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That's right, # 2. It's time to focus on what I believe is the SECOND biggest reason homes sit on the market. We all should know what # 1 is, PRICE, and there's already plenty of explanations out there concerning why price is numero uno. Find some of those HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. So instead of shooting a dead horse, I hope to make a case for 2nd place! And who might be the winner of a fabulous NUMBER 2 prize??
To help you understand the power of reason # 2, let's take a good look at a recent list of expired listings that popped up in the wonderful ole MLS system. This chart will help explain the first of three powerful reasons marketing is so important.
1. PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES - Without a doubt the single biggest reason, outside of price, that your property doesn't move. It should be crystal clear to a trained eye, that within this small list above, there is one shining example of how to almost GUARANTEE your property will generate ZERO interest. I don't even know where to begin when I see this occur, DAILY....but let's try:
You should immediately spot three listings with a whopping 1 picture. I'm sorry, but there are absolutely no excuses for this. NONE. I don't care what the seller says, what the property looks like outside, what the price is, or if inside it looks like World War III just ended. A one picture listing doesn't even compute in the mind of today's online buyer. Your seller needs to understand that fact clearly. When the consumer hits that listing online, on the MLS, wherever, that one picture yells, in their own mind, a HUGE negative word:
If you can't convince the seller to clean up their mess (which is USUALLY the reason for a one picture listing), or at the very least ORGANIZE the mess into a big heap, you should seriously consider whether or not the listing is worth taking in the first place. Even if the place is empty, but a total disaster internally, you still TAKE THE PICTURES. Consumers are more likely to look at the house, even if it's a slop heap...if it has more than one photo. You at least generate the possibility someone will view the home and it's structure with an open mind. They will see the innards, mess and all, damage, etc., and true buyers will envision the house as what it COULD be.
When you show buyers nothing but a single picture, the entire emotional experience, the dreaming about this room and that room, is gone in an instant, and I don't care if you write a 18 paragraph description that could win you a Pulitzer.....no extra photos...and crickets is what you are going to get.
Finally, for the love of Pete don't think that teasing the buyer is smart. That is taking only 5 or 6 pictures hoping to entice someone to see more. Are you kidding me? Those days are over. The mind set of a consumer is they'll get in their GPS enabled car and drive to the listing FIRST before they call you.
Yes they will do that.
TAKE THE PICTURES!!! Nothing disturbs me more when I see a $400,000+ listing with less pictures than a $90,000 listing. If you can't take 20 pictures of a house, what the heck are you doing??? Do you know how to use a digital camera??? A safe number is 15-20, maybe even pushing 30 if the house demands it, specifically via different angles, outside features, etc.
Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer. You would want lots of pictures, wouldn't you?
2. THE MLS IS ALL THAT MATTERS - It strikes me as stunning when I hear other agents state that as long as their listing is in the MLS system, there's no other need for marketing online. Most of the time I find out that they simply have no desire to expand their online exposure or more than likely, literally have NO IDEA how to expand their marketing.
If you're a consumer one of the first questions you should ask your agent BEFORE you list with them, is SHOW ME where my home will appear online once you list it. If the agent cannot sit down at a computer and either show your personally or EMAIL you at least 5 EXTRA sites, outside of the MLS, company website, and national website......you need to move onto another agent.
Here's just a FEW websites you should be in touch with. (If these don't look familiar, it's time you re-invent yourself.)
It's critical that a listing gets exposure in as many online spots as necessary. If you can't deliver that to the consumer, you're in the wrong business.
3.USING OUTDATED TECHNIQUES - It blows my mind to no end how many agents continue to push for and continue to believe in dated marketing techniques. Newspaper ads still run rampant in the papers, agents are still mailing out 4000+ holiday magnets, and many continue to ignore the need to embrace things like Facebook, blogging, or personal e-marketing. Sure, some of these 'old' techniques still turn up a golden nugget from time to time, but you'll find less of these shining star stories popping up than in years past.
Newspapers are legitimately dying...and i predict that 2009 will be a telling year for their overall decline. Many have already made drastic changes or gone almost completely under. Magazines are starting to turn to digital editions and newspapers have already stopped home delivery in some states. If you're still hooked on newspapers, it's time you wake up.
Sure there are still people who would explode without their daily coffee and back porch relaxing moment with the dead tree in their hands....but anyone younger than 35 still reading the newspaper is an enigma. It is important for you to realize that these younger generations are the people who will be your largest customers in less than 5 years, if not sooner.
Relying on old methods and not expanding your knowledge into the need to be online savvy, into social networks like Facebook, or keeping in touch with your customers with an e-newsletter...not doing those...will eventually put you in line with the dinosaurs.
Adapt or die. It will eventually be that simple and focusing only on marketing the 'old' way will guarantee your eventual extinction.
It may not be sudden, it may not be a killer newspaper asteroid that wipes you out, but it will be a slow menacing walk into the shadows if you don't come out of the dark ages and embrace what's only now just starting to drastically shape this industry.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.