Marketing a Typical Alaska Home -vs- a Luxury Alaska Home

Luxury homes, whether in Alaska or elsewhere, need impeccable marketing campaigns, of that there is no question. The photos need to be stunning, and any video(s) should reflect not just the size of the home, but also the benefits of living in that particular area (ski resorts, beaches, state or national parks or metropolitan life). David McHugh, a real estate agent with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado, says :

“Affluent consumers today are focused not just on a great property, but on the lifestyle that the property will provide their family How do they see their family using the property? Will this property be a draw for their immediate and extended family to use for family gatherings?”

This video tour for a luxury ski resort property is a great example of showcasing the location and the property:

A floor plan would definitely be benefical also, specially if the home is large or has a unique layout. A unique marketing campaign which incorporates a party at the open home would bring attention to the listing as well. This is great, any realtor would be fully comfortable with this approach when selling a multimillion dollar listing. So what about the average home, shouldn’t they be given the same chance at a top market sale price as well?Commission"s for the selling agent are not as high, so the marketing budget won’t be as large, but a smart realtor will still know how to create a stellar marketing campaign for an average home while doing it all on a budget.

What should an Alaska realtor spend on photography and marketing?

Laura Ure, real estate marketing expert, says:

“If the home being sold is for $2,000,000 could easily have $20,000 go into marketing it.”

What Laura suggests is spending about 1% of the sale price on the marketing of that home. That equates to a third of the commission, which is fine for a large listing. However it becomes more difficult for realtors selling homes in lower price brackets.Jerry Rossi, author of Dog Eat Dog & Vice Versa: 9 Secrets to Put the Bite Into Your Marketing,suggests:

“A good rule of thumb for real estate practitioners is that marketing budgets should equal about 10 percent of their commission income …”

Therefore with a 3% commission on the sale of a home, a marketing budget of 0.3% of the homes sale price should be utilized. This is achievable even for homes at the bottom end of the market. Let's walk through a few examples:

A Marketing Campaign For A $700,000 Property:

Assuming a marketing budget that is 0.3% of the sale price = $2100This is a healthy marketing budget, with which a realtor should be able to provide:20 high-quality photosA video tour of the home and surrounding areaA floorplanFlyers… and still have enough left over budget for an online ad campaign and more.

A Marketing Campaign For A $200,000 Property:

Assuming a marketing budget that is 0.3% of the sale price = $600This is a tighter marketing budget, but one with which a realtor should still be able to provide:10 high-quality photosA short video tour of the homeSo although the marketing would not be as thorough as a larger property, a smart realtor can still deliver a marketing campaign that stands out as among the best in that particular price range.

A Marketing Campaign For An $85,000 Property:

This is a very low-priced home, or possibly vacant land. When I did a quick search of current homes for sale across the US in that price range, there were very, very few homes around that price that were presenting immaculate images. To show you what I mean, here’s a sample of homes I found in that price range, and you’ll notice that most of them feature homes that present images that were taken by the real estate agent or homeowner. However, the listing that I found in Dallas features great images, and it really stands out as excellent value for a buyer in this price range:

So what could an agent that wants to stand out do?

Assuming a marketing budget that is 0.3% of the sale price = $255That doesn’t leave much room at all, but an agent should still be able to provide:6-10 high-quality photosMany realtors wouldn’t even bother to spend that much. At the lower end of the market, a high-quality marketing campaign is going to stand out head and shoulders above every other listing on the market, simply because no-one else is spending money advertising there. So when those buyers and investors are scrolling through their search results, looking at homes for sale in that sub-$100K range, a property with just few a few exceptional images is going to immediately get noticed.


Never neglect the visual marketing of a home just because it is average to low-cost. Sure, it’s easy to justify spending thousands of dollars on a million dollar listing. However, it should be just as easy to justify spending a few hundred dollars on any listing at any price. Every home deserves to be shown at its best! The photos you use in a real estate marketing campaign sginificantly impact the number of buyers you attract, which will impacts the sale price. It will also impact how buyers and sellers perceive that agent. Unless you want to sell your homes, and yourself, short of their full potential, bring in a professional real estate photographer for every single listing you have. The numbers and bottom line will work well for you if you do.


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