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Archive for Listings – Page 2

Let Other Realtors® Help You Sell Your Listing

Let Other Realtors Help Sell Your Listing

It’s always great to have help selling your new listing quickly to an interested buyer. Often, other real estate agents are your biggest allies. There’s a high likelihood that another Realtor® has a buyer client that’s interested in purchasing a home in the neighborhood you’re selling in.

In the past, word-of-mouth and relationship building were the only ways to access these buyers. You had to be fortunate enough to know the right person and have a good relationship with them. Fortunately, there are two other ways to find a real estate agent with an eager buyer.

Are you ready to let other Realtors® help you sell your listing?

Reverse Prospecting on the MLS

Usually Realtors® use the MLS to discover homes for sale that their buyer clients might be interested in buying. However, you can also use most MLS systems to reverse prospect – that is, search for Realtors® who have buyers that might be interested in your new listing.

Once you have a list of agents who have buyers interested in your area, reach out and let them know about the new listing. Make sure the buyer is still active – some saved searches stay in the MLS for a long time. Don’t forget though – you still have to sell the other agent.

If you have access to the features the Realtor® used in the saved search, be sure to highlight them in your conversation. Your job is to get the other agent so excited about the match that he or she then sells it to their buyer for you.

Reverse prospecting on the MLS has been around for several years, so if you don’t take advantage of it, you’re missing out!

Finding Other Agents on Instagram

Some real estate agents are hesitant to use Instagram to advertise their listings, because they don’t believe that buyers are looking there for homes.

In reality, buyers are definitely looking for homes on Instagram, especially from agents who aren’t afraid to share glimpses into their daily lives. But more importantly, other Realtors® are on Instagram. Even if you don’t connect with a buyer directly, connecting with a buyer’s agent will get you similar traction.

The keys to using Instagram are simple:

If you do these things, you’ll not only attract buyer’s agents, you’ll be in a great position to attract buyers directly as well!

Selling listings doesn’t have to be a one-agent show. Word-of-mouth and relationships are still important, but when you add reverse prospecting and Instagram to the mix, it’s easier than ever to connect with buyer’s agents to get help selling your listing.

Ready to get some great Just Listed and Just Sold postcards to market your listings? We have dozens of customizable templates for you to choose from. Let us know how we can help!

Two Unique Ideas for Open Houses

Unique Ideas for Open Houses

I’ve heard a lot of Realtors® say that open houses simply don’t work. Open houses have also been under fire due to safety issues.

However, I like to keep an open mind, and I recently discovered two unique ideas about how to maximize the impact of an open house. Both of these come from Realtors® who are actually doing them. I’d love your opinion – would you conduct an open house this way?

Limit to One Open House & Create an Offer Deadline

Having endless open houses is not only a hassle for the agent and homeowner; it creates absolutely no urgency on the part of buyers. There’s a feeling that you need them more than they need you.

To combat this, consider having only one showing and creating a deadline for making an offer. When there’s only one open house, you’ll have more buyers come in, which makes it more worth your time. When it’s crowded, that also creates the perception that there will be a lot of offers, which encourages buyers to make a higher offer than they might have been planning to.

You can also create a short timeframe for receiving offers after the open house. If the open house is on Saturday, you can create a deadline for receiving offers of noon on Monday. It helps create a sense of urgency to act, and you also reinforce the idea that there will be a lot of competition for the home.

Because people want what other people seem to be interested in, you can use this scarcity and deadline strategy to create interest and move a home quickly.

Hold a Community Event in a Staged Home

Those looking to really draw a crowd to a listing may plan to hold a social event at the home. This is not just an open house – it’s planned as a full community event.

Holding an event, complete with food, drinks, and even live music can be a great way to showcase a home’s potential for entertainment and fun. It will draw a bigger crowd than a traditional open house, and that helps build interest and create competition.

You can advertise this kind of open house event on social media, neighborhood websites, and even in newspapers or through printed flyers and postcards. It’s a way to take a boring, regular open house to a whole new level – in fact, you might even find yourself having fun!

In all likelihood, this type of open house event would only be suitable for a larger home that was at a higher price point. However, it could be a great way to showcase that luxury listing.

Thoughts on Open Houses?

I think it’s pretty clear that boring, regular open houses are on the way out, if not completely gone already. However, there are still agents out there being creative and finding new ways to elevate open houses as a marketing tool.

What do you think? Would you do either of these? If you have already, what was your experience? I’d love to hear from you!

If you’re ready to advertise your next open house, be sure to take a look at Printerbee’s large collection of customizable Just Listed postcards and property flyers. We’d love to help you get the word out!

The Role of Drones in Real Estate Marketing: Part 2

Drone for Real Estate Marketing

If you’re ready for your real estate marketing to really fly (pun intended) in 2017, you need to be considering drone photography and videography.

Last week in Part 1, I talked about how important drones are to real estate marketing. Recently relaxed regulations, combined with the incredible benefits of drone photography and videography, make it a no-brainer.

Or, at least, it would be a no-brainer if you owned one and knew how to fly it. Most Realtors® don’t. I have good news for you, though – you can either get one and learn to fly it, or you can hire someone to take care of that aspect for you.

Just as there are professional photographers and stagers that help you with your listings, there are professional drone operator photographers and videographers. The key is to find, hire, and use drone technology to the best effect.

Strategy One: Buy and Operate Your Own Drone

The first strategy is to purchase a drone and learn to operate it yourself. In fact, instead of going into it completely alone, you could partner with the other Realtors® in your brokerage for the purchase.

Once you have a drone, you can learn to fly it yourself or appoint someone within your brokerage as the drone operator. Then, you or the appointed operator can make extra money performing drone photography and videography for others inside and outside the brokerage.

Buying a Drone for Real Estate Marketing

When you go to buy your own drone, keep in mind that prices and quality vary significantly. To comply with the law, keep the drone and camera under 55 lb total weight.

There are many options available for drones for real estate marketing, and they range in price significantly. You can start as low as $700 and pay as much as $3300. You’ll want to do research depending on your needs, but you can also use the “wine bottle rule” – don’t pick the lowest or the highest, but rather in the middle, and you’ll probably get a good quality, useful product.

Make sure that the drone you choose has a 3-axis gimbal, a suitable 4K camera, spare parts and a hard case to carry it.

Operating Your Own Drone

When it comes to operation, the FAA has released specific guidelines to help you understand what you need to qualify under Part 107. Some highlights include:

  • You must keep the aircraft within a visual line of sight (VLOS)
  • You can only fly the drone in daylight
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet or within 400 feet of a structure
  • You cannot operate more than one drone at a time
  • A person operating a small unmanned aircraft must have a remote pilot certificate
    • Need to pass an initial knowledge test at an FAA approved center or hold a part 61 pilot’s certificate and complete an unmanned craft training class
    • Need to be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration
    • Need to be at least 16 years old

Strategy Two: Hire a Drone and/or Operator

Obviously, doing the entire drone and operation yourself is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Unless you have a real love for drone aviation, it may not be worth it to you. Although, if it is, it could become a good side income for you!

Hiring a Drone Operator

If you’re outsourcing your drone operation work, you can find people who charge hourly and those who have a fixed price for certain deliverables. It’s usually best to go with the fixed price so you know exactly what you’re getting.

The services you need for a listing generally include:

  • one 60-second 4K aerial video of the single-family home
  • 15 high-quality still shots taken inside and outside of the home
  • one 30-second interior video

To find a drone operator, you can ask for referrals from those you know, or you can search services like Droners.io  that allow you to request quotes, read reviews, and find the best local professional for your needs.

You’ll want to ensure that a drone operator is properly qualified, has a portfolio you can examine, has references, and carries appropriate insurance coverage. Before allowing the drone operator to begin the shoot, be sure to check their license, drone registration, and liability coverage to ensure everything is active.

Finally, ask to see their planning checklist and ask what the normal timeframe is to shoot the deliverables you requested. Be sure to ask if there is an additional charge for video or photo editing.

Is Drone Real Estate Marketing For You?

There are many benefits to drone real estate marketing, and it will definitely help you stand out in your area, win listings, and build prestige.

Due to the costs, you may decide that drone marketing is something you only want to include for properties that have a certain financial value and price. Right now, drone photography is most common for high-end listings. However, I think there’s value in doing it even for mid-range properties.

Remember, if you get started with drone photography and videography now, you’ll be gaining experience while everyone else is resting on their laurels. When drones become a normal part of the business, you’ll be experienced and poised, not just starting out!

If you’re ready to update your print marketing with new photography for 2017, we’re here to help. Printerbees has dozens of templates that can easily be customized with your images. Contact us today to get your print marketing materials ready for 2017!

5 Reasons Smart People Sell Their Homes in Winter

Winter Real Estate Marketing

If you’re like a lot of Realtors® and homeowners, you think winter is the worst time of year to sell a home.

It’s cold, the weather can be bad, trees and yards are barren… who wants to sell a home in the winter?

I’ll tell you – savvy and smart Realtors® and homeowners. Here are five reasons listing a home in the winter is brilliant.

Less Competition for Your Listing

There’s less inventory available in the winter, meaning that your listing will stand out more easily. If you combine this with writing a great listing and having professional photos, your listing will be head and shoulders above the rest.

Redfin found that homes listed in winter are 9% more likely to sell and tend to sell one week faster than listings in other times of year. If you’re curious why that might be, let’s look at reason #2 that smart homeowners sell in the winter…

Buyers are More Serious in the Winter

Unfortunately, tire-kickers and “just for fun” looky-loos abound in the summer months. In fact, I’ve seen lists of date ideas that include “Go to an open house and look around just for a good time.” It’s ridiculous!

However, in winter these thrill seekers are off doing other things – they certainly aren’t braving snowy roads and cold temperatures to pretend interest in a new home. The buyers you get in the winter time are much more serious about buying a home, and are more likely to make a decision quickly.

In fact, those looking in winter may be facing an unforeseen move, such as a job relocation or family change. In those cases, they not only want to buy quickly but are more likely to pay top dollar.

Staging is Easier in the Winter

While summer months leave people feeling hot and wanting wide open, airy spaces, the winter months call for something different. People are looking for a festive, homey feel. As a result, it’s easier (and sometimes more fun) to stage a home in winter.

You don’t have to tell homeowners to get rid of as much stuff as possible in winter. Many times, you can arrange personal belongings together into neat sets and create a comfortable feel that will help a home sell, rather than feeling like you have to make a home as barren as possible.

It’s More Convenient for the Homeowner

No one enjoys having people traipsing through their home at all hours, but it’s part of the selling process. The good news is that during the winter, since there are fewer house hunters, there will be less people asking to see a home. That’s more convenient and easier for the homeowner.

In addition, you’ll find that the people who do visit are more serious about buying, which means there will be fewer overall visitors before a sale is made. If someone is nervous about listing in the winter, just remind them that fewer showings and more serious buyers lead to a more convenient, faster sale.

Realtors® Give More Personal Attention in the Winter

As a Realtor®, you’re not going to have as many clients in the winter compared to the spring and summer months. This can be a great benefit for your client, because you’ll be able to give more personal attention to their listing.

With less of a demand on your time, you may have a chance to try an innovative new marketing method, such as making a walk-through video or connecting with other Realtors® on Instagram. This means that you’ll get experience with different marketing methods, and they’ll get even more professional attention than normal.

Selling in the winter isn’t a terrible thing. In fact, research shows that homes may sell faster because buyers are more serious and are more likely to need a home quickly. There’s also less competition in inventory.

If you’re interested in beefing up your listing presentation for winter listings, consider printing out our list: Seven Reasons Selling Your Home in Winter is BETTER Than Waiting for Spring or Summer. You can use it as a handout and educational piece.

Happy winter selling!

Prove the Value of Your Commission in Any Market

Prove the Value of Your Commission in Any Market

In some areas of the country, real estate is moving very quickly. Unfortunately, with a strong seller’s market, there’s a lot of competition among Realtors® for listings. As a result, many Realtors® feel a lot of pressure to cut commissions in order to win business.

Of course, your commission is your livelihood, and once you cut it for one customer other will find out and expect the same. So how do you keep from cutting your commission in a seller’s market – or any market?

The simple answer is to show clearly how your commission is used to benefit the homeowner. Also, don’t be afraid to remind them that commissions are your only income, and you deserve to be paid for your work like they do.

Here are some steps you can take to prove the value of your real estate commission in any market.

Have a Premium Marketing Plan

The first step is to show clearly what you will do for the seller as a full-service agent. Having a premium marketing plan ready to go and detailed for the client is vital.

When sellers see your real estate service as generic and able to be done by anyone, they tend to expect mediocre performance and focus heavily on price. Instead, set out a clear plan of action that makes it obvious that you are not “just another agent” and really have unique value to offer.

Here are some of the key components of a premium real estate marketing plan:

  • Print marketing – using a series of postcards to draw interest in their property. We recommend a series that includes “coming soon”, “just listed”, “open house”, and “just sold” to maximize exposure. Be sure to indicate the importance of professional photography here as well.
  • Online marketing – beyond just listing the home on the MLS, what will you do for the listing online? Ideas include Facebook ads, featuring the home on your website, and creating professional walkthrough videos. Focus on your unique use of technology especially online.
  • Reach with other Realtors®. Most buyers have buyer’s agents – how are you able to reach out to them? Are you part of a real estate network that you can advertise the listing to? Does your brokerage have a national or international presence that can be leveraged? Do you have access to overseas real estate agents? Professional publications or magazines?
  • Personal Touch. Will you do door-to-door in a specific neighborhood for their listing? A specific number of calls? The personal touch is one of the things that will really set you apart from discount automated brokerages.

Have a Commission Defense Script

Because sellers are often used to being offered a discount, it’s very likely to come up during a listing presentation. In fact, many online home-selling resources “help” homeowners “avoid being taken advantage of” with premium commissions.

As a result, you need a clear non-threatening script ready for when sellers ask you for a discount. The script should match your style and personality. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask, “Mr./Mrs. Jones, don’t you think it’s best to have a strong negotiator on your side when you sell your home?” When they say yes, say, “So if an agent can’t even stand firm on their own livelihood, why would you trust them to maximize the sale your home? Besides, the commission helps pay for…” and then highlight the marketing plan.
  • Say, “Mr/Mrs. Jones, this is my specific marketing plan that will help ensure you receive the best price for you home in the least amount of time. If you’d like a lower commission, perhaps I could find a junior associate or less experienced agent for you who is willing to work for less money.”
  • Talk about the results you get for them and compare your service to other specialties. “If your doctor is operating on you or prescribing you medication, are you going to go with the one who works for very little, or the one with the best results? Why not do the same with the biggest investment you own?”

Break Down Where the Commission Goes

Unfortunately, many sellers don’t realize how the commission process in real estate works. They think that the Realtor® nets the full 6% of the home’s selling price, leading many to believe that real estate agents are overpaid. Here’s a way to help educate them.

First, tell the seller that you charge 3%. Then, ask, “How much do you want to pay the agent who brings an offer? It can be 2%, 3%, 4%, or more. The more it is, the more likely other agents are to bring their buyers here.” Perhaps they say, “3%.”

Then, talk about your three percent. One agent came up with this creative explanation:

“Just so that you understand what happens to the 3 percent that you will be paying me,” he takes three business cards and continues as he removes the first card, saying, “Every agent has to pay their broker part of the commission.” He takes the first card and puts it aside.

He then picks up the second card. “This amount goes to the marketing of your property,” which includes such services as professional photos; video; Web marketing; social media marketing; newspaper ads the agent pays for; brochures; gasoline; and all the other expenses entailed in marketing a home.

He then puts that card aside, picks up the last card and says, “This is how much I get paid.”

He then tears the card in half and says, “But I have to pay taxes, so this is how much I keep.”

He then asks a very important question: “So if another agent offers to lower their commission, where do you think the money comes from? Three percent goes to the other agent, 1 percent goes to their brokerage, and the government keeps 50 percent of what they earn. They’re not going to take food out of their children’s mouths, so the only place where this money can come from is by cutting into the 1 percent that I use to market your home.”

With these three approaches in your arsenal, you’ll be well prepared to explain your value, defend your commission, and educate the seller on how that commission is used. This will prepare you to defend and protect your commission – and your livelihood – in any market.

How do you answer questions about your commission? Share in the comments!

How to Write a Listing That Sells FAST

Great Listing Descriptions

You know that listings are important, but did you know that a single word can cost you thousands of dollars?

A recent report, Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate studied 24,000 listing and discovered that certain keywords tend to sell for more than expected.

“Bottom-tier homes described as luxurious tend to beat their expected sale price by a whopping 8.2 percent,” said the report’s authors, Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries.

“Top-tier homes described as captivating tend to beat theirs by 6.5 percent. That means, if your home’s estimated home value is $110,000, but your listing includes the key word ‘luxurious,’ you could pocket an extra $8,965.”

Did almost $9,000 captivate your attention? Keep reading.

Avoid Cliches. Use Emotive Words

You can do better than Realtor® cliche words like stunning, contemporary or immaculate. Also avoid using words that you mean to be positive, but may throw up red flags for the reader. Like “clean.” Because, why wouldn’t it be?

In terms of words you should work into regular rotation, the Zillow report said these words will earn you the most:

  1. Luxurious
  2. Captivating
  3. Impeccable
  4. Stainless
  5. Basketball
  6. Landscaped
  7. Granite
  8. Pergola
  9. Remodel
  10. Beautiful
  11. Gentle
  12. Spotless
  13. Tile
  14. Upgraded
  15. Updated

Use Your Words to Create a Virtual Tour

Paint a vivid picture in their minds, so they can see themselves living in this home. You want them to be afraid to lose this opportunity.

Mentioning a patio is good. But talking about the summer BBQs they can have is better. Notice how the word “basketball” is on the list above? It paints a nice and wholesome family image of shooting hoops together.

Dare to Stand Out

Too many Realtors® write reviews a certain way because that’s how they were taught and that’s how everyone else does it. If you’re trying to stand out, why do what everyone else is doing?

It all starts with the headline. This will be the first – and possibly only – thing they see.

“Your headline is an extremely important part of your listing because in most cases, this is literally your only shot at getting a buyer to notice you, so you’d better find a way to stand out from the crowd,” wrote real estate blogger, Seth Williams.

“Remember, you only have a split second to catch someone’s attention and engage them into clicking on your listing – so this kind of first impression is EVERYTHING…   I’m not kidding!”

Think Local

Always be sure to sell the property’s proximity to local attractions, amenities, landmarks and major centers. These will almost always be at the top of the list of selling features. So include things like:

  • Walking distance to (local school)
  • Only minutes from (local beach)
  • A short drive to (major neighboring city)

We know you’re going to do this hundreds and hundreds of times. But each listing is someone’s only one. Listings you write should be original, free of clichés and full of emotive descriptions. Remember your ads need to stand out among the rest and offer the real value and specific information people want when they click through for details.

Your printed materials should also look original and use the right key words. How are yours looking? You can update them right now by clicking here.

The Importance of Print Marketing for Listings

Postcard Marketing

Some Realtors® will tell you that printed marketing for listing is a waste of time. Good! Let them think that. The more Realtors® that think that way, the more opportunity that will open up for you.

While everyone else is clamoring for web space and billboards, there is still a perfectly good space that people see every day: Their mailbox.

Here’s why print marketing is still a valuable tool.

Many Realtors® Have Written It Off

The newer generation has stepped away from taking this seriously, so the amount of printed real estate materials out there right now has never been lower. It’s also very seldom high quality, because it’s treated as an afterthought. Once again, you have the advantage.

High quality portfolios, professional looking listings, and postcards that pop – these are all still materials that will sell your properties and elevate your brand.

Everyone is bombarded all day with Facebook ads and commercials before they watch a YouTube video. People are sick of digital marketing. This makes printed materials newly relevant, as they’re unique and tactile.

People Still Want Print

Even though everyone has an e-reader, tablet or smartphone, research shows that people still retain more information when they see it on paper. A great article written in Scientific American called Why the Brain Prefers Paper found that:

“Studies in the past two decades indicate that people often understand and remember text on paper better than on a screen. Screens may inhibit comprehension by preventing people from intuitively navigating and mentally mapping long texts.”

You Can Afford To, and Can’t Afford Not To

We’re not sure what data people are looking at when they say print is dead. Because the numbers we see are showing very strong vital signs.

  • 70% of Americans say snail mail is more personal than the Internet
  • 39% of customers try a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising
  • 92% of young shoppers say that they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions

Use the US Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service. This lets you target the mailing route/ area that you’re about to list this house in. This way, when you have a property up for sale, you can affordably send a few hundred of their neighbors a Just Listed Postcard. You don’t even need a mailing this!

These are incredibly effective because…

Just Listed Postcards Make Fence-Sitters Want to Sell

The Thompsons were only “sort of thinking” about selling their home. They casually wondered if the time was right and how much they could get.

But then, they got a Just Listed postcard in the mail with the Jacksons’ house from down the street. They’ve seen the professional photos of beautiful staging you arranged for that home. Now, all they can do is think about selling.

This is how Realtors® “own” a neighborhood. They successfully sell property, and market the good work they’re doing to the rest of the area. The more people see your For Sale signs, just Listed postcard, and your Just Sold signs, the more they will trust you’re the local expert. Anyone can say they know a neighborhood. This is how you own one.

Print is far from dead. In fact, it’s the new secret weapon of savvy Realtors® who know they have a unique opportunity to provide something that people still want and value. They know postcards and other materials are a low-cost, high impact tactic that can help you sell multiple houses in an area.

Ready to own a neighborhood? Click here to select your design and your layout.

How to Harness Pokemon GO for Real Estate

Pokemon GO For Real Estate

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you’ve probably heard of Pokemon GO. And if you haven’t heard of it, surely you’ve seen the many children (well…and adults) sprinting down sidewalks, wading into shallow creeks and even running into an occasional tree in search of those elusive Pokemon.

But for those of you still a bit confused – it’s alright.

Making a comeback from its late 1990s/early 2000s fame, Pokemon GO is based on the Japanese anime cartoon which featured a young boy named Ash Ketchum and his journey to catch Pokemon and become the best Pokemon trainer in the world.

The Pokemon GO app has taken the cartoon to a whole new level by allowing users to use their phones to track, catch, train and “do battle with” Pokemon out in the real world (which is why you’ve seen so many people walking around aimlessly looking at their phones recently).

And while this is a great game with a bit of nostalgia for millennials, it’s also making a splash in the world of Real Estate.

Pokemon Go For Real Estate

Really? Pokemon GO for Real Estate? It may sound a bit out there, but people are doing it and seeing results.

But let’s back up a minute because, in order to understand the power of Pokemon Go for Real Estate, you need to first be familiar with how the app and game work.

When users are searching for Pokemon out in the “wild,” they’re ultimately looking for Pokestops and Gyms:

  • Pokestops – Where users can go to collect the items and rewards needed to help their Pokemon grow/become more powerful.
  • Gyms – Where users can take their Pokemon to do battle with other users, team up with others, and defend their territory.

The kicker here? These Pokestops and Gyms are literally all over the map, often times appearing in businesses, public spaces, parks, and even neighborhoods.

So, as you can probably imagine, those areas are highly trafficked by gamers looking to expand their Pokemon and connect with others.

And since some neighborhoods are closer to Pokestops and Gyms than others, Realtors® are starting to leverage this in their listings.

For example, Pokemon mentions are popping up in real estate ads and listings on Craigslist, Zillow and even Facebook – like this recent listing boasting that the home for sale is “conveniently located between two Pokemon Gyms and has 8 Pokestops within walking distance.”

Others have reportedly had successful open houses with large turnouts just by mentioning the fact that there are Pokemon or Pokestops in the home and surrounding neighborhood.

On the flip side, some find the whole Pokemon GO craze to be a bit annoying and instead of broadcasting the fact that they have Pokestops nearby, they’re saying that their homes have “Zero Pokemon features.”

The Potential Risks with Pokemon

While Pokemon GO is good fun, there is something you need to consider before using the app to sell houses. Using Pokemon images without permission could potentially result in a large fine and a lawsuit for copyright infringements, so if you’re planning on using a picture of Pikachu or Charzard (common Pokemon) to sell your home, just be aware that this is a potential risk.

The likelihood of a lawsuit taking place against a real estate listing is small, but it’s better to know the risks ahead of time. If you’re concerned about this, just play it safe by not using the images and sticking to text only in your listings.

It’s crazy to think that a simple app could really spark this much of a craze, but Pokemon fans are dedicated, and they truly may be interested in a home in part based on the number of Pokestops nearby. Capitalize on this while the fad lasts!

What do you think of using Pokemon Go for real estate? Share in the comments!

The Pros and Cons of Open Houses

Pros and Cons of Open Houses

Are open houses overrated? This is a hotly debated topic among today’s Realtors®.

In terms of selling tools, is it dynamite or a dinosaur? There is certainly merit to both sides of this argument. So let’s examine the pros and cons of using the open house to sell a home in today’s marketplace.

Pro: Some Say It Gives More Exposure to the Home

Many purists still swear that properly staging the home and bringing people into to it during an open house remains the best way to showcase it.

They swear by the effect of someone walking through a beautiful home and envisioning their future, as they’re there, in person. They’re looking at the backyard, smelling the kitchen, and feeling the urgency as they see all these other browsers in their future home.

Con: Some Say Open Houses Don’t Really Work

The scenario above is exactly what you’re hoping for, but some say the numbers reveal that this rarely happens.

“The percentage of homes that actually sell as a result of an open house is less than 2-3%,” wrote real estate blogger, Kyle Hiscock.

“The majority of homes are sold when a buyer has a Realtor, requests an appointment, and tours your home privately.  The crowd that an open house attracts is more than likely not going to be the crowd that is going to purchase the home.”

Pro: Some Say It Helps Buyers Look Beyond the Listing

Browsing a photo gallery online is great, but it doesn’t capture the whole experience. An open house can really give fence-sitters the push they need to go into buy-mode. Walking around the house and seeing it all professionally staged can take someone from curious to interested in the span of a single walkthrough

Con: You Can Get the Same Effect From a Virtual Tour

Today’s technology allows you to get better results from a professional video tour of any home.

Now, the key word is professional. The right cinematography and some suitable music can actually create a better experience than an open house. And, this tour doesn’t require the seller or buyer to give up their Saturday.

Another great option is using Facebook Live or Periscope to give a live walk-through yourself. It won’t seem as professional and polished, but it will seem authentic, which can play to your advantage as well.

Pro: Many Sellers Will Still Want the Open House

Your clients may demand it. They’ve seen open houses work over the years, and won’t feel like you’re giving them the full treatment until you stage their home and host an open house.

One of the reasons they decided to work with a Realtor® was to tap into pro home staging and open house skills.

If you don’t host an open house, they may feel like you’re not doing everything in your power to sell their home.

Con: The Customer Isn’t Always Right

You’re the expert, not the seller. If a client insists on an open house, it’s your job to convince them that you’re a seasoned expert, and you feel that the open house is a waste of time.

You could remind them that people who go to open houses may not be qualified leads, but rather nosy neighbors or “tire-kickers” who just want to look without any real intent.

You can show them that tactics like a virtual tour or social media posting can actually yield much better results.

As you can see, there is no clear answer. For everyone who says they have had great success with open houses, there are others who say the numbers don’t back this up. Some will say it’s a tried and tested way to showcase the home, while others say technology now gives us better ways.

One alternate tactic some people have embraced in recent years is using a series of postcards to generate interest. To see what’s possible, click here to choose a design and layout.

Best Practices for Just Sold and Just Listed Postcards

Just Sold and Just Listed Postcards

Today’s savvy Realtor® doesn’t just put the Just Sold sign from the lawn, they also put it in every mailbox in the surrounding area. Does this actually work?

Yes. A lot of Realtors® have seen great success and used these Just Sold or Just Listed cards as a new way to generate leads. But like any marketing tactic, you need to be smart and systematic in how you roll it out.

Here’s a 4-point plan to follow:

Just Sold and Just Listed Postcards Phase 1: Coming Soon

Get your list and send out a postcard to create a buzz before the property is actually listed.

Where do you get this list? Simple. Use the US Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service. This lets you target the mailing route/ area that you’re about to list this house in – without a mailing list!

This is your introduction to everyone in the area, and it’s the first step in establishing you as an expert on the neighborhood. Real estate is always going to be a trust-based transaction. So it’s good to build your name in the community as soon as possible.

Just Sold and Just Listed Postcards Phase 2: Just Listed

Let’s face it, people are nosy. So let’s play on this a bit. A postcard that shows you inside your neighbor’s home is going to get more attention than a pizza coupon.

And when you tell neighbors what this house is listed at, that’s going to do more than get their interest– it’s going to get them thinking. They will wonder how much they could get for their home and whether or not the time is right to sell.

If someone is considering selling their home, seeing this postcard may knock them off the fence.

Just Sold and Just Listed Postcards Phase 3: Open House

Next, send them a postcard to announce your open house. This does more than satisfy their curiosity of what color carpet this family has. It shows them the incredible hard work you’re doing to sell this home.

It also gives them a glimpse into what a professional home staging can do. It also gets them thinking “Man, this place looks amazing. It didn’t look like this 3 weeks ago. I wonder what they can do to my home? I wonder how much I could get for it?”

Just Sold and Just Listed Postcards Phase 4: Just Sold

You’ve showed them the hype and the procedure, now show them the results.

This isn’t the time to be shy or modest. You just sold a home in this neighborhood and everyone should know you can do the exact same thing for them.

Make sure this card has a compelling call to action to give your audience a clear idea of the next step, and why they want to take it. “For more information” is boring and won’t get anyone to pick up their phone. But, something like “Let me tell you how we sold the Peterman’s home, and how I can sell yours” will get people thinking and wondering.

Stay consistent and try this approach every time. Start with a Coming Soon card, then quickly follow up with a Just Listed card to get people thinking. Next, showcase your great work with the Open House card and, of course, the Just Sold card.

To start the process to build your success, click here to select your design and your layout today!