The rules of online dating suggest your profile shouldn’t mislead suitors with old photos or filtered close-ups distorted by creative camera angles. And when you sell your couch on Craigslist, it’s best to disclose that red wine stain.
The same goes for how to market your house. Nearly all generations of home buyers begin their house hunt online now, giving you the opportunity to draw them in with magazine-worthy photos splashed across the web and a digital marketing blitz that pulls out all the stops.
But buyers won’t make an offer until they’ve stood in your house physically, at which point they’ll see right through your fisheye-lens photos, overblown list price, and lipstick you tried to put on the pig. Apart from selling directly to a cash buyer, you’ll need to know the rules of the marketing game to match motivated buyers with your home.
Follow these dos and don'ts from top agents who sell homes faster than their peers and you'll have a flattering but realistic strategy that targets your ideal buyer in less time.
Every home—from luxury waterfront estates to the average house on the block— deserves a special marketing plan to give it the widest possible exposure. Your agent’s in charge of developing a well-rounded strategy to reach buyers at multiple touch points, in person, and on the web. Don’t settle for anything less!
You should expect your agent to:
Help you take amazing photos.
Your agent will hire a professional photographer from their network to capture high-quality listing photos with a DSLR camera and tripod.
No, smartphone photos won’t cut it, even if you have the latest and greatest technology. The lighting, angles, and details need to be just right.
Spread the word about your listing online.
“When a home goes into the MLS, it’s syndicated to all of the other real estate websites,” says Mary Jo Santistevan, who’s sold over 81% more properties in Phoenix than the average agent and ranks as the #1 Agent/Team for all of Berkshire Hathaway Home Service agents in Arizona.
“You definitely need to have a strong online presence and high-quality marketing because it’s a reflection of the home’s high quality.”
Your listing should appear on Zillow, Realtor, Trulia, Homesnap, and your agent’s local public-facing MLS at the very least.
Create social media campaigns.
Your agent needs to be well-versed in the top social media channels for real estate, most importantly Facebook and Instagram, to generate buzz and raise your home’s visibility in your area.
Check to see if they’re using all tools in their toolbox, like demographic targeting, hashtags and location tags, catchy copy, and stunning visuals.
Put out the for-sale sign!
Catch the eye of any house hunters who may be out for a walk or on a casual Sunday drive with a trusty for-sale sign in the yard.
Go all out with 3-D tours and single-property websites
Even better if your agent can create a single-property website to show off all of its marketing collateral, such as your home’s virtual or 3-D tour, property video, listing description, and stunning photos.
Put together print advertising materials.
“For every home I sell, I create a high-quality flyer for buyers to take with them,” says Santistevan. “You don’t know how many homes buyers are seeing on the same day. And when they’re reviewing the homes later, that first-class, heavy cardstock brochure with the great photos that I created for my listing triggers a positive emotional response for those buyers.”
Got these basics down pat? Now you just need to make sure your marketing materials reflect what your home has to offer.
These 10 dos and don’ts will keep you on track.
The asking price you land on sets the foundation for your marketing plan.
To pin down that price, your agent performs a comparative market analysis, which evaluates homes recently sold in your area that are comparable to yours in lot size, square footage, number of rooms, etc. Think of this report as more than a tool to price your home—it’s evidence of how your home stands out (if it does).
Let’s say your house or lot is larger, or you have more rooms or upgrades than other recently sold homes. Or say the nearby comps sold more than 6 months ago, when home values were lower—the CMA will deliver this proof that your home is worth more.
When a home is rightfully priced higher than others currently listed or recently sold, your agent goes to work spreading the message via word of mouth, broker tours, and in the listing description.
But if your CMA shows that your house offers nothing special over your neighbors, and its positioning on a steep hill or proximity to a power line actually knocks off value points, then the proof is in the pudding and you need to price it right.
Overpricing your home is never a good idea. It forces you to make detrimental price reductions and makes marketing your house an uphill battle.
Spoiler: You can’t just pick a number that “feels right” or tell buyers that the internet says your house is worth this much like a used-car salesman selling a clunker with a fresh coat of paint.
Remember, online home valuations give you a ballpark estimate to use as a starting point, not your final listing price. And your “wonderful family home for 30 years” plays to buyers’ emotions but little Sally and Joey’s childhoods and your Thanksgiving memories alone won’t support a lofty price.
If you have a legitimate reason to price your home above the comps, there needs to be proof to back your message.
Owners Direct is setting a new trend for promoting, advertising and marketing. We encourage your postings to be shareable, relatable, professional, and eye-catching to enhance every member’s experience. Having a well-designed and professional-looking posting, advertisement or profile can have a huge impact on how many leads your efforts are able to generate. Our members anticipate sharing us in their social circles to captivate direct and promising prospects with an ever-growing community of owners allowing buyers to find the right source at the right price making Owner’s Direct a prominent and thriving community.
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