A question to all realtors.

Asked by Justin F., Lancaster County, PA Sun May 24, 2009

In what other ways besides putting a house on the MLS and a sign in the frontyard do realtors market and promote a home that is for sale? What other techniques are used to get the word out?

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Answers

361
Kathy Smiley, Agent, Westlake Village, CA
Mon Jul 20, 2009
As old fashioned in this day and age of internet and blogging and social marketing, the tried and true, most effective way to get the word out about your listings or your buyer's wants and needs to be out among the people. Be active. Get involved in what's important to you, and then follow up and FOLLOW THROUGH! Door knock a few hours a week. Email people something of value. Volunteer. Facebook. Have a party and invite neighbors you embarrassingly don't know. Walk the dog. Go outside. Talk and chat and Enjoy life. Tell everyone you know that this is a great market and someone they know may benefit from your service. Care about helping others truly from the heart, and you will sell your listings and attract business to you.
3 votes
Mary Hanna, Agent, Springfield, MO
Wed Jul 1, 2009
Dear Justin,
The best way to market your home is to price it correctly from the start.
Work with your Real Estate Professional who will provide information & comparables and then based on the location, size, condition, price your home to sell.
No matter what you do, if your home is not priced correctly, it most likely will not sell.
Mary Hanna
3 votes
Justin F., Both Buyer And Seller, Lancaster County, PA
Mon Jun 29, 2009
Yeah thats fine and everything. Every agent hasnot applied or discovered every method to marketing homes. But every other agent has done something another didnt do or discover and vice versa. Doenot make it a secret, just to the agent that has not applied or discovered this method or route yet. All methods have been done some where some how. Frankly in my opinion, I wouldnt worry about what the next agent is doing, in terms of competition. I would focus on me and learn what I can to imporve and do what I know. Worry about who has the best strategy is beyond me, not important. Someone specail method doesnot guarantee clients. All the agents saying they have secrets. You onl say this because you have found a way that you feel works for you and you feel no other knows this way, so you feel you must keep it to yourself. Thats fine.... I believe in if you apply yourself in the necessary ways, you will get what you seek the same as any other agent or more. Positive energy and good vibes and ethical, honest behavior, and obviously competence over powers any of the best so called strategies at the end of the day in my book. Clients dont buy strategies. They buy trust, honesty, service, care, satisfaction, not strategy. I think I shopuld become a realtor.I think I would succeed at it. Not saying its easy to just jump into. But I can apply my kowledge, abide by the law and be my self, and win way more clients than those trying to be the most strategic especially the cocky agents. Arrogance is a disease in this business.
3 votes
Donna Russell, , 12561
Tue Jun 16, 2009
Realtor networking is a very important and viable way to market a property. There are several ways this is done:

Listing information may be disseminated at a continuing education class.
Listing information may be presented at a social or business function.
Listing information may be discussed at a company meeting.
Listing information may be emailed to other realtors.
Keeping in touch with fellow realtors by contacting those in the area where the house is listed and informing them about particulars of the home.
Offer to accompany any realtor wishing to preview the listing.
Hold an Open House for realtors.
If you are attending another Open House, speak to the realtors there about your listing.
If a realtor calls about an issue (not another listing), feel free to introduce this new listing.
Seek prompt feedback from all showings and relay information to client.

A few other ways a realtor promotes a listing (there are many others):
Have picture perfect photos; this means if you're not a good photographer, hire one!
Have the house professionally staged
Have the house pre-inspected and resolve any issues before the house is on the market
Perform a periodic home market evaluation, especially in this market.
Have a website page created just for this one listing.
Seek out like-minded websites suitable to post this listing.
Change photos seasonally.
Prepare a welcome book for buyers to peruse during their visit.
The most important thing a realtor can do is to make sure the house is sparkling clean and to have it priced well the first time it hits the market.
3 votes
Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Mon May 25, 2009
Lots and lots of online marketing, which is something I pay for; but not so much that I DO. When my team enters a listing into the MLS, it gets pulled and fed via something called listing hub to all the major search engines.

Depending on the property, there are other things, which are more specific to the property, and become more important the more unique the property is.

Beware that OTHER than the online listings, most marketing real estate agents do is smoke and mirrors - you think it is about your property, it is really designed to help brand the agents business and to get calls from buyers. In this market we're seeing agents stick to the things they know work - the online marketing and signs- because they don't have the money to throw away to make you feel good about how your property is being marketed.

Forget about your seller brain. Your profile says you are looking to purchase a home - think with that kind of brain. Where are you looking for your house? Online, by driving the streets of the neighborhoods you like and through your agent; right? You are just like 90% of the buyers. As a seller, don't think that your house is not selling because it is not on the front of the local real estate magazine. I've had this conversation before with sellers. I have one person I do a lot with - a builder. He kept whining about the magazines. So, I agreed place the ad for 6 months, but if we didn't get atleast 3 people to look at the house from that ad, he had to pay for it. He agreed. We designed the ad together. No one called. He doesn't bug me about that anymore.

Remember, presentation of your property (curb appeal, staging, and online photos) are critical. The online ads must be GOOD, too... not just a blip of facts, but an emotional appeal. With all this, if your property is not selling it could be that there is no market for your property at the moment if it is really unique.... but if other homes like yours are selling, then it is that you have not found the right price.
Web Reference:  http://www.vickychrisner.com
3 votes
Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Mon May 25, 2009
In addition to the answers you have received so far, I must add that marketing the home also includes getting the home priced right and knowing what the buyers are doing in the area. As a home owner, you probably know very little of the local market. Real estate agents know what the buyers are doing, they are informed of what projects are coming down the pipe and the kinds of legislation which may affect home owners and/or buyers in the area.

Another thing I would like to add is that when and offer gets put in, the work isn't done. This is when the real work starts. Your agent will ensure that the sales agreement is being followed by all parties. Making sure that the inspections are being scheduled, the bank's commitment is received in a timely fashion, required certs are done, any tests the seller needs to get done is scheduled, scheduling with the title company, etc. The list is actually too great to list here.

And for my final two cents, real estate agents can negotiate better than the average person out there.

Hope that helps,

Terrence Charest, e-Pro
3 votes
Martine Addi…, , Englewood, CO
Tue Jul 21, 2009
The realtor your choose should have an impeccable reputation within their Realtor community. It's not enough to use social networking sites. The majority of real estate transactions is between 2 local agents. I have been able to get my buyers great properties in both good and bad markets because of my strong reputation in the area. If it's a hot market and the seller gets multiple offers, a strong agent will get the home for the client over the others without a solid reputation. Sellers know my buyers are qualified and ready to cloe. My sellers also know that their showings will increase because agents will not "blacklist" a listing because of an agent's difficult personality and unprofessionalism. This is still a people business.
2 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Tue Jul 21, 2009
The fact of the matter is, no matter how well you market, if the house is overpriced, cluttered, painted violent colors, smelly and the listing agent doesn't deal with these issues(and many others) right out of the gate, it will not sell. Marketing will only take you so far.
2 votes
Padraic Mc C…, , 08096
Thu Jul 16, 2009
I'm thinking flying a plane with a banner around the house every weekend may work.....

Pat
2 votes
Ben Edsall, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Mon Jul 13, 2009
I manage multiple web sites, I create a property specific site for some properties, drawing on the specific key words for that particular property. I will also use dozens of sites, like http://www.Zillow.com , http://www.zilpy.com , http://www.trulia.com , craigslist, backpage, vast, enormo, postlets, netreal.net, rentometer, oodle, Google base, hot pads, facebook, myspace and many more.

It is all about the Internet, hardly anyone reads a paper anymore.
2 votes
Gary De Pury, , Pasco County, FL
Wed Jul 8, 2009
You Forgot Lockboxes...

I put a sign in the yard....MLS Listing...and then a Lockbox. Then I price the house at about 70% of value and wait.

Sometimes my sign even has the right number...I change office numbers so often, (can't pay my bill) that it is hard to keep up.

Then I sit on the beach with my laptop and get hammered on Fu-Fu (Phoo-Phoo) drinks.

ha...........
2 votes
Gary De Pury, , Pasco County, FL
Mon Jul 6, 2009
Yea...and hope that you get a bite, that is how one wastes time. When I go fishing, I know I am bringing something home.

Fred, I see your reasons for lashing out and that you are just defending your business model...and I bought it.

But then I went to your website and it seems that your entire business model is based on one thing, and that is making dispariging remarks about other business models and "traditional realtors".

I see that you point out that you will put a listing in the MLS, but that it is not a local MLS. So if Justing here were to pay your flat fee...would he be in his local MLS? Because later on you make the comment that...Buyers agents are only interested in one thing...that is finding the right home for their clients. OK...gotcha, but how dfo you propose to attract those buyers agents? If you are not on the MLS in that area, how would that buyers agent find you.

Frankly, I found your website to be very misleading. The general public could be harmed by your site. Good old Justin here might believe he is being listind on the MLS, and he is....in Connecticut, which gets him on REALTOR.com...but that is not what your website proposes.

I am sorry if you think I am attacking you, but you leave a lot to be desired in your website, and I can point out several places where you are in direct violation of the Realtors Code of Ethics. I would suggest that you make your site more friendly to other Realtors, if you don't want to be in violation and get picked on for your choice of business models, and make it less misleading to the general public.

Until you have done that, you really have no place trying to defend your business model because it is not based in truth.

Gary De Pury
2 votes
Gary De Pury, , Pasco County, FL
Fri Jul 3, 2009
I Agree (and thumbs up) with John. Brenda did hit the nail on the head, although I would like to point out (jokingly and kindly) that points 1 though 5 and then 7 all involve networking.

You see, all the education in the world is great, but it still goes back to networking. The person who currently holds to office of President (notice how I said that) is a great networker and knows or knew the right folks...that allowed him to get the job he has. Good REALTORS work..Great REALTORS network...

The more people you know, the more potential that your homes will sell and that is what you want in a REALTOR. Someone who is active in the community, has the experience to do the mechanics of the job, and most importantly, someone whom you trust and like that you think will get the job done.

I personally don't have a GRI...and don't know when I might get around to it. I have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of education, (thank-you US taxpayer) and much of it applies to the business world....but my clients could care less....they choose me because they know I know a ton of people and will get the job done.

Find that guy and hire him (or her) and you will have success. If you hire the guy (or gal) that is already preset in your minds eye....the one who puts a sign up and puts the listing in the MLS....you are going to be disappointed.

With that said!

I am,

Gary De Pury
Broker-Owner
Bay Vista Realty
Tampa, Florida
2 votes
Brenda Gravi…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Thu Jul 2, 2009
The Realtors "sphere of influence" is normally where the buyer comes from.The sphere of influence is increased by a number of factors. Here are just a few examples:

1. The longer a Realtor has been in business the more real estate contacts they produce. These come from affliate companies like mortgage companies, contractors, previous and current buyers and sellers, surveyors, closing agents, attorneys, other agents, etc. The individuals they deal with on a professional basis then see first hand how the agent handles their transactions. When they get ready to buy a home or they have a friend that asks their advise on a Realtor referral, they will recommend the Realtor they have done business with that they were impressed with.

2. Internet activities are also one of the ways a sales associate increases their influence. Through the use of agent websites, posted profiles, their company website, listing postings, blogging, etc. The more people that contact them because of their internet activities, the more potential buyers they have access to for showings on your home.

3. The more listings an agent has the more buyers are calling them. Even though the buyer finds the listing they called about does not fit their needs, the agent will then search the MLS for other homes and hopefully your home will be one of them that is shown. You need an agent with a good conversion rate.The conversion rate is based on how well the agent is able to provide services to the buyer and win their trust. One of their sellers may be a buyer for your home.

4. Some sales associates offer single agency agreements to buyers through a buyer-broker agreement. These buyers have proven their committment to purchasing a home by entering into a written agreement with the agent. It also keeps the agent from wasting their time working with buyers who are not committed to working with them and not serious about the home buying process. The serious buyers are part of a Realtors sphere of influence.

5. How committed a Realtor is to work with other Realtors also increases their contacts. There are over 4500 Realtors in the Jacksonville, FL area that may be currently working with a buyer for your home. There are a number of things a listing agent can do to make your property more accessible to other Realtors.
a. They can set the showing instructions up so the co-op agent has easy access to the instructions on how to get into the home to show it.
b. They need to be responsive to other agents communications to schedule appointments as quickly as possible and to respond to offers quickly.
c. The listing agent needs to have a good reputation with other Realtors that they will keep their offer confidential and not "shop the contract" by telling other agents what the offer was.

6. Marketing experience and education increase an agents effectiveness. Being able to "profile" the potential purchaser for your home and implement a campaign to "target market" those buyers will produce results quicker than plastering your listing all over the internet. For example: if you have a home for sale for $200000 the buyer probably owns a home that is currently worth around $125000. The agent can choose a neighborhood in your area that has homes for sale at $125000 and send out a notice to the homeowners in that neighborhood that your property is available for a "move up" purchase. This is just one example of how an agent with marketing education and experience can produce a buyer for your home in a shorter amount of time.

7. Realtors normally have a referral network they use to attract out of town or out of state buyers. I personally belong to a CRS (Certified Residential Specialists) referral program. An agent can only be a member if they have achieved the GRI and CRS designations. The members have to qualify through completing an educational program, document their sales record, and serve in an elected position with their local or national board, among other qualifications. This shows a committment to their profession and supplys them with the education that their buyers and sellers then benefit from. Then, to remain a member they have additional professional dues which must be paid annually to be included in the referral directory. When we refer a buyer or seller to a member of our network we have confidence in that agents abilities because we know they have a certain amount of education and professionalism to assist the buyers/sellers we refer to them.

Keep in mind that the Realtor has spent years obtaining the education and experience that you are now able to benefit from. They have invested time and money to create their sphere of influence and that is what you are paying for when you hire them to list your home. Only about 3% of all Realtors nationwide hold the CRS designation. A small % of Realtors may have a college degree in marketing or real estate or construction.

Brenda Gravitt CRS, GRI
Coral Shores Realty
bkgravitt@gmail.com
2 votes
Joseph Beauv…, , Cape Coral, FL
Tue Jun 30, 2009
Hmmm! Lots of answers. Some good, some not so good. I will try to help.
Many Realtors do not have marketing skills. I look at the pictures they use and many are horrible and few.
When you write about a homes description, stay away for 3 bedroom, large pool etc.
Set a mood. Tell a story a home buyer would feel like this is a home to see.
Example LARGE MANSION; Envision yourself surrounded by the best of everything. Your desires are satisfied right in your own estate. Your business associates will wonder how they missed this mansion and how could they find one just like it. Be the Envy! Enjoy life!

If you would like to view some Florida luxury estates visit Cape Coral Florida Luxury Estates http://www.sunnyspotrealty.net/Cape_Coral_Naples_Bonita_Spri…
2 votes
Jeff K, Home Buyer, Bristol, PA
Sat Jun 27, 2009
Hi Justin,

While it's certainly important to "be listed on many sites (realtor.com, zillow, trulia, mls, etc)". It is VERY important that the Photos on your listing tell a great story about your home. Sad to say that there are quite a few agents out there that take a few quick snapshots and post them up - and they may be dark, not have the best angles, etc. Some agents don't have the right eye. And others are just too damn lazy to do it right.

Also, bear in mind that it is CRITICAL that your home is properly prepared and staged for sale. You can price a house right and market it well but in the end Your Home Must "Show Well". Any little thing can set off a prospective buyer and they walk out the door and don't make an offer (or offer you a lot less to start). Don't give them the excuse - spent HOURS staging your house properly.

I've written a fair bit on previous threads on the quick list of staging - and you can find it in my older posts.

Good luck!

Jeff
2 votes
David Chambe…, , Saint Petersburg, FL
Fri Jun 26, 2009
We all know CB is the best Vicki, we don't need an anylist for that ;)
2 votes
Joanne Lloyd, Agent, Saint Pete Beach, FL
Fri Jun 26, 2009
A very good way of getting your home sold in short time is to attend the network meetings.This gives
you a chance to stand up, speak about the home with excitement in your voice. I have found realtors
coming to see the home after it being pitched .
2 votes
David Chambe…, , Saint Petersburg, FL
Fri Jun 26, 2009
C21 is not the best according to hitwise: http://www.hitwise.com/datacenter/main/dashboard-10133.html

or on comscore: http://www.truliablog.com/2009/05/14/more-momentum-trulia-cl…

What source were you using to find that information Ray?
2 votes
Anne Wanchic, , Florida
Sun Jun 14, 2009
Justin,
All the marketing hoopla in the world will not help you if you are not on top of two things:
Staging and Price
If your home looks cluttered, outdated and cramped, buyers cannot see past your things to mentally place themselves in living in that home. They won't even give it a second thought - even if in reality it is perfect for them.
That being said, even if the house was pink with purple shutters, ... if it is priced much lower than the other comparable homes, you can bet it will sell. Price will get the other Realtors to show it, Price will get the offers to come in. Ultimately the MLS system is the best marketer because this is where Realtor.com gets its info, and therefore the MLS is accessable to Realtors and Buyers alike.
So get yourself a great agent that understands how to list a property really well - That would be your best ally and first step.

Best Wishes
Anne Wanchic
The Real Estate Agent Referral Assistant
2 votes
Damion Flynn, Agent, Saucier, MS
Sun May 24, 2009
The truth is that no two agents are created equal and many have different things they do. More experienced agents have it refined to a science where newer agents may still be "exploring".

The best thing to do is schedule interviews with 3-5 agents who you feel a market presence in your area and choose one based on what makes the most sense.

In my business, I use very little print ads because I find them a waste of money. Instead I spend more time marketing those properties to other agents who have a market presence in the area, send mailers to the surrounding area, and market them effectively online to get them in front of buyers. Another broker who is a good friend of mine in my area swears by print media and he does well with it. All real estate agents/brokers are different and what works for one may not work for another. This will also vary from market to market as well.
2 votes
Linda Bassitt…, , Pinecrest, FL
Wed Sep 23, 2009
It all depends on the target market of your buyer. Younger demographics I go with online marketing. While older markets I go with print ads. http://www.lindabassitt.com
Web Reference:  http://www.lindabassitt.com
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Fri Sep 18, 2009
Steve’s right, the nosy neighbors will know, LOL. A couple weeks ago one of my neighbors told me they’d bought land and were building a house. This house would go on the market in the spring. Yesterday I got TWO emails from other neighbors saying “I heard the Smith’s house SOLD! I didn’t even see a sign!! That was fast! The question is: what did it sell for????!!!!” One reason the sign goes in the yard because it helps to sell homes. Not necessarily THAT home, but there are signs in front of other homes that help to sell THAT home. Another reason is one of the neighbors that the homeowner doesn’t want to know his house is for sale (not you Justin) might know someone who wants to buy it. I once took a listing, this homeowner had been advertising the home in the paper for months, he was FSBO but didn’t put a sign in the yard because they didn’t want anyone to know they were selling. The week I listed it, another agent in my office brought a buyer who bought it on the spot. During the walk thru the buyer and seller realized they were very close friends with the same person, who’d been keeping HIS eye out for a house for these buyers, but didn’t know the other friend was selling! The seller said “please don’t tell them we’re selling, we want to keep it quiet.” They didn’t even seem to realize that if they’d told their friends and neighbors, they would have sold months ago and not paid a fee. People are strange.
1 vote
Stickman, Both Buyer And Seller, Williamsburg, VA
Thu Aug 13, 2009
Steve in that case why bother even putting a For Sale sign in the yard. If the REAL buyers are looking on the internet and relying on their Realtor for listings it seems superfluous. The nosy neighbors would never even know the house is for sale.
1 vote
Steve Miller, Agent, Rome, GA
Wed Aug 12, 2009
Suprisingly most agents are answering the flyer box question as if there are actually a lot of real buyers out there who don't already have a Realtor to provide this "hidden" information! Aside from the nosy neighbors, very few real buyers look at these things, and rely on their Realtor to provide the information they are seeking. If you think REAL buyers are the ones searching for homes by driving around, how does that square with the 80% searching the internet as their first step in the process? If information boxes actually helped to sell homes, "FSBO in a box" would be the way I'd go. Sorry, in my humble opinion, putting a paper flyer in an info tube or box is similar to advertising in the weekly newspaper classifieds, . . . . antiquated!
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Thu Jul 30, 2009
Addresses on listings must be regional. Our MLS only recently offered the option of publishing the address on our internet listings. Personally I think all listings should have addresses, but I also think that not everything has to be disclosed in all advertising. For example when I used to do flyer boxes, I never put the price. Why? Not so PEOPLE WOULD CALL ME!, LOL. But because a picture and a price don’t tell the entire story, adding the prices makes some people discount that house without learning more.

I would add that for my own home, if it were for sale, no price on the web for me. Too many nuts driving past and staring at listings and walking up to doors knocking already.
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Wed Jul 29, 2009
Fred, no matter how many times I do this, something new comes up with the next sale. I ask for help from the more experienced brokers in my office. Sometimes when a roadblock comes up in a deal I bounce my idea off another associate. Most homeowners haven’t had more than 2 or 3 sales in their past. Many are simply exhibiting hubris when they decide to go on their own, some simply stupidity. I’m sure some people won’t like that statement but it’s true.

Right now I have 2 offers on a home, but I also have another buyer who saw the home few times and hasn’t moved to make an offer yet. I know she adored the house, I have been pushing them, for lack of a better word, them to get them to submit an offer, since I know they are thinking of a number higher than the other two offers. Can a homeowner do that without looking desperate?
1 vote
Justin F., Both Buyer And Seller, Lancaster County, PA
Wed Jul 29, 2009
SuperGirl from Philly said best. WHy would you not display he address. Thats a complete turn off. I do the same, skip to the next. A listing with no pictures, is the best wat to not sell a house. The realtor that though that was a good idea needs to find a new career. People get turned off by the slightest feeling of funny business. Supergirl your post was excellent and I gave it the thumbs up.
1 vote
Supergirl, Both Buyer And Seller, Philly
Tue Jul 28, 2009
As a buyer, I have to TOTALLY disagree with the notion that too much online information is a bad thing!! Many, including me, feel that a shortage of information means that the seller has something to hide! Time to move on! Personally, I have never scheduled a visit to a house that didn't have great pictures and a detailed description. And we always skip the listings that have those fake, forced perspective shots (keep that in mind listing agents! Buyers are on to this trick and hate it!) If there is even a hint of trickery in the ad, we decline the showing. Also, as far as virtual drive-bys, if we am certain we don't like the area, why waste the realtor's and the seller's time scheduling a showing? Hiding the address only turns away buyers. If you are honest with your listing, and your home is priced accordingly, you'll ensure that the RIGHT buyers are coming to see your home.

There are lots of houses that need "TLC", don't have a great layout, or aren't in the best area. But when a listing agent is forthcoming in the listing, it actually encourages us to give the property a chance. Just something to think about......honesty is the best policy and you can never have too much info.

Great example: We went to an open house this weekend -3-story house where the only bathroom was in the basement! LOL! It was a 100 year old house, narrow staircases, smelled funny, and needed a ton of work. But the realtor DISCLOSED all this in the listing, so we said what the heck? Let's see for ourselves! And you know what? The house was so crowded with buyers we could barely get through. The description was upfront and honest, while honestly highlighting the positives. No one was in for a shock. And the home was priced fairly. They already had an offer by the time we got there. Gives you something to think about.
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Mon Jul 27, 2009
Carl....I kind of worried about the very point you are asking about - which is.......If we give away too much information.....will they still call us???? Will we lose client calls and leads if they can get all their questions answered online??

Well, it's not really a debate anymore.....I think we lost that battle, as all that information is already available for consumers online - even the addresses, and if that isn't enough - many online sites often map the location, so consumer drive-by's are a cinch!
This is one reason why we especially need to make sure those photos are top-notch and descriptions honest, but appealing......this is our first line of defense these days in selling a home.

But you know what? The sky hasn't fallen in........... I am STILL getting calls and inquiries. Hurray!!!
For example - I showed a new listing of mine twice this past weekend - both clients were from the NY Times.com site............also started working with a great young couple who asked about another listing of mine - they were from Realtor.com.......even good old Trulia has been the source, recently, of another 2 buyers for me...........so..........I have stopped fretting about whether buyers will cease reaching out because of all the information they are getting............customer calls and leads are alive and well!

When push comes to shove, nothing can replace an actual showing in person........kind of like online dating - you may see all the photos and read all the quips, but eventually, you have to meet face to face !!!!!
1 vote
Carl Ben Wit…, Agent, Upper Montclair, NJ
Mon Jul 27, 2009
After this past week in NJ, many realtors are throwing in a kidney. As you know, we cannot accept a commission unless it goes thru our broker. Half a kidney is of no use. So that leaves us with using a kidney as closing gifts, prospecting give-aways, Open House promos and the like. Ironically, the more info we put on the internet about listings, more photos, tours, details, the less likely we are to see the people. They can eliminate the houses without ever talking to a live person. What are some ways to reveal enough but not too much? Not a drive by, Must see, and what else?
1 vote
Mardi Stroud, , Madison, WI
Mon Jul 27, 2009
Realtors are crucial in the sale of your home. As an experienced Realtor, I can help you stage, price and market your home for today's buyer. Over the years I have established a network of agents, contractors, lenders, consumers and clients as part of my "team" to get your home sold.

Getting on the MLS is an important element in the marketing process, but even more important is getting qualified buyers through the door and writing offers. That's what Realtors do best.
1 vote
Gary Goldberg, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Fri Jul 24, 2009
I look for free internet advertisment boards and post each listing on them for free, everyday.
1 vote
Allan Schust…, , 33434
Thu Jul 23, 2009
Real Estate brokers such As Weichert have their own websites and make sure listings appear on other websites such as truia. Then there is Craig's list. When a house is listed , we have a caravan of newly lised homes. Also there are broker's open houses and public open houses. Today, to get the highest and best offers, all tools must be used.
Web Reference:  http://www.allanschuster.com
1 vote
Barbara Kelly, , Greensboro, NC
Thu Jul 23, 2009
Justin,

You have asked a very good question. I have suggested to the agents in my office how important it is for us (agents) to communicate with our clients. I have several tools that I give my clients so they can be informed. I have written a booklet for both sellers and buyers and the steps in the process and what they can expect. It even has a checklist they can utilize during the process.

I have another list of all the little things we do that our clients never know we do. The list includes the homework we do before talking with a seller such as research about their property and asking lots of questions to make sure we are marketing your property properly.
For example: John Smith calls and wants to list his house with me. Before our first appointment I do research and discover that John Smith is divorced. He tells me the house is in his name. Guess what? The mortgage is still in both names and in NC that means both parties need to agree to sell the property and sign the documents. (unless they have made other legal arrangements and then I want to see those documents). We may discover an addition made to the property was done without a permit and so on.

Your question was more about marketing - we all differ but marketing is not just advertising. We do need to give the property great exposure. We do a lot of internet marketing. Our listings are all over the web including this site, Century 21.com, C21elliottgreensboro.com. We also market to other agents - we make sure they know about your listing. I like to call agents that have sold similar properties and personally tell them about your property. We have a company brochure which would include your home and we mail that to 5000 homes and email it to about 3000 more. I have also sent packages to local companies that may have employees moving to our area.

Every step in the process takes time and effort. If we don't get your property sold, we don't get paid. We work for nothing if your property does not sell! We go through similar efforts when we are working with you as a buyer.

I hope my answer has helped you a little. If you have an agent or plan on finding one your question is a very good one to ask them. If they can't give you a good answer - find someone who can.
1 vote
David Chambe…, , Saint Petersburg, FL
Sun Jul 19, 2009
While I agree that a sign shouldn't be the only means of advertising, I would also like to say that the sign and what you do with the people who call is also important.

I was sitting in my office one day and the agent next to me got a call off one of her signs, she didn't want to deal with the tire kickers so I offered to go show the property for her. When I got there the key was missing from the lock box. An agent must have taken it by accident, so I call the agent, no back up key, seller is in another state so I ask can I try to break in, by checking the windows. The seller says go ahead, so I get in the back window and unlock the front door for the buyers. I pitch the house, we inspect the house, they want to buy it as usual I have a contract in my car. We write the contract on the kitchen counter.(No fridge, stove, W&D and a water main break.) Every thing is smooth until closing, on the way to closing the buyer gets into a car accident(its 5PM) but they still want to close because their rate lock expires the next day. We take the attorney, closing agent, the other realtor to the hospital and close.

From then on agents would only give me a lead if I signed a referral fee agreement, when the crap hits the fan you can either stare at it or clean it up.

Now, what do you do with your tire kickers?
1 vote
Gayle Fleming, , Arlington, VA
Sun Jul 19, 2009
Putting a sign in the yard and a listing in the MLS doesn't even earn the name "marketing" as far as this Realtor is concerned. In the old days these two things, a few print ads in the newspaper and real estate magazines and a "just listed" post card constituted most agents' marketing plans. However in today's world it is imperative the take your marketing to where the buyers are--and that is on the web. So an agent has to have a good webpage to begin with. Then listings must be present on all of the online sights that buyers use--Trulia, Zillow, etc. Listings should be posted on Craigs List with the sellers permission. (There are dangers here) I also use http://www.postlets.com to profile my listings and then post them on my facebook and twitter pages regularly. There are now online flyers that agents can send to thousands of Realtors, so ask your agent if they use these. A lot of people think that open houses are only for agents to get new clients. In the old days buyers couldn't get housing information except from agents so they came to open houses looking for a house AND an agent. But since most buyers who come to open houses today are already working with an agent and are armed with a lot of information already, open houses REALLY ARE FOR SELLERS. It gives buyers a real time view of the houses they are interested in. So don't let your agent talk you out of doing open houses.
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Fri Jul 17, 2009
Well, there's another question on Trulia that has almost 700 responses already ...so this thread has a long way to go to catch up! Hah! Keep those responses coming in...........

I think what all the responses have shown, is that all of us (ie: agents/brokers) are out there working away, trying to get our listings sold. There are typical marketing ideas - tried and true - that have been mentioned here.......and some innovative ones, especially dealing with the internet, which I think most agree is THE marketing avenue to travel down. No one "thing" gets the job down - it's a compilation of tactics ( with a touch of luck and timing thrown in! )

This thread has become a sort of " go to" place for ideas........and most who have contributed mean well - even if they say what has already been said 50 times before.......we all like to add our 2 cents, afterall!

So, Justin, you're not alone - I think many of us have learned from this..........One of the things I particularly like about Trulia is seeing how business is conducted all over the country....it's very eye-opening (although, sometimes I want to shut my eyes at what I read !!), but most of the time the sincerity and professionalism comes through in the comments posted.
Keep up the good work everyone........and may all your listings sell fast - and over asking!!

Debbie
1 vote
Justin F., Both Buyer And Seller, Lancaster County, PA
Fri Jul 17, 2009
Carl are you worried about something because you seem to be the only person worried about all the responses and want people to stop posting. When in actuallity it doesnot matter how many marketing strategies you have. Its what you utilize that you feel works best for you to generate business. So what I am saying if you and I applied the same exact strategies it doesnot promise more or less success for you or for me. Bottom line is I see it as you just got to get out there and do what you do and worry about your business. I feel no matter how many people apply the same things you will generate business based on your effort and you being who ever you are. So it really doesnot matter how many so called secrets anyone claims they have. Plenty of business out there for everyone, so go get it..
1 vote
Steve Miller, Agent, Rome, GA
Thu Jul 16, 2009
Gosh, based on all the valuable advice given this seller, - which I KNOW he's put into action - his home has probably sold and closed and Justin's now moved into his new home relaxing and sipping on something with an umbrella in it! CONGRATULATIONS JUSTIN!

Now, tell me Realtors aren't special people!
1 vote
Steve Miller, Agent, Rome, GA
Wed Jul 15, 2009
Justin: First of all . . . Listen closely to what Carl had to say. Secondly, if you're trying to sell a home quickly in todays "Buyers Market" the most important thing is to make sure it is priced BELOW all other comps within the same area and condition. If it is, not only will it sell quicker, it will sell for the highest possible price and not become "Stale". Today, it's ALL about PRICE and CONDITION. PERIOD! Find a great REALTOR, NOT a great COMPANY to work with, and Good Luck.
1 vote
Gary Goldberg, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Wed Jul 15, 2009
Hire a Realtor to not only market your home to the best buyer, but also make sure thatt he house gets sold and closed. Thank you
1 vote
Maricela And…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Jul 14, 2009
Sellers should interview more than one agent when planning to list their home; In the interview you should be presented with material indicating the marketing plan that agent will have for your property. There are several agents affiliated with companies who help them provide worldwide advertising on several internet websites and other media; The traditional marketing avenues availabe also are the sign post, flyers, Just listed postcards sent to your neighborhood, Open House (even though this benefits the agent more to find buyers for other properties); sometimes a buyer for that property does walk in. Advertising in real estate publications, local newspaper, emailing or mailing newsletters to former customers who might know of an interested buyer; If the agent does not provide a marketing plan, ask them: how will you market my property?
Web Reference:  http://www.sellersbuyers.com
1 vote
Gary De Pury, , Pasco County, FL
Mon Jul 13, 2009
I will sometimes sing the lyrics of Old Time Rock and Roll (Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band) to the tune of Rocky Racoon (Ringo Star) whilst drawing a those large heard amusement park caricatures of visitors to my open houses.

SO far it has not worked for a sale.....I mean the open houses.... Bob & Ringo always work.

Gary De Pury
Bay Vista Realty
1 vote
Valerie Tolb…, Agent, New Braunfels, TX
Mon Jul 13, 2009
I agree Carl, in most cases marketing will bring attention to a home, but it won't sell unless the price is right and competitive.
1 vote
Carl Ben Wit…, Agent, Upper Montclair, NJ
Mon Jul 13, 2009
Sign spinners. Now that's a new one to me. We have a hot dog truck on the highway that uses a stunning blond in a bikini. Would that work for real estate? Another agent in town does celebrity look-alikes. Open House visitors are greeted by "Marilyn Monroe" or "Orphan Annie". Amazing stuff. I can hardly wait for a luxury $2,000,000 lisiting. I'm doing a 12-piece dance band. Like the man said, in this market it is price don't you think?
1 vote
Valerie Tolb…, Agent, New Braunfels, TX
Sun Jul 12, 2009
In addition to a sign in the yard, and entry onto the MLS systems, I have a base marketing plan that is applied to all of my listings that include a virtual tour, entry onto dozens of real estate affiliated websites (Trulia, Yahoo Real Estate, Realtor.com, Google, etc.), flyers, placement on my company and personal website, schedule office and area Realtor tours, and open houses. I also door knock or cold call neighbors, send listing notification to my personal and business database, utilize Craigslist, blogs, and social media sites like Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin, etc.

For my luxury listings over $500k, I utilize additional advertisment such as the Wall Street Journal, Proxio (International MLS), network to members of the Institute for Luxury Marketing, and other luxury agents, e-flyer notification to thousands of Realtors, and demographic specific marketing (state and nation wide). For these listings I also create color brochures, flyers, and host Realtor events. I also create a property specific website full of information, links to local points of interest and information, virtual tour, and associated documents. Internet and publication marketing for homes in this price range vary depending on the type and use of the property, and my targeted audience.

See the below link for an example of a property specific website.

My marketing plan is always evolving as I learn new techniques through classes, media, or through conversations with other Realtors and professionals.

Valerie
1 vote
Valerie loew…, Agent, Englewood, CO
Sun Jul 12, 2009
You know that Carl Witzig who has commented on this question a few times is quite the card. Yet his answers ring true. All the social networking, fliers, balloons, open houses etc.......will get it exposed but not sold. Price as it relates to condition and location is the key factor of getting it sold!
1 vote
Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Sun Jul 12, 2009
Door knocking, dropping off flyers with neighbors, have a neighbor only open house....
Realtors tour.
Newspaper advertising.
....
The list is endless but there is no substitute for hard work esp in this climet...
1 vote
Marilyn D, , Nashville, TN
Sat Jul 11, 2009
You could get sign spinners to spin in front of your home. Of course, particularly in this market when there are so many home purchase options, I'd strongly advise sellers to hire a loyal, reliable real estate agent. You need an agent's professional networking with other agents and delivering the message creatively but unemotionally to the broadest marketplace. I strongly believe even after paying commissions, sellers ROI will be larger with a professional agent advocating on their behalf.
1 vote
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