“It took thirty-eight years before 50 million people gained access to radios. It took television thirteen years to earn an audience that size. It took Instagram a year and a half.”
? Gary Vaynerchuk
In today’s highly-fueled social media world things move fast, sometimes too fast. Technology has taken hold in every sector of our lives. Real estate is no different. As processes get automated and marketing becomes more and more viral, ask yourself, “Does my realtor add up?”
Will your home (probably your most significant investment) get seen by large numbers of people? Will it get the right exposure to create the demand needed to earn you top dollar?
If your realtor is in a constant search for the next client and always chasing that next commission check, they may not be ready for you in 2018. Having the tools needed to keep your listing in front of the masses requires innovation, creativity, and dedication.
A majority of Realtors still use these old-school and very traditional marketing techniques:
- Listing your house on the MLS
- Pricing it at market value
- Banging a for-sale sign in your front yard
- Hosting an open house or two
While these traditional methods have been around for ages, they work and still have their place in today’s market, no debate. They will eventually sell your house, especially given the hot market we’re experiencing in the Northwest.
However, are these strategies right for you? Will just using the basics net you more at the end of the day? The answer lies with you.
If you are comfortable with – and excited about – a full price offer then, great. If traditional techniques are enough you might even want to consider a FSBO, a for sale by owner. (Grab your Nor’West FSBO guide here). It may be overwelming and a lot of work, but not impossible.
However, if you want more than full price for your home , then you should demand more. Much more!!
Getting Top Dollar for Your Home:
While you might be happy with a full price offer, how would you feel with an extra $20,000 or $40,000 in your pocket or, perhaps, a much-needed extension on your closing so you can find your new home?
Your Realtor is the key to creating the demand needed to knock it out of the park.
More demand = More money!
Strategies needed for 2018 and beyond:
If you want more, then you’ll need an agent who knows how to go beyond traditional 2008 selling techniques. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the best modern-day approaches to see if your realtor adds up:
- Social media platforms,
- Analyzing big data for your community
- Multi-touch campaigns
- Outreach educational programs
- Aggressive pricing strategies
- A skilled understanding of foreign markets
The best realtor should have started “marketing” your home a year before you ever met and possibly have a buyer already in their database. In other words, by the time you begin working with them they have (and know how to use) the right tools, utilize up-to-date marketing techniques, and be able to leverage multiple networks – including a cadre of potential buyers to help you sell off-market. (An off-market sale means a hassle-free transaction and instant savings of 3% since you don’t have to pay a buyer’s commission!)
Making those strategies work:
Using the latest technology to sell a home isn’t the same thing as maximizing that technology’s potential. It’s easy to post something or tweet out a picture of your home to friends and an agent’s network. That’s not marketing, that’s sharing.
Understanding how these platforms work and the relevant algorithms, as well as targeting specific groups and markets, will significantly grow the volume of potential buyers. More people means a higher likelihood of netting you more. But, it’s not just casting a broad net without a plan!
A hyper-focused plan is critical in 2018 real estate!
Let’s take a look at an example: You live in Lakeland Hills, one of the hottest communities around these days, and you want to list your four-bedroom 2500sq ft home in the spring. It’s a perfect home right by the park and walking distance to Legendary Doughnuts. (Shameless plug for the crew there but well deserved) The schools are excellent, and the area is the ideal setting to raise a family. List it, and there’s no doubt that they will come! Your house will sell and sell quickly with the traditional marketing tools. (Remember those: MLS, a for-sale sign in your yard, open house) But, imagine the offers you could get if you target market your home to 1,000’s of pre-approved renters who are already confirmed that they are looking to move. They are now paying over $2,000 month in rent, have a great credit score and are in love with the area. An aggressive marketing is used to showcase your home directly to them in multiple ways. Your home shows up on personalized postcards in their mail, phone calls are made to invite them to your open house and your listing hits all their social media feeds. You are everywhere!
I hope you agree that information like that would be helpful. Using an aggressive marketing campaign with a targeted group within a broader category makes sense and can make a significant difference. Now apply this method to those who are looking to move up from a starter home or just got married and are combining households. BAM!! You have a pool of buyers before your house even hits the market, creating demand and earning you more.
>Analyzing Big Data:
Some people find big data a bit disconcerting, but it’s unavoidable today. Google drives this intelligence, and there’s no getting away from it – even though too many realtors ignore it altogether to their clients’ disadvantage!
Have you ever opened your Facebook or snail mail only to find an ad that’s eerily perfect for your needs? Let’s say you’re about to have your first child, congrats. (Jeff is a great name, by the way!) In the mail, you begin to receive advertisements and discounts for everything baby related. On your Facebook account, all sorts of useful ads and articles are suddenly appearing. Is it just coincidence or is Big Brother watching? It’s usually the latter.
Companies are buying data based on what potential buyers do, need, and browse. That technology is here and here to stay, and this should be used to your advantage. Finding potential buyers through the use of big data takes time and effort to collect and examine. It’s called “big data” for a reason because it requires a solid plan, constant engagement, and management. Not all agents have the time or help to mine through it. But when done right and efficiently leveraged, it can be the difference between a good offer and a ‘smack me silly’ offer.
Does your realtor have a big game plan?
Unfortunately, international markets are often ignored by realtors because they fail to understand the importance of marketing to them. If your home is not promoted overseas, you are missing out on a significant demographic that is buying in this area – often in cash. (Cash offers may pay more because they are not paying finance rates and they tend to close faster.).
The booming tech market with its high paying jobs is helping to attract international relocations to our region. Families are moving here for those opportunities and the many advantages our state has to offer families including good public education.
Don’t believe me…Google it!
The international relocation trend is not slowing down and is only projected to continue to boost our local real estate market. Targeting these groups can be a little tricky. Most Realtors hope that by placing your listing on the local MLS, it will capture international buyers. However, that’s not always the case.
Your Realtor needs to market your home where the buyers are, and that’s not always on the MLS, Redfin or Zillow – especially for overseas buyers. A Realtor needs to understand international markets, including possible cultures differences, to better access those markets and target those buyers.
So, Where is Your Realtor: in 2008 or 2018?
The vast majority of Realtors will remain back in 2008 only looking for their next client instead of upgrading their game to 2018.
So, ask yourself: “Does my Realtor bring the value and results I deserve? Am I paying too much for too little?”