Effectively marketing your home for all it’s worth – what you need to know
The successful marketing of a home, like that of any good or service, is a multifaceted process that includes nearly every activity involved in getting it sold. In fact, marketing encompasses just about every topic covered in this Guide – home preparation, pricing, presentation and even negotiation, as well as strategic advertising and networking.
All these activities are undertaken with one aim: to maximize your home’s market exposure, and with it the number of showings and offers you get so that you ultimately sell for top market value. An experienced REALTOR® has the knowledge, expertise and resources to implement a plan that will effectively coordinate all of these activities so you do just that.
How Buyers Find Out About Homes For Sale
As we’ve seen, strategically preparing and pricing your home are master keys to attracting serious, financially-qualified buyers. However, in order to maximize the impact of these preparation and pricing strategies, your home needs to be effectively exposed to the marketplace through a variety of advertising media.
Currently, the internet (including REALTOR.com®, REALTOR® websites, social media, blogs, etc.) and direct contact with REALTORS® are far and away the main sources of home information for buyers (at 89% and 88%, respectively)*. Other sources are yard signs, open houses, newspaper and real estate magazine ads, home builders and television.
An interesting phenomenon is the yard sign’s role. Buyers who call on a yard sign already have convinced themselves that they like the town, neighborhood, street – even your front yard. This same “qualification” is present when people call on your home after finding it on REALTOR.com® mobile applications.
Buyers Are Flocking To The Web
The internet is revolutionizing real estate advertising. Clearly, your REALTOR® needs to have an internet marketing strategy in place to target these desirable and more market-informed internet buyers.
Here’s what discriminating internet buyers look for most on real estate websites*:
- 99% – Property photos (plenty of them)
- 99% – Detailed information about properties for sale
- 88% – Virtual tours
- 80% – Real estate agent contact information
- 78% – Interactive maps
This means that your REALTOR® should have a compelling web presence where buyers are known to go online for real estate information. In addition, the internet marketing plan should include emphasis on information rich sites that offer lots of property details and photos, virtual tours, community and school reports, and mapping.
Also, because today’s demanding internet buyers often expect a fast response to their online requests for property information (many within an hour), experienced and internet-savvy REALTORS® need an efficient system in place for managing web and email inquiries.
Particularly in this market, it’s important that your home be advertised to itsfullest over the internet, and that inquiries about it be handled in as close to real time as possible. Effectively reaching and responding to more of these internet buyers can increase the demand for your home and, in turn, its value.
Marketing Your Community As Well As Your Home
Real estate industry surveys have repeatedly found that neighborhood quality is the most important reason why home buyers choose where to live. In fact, experience shows that buyers usually “buy” an area first, and are often willing to pay a premium for homes there.
That’s why it’s crucial to highlight your community’s amenities – like proximity to quality schools, restaurants and shopping, local parks and attractions, as well as other benefits that impact on lifestyle. REALTORS® have access to the kinds of detailed community and school information that today’s buyers are looking for, and they are highly capable of portraying the relationship between the value and benefits of your community and home together.
A Comprehensive Approach To Showcasing Your Home And Community In The Marketplace
While the internet is now the real estate information source of choice, if you want to maximize the number of serious buyers, showings and offers you get it is necessary to employ a broad spectrum of advertising in a coordinated manner.
REALTORS® have a wide range of options for maximizing a property’s exposure to the marketplace, including:
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
- Company website(s)
- Personal website(s)
- Social media sites like Facebook® and Twitter®
- Local Real Estate paper
- Direct mail and email campaigns
- Notifying all potential buyers and referral sources in their database
- Home Highlight info to all agents in their company’s local offices
- Notifying the area’s top REALTORS®
- Open houses
- REALTOR® tours
- For Sale sign
- Networking within the local community
- REALTOR.com® Real Estate Search iPhone® application
Such extensive market exposure will not only generate more interest from motivated buyers. It will also ensure that you don’t sell your home to just any buyer, but to the right buyer – the one who fully appreciates what they’re buying and will pay top dollar for it.