Have you noticed how backstories are a major part of marketing today?
An artisan chocolate bar will have a tale of its origins and how its creators turned a secret Madagascan recipe into a global confectionary icon, while an ethical clothing label will gush about its naturally-sourced fabrics and virtuous production lines. None of this is coincidence: any marketing guru will tell you that a good backstory can turn a backstreet business into a worldwide brand.
Well, you have a story too, and it’s one that could easily boost the allure of your home and the speed of an offer. Buyers and tenants are looking at more than simply bricks and mortar; they’re looking to write the entire next chapter of their lives. There is some truth in like-minded people being attracted to similar homes, so your experience of having lived where you live could well be the essential hook in catching someone’s eye.
Stories come in all shapes and sizes – from the way you use a property to the way you enjoy the neighbourhood – and you don’t need tales of raucous celebrity parties to garner someone’s interest: often it’s tiny details that you might take for granted that can resonate the most.
Let’s say your living room faces east and gets the morning sun: how does that look in your daily life? “We love to have our morning coffee here because it’s so bright and wakes us up. It’s a great to check the news and emails before heading out to work”. A large open plan dining kitchen might be big and sparkly, but has it had some more personal benefits? “We can see the kids playing while we’re cooking, and it gives the family lots of time together.” Optional – and unlikely – extra: “without phones.”
Have you made improvements that have purely practical benefits – “insulating the loft has cut the energy bill in half” – or that are inspired by a famous grand design: perhaps an East London version of Kim and Kanye’s mystifying bathroom basins (if this has passed you by, it’s well worth Googling). Any personal passion or need that you’ve fulfilled through upgrading your property can gain gravitas with a story: a professional kitchen range for a qualified chef’s concoctions; a hi-tech cinema room for a director’s late night edits; a fully-stacked exercise studio for a personal trainer’s practice.
And what about going back to before the property was yours? Is there an interesting history of owners, guests or events? These are not just potential enhancers of value; they can add colour and life to viewings and help your property stay in people’s minds.
Finally, what have you loved the most about living where you live? Having Wanstead Flats on your doorstep from Leytonstone or Forest Gate? The Francis Road shops in Leyton Village? The lovely leafiness of Wanstead? Is there a café where you always see your neighbours and where the carrot cake is divine, or do you prefer a particular pub for an evening pint or Sunday lunch? Maybe you’ve discovered the perfect cycle route – for commuting or for pleasure – or a brilliant kindergarten, sports club or social group.
Telling your tales helps your estate agent paint a picture of life in your home: they enrich the viewing experience and help buyers and tenants remember your property long after they’ve left. So think about the memories and tell us all you can.
If you are thinking of selling or renting a property in Leytonstone, Wanstead, Leyton or Forest Gate, we’d love to hear your story.