Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to market your real estate in a tough market

Our marketing efforts often vary from account to account. Certainly the most crucial, we feel is the presence in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This data base will engage the over 3000 real estate agents in the Capital Region. It’s where we all look first to find properties for our buyer clients.

Times have changed our approach in advertising with the advent of the internet… and more importantly the internet being so available to so many. While we do advertise in newspapers and some of the Homes magazines we are finding that the overwhelming majority of our buyers are surfing the web. We are very proud of our database This site gets over 180,000 unique visitors a month according to our IT people. The way our site is set up, a procedure occurs every early morning whereas our site visits the MLS database and imports all the new entries and any changes that may have occurred. This constant updating has made our site a favorite with savvy buyers who check in regularly.

To supplement our efforts we of course engage direct mail marketing .. neighborhood announcement… open houses… virtual tours, etc.

The interesting phenomenon that we are watching take place is the fact that more and more people are visiting your house without visiting your house! Before this technology was available the only way we could know what a house looked like on the inside was to actually, physically, visit it! This new luxury of being able to look at still interior photos or virtual tours without leaving our desk chair or comfy apartment is good and bad. It’s good because we feel it saves us time. It’s bad because sometimes the pictures don’t do the subject property justice. Maybe the agent didn’t get as good a pic as they could have or maybe the property is just hard to get pics… whatever the reason is a web-surfer may glance at the pics and dismiss the idea of actually going in. I have had clients visit a property after having more or less pooh-poohed it on line and expressed amazement that it “looks way better in person!”. By the same token, we have looked at pics on line and decided to visit the property and we look at each other and say “Is the right house????”

Another resource a good Realtor uses is to do the research to see who in the real estate business is active in your area and make direct contact with them to promote the property.

The trick to marketing real estate these days is to have a well-rounded and open approach. One of my agents stopped in the office today and told me he sold a house in the far reaches of the Capital Region because he advertised in the local Pennysaver! He was amazed at the response he got from that little ad, but as it turns out EVERYone in that town reads the Pennysaver!

So count on us to take an approach to marketing your real estate in an account by account way. Each and every account will warrant a unique approach... count on it!