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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

How ecommerce brands can increase sales, even on tiny purchases

(MARKETING) These tips and tricks are prime ways to boost the dollar amount spent at checkout and close more deals — even on the tiny purchases!

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online sales

There are many marketing techniques aimed at acquiring new customers. Makes sense, right? More customers, more money. But how do you increase sales with your existing customer base? The Average Order Value (AOV) = Total Revenue/# of Transactions. This number is important because it indicates how much each customer is buying. Here are some ways to increase your AOV:

First, it’s crucial to appeal to human nature. People like things for free. So, by setting a minimum to receive free delivery, buyers are more likely to continue browsing and eventually buying, in order to avoid the shipping fee. While we all know that spending $50 when I only meant to spend $37 isn’t ideal, but I’d rather pay $50 for two products, than $43 for one and shipping. It feels like a better value.

Over half of customers will discontinue their transaction when they found out there are additional costs. MORE THAN HALF. Don’t surprise people the wrong way — we don’t like it.

Second, have you ever been to Costco? Ever left Costco with exactly the amount of food you needed? No, of course, you haven’t. The concept of buying in bulk appeals to our sense of value. Oranges are $1.09 per pound but buy a 10 lb. bag and get it for $8.50. Next thing you know, you’re feeding your child’s soccer team as well as the opponents. Offering a discount on package deals and large quantities at least gets your customers thinking about purchasing more.

We all rationalize the need for a good deal. My roommate used to buy two 12-packs of the giant muffins because “They were on sale.” A discount on a package might entice someone who was looking for a little more variety but was hesitant at first.

Next, recommending products is a great way for customers to lay eyes on new things. Not everyone is a browser — some people go straight to a specific section. By using information from previous purchases and browsing history, showing related, best-selling, or recommended products is an awesome way to generate more clicks and potentially increase sales.

Finally, help us lazy people by including a gift-wrapping option at checkout so that people buying remotely for others out of town can send things directly. In order to wrap, they would have to send to themselves, wrap, then send again or deliver to the receiver. The former sounds like it’s worth $6.99 to me!

In conclusion, there are always ways to boost sales with your existing, loyal, customers. If buyers are only purchasing one thing at a time, reflect on why this is. Perhaps a few sweeteners or additional opportunities could lead to long-term growth. Remember human nature and happy selling!

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Business Marketing

Branded content coming to a theater near you?

(MARKETING) A solid attempt to find a new vein for branded content, this silver screen antic seems short lived.

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branded content movies

When firing up your laptop to watch branded content have you ever thought, “Man, I wish I could watch this short video on the big screen. I’d pay good money to see this in the theater!”?

Probably not, which is why Marriott’s narrowly distributed lifestyle series Storybooked should be a cautionary tale to other content creators. (It won’t be, but we tried.)

Marriott disrupted the branded content model by screening the entirety of Storybooked in theaters. Yep, you could’ve dropped around $20 to watch an extended branding experience in theaters and if you missed it, it airs on A&E. It also lives on their branded lifestyle blog Marriott Traveler and of course, YouTube.

Created by Marriott Content Studios, Storybooked is a series of short films aiming to “share with consumers around the world the benefits of loyalty to Marriott through the experiences and stories of real members.”

The members featured are international artists and musicians on personal journeys. Each episode is almost formulaic in nature – the artist offers a profound statement about their work or journey, then comes footage of a train, followed by footage of the artist touching buildings, sitting in doorways and enjoying local culture. Sometimes they return to the Marriott, sometimes they don’t.

I watched many of these (from the comfort of my couch) and I’m in no hurry to book Marriott any time soon. I get it, companies are trying to attract a younger and hipper demographic and they think branded content is the way to earn loyalty, but these are lukewarm advertorials at best. They lack the sincerity of originality and authenticity that appeals to a younger demographic. I didn’t even feel compelled to look up these artists’ work to explore more. I didn’t feel compelled to do anything.

If anyone, they might appeal to already loyal Marriott fans, but I’m having a hard time imagining even the most rabid fan forking over the price of theater admission to watch these.

There are brands have been able to successfully dip their toes into more narrative-based ads. Both Kate Spade and H&M have previously created episodic series and short films to promote their lines and they’ve worked largely because even though they’re ads, their creativity and whimsy prevail. I wouldn’t rush to see them in the theaters, but I’d happily surrender a few minutes of screen time to watch.

Will this trend continue? Will other brands seek the same kind of distribution model for branded content? Think of it this way, when’s the last time you found yourself in a crowded movie theater?

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Business Marketing

Ten podcasts that every business owner should hear

(MARKETING) If you’re a business and want to learn something, give one of (or all of) these ten podcasts a listen.

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headphones listen podcasts

So many choices, so little time

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

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From interviews with business leaders to industry specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

Business podcasts for your listening enojoyment

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly populat show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further thna Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real world applications and cover everything from marketing to techology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

#LearnSomething

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