hire an affordable designer through any number of great online resources.

Helping home-owners and property owners achieve that basic “vision” should be simple and cost effective. As the home handymen and handywomen out there know – there is nothing worse than painting the house or installing new patio tiles – only then to notice that maybe your color choice wasn’t so great.

So whether for yourself or for a potential buyer – spend the time creating a vision (or a few visions) of what could be. Because when all is said and done, great potential is only worth so much. Great results on the other hand…