As real estate display sites have become online giants, the apparent opportunity to reach millions of potential buyers with just one ad has resulted in the decline of a truly strategic and customised approach to property advertising for some agents. We have learned to rely on display sites to deliver buyers to us.
But as the market changes and listings remain on the books for longer periods, reviewing marketing practices and taking a different approach may lead to better results.
Industry expert, Lisa B, takes some time out from coaching to provide EAC members with some valuable methods for reducing time on market.
The real estate market, in many areas, has experienced a significant dip over the last six-to-twelve months, with prices and demand both waning. For agents, this has resulted in a situation within which listings can be more difficult to win and properties can be more difficult to sell, lingering in shopfronts for much longer than they would have 12 months ago. But this doesn’t have to be the case! Don’t let a change in the market beat you, change your approach so the market works for you!
Get the price right
Price is the number one critical factor that ultimately determines whether a property sells… or doesn’t sell. If a property is not selling, then the price is where you must initially start the investigative process to assess why.
If it’s too expensive, instead of attracting buyers, you will repel them and sometimes repel them forever! When a buyer is looking to purchase, if they have seen everything else for sale, they are waiting patiently for fresh houses to come onto the market to consider. Your best chance to create activity and to sell the home for a great price is when the property is first listed.
When taking all things into consideration, if the price is right and the property is marketed and exposed to the right buyers, the property should have every chance of selling.
Use strategic marketing to create a continuous funnel of buyers
As a real estate or property consultant, you should use strategic, integrated marketing methods that incorporate traditional and digital marketing to reach the RIGHT people more efficiently.
But… many agents are still only using traditional marketing methods.
We need to target specific buyers and sellers to attract those people into our marketing funnel. A marketing funnel will help you identify people who may not be ready to buy now, so you can have procedures in place to stay in touch with them in the future. This will ensure a continuing flow of potential buyers through your agency. We can attract potential buyers by combining traditional marketing methods, with newer digital methods that allow more niche targeting.
We spend too much money attracting buyers to then waste that inquiry. What’s worse is to further waste the follow-up potential. Without an effective marketing funnel, most enquires will be lost forever.
Checklist to sold
Before we venture into online marketing, let’s cover some basics to ensure the property you are about to market is set up to sell.
- Make sure you have open and honest communication with your sellers at the initial seller appointment — this is paramount — show them the reality of the market. Show them comparable sales and compare their home to similar properties in the same location for sale.
- Once you have the property listed, make sure you are communicating with the sellers throughout the entire selling process. Be honest with all feedback.
- Let the sellers know the average days on market for the area so they understand current market conditions and have realistic expectations.
- Reassure the sellers you will do everything within your power to sell their home.
- If the property has been on the market a while, rejig your marketing and price. Display different photos and make the home look completely different — also display a different price.
- Are there things that need doing to the property that you can fix? For example, if it’s dark, can the sellers put in skylights? Can they present the outside of the property better? Does it have street appeal? Are there any maintenance issues?
- If the property hasn’t sold after a considerable time on the market, ask your sales staff to physically go to the property and talk seriously about the price. Ask one another, if your life depended on it, for what price could they sell this house? Relay this information to the seller.
- Show both the sellers and buyers you are working hard.
- Keep in touch with every single buyer.
While digital promotion is highly effective and measurable, research shows it is more likely to lead to success when combined with traditional marketing. When considering traditional marketing, ask yourself:
- Do you run marketing campaigns for your listings?
- Do you do letterbox drops, phone prospecting and door-knocking around properties you have just listed, just sold or where you are having open houses? If you don’t — you should.
- How is your copywriting?
- If the property has been on the market a while, do you need to change your ad?
- Does your ad stand out?
- Does your ad motivate people to WANT to call or inspect?
- Do you have a call to action?
Now you’ve considered everything to set the right market value and promote using traditional methods, how are you promoting yourself online?
Marketing real estate online
Now we’ve assessed the property is priced right, here are some quick tips for online methods that help your listings stand out and reach your target market:
- When you are marketing a property, keep your marketing consistent offline and online. Your target market will see your message over and over and they will start to remember your message. This helps you build your brand.
- Always, I mean always, add anyone that contacts your office into your database (working within privacy laws). Add their name, email address and phone number. Then also add details such as — are they selling a property? What property are they enquiring about? What are they looking for?
- How are you working your social media pages? Make sure you are adding people every day and you’re engaging your followers in the conversation.
- Are you using Facebook ads and retargeting? Facebook gives you incredible power to promote ads directly to your target market.
- Make sure you have an opt-in for buyer alerts on your website, a place where buyers can add their name and email address so you can let them know when you list new properties for sale.
- Have targeted email campaigns with good quality newsletters and property information.
- 3D tours: some agents are having amazing success with these. If no one is doing them in your area, this may be a great point of difference. If other agents are doing 3D tours, you should be too!
- Video marketing: no doubt you’ve seen agents doing amazing things with video. Some have literally put themselves on the map and have gone from unknown to someone that is well known and the authority in their market place.
- Video testimonials: make sure you are obtaining videos from happy customers saying how great you are. Use them everywhere.
- Know what’s working in your marketing campaigns. Gone are the days where you can’t track results. Thanks to technology you can track almost everything!
Selling properties in a cool market is tough, there’s no denying it, but people buy and people sell all year, every year, regardless of the market, as they are driven by their own lives and their own needs. A more strategic approach to setting up the listing and marketing it can help you find those people, reach them and create genuine interest that can lead to a faster sale.