I think you miss the point of a property website completely. A property website is an extension of the completely inadequate exposure provided by all the portals. A "featured showcase" listing on Realtor.com or MLS listing with 12 photos? That is not exposure. That's the bare minimum. The individual website allows for unlimited high resolution photos, video, interactive floor plans, virtual tours, property documents, area commentary and much more. Every portal exposure should reference the property website as an extension, i.e. where to go for the complete story on the property. It should also be used in all print ads, open house materials, agent-to-agent exposure, etc.
The point of a property website is not at all to be found directly by a search engine, it is to extend the limited photo and descriptive comments found in all the portals that Google leads you to. Simply having a property be found in an internet web search is not even remotely enough anymore. The idea is to outcompete the myriad of available property listings by providing compelling content on the property website to attract the buyer to visit the listing in person before looking at all the other boring properties that do not have proper exposure.
The best way to search on your own is to go online and search as if you were the buyer for your area and price range. If you find other properties and not yours, it may be very simple to have yours posted there as well. Go to the Co. website, r.com, google, yahoo, msm...and others...And be patient. :) Stay positive and will happen.
I have had sellers have friends call me to see how fast I respond, how I promote the home and answer questions.
Don't be alarmed if your property comes up on my or other agents websites or company websites... that means the portals are working!!!!! If you cannot find your property, the marketing is NOT working... in my opinion.. time for a new agent, or... sit your agent down in front of your computer and tell them.. "FIND MY HOUSE!!!!"
Keller Williams Realty - Princeton
100 Canal Pointe Blvd, Ste #120
Princeton, NJ 08540
O: 609-987-8889 x234
Get from your agent a full MLS print out. Not just the customer copy (which you should already have).
Look at every detail. Errors are extremely common. For example I've seen sheets that say the heat it oil when it is gas, I've seen sheets with no room sizes and more with incorrect directions.
Sellers should ALWAYS ask agents for the customer copy of the MLS sheets on other homes the agent is marketing or has marketed in the past year prior to hiring them. As an exclusive buyers' broker I am keenly aware of how buyers react to missing or incorrect information.
Paul Howard, Broker/Owner
1. Price: Getting the price right is essential. I agree with those who have commented before me - the best and most far reaching marketing stragegy will not solve a price issue. Review an updated pricing analysis with you agent and make changes if necessary. Fact is, in any market, if a home is not attracting showings/repeat showings and an offer, then the price needs to be adjusted. Step back and be honest with yourself on this point. If your home is overpriced, it will not sell no matter what your agent does for you.
2. Ask for agent/buyer feedback. If you are hearing consistent feedback then listen and make the objection go away if possible.
3. Exposure: If your price is right and you've optimized the condition of your home, then maximizing the exposure of your home to potential buyers should do the trick. The bulk of them are online and so it is essential that your home is prominately positioned there in its best light. Photos are key - both quality and quantity - research suggests that buyers are now beginning to sort based on photo count! Realtor.com's "showcase" service allows agents to load up to 25 photos!
4. Finally, measure Effort - ask your agent to review the activities he/she is doing to sell your home - Broker Open Houses, Public Open Houses. Look for active involvement and consistency. Look at past effort and discuss future plans.
My formula for success is:
Proper Pricing + Maximizing Exposure + Effort!
Good luck to you!
Thanks you for sharing your thoughts and expertise on this matter.Tru;ly appreciate it.
Agree with Kenneth.......and Marc, it IS all about how where buyers search on the internet......if we're discussing real estate marketing on the internet......which is where buyers are, till they find & decide on a buyer's agent to work with.
If a site cannot be found, what good is it?
If as a buyer I'm searching for homes in your area, for example, I am not going to start with a particular property or agent.........it'll probably be XX (town homes for sale or listings in xxtown or something similar.......& the most used search engine is Google today.
How google ranks & lists results is another topic........I can guarantee you that unless the user keys in the property address ( with town ) that site will not come up.
It is ALL about condition & price & how one listing is distinguishable from the otherson the market based on location & these 2 factors.
Having a smart realtor market via the internet is beneficial if their own site serves as a portal for buyers looking in that particular area.
Just as an FYI, I manage my own website & SEO placement.....just as in real estate, one cannot succeed by being all over the internet .
Specialization is key to knowing the marketplace & visibility in bringing in results in both fields.
The bottom line as to if your agent is doing the marketing correctly is- Are you happy with the results and if not why? I dont care if your property is exposed to every person in the world, Is the property priced correctly for the location and condition? Are you looking for a quick sale with few contingencies? Have you listed at a price higher than properties that are superior ro yours? Are your expectations reasonable? In the market we had a few years ago agents would take the highest recent sale price and use this as a starting point (minimum). Now you should be taking the lowest priced comparable property and reducing from there. In my marketing like other agent's ( yes I do work in your neighborhood), I use numerous web sites, radio transmitter, print ads,open houses ... While it is true some agents dont return calls of prospective buyers, fail to highlite certain major selling features or even put the home in the wrong mls etc thankfully this is a small percentage of professionals.
But even with all this, if the property isnt properly priced for it's condition and location, it will not sell.
As a realtor with a niche expertise & by way of how I am 'found' on the internet by buyers.......it is all about the search engines.......consumers go mostly to google or msn or yahoo ( used least) to look for properties.
The agent's website only proves useful if they are an area expert for your town-city - community.
They may look for " homes in South brunswick" or townhomes in Princeton Walk etc. on the search engines & that how a majority of buyers begin their search.
An individual site is not useful for this reason..........there are many reasons why the 1st few results via search engines come up .....this also has to do with how long the site has been up or is 'optimized' for those search results & how 'valuable the site is rated by google etc. by way of the information it provides overall.
Thus the established sites as Realtor.com are important.........individual sites just make you, the seller, look & feel important IMHO.
What you need to see :
1. On Realtor.com- A featured listing or a showcase enhanced listing---now the MLS allows 12 pictures & you should be on Trend ( Mercer MLS) + Middlesex MLS as well ---maybe even Garden State MLS ( SOmerset)
2. 12 photos ......lots of the interior as well.
3. If your home is in a good move in condition or not is very imp & more in your hands than your agent's. It should be staged for a model home look. Talk to your agent about this--they should provide this service- if not find an agent who does.
4. Price & condition will sell your home, ultimatley. If you were even marginally overpriced & that was either your or your agent's decision, you missed out on buyers initially.
If your agent took an overpriced listing, that tells you of the quality of agent in any case.
---They already put their interest over yours.
A listing serves as a lead generation tool as well--so it does not hurt the agent to have an overpriced listing on their list of homes to sell.
- There are other issues you should be analyzing too at this point.......but that my friend, is your agent's job & what they would be getting paid for.........better let him/her work for it :-)