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Archive for seasonal marketing

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!

Three Great Reasons to Sell in the Winter

Reasons to Sell in Winter

Savvy Realtors® love letting their clients in on a little secret: Winter may be the best time to sell your home.

Your clients may want to wait until the spring. They may have pre-conceived notions that their home will see less attention, that they can’t get a good listing photo in the snow, or that people don’t drive to open houses in bad weather.

But feel free to remind your clients of a few great points in a recent RealtorMag article that said, “The winter tends to net sellers’ more than their asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than listings from June through November.

“Listing during those four winter months has resulted in higher percentages of above-asking-price sales than listing during any months, other than April and May.”

Here are a few things that prove the cold season can lead to hot deals for your clients.

Listed Houses Get More Attention in the Winter

Not competing with the wave of listed houses each spring can have some serious benefits for the average winter seller.

In fact, a promising Time Magazine article recently reported that “A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago.

“And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring.”

Simply put, less competition on the market means you can zero in on the people who are looking.

You Find Highly Motivated Buyers

Many of the people looking for homes this time of year need to find one ASAP. They’re likely experiencing a lifestyle change. This means they could be facing:

  1. A new job
  2. A growing family
  3. A divorce or death in the family

Christin Camacho, a Redfin spokesperson also told the Huffington Post that you will see more serious offers because, “shoppers in January and February are motivated.”

“They’re looking in winter because they need to move, not because they’re just looking for fun.”

Circumstances have forced their hand, and they need a home ASAP. They know they’re at the mercy of what’s available and hope they can get something nice. Your client’s home can be that something nice.

A motivated buyer likely means a better price, with less negotiation for your clients. This also means a faster closing process, which is great for everyone.

You Can Tap into the Psychology of the Buyer

January is often the time where many people look to hit the reset button on their lives.

A bit of introspection over the holidays often has people taking stock of their lives and plotting the changes they want to make. A big move can often be a part of that change.

Your clients can position their homes as just the change these buyers are looking for. The change-seeking buyers may say, “I’m going to wait to look for a home in the spring” but they will 100% start looking for homes immediately – either consciously or unconsciously. You can tap into that desire for change in your just listed postcards, fliers, and more.

You don’t even have to wait for the New Year. People start pondering the new year at the start of the holiday season, in and around Thanksgiving. And even though the calendars turn over on January 1st, most people really see their new year starting on December 26th. The build up and madness of Christmas is over, so it’s time to get back to real life—or find a new life.

Help your clients tap into this potential and show these buyers that there’s no need to wait until March or April. The change they want is right here, right now!

Do you have any winter listing tips? Share them in the comments below!

5 Ways to Generate New Leads This Fall

Fall Marketing for Realtors

In many parts of the country, leaves are changing and weather is getting chillier. This transition means that we’re getting ready to leave behind the summer busyness and move into a new season. Many Realtors® find winter to be an extremely slow season, so it’s important to take advantage of the fall to get new leads. Here are five ideas you can use.

Feed Off Sports Mania

Depending on where you live, you may be moving into one of the most active sports seasons of the year. Americans around the country love football, and in some areas of the country college football is almost a religion. Feed off of this sports enthusiasm to generate leads. Buy a couple of tickets to a local, popular game – maybe a rivalry game – and do a free drawing for winners. The only condition is that people fill out their name, address, and phone number to enter.

Then, once you have dozens and dozens of new leads, be sure to follow up!! If you follow up in a timely manner, you’ll still be fresh in their minds and they’ll be more receptive to what you have to say. You can call or visit these leads, and ask them whether they are looking to buy or sell, or know someone who is.

Sponsor a Food Drive

As you come near Thanksgiving and the other holidays, people begin to think more about the less fortunate around us. This is a great time to do a fall food drive at your office or in partnership with a local food bank or community center. You can hand out your cards, or even do a drawing at the time you accept the donations.

If you simply hand out cards, give folks a reason to follow up. You can tell them there are free resources to download on your site (in exchange for their information, of course). In fact, you can even use your smart phone to get their information and email them the freebie on the spot!!

Visit Garage Sales

Throughout the summer and fall, visiting garage sales can help you connect with homeowners as they prepare to move. This is a great way to get leads. If they already have an agent, you may be able to bring buyers and get part of the sale.

Even if you find that the homeowners are just organizing or trying to get rid of extra belongings, you can start a relationship that could lead to business or referrals down the road. Having an online freebie available about organizing or decorating your home can help you get their contact information right away, even if they’re not moving right now.

Hold a Fall Party

People love parties, and fall is a really fun time to have one. Whether you choose to have bobbing for apples and pumpkin bars or have a costume party around Halloween, a fall party is a great way to bring your neighborhood together and build your brand.

As you mix through the party, strike up conversations and get to know your target market. It’s a great low-pressure way to build relationships, and you may discover some folks getting ready to sell before winter hits.

Use Holidays as Ways to Connect

Between daylight savings, Veteran’s Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, there are a lot of fall holidays that give you a reason to reach out to your prospects. If you have a neighborhood that you farm, consider sending seasonal postcards once or twice this fall to get your name in their mind. (If you don’t have a farm, this is a good time to start!!)

When you send out farming postcards, seasonal mailers, or email relevant community information, you’re building your credibility as an expert on the area while also keep your name in front of prospects. Again, a giveaway or raffle slip included in the mailing is a great way to encourage people to send you more information and build a connection.

Fall marks a transition into the real estate off-season, but that doesn’t mean you should curtail your efforts. Instead, focus on getting those buyers and sellers who are looking to move before bad weather hits, and take time to build up your farm and your email nurture lists so you can stay in touch this winter.

How do you use fall to get extra leads? Share in the comments!

Don’t Lose Marketing Momentum this Summer

Marketing Momentum in Summer

It’s summer, and that means that most Realtors® are very busy. It’s easy to leave behind your marketing efforts during the summer, especially when you feel you’re overwhelmed with clients as it is. However, the only way to still have clients and active leads in the fall, winter, and spring is to stay consistent with your marketing efforts every summer.

Pay “Mark” First

Keeping a consistent budget is important in any business, including real estate. Your budget should include a specific amount for marketing every month. If nothing else happens, be sure to pay your marketing budget – “Mark” – every month. It’s the only way your business can stay healthy year-round.

Maintain Your Farming Efforts

I know you’re busy with clients, but you want to make sure you maintain your farming efforts. For farming to be effective, it has to be consistent over time. Fortunately, this can be done fairly quickly once your mailing list is set up. Summer is the most important season to stay visible in your farm, since it’s the time of year people are most likely to buy or sell a home. If you’re tired of the feast-or-famine cycle of real estate, keep your farming efforts consistent with postcards and fliers during the summer.

Keep Websites Up to Date

As you work with clients each day, don’t forget to keep your website updated with recent listings and “just sold” testimonials. You may be very busy, but clients are still looking online for real estate assistance, and you want to make sure your site stays fresh and active. Keep pictures current, and especially make sure that you keep your listings updated, so someone doesn’t try to view a home that’s already sold!

Ask Clients to Post Reviews

As you build up another batch of satisfied customers this summer, ask them to leave online reviews for you on your website or on real estate portals. Having happy client reviews that are very recent will do a lot for you in terms of attracting new customers.

Keep Up Your Email Marketing Efforts

Writing dozens of emails is probably the last thing you have time to do this summer, but remember that an automated email marketing program can do all the hard work for you. You just set it up, and it can automatically follow up with leads on a specific schedule while you focus on the client that’s in your office today.

Recognize Holidays in Your Marketing

We have a variety of holidays throughout the year that give you ready-made reasons to reach out. A Fourth of July postcard in late June can be a seasonal, easy way to connect with your leads and prospects without taking a lot of your time or effort. Mother’s Day, Flag Day, and Father’s Day are other well-known summer holidays, and there are likely local fairs and festivals in your area that you can use as outreach opportunities.

Many Realtors® find themselves in a feast-or-famine cycle of being busy during the summer and very slow at other times of year. Much of the time, this is related to the fact that they market regularly all year, except during the summer. So take some time to “pay Mark” – get some postcards, some fliers, and spruce up your email campaigns. In the fall, you’ll be glad you did.

What makes it hard for you to keep your marketing momentum in the summer? Share in the comments!

The Four Most Effective Real Estate Marketing Strategies

Real Estate Marketing StrategiesIn real estate, there are dozens of strategies available. It can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, there are some that are tried-and-true real estate marketing strategies that you can employ simply and consistently. Here are the four most effective real estate marketing strategies and how to implement them to your best advantage.

Farming a Neighborhood

Although this real estate marketing strategy requires time to work, the returns are amazing. I recommend this strategy for every agent – and stick with it! Start by choosing the neighborhood where you want to excel. Then, take the following steps to obtain maximum results from your efforts.

  • Research the area, including sports team affiliations, where the residents tend to work (do they commute downtown?), family profile (lots of children? Retirees?) and more.
  • Once you know the area well, consider sending an introduction letter with some materials about your brokerage and practice. Include some key real estate information about the area, like market reports and a neighborhood profile.
  • Finally, follow up with a consistent outreach program. Consider sending weekly materials for a couple of months, followed by an ongoing monthly newsletter, postcard, or other information.

These efforts will keep you top of mind to homeowners in the area. In addition to mailings, make yourself physically present in the neighborhood as much as you can. Walk your dog there, go to community events, and even shop in the area occasionally. The more they get to know and trust you, the more likely you are to be their agent of choice when they buy or sell.

Just Sold/Just Listed Flyers

Sharing the success of your real estate practice is a great way to get attention from other homeowners in the area. Two real estate marketing strategies are helpful in doing so. A “Just Sold” flyer – focused on the customer and home more than on you – can be a great way to point out that you are a successful agent with a great track record. “Just Listed” flyers draw attention to your business while also bringing potential buyers to the property, which is a win-win for any agent.

To make your flyer stand out, be creative without losing the key message. Instead of “Just Listed”, for instance, try something like “Could This Be Your New Home?”. For a “Just Sold” flyer, lead with “Moving on Up”, and then provide information about the home and sale.

The key with any marketing material is to make sure it’s relevant to the person receiving it. Don’t spend time trumpeting about yourself and your success. Feature a testimonial from the homeowners that have benefited from your expertise, or highlight the features of the new listing that could benefit the reader. In that way, you’ll hold attention while still building a strong awareness of your practice.

Contacting Expired Listings

Expired listings are an amazing real estate marketing opportunity for any agent, but some Realtors® feel uncomfortable approaching them. Remember that these are homeowners that need additional help selling their home, and don’t be afraid to offer that help. If the previous agent couldn’t help them, then perhaps you can!

There are many ways to contact expired listings. You can call them directly and ask them about the experience they had and what struggles occurred with the listing. You can email them as part of an email marketing campaign. You can also send expired listing postcards or letters. My personal preference is the phone call, simply because you can direct the flow of the conversation and get specific questions answered as you offer your services.

No matter how you contact an expired listing, as part of your real estate marketing strategy be sure to get the most out of it by focusing on the homeowner. Empathize with their frustration. Feel out the nature of the problem they had. If appropriate – and it usually is – offer yourself as a possible solution to the issue. Trust your gut – some listings expire because the homeowner isn’t ready to sell at an appropriate price or has some other difficult attitude. Most of the time, however, you can come in and save the day.

Seasonal Marketing

In most areas of the country, the seasons are a very significant part of how and when homes are bought and sold. Whether people move in the summer to avoid disrupting their child’s school year, or decide not to list in the winter because the house is less attractive, seasonal concerns are in the forefront of real estate.

As a Realtor®, you can use these concerns to your advantage as you plan your real estate marketing strategies. By using postcard marketing, email marketing, or social media posts, you can acknowledge each season and tie it in to your real estate message.

Information about standing out as one of few listings in the winter can boost business during a slow time. Notes about spring cleaning, home staging, and taking advantage of prime listing season can help kick off the spring. Summer and fall likewise offer their own holidays and advantages that can be highlighted in your marketing.

Remember that your seasonal communication doesn’t have to be a hard sell. Sometimes a fun word search or an invitation to a fall ‘Harvest Party’ at your brokerage is all you need to recognize the season while keeping your real estate business front-of-mind for residents.

Choosing your real estate marketing strategies can seem overwhelming, but sticking to the basics can make it much easier. By farming neighborhoods, using just sold and just listed flyerReal Estate Marketing Strategiess, contacting expired listings, and using seasonal outreach, you can keep it simple and still become one of the top performing Realtors® in your area.

If we at Printerbees can help you in any way, let us know! We’re always here for you and would be delighted to help you implement any or all of the above strategies.

What’s your favorite real estate marketing strategy? Share in the comments!