Posted by: housingdabble | October 1, 2010

Scarcity – The Rule of the Few

With property, the scarcity rule should be an easy principle to use to influence, simply because there is only one of every property available – no two are the same – and so you shouldn’t need to be too clever to exploit it

When things are scarce, we want them – If something is unique it seems we find it even more desirable.

Foxtons have embraced this idea and have a concept that they market magnificently and here’s how they do it:-

Step one: Sell it to the vendor

They highlight that the first day a property is on the market is the day it is most appealing to buyers. They then identify their market strategy to take advantage of this fact as being HIGH IMPACT

I love the subtle messaging that they use to convey their ideas:

“We have a register of thousands of active buyers, so we can invite only the most serious buyers to your Preview”

These previews last less than an hour and what an impact to have a collection of serious buyers around your property, all collectively cooing over it and not wanting to miss out – As a vendor would that concept appeal to you?…

Step Two: Sell it to viewers

“Foxtons Fresh – Get your invitation to an exclusive preview of some of the latest properties to come onto the market.

Every week, we hold Fresh Previews for a selection of properties that are about to be launched onto the market. These properties are offered solely through Foxtons and places are limited, so please make a reservation by calling 0800 369 8667 to avoid disappointment”

Exclusive… preview… limited… FRESH…

The idea of open house type viewings might not be drastically different to the way other agents work, but it’s not only the idea that’s clever, it’s the execution of the idea that I really like.

Their aim is to have a minimum of ten viewers at every Fresh Preview and whilst I don’t know if they deliver on this for every property they market, I do know they have a great concept that they pitch superbly.


  1. It’s effectiveness is also boosted by the influence of having obvious competition for something that’s already being marketed by its scarcity value (the fact that all the attendees are there at the same time!).

    A great resource for further info is “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini.

    Worth a read, IMHO.

    • Michael, you are right it is an excellent book – I second that recommendation!


  2. I love the idea of the exclusivity – it’s that “velvet rope VIP culture” everybody wants to feel special. Absolutely fantastic marketing strategy by Foxtons

    • Thanks for the comment Sam – Glad you agree

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