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Ghaaa. Unsold listing inventory. What next? Who’s responsible?

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UnSold Listing Inventory

Have you ever heard or thought:

“I need help.  My listing is getting shown a lot — but I haven’t had a single offer.  I know it’s priced right!”?

“I’ve had this listing way too long, why won’t anyone show it, or make an offer?”

Reality Review

Whether a listing is shown frequently or attracts Chihuahua sized showing numbers and zero offers, there are two actions you can do.  Both of them aren’t easy.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.  Here you go:

1.  Property Presentation (Merchandising & Staging) –  Humans are human.  We make snap judgments.  We comparison shop.  When house shopping, buyers mostly use their physical senses; eyes, ears and nose to pick and choose.  If it doesn’t look, smell or sound attractive, we pass.  If the property doesn’t compare favorably, buyers keek looking.  There’s no skirting around human behavior.

The first step to amping Property Presentation is to be honest with yourself and your seller.  Ask yourself, is every aspect of the property merchandised and staged in excellent fashion.  Not 80% or 90% – 100%.  Or better than your competition.  Be honest with yourself and your seller(s).  You know if your listing is attractive or not.  You get paid to educate and persuade your sellers to take the actions required to merchandise and stage the interior and exterior of the property so that it compares favorably with it’s competition.  It’s for their own good, you have to be strong in this area.

When sellers won’t agree to merchandise and stage their property in a positive light, they can compensate for the shortfall by adjusting the price downward.  Downward to the point where a comparison shopper would think, “I know it doesn’t look so hot, but the price is so compelling, I’d be foolish not to buy it.”   If you don’t get the property merchandised or staged favorably competitively, it won’t sell.

2.  Positioning Price – If you’ve you taken steps to make the property attractive inside and out, and your property promotion is generating a favorable number of showings, there’s only one thing left to adjust – the Positioning Price.  It’s a bitter pill to swallow.  Asking for a price adjustment sucks for everyone.  Yet, it’s one of our most important responsibilities.  Everyone involved will feel better about this if we’ve done our in-depth homework.  Which means we’ve updated our market analysis and we’ve previewed our competition (just like a buyer does).   After we’ve presented our data, if the seller remains reluctant, set showing appointments to physically show them their competition — then ask again for an appropriate reduction.

 

If you’ve done your part with the property promotion and intergalactic syndication, you’ve shared the value and importance of Property Presentation and choosing a competitive Positioning Price, and the seller(s) remains unmoved and resolute, you should not go down with the ship.  Instead, consider asking the seller to release you from the listing – hit the eject button.

Happy Ending

Like all other types of business, the goal is to make a profit by selling inventory – not lose money by holding onto unsalable listing inventory.   When we hold onto unsalable listing, everyone loses. When we let lazy or fear prevent us from wisely advising the seller, everyone loses.

The next 90 days or so will be the most active of the year, it’s time to suck-it-up and kick ourselves in the butt and come correct.  If we want happy endings we either need to advise and adjust – or release – that’s life my friends.

PS.  There is one other thing that could be out of whack.  Success is doomed if the real estate agent doesn’t have clue-one about the importance of persuasive and pervasive property marketing, promotion and syndication. In this post, I’m assuming you’re on top of your game in this department.

Photo Credit

 

 

 

 

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Joe Loomer

    June 1, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Well said, Ken. Price and condition (position) are the two golden geese. Price too high, no one comes anyway. Price right but don't stage it well – they come but don't like it. Get both right, you start packing.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

    p.s. of the 1600 plus members of our board, only 450 or so even have their emails set up correctly for board information. Kinda wonder how they're positioning their clients if they can't do rudimentary, stay-alive tasks.

    • Ken Brand

      June 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks Joe. Hope your year is shaping up nicely. That's a pretty startling number of unplugged in people. I guess the upside is that In That In The Land Of The Blind The One Eyed Man Is King. Cheers.

  2. Cindi Hagley

    June 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    If a home does not sell, it comes down to one of three "P"s – Price, Property, or Pitch. Pitch, being the marketing of the home, and Property dealing with issues such as staging and curb appeal.

    Properly priced and properly marketed any home in any market condition should sell within 30 days. The key word here is yet another "P" – properly!

    Some agents spend so much time chasing the market,it's hard for them to see where the market really is.

    • ken brand

      June 2, 2011 at 5:33 am

      Thanks Cindi, like a lot of things, it's easy to understand, but for some, it's seems hard to do. I think it's the fear of experiencing seller disapproval, anger, disappointment, etc. But that's what we get paid for, sharing the truth. Cheers and all the best for a BIG year.

  3. Cindy Marchant

    June 2, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Dang…I was hoping for a magic bullet…lol

    • ken brand

      June 2, 2011 at 7:17 am

      I have good news Cindy. If you'll go to your nearest mirror and take a look. You are the Magical Silver Bullet. But, you knew that. Cheers.

  4. John Perkins

    June 2, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I realize I operate a Full-Motion Video company but I have proven again and again that full-motion separates you from the rest of the market and the ROI is 3-6% above other area listings and the sales time is faster. Why not invest in yourself and your clients. Full-Motion is above Staging because you can reach more interested people who might normally not visit a home from another city if they are exhausted of looking at photo-shop pictures of homes. Buyers want reality and knowledge of the community around the home. This is what entices them. Wherever you are in the country look up a Full-Motion provider and put not only the home but the area around the home (popular downtown, nearby museum, important schools, yada)…. Best on your sales.

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Business Marketing

The checklist every company needs when redesigning a website

(MARKETING) Web design is deceptively complicated, and failing to meet the proper criteria can leave you with the cyber equivalent of a ghost town. Here are some crucial steps to take before you publish (or republish) your website.

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website redesign

Web design can be a huge pain in the rear even for seasoned veterans, and the arduous list of things that can go wrong all but guarantees that you’ll miss something crucial before going live. If you need to update (or create) your company’s website, make sure you’ve met the necessary criteria before you click that “Publish” button, even if it’s a revamping done through a firm.

Your initial steps should involve determining the purpose of your website and cleaning up the website’s copy to match that purpose. For example, if your website’s primary goal is to serve as a call to action for customers looking to purchase your products, any additional information or services listed on the site should be appropriately categorized and removed from the landing page.

You’ll also want to ensure that your website’s copy is clean, easy to understand, and thoroughly proofread. Nothing pushes potential customers away more quickly than misspelled messages or overly technical explanations.

The importance of optimization cannot be overstated, and that concept applies doubly to your website’s mobile performance. If you don’t have an accessible mobile version of your website, you’re kissing a huge amount of revenue goodbye. Remember that, while your mobile site should stand out, it should also endeavor to mirror your desktop site as closely as possible to facilitate a sense of continuity.

Accessibility is actually a pretty complex issue in and of itself, so you’ll want to make sure that your website meets all of your country’s standards for basic web design in addition to meeting — and, if possible, exceeding — the standards for disability-related challenges such as those faced by blind or epileptic visitors. This can include anything from making sure your links are functional to creating a spoken version of your site for the blind.

While important, the above is not an exhaustive list of your website’s crucial criteria. Your website should also include some form of the following:

  • Reviews or links to social discussions about your goods or services
  • Relevant, high-quality photos and videos
  • Standard web conventions including having your website’s logo in the top-left corner and the search bar in the top-right corner

Once you’ve checked off these requirements for your site, it’s not a bad idea to have other people go through the website with the same criteria in mind. Peer review — especially from both a professional developer and someone on the consumers’ side of the process — will be a substantial aid in allowing you to find and plug the holes in your website’s design.

Mindfulness is only the first step in creating a flawless website. As long as you adhere to the above requirements and recommendations, your website should stay relatively active and frustration-free.

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Business Marketing

Study finds cancer care centers using illegal deceptive marketing tactics

(MARKETING) A new study alleges deceptive marketing practices rampant with cancer care centers, leading to FTC complaints.

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cancer care centers

When my uncle passed away from colon cancer last year, I was ready for it – that is, as ready as you can be to lose a loved one to a terminal illness. Although his death was deeply sad, I was spared the shock because his doctors had always been honest with our family about his prognosis. Once he received the diagnosis, we knew we’d be lucky to have two more years with him.

When it comes to fighting a serious illness, it’s important to have hope – but it’s also important to have realistic expectations. Unfortunately, some cancer treatment centers are luring patients and their dollars by selling them an unwarranted belief that they can beat the odds. Truth in Advertising (TINA.org), calls it “the deceptive marketing of hope.”

TINA.org has published the results of a year-long investigation into the marketing of cancer treatment centers. One study focused on Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), the cancer center that spends more than any other on marketing – an estimated $110 million over the last three years. The other study analyzed 48 big-spending cancer care centers, including Sloan-Kettering, Dana-Farber, and NYU.

The results were disturbing.

TINA.org found that many of the biggest names in cancer care use deceptive practices in their marketing. Specifically, 43 out of 48 (yes, that’s 90 percent) used anecdotal patient testimonials that show atypical care results without disclosing what the “generally expected results for a patient in a similar situation would be.”

Testimonials featured patients with types of cancer that, more than half the time, result in death within five years. By showing unusual and rare recoveries, these cancer care centers give patients the false impression that, by choosing their care center, they will have “a therapeutic advantage, allowing them to beat the odds and live beyond five years.”

Testimonials also featured atypical results from new treatments and clinical trials, without disclosing that these treatments are experimental and that success is far from guaranteed.

TINA.org also conducted a specific investigation of CTCA, who in 1996 entered a consent agreement with the FTC that barred them from using deceptive testimonials. This agreement is near expiration, so TINA.org decided it was a good time to review CTCA’s marketing practices. They found 130 examples of deceptive testimonials in CTCA’s marketing.

This week, TINA.org sent a formal complaint to the FTC asking them to re-open their investigation of CTCA. They also sent notices to 42 cancer centers warning them that using atypical testimonials is illegal.

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Business Marketing

What the YETI “cult” can teach you about marketing success

YETI has built a cult following for their 300 dollar cooler. Confused? Don’t be. This story isn’t rocket science; just good old fashioned product innovation and saavy marketing at their finest.

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yeti

The rise of YETI

Here at The American Genius, we feel the term “cult” gets a bad name. In fact, we find it beautiful. It’s the product of keeping promises and delivering remarkable experiences to consumers time and time again until they have no choice but to love a product or service unconditionally. That’s not just gold for your business, but it’s a grand human experience to build a relationship founded on trust and loyalty (and a leeeeeetle bit of fanaticism).

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We’ve written about cult followings before, like the Crossfit craze. However, we can understand if you’re a bit skeptical when we tell you that a company making coolers is cultivating a similar craze amongst consumers. However, the facts don’t lie. In six years, YETI sales grew from $9 million to $450 million. Sales are so strong, they can barely keep certain products in stock.

All this over a 300 dollar cooler. Yep, 300 dollars for something you usually pick up for no more than 50 bucks at any no-name Walmart.

Confused? Don’t be. This story isn’t rocket science; just good old fashioned product innovation and saavy marketing at their finest:

YETI didn’t just make a better cooler; they made a luxury product

Those janky, $50 Walmart coolers don’t cost much for a reason; their functionality is a bit limited. So, there’s plenty to improve on. But a Yeti Cooler isn’t just an improvement; it’s damn near perfect.

It’s practically indestructible. So indestructible that it’s grizzly proof. It also keeps ice frozen for a long-time. Long enough that you will still have ice after a long weekend trip in many cases. Combine those things together, and it’s not hard to believe that when a fire engulfed a vehicle, the YETI Cooler and the ice inside it survived the inferno.

Excessive? For most, maybe. However, there’s a beauty in its utilitarian luxury. And they have expanded this utilitarian luxury beyond coolers to products ranging from tumblers to soft-side coolers to bottle openers.

It’s not uncommon to find brands that succeed on a platform of relentless perfection of their product; Apple, Harley Davidson and Ferrari come to mind. Consumer trust in the quality of the product, be it durability or user-friendliness, forms a strong foundation for a relationship with your customers. Here, Austin-based YETI is no different, and more than ever, it’s necessary to be remarkable to achieve the business success you want.

Marketing to aspirations

YETI Cooler’s marketing focuses intently on the ideal outdoorsy lifestyle, and it has kept that focus throughout the product’s lifetime.

yeti

“The aspirational use and the actual use don’t always have to be the same thing,” said YETI’s VP of Marketing Corey Maynard. “We want our communication to stay as absolutely authentic to the hardcore user from the hardcore user as we possibly can.”

Influencers aren’t just Instagram yoga girls

From the beginning, YETI has marketed the cooler to people like the founders; passionate and respected outdoorsmen whose passions drove them to own the latest and greatest gear.  To do this, they hired influential guides and fisherman as brand ambassadors. They also sponsored programming on hunting and fishing TV stations. All of these early efforts earned the trust and recommendation of “influencers” and “prosumers.”

“Those commercials didn’t reach millions of people, but the people that they did reach were the most serious hunters and fisherman,” Maynard said. “So it would reach 100,000 or so hardcore hunters and fishermen who would be the person within their circle of friends who their buddies would ask about the latest gear.”

When they did land the sale, YETI made sure they could advertise that too. In the beginning, the company handed out stickers and hats with each cooler sale as a way to kick start conversations about the brand.

All of these factors created a “grassroots marketing goldmine,” where word-of-mouth made a lot of difference. That, combined with the aspirational messaging, creates a tribe where consumers feel included as a part of something bigger than themselves. So, as you go about marketing your business, consider these key concepts in your model. It could be just what you need to take your business to the next level.

This story was first published on May 6, 2016.

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