Are You Taking Advantage Of "Coming Soon" Marketing?

By
Real Estate Agent with Joe Manausa Real Estate 8508880888
https://activerain.com/droplet/5mxZ

Digital marketing has changed the way my company sells a home. In order to explain how significantly different we market a home for sale today, let me take a step back and establish what we did in the past.

 

Selling A Home Prior To The Internet Age

Prior to digital, there was a concept we referred to as "market time" and we actually measured how long (on average) it took homes to sell. Now if you think such a thing exists today, then you are not taking advantage of the full array of the digital benefits of an omnichannel marketing plan.

Market Time

Market time was measured in days, and from what I can remember from my interaction with Realtors around the US, we all saw homes in high-liquidity markets average something near 45 to 60 days. This meant that a homeowner could expect a contract on their home, on average, 45 to 60 days after it hit the market.

Why did it take so long? Because things moved slower. We had to take pictures and get the film developed. We needed to promote the home in the MLS (a printed publication that came out monthly), and we had to advertise in newspapers and magazines that specialized in listed homes. All of these had publication schedules and most relied upon our developed pictures to promote the home.

When you factor in the time it took to develop the film and you couple that with publication schedules for MLS and magazines, it meant that getting a home on the market took more than a month (and often two months). So knowing these time delays to meet the full buyer pool for a home, our tactics for getting top dollar for our home sellers were heavily influenced by outside factors.

The Neighborhood Stalker

Neighborhood StalkerThen, as now, we know that there exists in each neighborhood a buyer that is ready to buy. This buyer likely lost out on buying a home because of a bad offer (another buyer got the home). So the buyer is ready, and the buyer will know as soon as a sign goes up that the home is available. We refer to this buyer as the "neighborhood stalker" because he/she is fully aware of values in the neighborhood and will pounce on the next listing.

But before the internet, it took us more than a month to reach the full buyer pool. If we sold to the stalker right away, the stalker had no competition, and the stalker new it! So what did we do to ensure we gathered the whole buyer pool to create competition for the home?

Start High, Then Reduce

We overpriced the home! If the stalker was willing to overpay, great! We kept the home priced high until all the primary marketing channels were reached, then we would slowly lower the price until it hit market value and all the buyers could compete.

Now, this explanation is an oversimplification, but it is how and why most real estate agents "started high, then reduced" until the property sold.

Selling A Home Today

I still see a lot of my competition using the strategy that was effective prior to the internet, and I believe they are costing their sellers money. We have found that there is a better way to ensure the stalker is not the lone bidder, and it doesn't take a month or two to sell a home. In fact, we find that the homes we sell the fastest are now the ones that generate the most money for our sellers.

Coming Soon

We list a property earlier than we used to. We get the paperwork signed before the seller has had a chance to clean-up the home and stage it for a sale. We refer to this time period as "coming soon" and we do a whole lot more than just put a "coming soon" rider on the sale sign.

In fact, we often spend more money promoting a home during the coming soon stage than we do after it goes live. Why? Because if we do the job right, it sells in the first four days (or hours) of the property going live. The following graphic reveals our strategy for selling a home in the digital age.

Joe Manausa Home Selling Plan

There is a relative time shown above each image. For example, the "sign in the yard" goes up right away. This is typically about two weeks before the property will hit the MLS (what we refer to as "going live"). We enter the listing in the MLS as a coming soon property the next day, but that does not promote it to buyers and sellers, just savvy Realtors.

So the coming soon time period has a negative sign on the days (days prior to going live), and the numbers after that are positive.

Great Lead Generating Website

We have a website that we use solely for the promotion of our coming soon listings. It's really cool, each listing has a countdown time and a counter so that you can see how many people have viewed the property. You can see the site here if you are interested. If you would like a site similar to mine, it is done by these great people.

One great benefit of this website is that it ensures that the stalker knows there will be competition for the house! The stalker will not get a time advantage as was possible in the past, so the stalker knows to bring the best offer forward once the property goes live! Oftentimes, we get calls from agents and stalkers directly wanting to make an offer before the house goes live, and we only allow it in rare times. It's typically better to make them wait so the competition works for the benefit of the seller.

Speed - Not Perfection

You can also tell from the graphic above that we put the house on the coming soon site even BEFORE we get professional photos because we want to get the word out immediately. Once the photos are completed, we can add them to the coming soon listing if we want, but that is not really the purpose of this site. We want to get the word out fast!

The coming soon website serves to send an alert to interested buyers that a new property is going to be available at an exact time and date, and that they better be ready for the competition that we generate!

It's All About The List

I've been relentlessly marketing via many digital channels since 2007, and I have put together a database of nearly 100,000 people in my market area (market size is about 250,000). This list is HUGELY important. When I send out an email about a coming soon listing, the site gets flooded by buyers wanting to check it out. This is how I even the playing field with the stalker (who also gets the email).

Our coming soon site allows for visitors to mark a listing as a favorite, and then they get updates any time we do anything with the property (like add pictures, change text, change price, etc.). Remember, there is a countdown timer and visitor counter on each listing, so people know when they need to see the property.

Social Media Spend

We spend a lot of money to promote our coming soon listings on social media. We know that this is the best way to spread the word, and our goal is to drive people to our listings online. The website and our sales force can take it from there.

Going Live - It Shouldn't Be Long Now

We refer to the day that we go live (Typically 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays) as "Day 1." We expect a sale by Day 4. Why? Because we have reached 95% of the market of prospective buyers for the home. Between our massive list and our reach on social media, ready buyers know about the property. They know when they can see it, and more importantly, they know other buyers know when they can see it.

It is not unusual to have back-to-back-to-back showings on new listings, and we work hard to try to make that happen for each seller. We want buyers to see other buyers there!

Currently, we're selling 23% of our listings for an amount higher than the asking price, and it seems far more common to have multiple offers than it does to have just a single one. The key is working the coming soon period to get the word out.

Take Advantage Of "Coming Soon" Marketing

My advice to anybody not yet enjoying a strong "coming soon" marketing plan is to get started. Whether you put the properties on your existing website or you have a stand-alone site as we do, it will become a great lead generator for you and it will allow you to sell homes fast and for top dollar.

The days of "price it high and then reduce the price over time" are behind us. This outdated sales technique is working to the disadvantage of sellers and the high price is hiding the home from the buyers who are ready to make a decision today. It does not take 60 days to sell a home, so price it right and work the buyers against each other to get the sellers the absolute top dollar for their home.

Posted by

Joe Wrote The Book On How To Sell A Home In The Digital Age

The digital marketing guide for bricks and mortar businesses

Joe recently wrote "The Business of Getting Business."

It is a comprehensive guide for small businesses to help them understand how to implement digital marketing. For Realtors, it's a guide to using digital as the heart and soul of your marketing.

For those of us who want to survive and thrive in a world where large corporations are taking over, it is a must-read.

You can find "The Business Of Getting Business on Amazon here.

 

 

 

Joe Manausa Real Estate
1934 Dellwood Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850) 366-8917

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
2,782,957
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Joe, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Mar 10, 2020 06:55 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,385,158
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Thank you Myrl Jeffcoat and thanks for the Feature!

Mar 11, 2020 03:07 AM #3
Rainer
2,900
Jo Ann Marrese
Unique Homes Realty - Prescott Valley, AZ
List. Sell. Save!

My MLS: Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.”

Mar 11, 2020 05:44 PM #4
Rainmaker
219,976
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

My MLS also prohibits advertising a Coming Soon listing - any form of advertising requires listing it in the MLS within 24 hours. We do have a private listing network but it doesn't send the listings to public portals & once again, if we put a sign in the yard then we have to get it listed in the general MLS within 24 hours.

Mar 11, 2020 08:01 PM #5
Rainmaker
124,633
Joy Baker
RE/MAX Insight - Salem, NH
So NH RE & Short Sale Specialist

Joe, are you a member of NAR?  The policies that Judy and JoAnn's MLS have put in place come from NAR's Clear Cooperation Policy.  The policy must be implemented no later than May of 2020 but many MLS Boards have chosen to put it in place sooner.  Here's the actual verbiage:  

MLS Statement 8.0, NAR Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy:

Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.
Personally, I'm not a fan of this new policy because I believe that creating a buzz about a listing before it is actually available to be seen is in my seller clients' best interest.   But, there you have it...
Mar 11, 2020 08:55 PM #6
Rainer
112,459
Brian DeYoung
also affiliated with Howard Hanna - Ithaca, NY
The Realtor with personal investment background

prohibited in my area,  ( as a 14 day plan)  but we can do something similar, but in a very limited 1-2 day way depending of whether our office is closed one of the days.

But you do have the system well in place!

Mar 11, 2020 09:07 PM #7
Rainmaker
290,403
Randal Jenkins
Coldwell Banker F I Gray and Sons Residential, Inc. - New Port Richey, FL

$5000 fine.  

Mar 11, 2020 09:11 PM #8
Rainmaker
3,408,508
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Joe this concept was great for the past two years but National Association of Realtors and the MLS across the country have nixed this idea... now if you do not put it in the MLS within 72 hrs you are going to be in violation... On a side note people can report you anonymously and you will pay the fine... just sayin, Endre

Mar 11, 2020 09:51 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,385,158
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

To all, I apologize for not being clear. Right under the image of the stages of our coming soon program I wrote "We enter the listing in the MLS as a coming soon property the next day." That "next day" represents the new NAR 1 day requirement. The "coming soon" status in the MLS means that it is NOT syndicated. NAR does not prohibit you from marketing the home, you just have to alert all other Realtors (via MLS) within 1 day, right?

Mar 12, 2020 03:08 AM #10
Rainmaker
346,199
BethAnn Long
RE/MAX Inland Empire - Spokane, WA
Realtor, CRS, e-PRO, Spokane Wa Real Estate

The issue with " coming soon " is the way agents abuse it with the intention of double siding the deal. I have no interest in double siding a deal, my only interest is to represent my seller and get them the best exposure to gain the best offers. In 17 years I have never done a "coming soon", but I do agree we need to stay on top of the inventory in our markets. Our market now has a new " Active, no show" status which is also being abused my some agents, for example, the listing agent/agency still shows it , and then it mysteriously becomes pending. So, I say it is either for sale to all or none. The exception is when seller has a buyer, and even then, I tell them that they could be missing out on the best offer.

Mar 12, 2020 07:20 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,385,158
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Great points BethAnn Long . That's why were treat each listing like a "product launch" and work to get great activity when the home "goes live." Double-siding a home sales typically happens on under-marketed homes (IMO).

Mar 12, 2020 07:54 AM #12
Rainmaker
406,769
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Great conversation.    Out of an abundance of caution for compliance, our brokerage is not doing this.     

Mar 12, 2020 08:17 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,614,970
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This is interesting to me, since "coming soon" was unheard of back when I was an agent. Of course, selling a house within 60 days - or having bidding wars - was pretty much unheard of as well. In a small town like this one, the number of buyers looking at any one time is correspondingly small.

Mar 12, 2020 10:41 AM #14
Rainmaker
503,567
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Not allowed in our area. And not worth the fines!

Mar 13, 2020 09:10 AM #15
Rainmaker
290,403
Randal Jenkins
Coldwell Banker F I Gray and Sons Residential, Inc. - New Port Richey, FL

As I flip houses, primarily, I have given this a lot of thought.    One of the implications is, that a Realtor will never be able to market thier own home FSBO.....(do you agree)....

I ran into an agent selling a home "off Market",  I vaguely know him and gave him a heads up about the new rule...he argued with me that he was not selling the home, but selling a contract to buy the home.   Whataythink?

 

Mar 14, 2020 07:17 AM #16
Rainmaker
290,403
Randal Jenkins
Coldwell Banker F I Gray and Sons Residential, Inc. - New Port Richey, FL

You are right.  A Realtor can sell his home FSBO.  But the Realtor can not market the home, that is put out a sign, send out mass emails, list it on Craigs list or Facebook, unless it is on MLS, and then it won't be a FSBO.  

 

Mar 15, 2020 12:17 PM #17
Ambassador
1,246,269
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Not allowed in our state; CA. Automatic fine if caught doing this. Our California Associaltion of Realtors Chief Attorney came to speak last month and said if you get a listing agreement signed, it better be in the MLS. If you put it on HOLD, you better not be marketing it.

Mar 16, 2020 08:25 AM #18
Rainmaker
582,249
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

promoting a listing in advance is just good marketing!

Mar 17, 2020 08:57 AM #19
Rainmaker
1,019,136
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You are the master at listings for sure! I appreciate your strategy of active listings on Thursdays.  Just put one on last night, priced right ready to go!  

Mar 20, 2020 09:35 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,385,158
Joe Manausa
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Thank you Jan Green and congrats on your new listing! These are some trying times for sure ...

Mar 20, 2020 09:40 AM #21
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