A competitive price will always be paramount to enticing Buyers to make an offer. Outside of that, a Comprehensive Marketing Plan is crucial, and I would argue a required base level in today’s crowded marketplace. None of the marketing strategies below sells a home in isolation, although together they form a Comprehensive Marketing Plan.
Pricing Competitively – While this may not seem to be a marketing strategy, it is. Buyers ready to purchase often have been looking for months, and usually have a good pulse on the market. A good Sellers Agent has previewed the homes recently sold and currently on the market and should be providing a highly personalized analysis – the analysis should go much deeper than just reviewing print outs from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
Staging – Staged homes sell for a higher amount and faster than homes that are not staged. Buyers love homes that look like a Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn showroom. Even just investing in staging advice and the editing of pieces can pay dividends. Your Agent should have resources at different levels of the staging spectrum. Selling and living in homes are different, listen to your Agent and try not to be offended. Personal note, if I need to sell my home, I would remove ALL my furniture and stage the entire house. This cost is normally absorbed by the Sellers.
Professional Photography – Of all the marketing strategies, this is a cost of entry marketing to be a Real Estate Agent. Almost all searches start online, anything less than high resolution, clear and crisp photography is unacceptable from my perspective.
Floor Plans – When buyers attend numerous Open Houses or set up several showings, they do not remember the exact floor plan or the dimensions of a room. Make it easy for the Buyer and have a Floor Plan available.
Virtual Tour – I use the Matterport technology. It allows Buyers to walk through your home via their mobile device or computer. It is interactive allowing Buyers to pick the order of the rooms, when to zoom in, go upstairs or downstairs. Unlike photography, the Buyers can see everything – which makes staging all the more important. It hides nothing, for better or worse. This gives Buyers a true sense of what the home offers.
Social Media Exposure – This can and should vary based on the objectives, the goal is to place your home in front of a wider audience than traditional marketing methods. The key social media mediums are Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Pinterest, Google Business, and Twitter. I personally do not Tweet or even have an account. Most of these are low cost, high impact approaches.
Single Property Website – This gives your home its own website – 123MainStreet.com – it is great for social media posts since it brings in both a picture and link to the website which directs Buyers back to your Agent. For Buyers driving by, they don’t need to remember an Agent’s name and Brokerage – just the street address. The goal is to make it easy for Buyers to find the details on your home.
Talk Up the Area – Highlight the key aspects of the location – commuting access, public transportation, recreation, schools or other local amenities – Buyers are buying both a house and into the local community as well.
High Quality Print Materials – Brochures and Flyers should be on thick glossy stock and highlight those professional photographs. And, Floorplans and Neighborhood details should also be available and at the home.
Public & Broker Open Houses – Broker Open Houses, preferably even before the Public Open Houses allow other Agents to preview the property so they can preview it for their Buyers. Pubilc Open Houses should also have the Printed Materials mentioned above. While most homes do not sell at the Public Open House, the Open House allows Buyers a pressure free way to view the home.
Informing Their Network – This a low cost, easy way to get exposure and your Agent should be letting everyone in their network know about their newest listings. This can be done via Social Media and/or an email campaign. It has links back to the Single Property Website which allows your Agent’s network to share the listing with their network.
Just Listed Postcards – Let’s be honest, they get recycled almost immediately – but Just Listed Postcards are a great way to get your home in front of neighbors – not all neighbors drive each street in the area on a regular basis or look at what is for sale each day – but they may know someone that is looking to buy.
A marketing plan should be comprehensive and include items such as the ones outlined above. Each item is an article in itself. Several of the elements are interconnected and build off each other. Many Agent don’t invest in the marketing strategies (and others) mentioned here – they should. Why? Many Agents don’t want to absorb any more initial costs than needed. I would argue, and I view, a Comprehensive Marketing Plan, as a cost of doing business. You hire an Agent to get your home sold. A Comprehensive Marketing Plan should be an essential part of what your Agent offers.
Doug McNeilly is a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Wayland, Massachusetts. He specializes in Wayland, Sudbury and the Greater Boston Metro West Area. He can be reached at email@example.com or www.dougmcneillyhomes.com