Today’s markets have double to triple the “days of market” in most places. Homes are languishing on market if aggressive price-slashing has not been implemented. This is for homes that are at or near the median price in most parts of the country. This market is difficult for these homes, but even more so for special homes. These homes may be unique due to their location, size, and price. Some homes are on top-of-the-line land that presents unique development challenges or have exceptional architecture. These homes have a greater potential for Web marketing than most real estate professionals realize. Even if they recognize it, many do not use it.
Real estate brokerage is about marketing, not selling. What is the difference? Marketing is a planned activity that makes use of media and advertising to get the product before as many people as possible. It is about presenting the product well and getting prospects to respond. Although advertising is used to spread the word, marketing is the structure and selection of media for the campaign.
How it’s been done
For many years, there have been many real estate agents and brokers who did the same thing. Many of them continue to do the same thing over and over. Keep in mind the definition of insane: “Doing the same thing over-and-over again and expecting different results.”
- Place the property in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
- Place a few ads in the local newspaper’s real estate section. Some may be in color and others in B&W.
- Place an ad in your local “Homes” magazine. Include one photo. If you purchase a larger ad, two or three photos are okay.
- The property should be placed on the broker’s site within the last year on a page called “Our Listings” (or “Featured Listings”)
- Wait for the phone ring to ring.
Let’s take a look at print media advertising. Print media advertising is still viable, particularly for image advertising in the old style, but it can’t compete against the Web. The ads will only be seen by the newspaper’s subscriber base on the days that it is published, regardless of whether they are a daily get more info or weekly paper. It doesn’t matter if it’s Saturday or Sunday, as with many real estate ads. But, it will be seen by the most people when the next paper is out. To find a home, you might need to look back at last weekend’s newspaper and get it from the bottom. A home buyer should scan all of the ad to see if it is there. This is not an efficient way to search for a home. It is more about convenience than anything else.
Aren’t full-color magazines for homes much better? They are more colorful. They aren’t as easy to find because they are not arranged by home characteristics and seldom by location. I found that placing ads in these magazines required placement by a deadline of almost two months before publication. After that deadline, no changes were permitted. The target prospect’s material is therefore dated a few months before they actually come across it. They must get the publication as they are rarely delivered to their homes. It’s not about what they do, but rather how they can read it while waiting to see the dentist. The Internet home listing, by contrast, can be set up in hours and can be modified at any time.
What about the demographics of newspaper readers? Although they may be able to tell you they have 178,000 subscribers, it is important to find out the characteristics of those readers. First, eliminate any prospects who are too young to purchase a home. Next, eliminate those with lower incomes than the minimum required to afford the house you are selling. Next, get rid of those who read only the , or “sports” sections. The majority of readers who aren’t interested in a home should be thrown out. This large number quickly shrinks to just a few thousand eyes, which is two per prospect.
Compare the issues of today to the ones from five years ago if you have an old stack of newspapers or old magazines about homes. The new issues will have fewer ads and more color. Real estate companies are cutting budgets and printing advertising is in decline. Why? It doesn’t work the same way as the web and it costs more. Many brokers are afraid of telling their sellers the truth so they continue running ads for what they believe will sell their house. While it is possible, it is far less efficient than the Internet. More people use the Internet for home shopping. A true professional in real estate will invest most of their marketing and listing efforts in Web placement, syndication and innovative ways to present listings via images or video.