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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.

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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

A more environmentally sensitive Pantone color of the year

(MARKETING) Why is Pantone’s coral color causing a ruckus? Marketing is just marketing, right? Maybe not…

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pantone unofficial color of 2020

Every year Pantone declares the Color of the Year and for 2019, the institute declared Living Coral to be the “it” shade calling it “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” And it totally is. Imagine bright red orange swimming in a sea of crystal blue water.

Pantone’s Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman even goes so far as saying it that Living Coral was what “consumers craved” and that it incites “human interaction and social connection” which might be a stretch. It is just a color after all.

However, some found this messaging to be anything but convivial and well, off-color.

Jack Railton-Woodcock and Huei Yin Wong, partners at Jack and Huei, a Melbourne-based design agency, took umbrage with this decision and for good reason.

Their native Australia has front-row seats to the dying of the Great Barrier Reef and for them, coral is anything but lively. If anything, it’s on life support.

To call attention to the tone-deaf decision, the duo preemptively christened Bleached Coral as the Color of the Year 2020.

Touche.

The duo furthered their burn, saying, “It’s the responsibility of all of us, creative or otherwise, to find creative solutions to big problems, and right now there aren’t many problems facing humanity that are bigger than climate change.”

Oof, way to pull back the curtain, guys.

As much of a buzzkill as this pair might be, they’re not wrong, and they bring up the larger question of social responsibility in marketing.

But it’s just marketing, right?

Wrong. The very root of marketing is aspirational. We see ads for luxury cars, we imagine ourselves behind the wheel and believe that maybe we can get there. We see beauty products that promise flawless ageless skin and maybe we decide to take better care of our skin. We see Living Coral and we’re blinded to the reality that the coral just might be a thing of the past.

Yes, Pantone’s Color of the Year is one of those fun end-of-year things we in marketing get excited about, but when you’re living in a world where climate change is our reality and we see it in unnatural weather patterns and the dying off of one of our greatest natural treasures, it’s time to take pause. We can do better.

These days it’s hard to please everybody. Try as we might to make everything for everyone, if we’re going to attempt to talk about a unifying the human race through color, we sure as hell shouldn’t choose a color that reminds us all that our environment is in rough shape and it’s largely humanity’s fault. Bleached Coral isn’t the color we need, but right now, it’s the color we deserve.

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Business Marketing

Genius: How a Yoga studio is using AI to help the masses

(MARKETING) Here’s an interesting case study in how yoga, a 5,000+ year industry is using modern technology.

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yoga

Yoga is everywhere. From small town strip mall studios and big city meccas with guidance from YouTube gurus to Instagram-able practice with goats. If monitoring your breaths and balancing your body is your thing, it’s not out of reach.

However, despite its ubiquity, getting into yoga can be intimidating.

Sure, you’ve picked up a mat at Target, you’ve purchased all the Lululemon pants and Outdoor Voices bras, but actually getting on the mat and moving your body can be overwhelming if you’ve never practiced before.

Well, Would-Be-Yogis, push those fears and worries out of your mind, take three deep breaths and get on the mat, because you’re about to start posing at your pace.

Introducing the YogaBot from Austin’s own Yoga Yoga. It’s a fascinating case study in how a 5,000+ year old industry is using modern technology.

Over the past 20 years, Yoga Yoga has guided thousands of yoga students from their first class all the way through advanced teacher training and now, to help improve students choose the right path for themselves, they’ve created Design Your Yoga.

With the intention of helping new and advanced students achieve their yoga goals, Design Your Yoga is an automated experience that begins on their landing page.

Once you arrive, the bot asks you if you’d like to “Design Your Yoga.” After an initial greeting, the bot begins by getting to know your skill level.

Asking a very straightforward, “Have you done yoga before?” you are then offered nine responses ranging from “Never” to “I am a yoga therapist.”

Once you answer, you are asked further questions regarding what you’d like to achieve from your practice, what styles you’re familiar with, and when and where you’d like to practice among a few others. At the end, the bot will ask for your email address to send you a customized yoga plan. Easy peasy.

Their algorithm has thousands of possible combinations promising to make each yogi’s practice results unique to them.

“For years we’ve been working on ways to better personalize our services to the needs of each individual student. Design Your Yoga is our solution to delivering an exceptional user experience with a plan a student can follow and stick with,” said Yoga Yoga CEO Rich Goldstein.

Landing page bots are nothing new, and more often than not, they’re annoying as hell. However, this one actually seems helpful, which is refreshing.

From a marketing standpoint, Yoga Yoga CMO Marc Lefton said, “As marketers in a city as creative and entrepreneurial as Austin, we wanted to make sure we use every tool we can to bring yoga students the information they need as fast as possible.”

He’s not wrong. It worked. After trying it out for ourselves, we can’t help but be a little more ready to get on the mat. First, we’re going to need to put down the tacos.

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