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Give your mid-level property the premium marketing treatment

High level marketing is not just for expensive properties

  • Steve Kelso
  • 22nd May 2023

Whether the real estate market is on the climb or cooling off, marketing a property is both a simple recipe and a complex equation - regardless of price.

Steve Kelso, MD of New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Nelson-Tasman, tells how to make premium marketing work for selling mid-range properties.

You only need to read the daily headlines to see we are in the midst of a shift in the New Zealand property market. Despite this, one thing remains constant and that is the importance of effective marketing in achieving a premium sale price for a property.

As a property agent with many years in the industry (building, buying and selling property), I have seen the market evolve and change in many ways, but making a memorable impression always leads to success. It can be challenging for mid-level properties to elevate their presentation for sale. In this article, I look at ways to apply the premium marketing treatment to any property regardless of its location or price point. 

Immaculate presentation will set your property apart 

It's worth considering the analogy of selling a car. If you were to sell your car in the next five minutes without spending any time or energy preparing it, would it sell for less than if you spent the weekend making it presentable? The same principle applies to properties, and in a more challenging market, attention to detail and presentation can make all the difference.

Virtual Staging

A capable and professional agent can suggest ways to elevate the appearance of your property so that it impresses in real life, in print, and on screen.

A de-cluttered room, furniture staging, tidy lawn edges and fresh paint are all easy enhancements. It doesn’t matter if the property is a heritage manor or family home; this is the extra 10 per cent that will make buyers take a second look.

The power of a professional agent

The notion of premium marketing may conjure up ideas of professional photography and full-page ads. While these are ideas to consider, there is much more to it. In my experience, premium marketing tells the story of the home and conveys the value and lifestyle that a buyer could experience if it were their home.


A rustic bach can benefit from this strategy as much as a beach-front mansion. If this can be captured and shown to the audience by your agent, an elevated experience will result. 

However, before you can get a buyer to view the property, they must find it. An agent well-versed in matching a home with the appropriate marketing channels is a great asset. They look at the position of the house in the market, who the ideal buyer would be and suggest tactics from there.

A retirement home could generate phone calls from a print ad whereas a modern unit might capture email enquiries from Facebook ads targeting young couples.

Buyers are time-poor and want to see the value at a glance. Online presence is particularly critical for properties in the mid-range of the market where we typically see buyers responding to a range of marketing, whether it's ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, the multitude of real estate websites or direct mailouts to databases. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, buyers have become comfortable with virtual tours and online viewings, making it essential to have an effective online presence that showcases the property to its fullest potential.

Create a lasting impression: the role of quality imagery 

Most people’s first impression of your property will be on screen so premium social-media-worthy content is key for a successful sale.


A great photographer will focus on unique features and views, take dusk images and use techniques to enhance small rooms and special spaces.

This creates the sense of a quality product, which brings with it a sense of trust that the product is well designed and suitable for purpose. It is imperative in this market that trust is established early in the process. When a buyer has trust, they stop looking for problems and start looking for possibilities. 

Capture a buyer's emotions and imagination

Once you have the buyer's attention, this is where communication and connection come in. An experienced agent will be able to impart the value of a property on many levels – whether it's location, value for money, quality of life or future opportunities. There are many ways to communicate value beyond just the asking price. Pricing is important but most certainly not always the most important deciding factor. 

This is where the skill of a premium agent comes in, someone who knows the area so well they can speak confidently on the wonderful lifestyle it will deliver. This may mean highlighting the property's proximity to national parks, award-winning restaurants, and high-performing schools, as well as its best features, such as its architecture or architect, special timbers in its quality construction, imported tiling or hardware, a superbly landscaped pool or an unparalleled view. This can help create a sense of exclusivity and luxury for potential buyers and potentially position your middle-level property as a premium option in a competitive market.

By showing a property to its fullest potential with clear communication of the property's value, an agent with personal knowledge of the local area, excellent negotiation skills, effective marketing across all digital channels, and high-quality imagery, a mid-market vendor can elevate their property above the rest.

It is not the price of the property but the perceived value and lifestyle that comes with it.


Steve Kelso New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty

Steve Kelso - Managing Director, Nelson-Tasman
Steve's 30 year property career is highlighted by his authentic manner, powerful negotiation skills and drive to get the job done; all traits he's passing onto his elite Nelson team. View his profile here.