When competing with homebuilders and their grand amenity centers, incentives, upgrades and shiny, new model homes and bulging advertising budgets, what are listing agents of existing homes to do?
When competing with homebuilders and their grand amenity centers, incentives, upgrades and shiny, new trendy model homes and bulging advertising budgets, what are listing agents of existing homes to do?
Here are some trends in marketing strategy provided by the website buildfire.com.
Invest in a copywriter
Homes even 5 years old are likely behind current trends in terms of colors, textures and surfaces.
So, instead of a static description, target the kind of buyer to whom that home might appear in terms of location, architecture and perceived value.
And don’t call it a fixer-upper. Chip and Joanna Gaines aren’t bringing somebody to the curb and giving the house a cutesy name.
Not everybody is a writer, even though a lot of people think they are. Generating copy that produces results requires experience, skill and, sometimes, a lot of imagination.
Fans of the sitcom “Seinfeld” will remember the whimsically ornate descriptions of products in the J. Peterman catalog. Here’s an example of how such imaginative copy can turn even that dank, paneling-lined, narrow-hallway home with the sunken living room divided from its surroundings by black wrought iron railing:
“With an emphasis on classic styling, this mid-century beauty transports you to a time when life was simpler, and can be again. Marvel at the hand-crafted, swirl-textured ceilings as you traverse toward the vintage kitchen beyond the living room, as the rough-hewn railings provide a visual, if not functional, separation of space. The carpets, shag. The flooring, linoleum. The lighting, soft. Come experience the way life once was, and never will be again.”
Sounds better than “Fixer-upper. Good bones. Complete gut job.”
You get the idea. Good copy sells.
Retarget web viewers
If someone views some homes on your website but doesn’t leave any contact information, you can still reach out to them.
Anyone who has, for example, looked at one of these new watch companies online will know that, all of a sudden, ads for that watch company will start appearing on their newsfeeds.
Realtors can do the same. It’s called a retargeting pixel. It can serve as a reminder of whatever emotions may have been evoked while viewing the listing.
When people are scrolling through their Facebook feed, the retargeting pixel will send to them ads of the listings they’ve already checked out. You can only pixel viewers from websites you own, but it has proven an effective marketing strategy for other products.
Take them out on the town
Your buyer is interested in a home, but isn’t sure about the location, perhaps because they haven’t spent enough time looking around beyond the act of house hunting to become familiar with local amenities, restaurants, entertainment venues, shopping or recreation.
If you are dealing with a high-value client and the sale will mean a big enough commission to make it worth your while, find out what they like to do and take them there. Provide clients with some experiential data to factor into their consideration. It isn’t enough to tell them the fashionable mall is 15 minutes away or that there is a great Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. Take them there and show them. That will help attach real life with the prospective home.
Still photos aren’t always enough. Video for listings isn’t necessarily a new trend, but it’s one that is growing in popularity. Professional video allows the remote client to experience the home in a way still photos do not, actually walking through the home as if they were arriving from work or a day at the beach.
Clients can imagine their own lives in the space, and they can revisit it any time. They can show their influential family members and friends the home and receive their (hopefully) positive input.
Sell the neighborhood
One advantage of a finished neighborhood is the maturity of the streetscapes, and there are just as many homebuyers out there who prefer that over new construction.
Selling the neighborhood is just as critical as showing clients new homes.
While riding to the home, don’t necessarily take the direct route to the driveway. Ride along the more picturesque streets, point out any amenity centers. If it’s in an older neighborhood, find the coffee shops and unique eateries that are nearby. Help them make an emotional attachment to the neighborhood before they see the home.
That kind of familiarity will allow them to imagine themselves living there before actually seeing the property. And when you leave, ride by some of those same places they found appealing to better imprint their possible new surroundings.
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