In the absence of real marketing, there is syndication.
When new sites began to pop up offering additional exposure for property listings, the whole idea seemed like a good one. More online exposure should lead to an increased chance for a successful sale, right? The proverbial smelly substance hit the fan recently when a San Diego agency decided to pull all of their listings from syndication...and did so publicly. You may agree or disagree with their decision, but their actions have certainly caused many to take another look at the topic.
Has all of this listing syndication resulted in more sales, better deals, or a stronger real estate market? Has it improved the marketing efforts of Realtors®? In my opinion, the short answer is no.
Out of all of the tools available to today’s Realtors®, massive syndication has proven to be the least effective. Sadly, many agents tout listing syndication to their potential clients as something that makes them stand out in the crowd, but do little else to actually market a home. The truth is that any real estate agent that belongs to a local MLS (i.e. almost ALL of them) has access to listing syndication. Load a few photos and the basics into the MLS and “voila,” they can point to a bunch of websites where “they” posted the client’s home and call it online marketing.
Statistics show us that most buyers do begin their home search online. They start looking online as soon as they have started to think about moving. Once they are serious about purchasing a home (and even before that point in many cases,) almost all buyers will start to contact Realtors® to assist them with their home search. Once they are actually ready, willing, and able, they will have signed an exclusive buyer agreement with the agent of their choice.
At this point, their agent does NOT instruct them to continue to look at third party websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia until they find something and then call them. Their Realtor® links them directly into the local MLS and starts sending them homes that meet their criteria.
Ironically, the effectiveness of these third party sites is cut out as soon as buyers are actually ready to get serious about buying.
So what really sells a home? Beyond appropriate pricing, it is the marketing content and strategy created by the Realtor® that actually fosters an emotional connection between the potential buyer and the home...leading to a successful sale. Most buyers make their purchasing decision based on emotional rather than logical reasoning. Effective marketing appeals to and fosters this emotional attachment.
Real marketing starts with:
- Quality photos of the home, and lots of them.
- A professional looking virtual tour, or better yet, a video.
- Professional mail pieces, electronic flyers, and property websites.
- Creative and effectively written property descriptions designed to draw in potential buyers.
- A strategy that guides the tone of all of the above and is specifically targeted to the most likely buyers for the property.
Real marketing continues with a consistently executed plan including continual and effective posting of the quality marketing content created by the agent to social media sites, craigslist, newsletters, email, and yes, sometimes even print media.
Real marketing elements are the driving force that gets the attention of potential buyers and influences their decision to schedule a showing for a home.
In the absence of real marketing, there is always syndication.
If you are considering selling your home, you deserve more than listing syndication, call me to find out what a real marketing strategy can do for you. 207-240-2250