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3 Ways to Use Video to Promote Real Estate Listings

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Video Marketing Real Estate

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video must be worth a million. When you can take images, sound, and a clear understanding of space and dimension and put it all in one package, you can’t lose.

If you have been avoiding video because you think it’s too difficult or too expensive, I’m about to change your mind. Cell phone cameras have been increasing in quality, and people’s enjoyment of less-professional “raw” video is increasing.

Whether you want to invest in professional video or use a Facebook Live, there are many ways to use video to promote a real estate listing.

Keep it Simple: Use Facebook Live to Give a Tour

Facebook Live is an incredible marketing tool for real estate agents. You can showcase your business, build your brand, and replace your time-consuming open houses with Facebook Live tours.

Why use Facebook Live instead of holding an open house?

  • It’s much safer than allowing strangers into a home with you
  • Your homeowners don’t have to worry about damage or theft
  • You control how the home is showcased – you can point out the best features
  • It takes much less time than a multi-hour open house
  • You have the video to use in multiple marketing efforts!

You don’t need any fancy equipment, and Live viewers don’t expect everything to be perfectly polished or flawless. So skip the script and just be yourself! Use your phone to show off a home in a video open house.

Once you have the video, share it everywhere. Post it with the listing on real estate websites and your own site, share it on social media, and more.

Step It Up: Create Videos of the Area

Besides the home, buyers want to know what the neighborhood and city are like. Use video to let them know! You can use a basic video camera or your phone, along with a bit of editing, to create an excellent promo video for the area.

Talk about, and show, features of the neighborhood, such as parks, schools, and shops. Indicate how close train stations, park-and-rides, or restaurants are. Cover everything you know about an area – this is your chance to show off your expertise!

By simply walking, driving, or both, you can show off the best parts of a neighborhood. You can even film short clips and edit them together. You can keep it serious or make it silly. Your imagination is the only limit!

Hire a Pro: Take Advantage of Drone Marketing

Drones give you the opportunity to showcase a property in an entirely new way. Some Realtors® use drone imagery only for very high-dollar listings. However, think about standing out in the mid-level market with drone video as well.

As a Realtor® who uses drone marketing, you’ll have an extra benefit you can pitch to potential clients. Show them drone videos of other homes you’ve marketed, and you’re sure to impress the sellers and win their business.

Drones have to be operated by qualified personnel, so be sure to pick your professional carefully. If you have the interest and the time, you can get qualified yourself. Operating drones for yourself and other real estate agents can give you a nice side income.

Whether you do drone video inside the home or outside – or both – having this type of video in your arsenal will give you a huge wow factor. You’re sure to impress buyers and sellers alike!

Ready to Tape?

Whether you want to keep it simple with Facebook Live or amp it up with drone video, using video is an essential way to draw attention to your listings. It’s a fantastic addition to your marketing mix, along with Just Listed and Just Sold postcards, door hangers, and more.

Do you use video in marketing? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

 

Ready to get your listing marketing in order? Check out our materials today!

3 Essentials of Marketing Real Estate Listings

Essentials of Marketing Listings

With summer in full swing, marketing listings is top-of-mind for many Realtors®. Listings are the core of many agents’ businesses, and it’s always useful to make sure you’re covering the essentials.

You want to move well beyond the “Put up a sign, put it in the MLS, and pray” strategy. Here are three essentials that will get your listing in front of the right buyers so you can close the deal!

Avoid Obvious Problems

It’s no secret that some listings sit for months due to completely avoidable issues. Pricing is one of the biggest. A home should be priced appropriately for its condition, location, and market conditions. If a seller won’t agree to those terms, don’t compromise. Move on!

Social media has made buyers more visually motivated than ever. If you don’t have beautiful pictures of a home, and the home isn’t gorgeous to buyers who tour it, you won’t move the property quickly. Some sellers completely miss the point that the home shouldn’t be decorated for them anymore. It should appeal to the largest base of buyers possible.

Finally, make sure your writing is compelling as you promote the home. The best pictures in the world won’t cover for bad copy! There are a variety of ways to make your listing description captivating to draw in agents and buyers. Highlight the home’s character and how it differs from other properties in the neighborhood.

Use a Variety of Marketing Methods

Every listing should have a clear marketing plan created. When you have a plan, not only does it help you win listings up front, it also directs your daily actions. You can move forward purposefully, knowing that you have a set plan, you’ll be focused and sell the home quickly.

A marketing plan often includes:

If you only market one way, you’re missing out on potential buyers. People are active online in a variety of ways, and there’s less competition in the mailbox than ever. By taking a multi-faceted approach, you’ll be able to access all potential buyers.

Network with Other Realtors®

Other agents aren’t your competition, they’re a great source of buyers for your listing! There are a variety of ways to connect to other real estate agents to find buyers.

Reverse prospecting on the MLS is one idea. Through saved searches, you can find Realtors® who have buyers that might be interested in your new listings. Once you ensure that the buyer is still active, don’t forget that you need to sell the agent on why your listing is perfect for their client.

You can also find other agents on Instagram. When you have an active account, Instagram is a great way to showcase your listings and connect with other Realtors®. You can find buyers, or buyer’s agents – either way, you win!

Of course, networking with other agents in person and through agency and industry events is important as well. You never know when the Realtors® you meet will be just the connection you need.

When you cover these three fundamentals, you’ll be doing a very solid job of marketing your listings. The more creative you can be, the better! We’re in a powerful seller’s market in 2017, so there is no excuse not to move homes quickly.

Are you ready to set up a Just Listed and Just Sold campaign? Interested in other print marketing materials? We’re here to help. Contact Printerbees today!

Incentives for Listings Beyond Price

Incentives Beyond Price

You’ve got a great listing and it’s priced right, but it simply isn’t getting the attention you know it deserves. What do you do to drum up more customers?

There are a lot of answers to that question, but there’s one you may not have thought about: adding additional incentives to the sale.

Builders use incentives to sell new construction all the time, but Realtors® often skip this tactic when it comes to reselling a home later. Thinking outside the box regarding incentives may be exactly what you need to sell homes quickly at top dollar.

Closing Costs

Since many buyers will be cash-strapped after buying a home, offering a hotel package or another incentive that will cost the buyer additional money isn’t likely to get much traction.

Instead, focus on saving the buyer money in places other than the price. By offering help with closing costs, you’ll be able to get budget-minded buyers interested in your seller’s home instead of another property.

If you phrase closing costs in terms of percentages – covering 10% of closing costs, for example – you can offer an attractive incentive for far less cost than a price drop on the home.

Help With PMI

Many buyers have trouble saving up 20% for a down payment, so they will be saddled with PMI when they buy a home. If you offer an incentive to help pay for that, you can get a lot more interested buyers.

Since PMI is generally 0.5% – 1% of the total loan amount annually, a buyer could be looking at $1,000 per $100,000 of home. Offering to cover 25% of the PMI for one year could be an excellent incentive that would attract buyers’ attention.

Items of Value to the New Homeowner

Not everything has to be financial. While arbitrary free items may not hit the radar of most buyers, you could offer freebies that are directly helpful to a new homeowner.

If there’s some high-quality furniture that fits perfectly in a room, see if the seller would throw that in as an incentive. Other items that may be helpful include exercise equipment, child’s play equipment in the backyard, and more.

Of course, all of this must be high-quality and in top shape. No buyer wants to end up with broken or worn-out items that the seller was just tired of!

Think Outside the Box

The goal with incentives is to find a new way to compete for buyers’ attention. Dropping the price can cost your seller thousands of dollars. Many of these incentives will only cost a few hundred, but they are unique and will stand out in a sea of homes for sale.

Continue to think outside the box and consider what incentives may work. Often, the solution will be very individual, depending on the type and location of the home, the property the sellers have, and what stage of life potential buyers are in.

Ready for some just listed postcards to highlight your unique incentive? We’ve got just what you need – contact us today!

Advice Your Sellers are Getting: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Interested in advice your buyers are receiving? Check out the previous post!

Advice Sellers Receive

Do you shudder when you see some of the advice that’s given to people about to sell their homes? You’re not alone. A lot of the advice given to sellers would be laughable if it weren’t so damaging.

Fortunately, it’s not all bad. Some of the advice sellers get is actually helpful. Regardless, being a great seller’s agent means knowing what your prospects are being told and how to respond to common misconceptions, questions, and concerns.

To help you, here’s a list of common advice sellers are getting and how to be ready to respond.

“Depersonalize Your Home to Sell It Fast”

The Advice:

This practical advice is very helpful. It’s a big put-off to a buyer to come into a home where the walls are covered with the seller’s wedding photos or pictures of their kids. It makes it very hard for the buyer to imagine themselves there.

How to Respond:

You want to encourage sellers to follow this tip. If you’re having a hard time with sellers who want to keep everything they way they wanted it when they lived there, remind them that this is essentially no longer their home. It’s not about what they want anymore, it about what the new homeowner will want.

“Audit Your Agent’s Marketing Techniques”

The Advice:

The idea here is that a seller should look for a quality agent. As a result, sellers who receive this advice may ask a lot of questions about what, exactly, you do to market properties. It may mean that the seller will try to be very hands-on, but it may not.

How to Respond:

The best response to this is to use the prospect’s interest in your marketing to really set yourself apart with your expertise. Describe the various marketing techniques you use and why they’re effective. Whatever you do, don’t get caught unprepared to answer questions about marketing!

“Post a Video Love Letter About Your Home on YouTube”

The Advice:

This hilarious piece of advice tells sellers to get an inexpensive flip camera and walk through the home and neighborhood. Sellers are supposed to narrate what their family loved about the home and the neighborhood, sharing memories and favorite coffee shops.

How to Respond:

The problem with the advice is that buyers aren’t interested in the seller’s experience in the home, they want to imagine their own experience. Assure the homeowner that you will post high-quality photos and video of the home online, and that you will clearly describe the benefits of the home and neighborhood. Explain that you realize telling a story is important, but that it needs to be the buyer’s story.

“Make a Lot of Showing Times Available”

The Advice:

If a seller wants to sell their home quickly for a good price, they need to make it easy for prospective buyers to see the house. This advice tells sellers to make it easy for buyers and Realtors® to schedule a showing by not making the timeframes super restrictive, or their home may be skipped in favor of others.

How to Respond:

While this is generally good advice, as a Realtor® it’s important to make sure your client understands what it takes to have the home ready for a showing. When the seller is clear about how clean it needs to be, they’ll be able to decide how much notice they need before a showing. It’s vital that your client not just leave everything as it lays right before a showing!

“Underprice Your Home to Create a Bidding War”

The Advice:

The idea is that if the home is a great value, more people will be interested, which will increase the number of bids received. This can create a bidding war where the seller gets more than originally anticipated – maybe even more than the house was expected to be worth.

How to Respond:

This is terrible advice for a variety of reasons. First, underpricing a home sends a message to buyers that there must be something wrong with it. Or, they may realize that the seller is trying to create a bidding war, and avoid the drama by looking elsewhere.

Secondly, if a bidding war is created and the selling price is too high, it might not stand up under appraisal, which would nullify the deal and leave the seller worse off than they were before.

Essentially, there’s never a good reason to misprice a home. It’s not strategy, it’s just foolish.

“Do an FSBO to Maximize Your Profit”

The Advice:

This advice is fairly standard – save the commission of your Realtor® by putting the home on the market and “letting it sell itself.”

How to Respond:

Homes don’t sell themselves. Unfortunately, real estate agents seem to constantly be in the position of proving their value. Point out these facts:

  • No one buys a home they don’t know about. Realtors® have the time and expertise to market a home correctly and get the best price in the shortest time.
  • Realtors® can provide expert advice about staging, landscaping, pricing, and more that will help the home sell more quickly. A seller doing this on their own is shooting in the dark.
  • The paperwork involved in properly financing and selling a home is complex and is a major headache to an inexperienced and busy homeowner. As a Realtor®, you know exactly how to do it right and include all of the needed provisions and conditions.

Are You Ready for Your Seller?

This is just a sampling of all of the advice a seller may receive before working with you. It pays to be aware of what people are being told so that you can respond appropriately – in fact, you can answer some objections in advance!

Use some of these pieces of advice as discussion points on your farming postcards. Ask the question, “Should you do X to sell your home?” and then discuss the answer on the postcard. We at Printerbees would be delighted to help you set up the design!

Potential sellers will be very interested in these postcards and will respect your expertise as you answer the exact questions they had in mind! It’s a great way to build rapport through print marketing.

What’s the craziest seller’s advice you’ve heard? Share in the comments!

Copywriting: Sell Real Estate With Your Words

Copywriting - Sell Real Estate Your Words

Realtors® are often very focused on having great images in their marketing. They want the best pictures of the home and neighborhood to share on postcards, social media, and more.

There’s a good reason for that! Pictures tell a lot of the story when it comes to real estate marketing. As they say, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.”

But I’m going to create a new adage: “A picture with the right words is worth a million bucks.”

Let me explain.

What Words Do in Real Estate Marketing

Why do we use words at all in real estate marketing? We do it because the picture alone isn’t enough. It doesn’t tell the whole story.

Pictures alone allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions. They may decide a bedroom is too small, without knowing how big it really is. They may decide a kitchen doesn’t look new when in reality it’s recently been remodeled.

Words also help answer questions. What is the neighborhood like? How does the layout feel? What kind of life can you live in this home? What brand is the furnace, and how new is it?

Most importantly, though:

Words tell a story that creates emotion.

Buying decisions are made based on emotions and then rationalized with logic. With great copywriting, you can help a buyer fall in love with a house, and then fill them in with the details to help them justify buying it.

How to Create Emotions with Words

There are a lot of ways to create feelings with words, but many Realtors® don’t take the time to do so. Unfortunately, many agents have a “Just the facts, ma’am” approach to copywriting.

If you could take 30 more minutes to craft your message, and sell your listing significantly faster for a much higher price, would you do it?

I hope so!

Tell a Story

Stories are incredible at creating emotions. When you tell a story, people set aside some of their biases, concerns, and fears. Great storytellers can create a broad range of emotions in a short time – we see this in good movies, good books, and even good news stories.

You want to do the same thing. Tell a story that allows the buyer to imagine themselves living in the home. Talk about what they might do there on a Saturday. If it’s a family-oriented home, talk about their children enjoying the neighborhood and schools.

Tell a story that makes the buyer feel comfortable, happy, and fulfilled. When you connect that story with owning the home, you’ll have created a powerful emotional draw.

Use High-Emotion Words

Decide what emotions you want to elicit from the buyer. This will differ depending on where you’re advertising.

If you are advertising on social media or through the mail, you need them to respond. So work on creating curiosity and urgency.

  • Have You Heard
  • Insider
  • Off-the-record
  • Missing Out
  • Left Behind

If they are on your website, focus on happiness, comfort, and fulfillment.

  • Lifetime
  • Completely
  • Peaceful
  • Cheerful
  • Heartfelt

As you are showing the home, work on creating feelings of safety and satisfaction with choosing this home to make an offer on.

  • Certified
  • Protected
  • Official
  • Long-term
  • Durable

You can find comprehensive lists of words that help create these emotions – I’ve provided just a few to get you started.

Are You Ready to Sell?

When you combine great pictures with exactly the right words, the results really are worth a million bucks. When you prepare your listing, tell stories and use the right kinds of words. You’ll be amazed how much your sales will improve.

If you’re ready to get a new set of Just Listed or Just Sold postcards out the door with the perfect combination of images and words, we’d love to help. Contact us today!

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!

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!

How to Take Great Listing Photos that Sell Homes Fast

Real Estate Listing PhotosIn today’s internet-focused culture, how you post your real estate listings online can easily make the difference between a sale and not even getting a call. Most Realtors® know that a listing with photos will get many more calls than one without. Unfortunately, many Realtors® don’t have a great idea of how to best display their listings online. Following these simple tips will help you take great listing photos and sell your properties quickly.

Use a High Quality Camera
Consider a good camera to be a necessary investment in your real estate business. Using a cell phone or simple point-and-click camera will look unprofessional and result it unclear, grainy photos. You want to display both yourself and your listing in the best, most professional light possible.

A professional photographer setup isn’t necessary for a Realtors®, but a good resolution camera with a tripod will result in high quality, clear photographs that will really make your online listings stand out among the rest.

Make Sure You Have Good Light
In any photograph, the light sets the scene and makes it easy to see the details of what’s in the picture. A picture that’s dark sends a message that the home is dark itself, which is not feature buyers are looking for! In addition, real estate listing photosdarkness tends to make people think of dirtiness and hidden problems. Getting photos that are properly lit will help potential buyers have a chance to fall in love with a home.

To achieve proper lighting, take your pictures on a sunny day. Open windows to let in light. Consider bringing in lamps if a room doesn’t have enough natural light to frame it well. Take time to research lighting setups or take an introductory photography class if you have time. Remember, you’re investing in yourself and your success!

Choose your Listing’s Best Side
I’m not talking about the particular side of the house, of course. I’m talking about making sure that you frame everything you photograph in the best possible way. Make sure rooms are picked up and organized before photographing inside. When taking pictures outside, avoid unattractive features such as torn awnings or an ugly yard. Avoid dirt and stains, and really showcase what makes the house such a great purchase.

Potential buyers are looking to put themselves in the picture, and are trying to imagine what it would be like to live there. Use your photos to make that picture very easy to see, and very appealing! Use photos to show off the home’s best features, not the current owner’s collections or oddities.

Take a Lot of Photos
When taking photos, be sure to get a lot of shots. Try different angles – a house almost always looks better at an angle than straight on from the front. Photograph rooms from various locations. After you’ve taken all your pictures, you’ll have a wide variety to choose from in creating your online listing.

Buyers also enjoy when there are more photos on a listing, so don’t skimp in uploading the great shots. If there are only one or two pictures, it may make the listing seem amateur or imply that there’s something to hide. When you have a large number of photos, you can upload all of the best shots and display the house to its full potential.

90% of buyers start their home searches online. Online listing sites are becoming more and more popular. Buyers want to feel like they can see themselves living in the home. By following these simple listing photo tips, you can make your online listing stand out from others and generate more leads, more calls, more showings, and sales.