John Sage

The #1 Sales and Marketing Advice You Need For Real Estate: It’s NOT About You!

How do you convince people to part with their hard-earned money? I’m asking YOU, right now: how have you persuaded another person to pay for something that you’re selling?

You might be scrambling in your memory for that time you were selling $2 chocolate bars for a fundraiser.

Or you might have experience in the brutal world of telemarketing or door-to-door sales.

Or perhaps you’ve never stood in the fire of sales, and certainly never had to sell something worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Real estate and property investment can be very lucrative – if you know how to sell. However, they’re worth nothing if nobody wants to pay you money for them. I’ve built multi-million-dollar property investment and development businesses using my own marketing and sales channels. Not only that, but the skillset that gave me that success also enables me to secure high-level meetings and create audiences for my products. In short, I also know how to earn people’s time.

You need to be able to do these things to succeed, and I can show you how.

John Sage sales and marketing

A Sales Mindset

The first think you need to understand is that to sell anything you need to stop prioritising your product.

Yes, you heard correctly.

I’m aware that you know your product or service inside and out. You know all the ways that it beats the competition. You know that it’s a no-brainer and people will buy if they only knew about it.

But it’s not about what you know, it’s about what your audience needs.

We all have this image of a master salesman, big white smile and silver tongue, putting their audience under their spell. Next thing you know, the audience is blindly handing over its money, and hey presto, we have business success.

This illusion is straight out of the 80’s, which is the last time any part of this worked to sell anything.

Some elements of sales never go out of style – unlike a Miami Vice white blazer. You will always need perseverance to survive, as sales is never yes after yes after yes.

So here’s the scoop.

Tenacity and confidence are essential, but more than that, you’ve got to be able to offer people value.

If I can’t understand my audience and genuinely solve a problem for them, then I need to go back to the drawing board and improve my offering! Why on earth would I waste my time spruiking something if I’m not 100% sure that enough people want it?

Even the most seemingly useless products that make millions for their owners needed to find a way to connect with their audience’s needs. You can only do that if you have a solid understanding of the people you want to sell to.


Everyone needs a place to live and work in, that’s true. In theory, with real estate, you have a product that people need. But think about these factors:

  • Do people want the type of property you’re selling/renting? Whether it be a house, apartment, unit, office, etc.
  • Is it in a desirable area for your audience?
  • Is your target market happy to pay the price you’re asking?

Answering these questions is just the start of developing an understanding of your audience. People these days are savvy shoppers. They don’t want to be told what they want, they want you to understand them, anticipate their needs, and already have a product that eases their pain.

You need to find out these things. Only then can you turn to your product and be able to honestly say, “Yes, my audience needs this.”

John Sage sales and marketing

Projection and Connection

Unless you have a large captive audience that loves doing surveys, it’s unlikely that you have a tonne of accurate data on your target market. If you already have an engaged audience that can help you with this information, well done you! Get that information and tailor your product and marketing to suit them.

If you don’t have that information, you’re going to need to do some research and use your imagination. It’s time to create a client avatar, or client persona. This is a profile of your ideal client, if your dream customer were to walk through the door right now, it would be this person.

Generally speaking, you want to find the following information about your target market:

  • What age range are they in?
  • Where do they live?
  • What’s their income?
  • What’s their job?
  • What are their goals?
  • What are their challenges?
  • How do they get their information/Where do they socialise?
  • How does your product/property solve their problem/s better than anything else?

To begin gathering these answers, use what you have:

  • Your existing customers. They have experience with you and your brand, and it’s likely that at least some of them will be your client persona. Also, when I suggest talking with your customers, I don’t just mean people who love your brand. You also need to speak with customers who have been critical of what you do. If anything, their feedback will be of the most interest, as it could lead to you discovering areas where you can improve your offering to suit and help more people.
  • Potential clients. In addition to people who know your product or property, you want to find out what your prospective clients are like – who they are, what their concerns are, what they are thinking about your product. These might be people who are on your contacts or mailing list but haven’t dealt with you directly before. Your contacts might also be able to put you in touch with people who may be ideal for your questions, so ask around.

To further flesh out the data on your target clients, visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website. My favourite to kick things off is the QuickStats section.

To put it all together, there are plenty of online templates you can use to create a useful document. This buyer persona template from HubSpot also gives you additional tips for sourcing information on your clients.

Once you’ve completed that, you have a basic buyer persona to be able to better speak to your target audience.

John Sage sales and marketing

Sales and Marketing Basics

Obviously the best thing you can do for your sales and marketing is obtaining a property that you know people want. You did your proper client persona research, so you have a desirable product!

Now that you have a product that’s in demand, you can think about some sales and marketing tactics. These could include:

  • Building a professional website showcasing your property or properties
  • Creating opt-ins to gather e-mail addresses
  • Establishing a social media presence, sharing quality content and strategically using paid ads
  • Listing on

When it comes to deciding how to reach your target audience, use the research you’ve done and get in front of where they already are. If you know they read certain publications, or are fans of certain blogs, or move in certain circles, then half your work is done!

In regard to how to communicate with your target audience, the best advice I can give you goes back to what we’ve been talking about – write for your audience. If you bought this property because you know your ideal customer wants open-plan living, talk about that. If you know your ideal clients are young families, include plenty of attractive images of the living spaces and any play/outdoor space. If you know your audience wants a convenient location, make sure you list everything it is near and the respective distances.

Whatever you do, keep your client at the centre, and make it easy for them to understand what you’re offering and communicate with you.

The Ultimate Product: You

When it comes down to it, people relate to you as a person. The people who go on to purchase from me talk about liking my professionalism and friendly personality. They were engaged and informed by the opt-ins, e-mails, website, and so on, but when it’s time to part with their money, it’s the relationship and humanity that matter.

People buy from people. If you are genuine about wanting to deliver value to others, even above making money, that will come across.

Meet the people you want to sell to. Invite them to personally show them around the property. Make yourself available to questions. Get back to people. Whenever you can add the personal touch, do that. It will make you memorable and real to people and make it more probable that they’ll want to give you their money.

Sensitive New Age Salesperson. With Balls.

One of my favourite sales and marketing quotes is from author, salesman, and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar:

“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Successful sales and marketing aren’t about greed or self-centredness. Quite the opposite. They’re about determination to understand your audience and serve their needs so well that it becomes profitable.

Empathy, kindness, and compassion are the cornerstones of human-centred selling, which is what today’s consumers are responding to. It’s really what they’ve always responded to, but folks in sales and marketing can sometimes lose sight of the things that matter. The next new, shiny object in sales can’t replace our audience’s intrinsic need to be understood.

In my work with Adpen, I spend much of my days face to face with people. Be it meetings, Skype calls, or running a workshop, I do what works, and getting to know people works.

If you have any other questions about sales and marketing for real estate, come say hello at our next free property training event. You can also always get in touch with me at