I attended the RIS Media Conference in New York City last week. There continued to be a lot of talk of how things are a bit slow right now and also how the media has used this slow down as fodder for countless stories.
One industry leader talked about how Agents should be proactively working with their local media outlets to ensure all the positive things that are going on in real estate right now get the attention they deserve. But one of the most interesting ideas came from Alex Perillo, president and chief executive officer of the Realogy Franchise.
He told a story of how every day on his way to work, he drove past a home that was for sale. A couple of months later he was driving by the home and noticed a SOLD rider on the sign. A two days after that, the sign was gone altogether. If you were not someone who drove past this home every sign day or might assume that the owners had simply decided to take the home off the market because they couldn't find a buyer and thus fuel the "nothing is selling right now" theory. Yes, the Agent would have been well served to keep the sign up until the whole selling process was complete. But if you think about it from an industry-wide prospective, what if every Agent kept every sign on every home until the sale was complete? Alex contended that if this happened the public would have a very different perspective on the number of homes moving.
Now, extend this thinking into your advertising and how if every Agent dedicated 20% of their advertising into promoting SOLD inventory- or essentially leaving a virtual or print sign up in their advertising. So much of advertising is about creating a perception, and by doing this he felt Agents together could significantly change the perception of what is actually going on in real estate markets across the US. This type of message from local Agents that the public knows and trusts, could go so much farther than any paid advertising campaign a local or national association could run, because it is referencing something that is much easier to relate to- the home that just sold down the street.
Think back four years ago when things were selling so fast that there wasn't a lot of inventory to actually advertise. What did you have to do then- advertise your SOLDs! Why not revert to that type of advertising now, and try to create the same type of emotion home buyers felt four years ago- that now is a good time to buy because other people are.
So as you put together your newspaper ads. magazine ads, post cards, and buying featured home placement slots online, think about dedicating some of this advertising space to SOLD inventory. If enough Real Estate professionals do this across the country, the home buying temperature could rise and perceptions could be changed.