Setting the scene
Marketing tips – Most real estate agents putting a property up for sale should understand the goal is to sell it in the shortest amount of time, for the most money and with minimal costs to the client or seller. Of course, achieving these goals is easier said than done.
Houses do not sell themselves!
Extra attention is needed for properties that are not polished and ready for presentation. A perfectly presented property pitched just below market price is a walk in the park to sell. For real estate agents, these factors are the perfect opportunity to make a quick buck.
These opportunistic sales are not normal and the sale process requires diligent effort and skill on the agent’s behalf while receiving meaningful direction and support by the owner.
Therefore, all of these sales and marketing techniques bring out the best in all parties to get the home sold and to achieve the stated goals.
This brings us to the purpose of this Guide to 22 knockout blows of marketing to sell a home and achieve the project goal of achieving the highest price, within the fastest time and with minimal cost and disruption.
Many people including real estate agents get lazy, or they have competing priorities when selling the property within a community vying for their time.
Some real estate agents get comfortable and aim to do as little as possible. The most professional conscientious agents will go over and above what is expected by the client because their work ethic is honourable.
These marketing tips provide a guide to homeowners and agents to get the job done. Follow these tips in the list provided below and you will significantly increase the probability of closing a sale contract in a timely manner.
1. Shop around for an agent
Finding the best agent is critical. Taking this process seriously will save you thousands of dollars and avoidable lost time. Interview at least 3 real estate consultants in your search.
2. Get the price right
Finding the right agent and setting the right price is the number one priority for a home seller and agent. It is close to the top of the list because it is the highest importance. Achieving your project goals starts with the right decision at this point.
3. Qualify the agent’s online brand
Agents that do not have a wow factor on their website, or don’t have a website at all, are not worthy of your business. We live in a digital world so the website is an essential tool for a great agent.
4. Check agents record
What is an agent’s current listing count? What are the average days on market? Does the agent have a great strike rate meaning ratio of houses listed v sold? What is the average discount rate or price drop record? Checking online rating systems is not the answer because they are often manipulated and unreliable.
5. Validate agent record
Just like recruiting an employee, check their experience by referencing other people that have worked with the agent. Be careful of agent recommendations.
6. Select agent based on partnership mindset
Working with the right personality that makes you feel positive they can get the job done, demonstrates their wares and satisfies your instincts of professionalism and a “no bullshit” approach is an agent with a partnership mindset.
Remember you pay for what you get so don’t focus on commission negotiation with the agent, before, during or after the project, unless they raise the idea. An agent leading their strategy based on their commission discount, unlawful or unethical tactics is a sign to get out of dodge.
7. Ask lots of questions
Find out how the agent will market your property. Online web and social media, traditional media like newspapers, flyers, database mining – tap into existing buyer pool, etc. Check what has been done with other sellers.
8. Review write-ups
Storytelling is a critical skill. Look for existing write-ups by the agent to determine creativity, structure and persuasive selling descriptions. Are they engaging and well done?
A picture tells 1000 words. Great photos are a must. Ask if they are produced by a professional photographer. This is the most important communication technique as well presented property online creates the only first impression sometimes.
Using video showcases a property with motion and character. With photography and great write-up, the video can bring a property to life in the digital age. Does the agent use video?
11. Photo carousel
This is an excellent way to present photos if the video is too expensive, or you are in a remote area where professional video producers are not available.
12. Floor plans
Questions about space and layout of the home design add technical expertise, buyer trust and certainty. This technique is increasing in popularity in the digital age for busy transit buyers with families, furniture or home-based business buyers. Does the agent compile floor plans?
13. Agent blog
Online search engines like Google love content. A blog extends the reach of the property profile on the internet. It offers a way to personalise the story of the property. All media can be used as a public relations piece. Does the agent contribute to internal and external blogs?
14. Video enabled drones
Drones are used for video and photography giving a bird’s eye view of the property and surrounding suburbs. They are all the rage at the moment, and if used wisely, provide a wow factor many agents without the technology struggle to match.
15. Virtual reality
Virtual reality is the latest technology allowing buyers to walk through a property in virtual 360-degree reality using their smartphone sitting on the beach. With a set of goggles and the right smartphone, buyers get a whole new perspective on the property.
The camera to produce the 4-dimensional image for virtual reality can be expensive, but professional photographers are adding them to their suite of services to agents. Is the agent leading innovation?
16. Shortwave radio
Close range radio transmitters enable audio snippets to be broadcast of the property features to passing buyers, within 100 metres of a property on the street. All cars have a standard car radio receiver. Good for multiple dwelling campaigns combined with the front of property signage and in-house brochures. Single dwelling campaigns this may not be viable.
17. Social media
Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, etc. can have a big impact on inquiries received about the property by the agent. They are both push and pull messaging tools that enable targeted advertising and are relatively cheap. Does the agent have at least 500-1000 followers?
Note: sometimes technology that takes away the personal contact of an agent is unfavourable
Having an excellent point of contact colour brochure is a must for an agent and private seller. It sets the tone and mood of buyers if they are given a gift or tangle paperwork to reference before, during and after viewing the property. Multi-list brochures, especially black and white, in the agent’s kit are a warning sign to steer clear.
Just listed campaigns in the form of personal letters, postcards, courtesy notes to neighbours helps sell your home because they either have family or friends seeking to move into their neck of the wood. Also, neighbours have a vested interest in the street getting the highest price. However, be aware of self-promoting agents because they leverage these campaigns to win new listings. Does the agent do mail outs?
Note: Agents suddenly listing multiple properties in your street after your mail out campaign can be an undesirable situation. Although competition is healthy, it may impact on your goals.
An honourable agent will provide you full disclosure of any conflicts of interest. It could also be a sign the agent is the right agent because they are genuinely better than other agents on the block.
20. Property website
Creating blog sites in Blogger or WordPress is free. Having an exclusive property website gives more options to market and promote the property online.
Agent blogs can achieve the same diversity but this option is more creative if you don’t have a blog.
21. Open houses
Open houses these days become more about an agent listing drive, gaining more business. In a digital world, open houses are not necessary unless convenient on the day of an auction strategy for example. Inspect by appointment is suitable. If you do open homes, protect your valuables.
22. On property signage
Signage prominently displayed at the front of the property with “For Sale” and the agent’s contact details, a signature photo and list of selling features is great. This signage can display QR codes, digital listing numbers and a short wave radio channel number. Local laws may prohibit signage. Does your agent use the front of property signage?
It’s important that you follow all of the tips above to get the knockout blow in your marketing campaign. A more detailed breakdown of each tip is available in our “Guide to rocketing to a property sale with the best marketing plan.”
Check out more available marketing guides that will bring your game to another level.
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