Have you paid much attention to magazine advertising lately? How is product described in the ads? Example is an older Ford Explorer ad. “Embrace the wild…be unstoppable…go further.” Not four door vehicle with four tires, electric windows, steering wheel, and seats five. If it were Realtors marketing it, the latter is how it might sound. That is how many Realtors market homes. How many times have you read the remarks of a home that are merely a description. “Three bedroom, 2 bath home with a 2 car garage, a large kitchen, and…” Need I say boring? Luxury homes are not far behind in the verbiage used in marketing them.
Here is an excerpt for a luxury home that has been on the market for over 1,100 days (3 years). “ELEGANT & GRACIOUS SPANISH COLONIAL STYLE GATED 6 ACRE ESTATE,OVERLOOKING CITY & MT.VIEWS IN PRESTIGIOUS...CUSTOM DESIGNED BY RENOWNED ARCHITECT…” wouldn’t it sound better to have written, “Experience Spanish Colonial style within your elegant and gracious abode. Nestled within six tranquil acres with stirring city and mountain views. Feel the thoughtful design of renowned Architect…” What Buyers are seeing now is SHOUTING with all capital letters. Where in a magazine or on a television ad have you seen description in capital letters? In the second description I was attempting to create a feel, a mood for the home. Inviting the reader to “feel” by saying “…within your…” to personalize the remarks. Not perfect, someone else may posses a more creative style. Definitley better than shouting.
I read an article once that sex sells luxury homes; instead of saying beautiful, say alluring; instead of nice views, say captivating views; and so on. It got me to thinking about how homes are marketed in the MLS and in magazine advertising. The world of real estate marketing has evolved. Some of us need to take a few creative writing courses to catch up. It is more than a few words, and a couple of pictures. Which is a segway into the next part of marketing.
Photography is one of my passions for marketing. Tying those photos into the verbiage used is a key to marketing. Merely stating there are “…stirring city and mountain views…” have photos of each. When I used to investigate I would always look for supporting evidence for proof. Same thing in describing characteristics of a home. Provide photos as support to help people’s imaginations. If possible name the photo and include a brief “alluring” description to direct the viewer to what you want them to see and feel. I know in our MLS, all photos can be named with a description. See in the name of the photo as CR00561 is just the name my camera gave the photo. It does nothing to describe it to the viewer. So, verbiage and photos should complement one another. An extension or repeat of verbiage in the remarks. I like to ask Sellers what they don’t like about their home. That’s because the Buyer looking for that, whatever it is, may be attracted to their home because of it. Commenting and portraying in a photo, if possible, may make that needed difference. Sometimes photos cannot reveal enough of what you want to display. It may require motion. That is where video comes in. Segway number two.
Video can do what photos cannot. If you mention a moonrise, that beautiful photo is nice to give a hint. A time-lapse video on the other hand allows the viewer to experience that. Same thing if describing clouds rolling over the mountain above, time-lapse can demonstrate the feel.
In 2015 there was a strong current of influence to draw me away from my goal. In 2016 I made the journey back with many lessons learned and the influence of some exceptional cinematographers who understood the direction I wanted to go. Like in Jim Collins book, Great by Choice, I stuck to my desired path and goal. In 2017 I’ve sharpened the saw as Stephen R Covey may say. I am on track and having fun. Sure, people still contact me about drones. But drones do not define what I do. Let’s talk about drones for a moment.
A word of caution, drones are not the only way to illustrate homes. They should be used to augment, supplement, compliment, but not as the entire video. Mine are two of six cameras I use. Using them like my other photography and cinematography equipment to create a desired effect, to give a hint into what I want the viewer to see in relation to the home itself. It sure beats climbing a ladder in the bed of my truck to get a compelling photo though. Plus I can move the drone up, down, left, right, forward or backward to take several shots to select that perfect one. My Canon camera on a tripod or Sony 4K camera with a cinema lens on a motorized slider are more important to me. Every camera, every photograph, every video clip is intended to create an effect to go with the verbiage for the home. The combination of those effects are designed to create an overall feeling or mood for marketing the home. Each complimenting the other. It’s a complete package to get the Viewers where I want them to go; verbiage complimented by photos, photos complimented by video. Final segway.
In 2015 I was introduced to a new blossoming form of marketing homes by the Director Of Member Engagement for the National Association of Realtors. A 3D interactive way for viewers to walk through a home room by room. Looking at the ceiling, the floor, turning 360 degrees, moving at desired discretion to the next room, etc. The concept was great, so I sent links to two clients who are computer geeks to say the least. Each had trouble with it. If they couldn’t get through it, how could non-Geeks make it through. In 2015 it reminded me of the movie Matrix with glitches in the movement and turning. I wasn’t about to create frustrating experiences for Buyers that would turn them away from a home I market. Not good for the Sellers, not good for future business for me. Over time the bugs have been worked out. 2017 is the year for engaging that 3D interactive technology. A true virtual tour of a home through smart phones, tablet, computers, and yes those 3D goggles that are such a rage. It is a great way to get potential Buyers through a home to see if they really like it before the Sellers are interrupted, before the Buyer’s Agent heads to the car. A true virtual tour of a home.
Using your imagination with creative writing, the right professional photos, a quality video, followed up with an interactive 3D virtual tour is today’s way to market homes. Each complimenting the other. Each saving time. Each providing complete and thorough insight to get homes sold faster and for a higher price. This is how I successfully market homes. This is how I have managed to sell homes faster and for a higher price. I hope this information helps bring you to a higher level in YOUR marketing of home.