Dear Ginny WTH,
I’m going into a listing presentation next week and want to wow my potential sellers with my marketing plan to expose their property. My usual plan includes placing the property in the MLS, on my broker’s site, on my web site, a personal property URL, property flyers, a just listed postcard, email to buyer’s agents, emails to past clients and weekend open houses. This seems to be a pretty standard list. Do you have any suggestions that could make my plan stand out a bit more than others? Real Estate Agent Seeking Wow
Dear Wow Seeker,
You’re right; you’ve got a standard list that might not look any different than other agents going in before or after you. Two causes to consider: first is the plan itself and second is how you present and package the plan. Let’s start with the content of your marketing plan. It’s a good bullet list but you are missing a few items. You should add is a social networking aspect. If you are on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, you can make several posts to your network, friends and followers about the property, i.e. just listed and open house announcements. How about featuring the property on your web site? If you have the ability to highlight the property for some period of time on your home page, that’s a plus. You’re missing online advertising as well. Why not Craig’s List and other syndication? You can easily syndicate your own listing through companies like ListingstoLeads.com and others. I’ll bet not that many of your real estate competitors do that. Another component you could add is something like Trulia Voices which allows you to speak to consumers and other agents. I could go on, but you need to keep it simple and targeted so it makes sense to your seller. How you package and present the plan can definitely make you stand out amongst the crowd as well. Do you simply list the items in a bulleted fashion on the page or do you depict in some visual or graphic format samples of previous property marketing you’ve done? I assume you are using a professional listing presentation (a must!), so you need to work your marketing plan into the total of the presentation. Of course I suggest you have both a printed and power point listing presentation that you choose between depending on the client. But even if you use a power point presentation, you need to leave something behind, so getting your print presentation nailed is the first order. I would suggest either hard copy samples of each of the printed pieces, like your property flyers, just listed and open house cards, or some thumbnail layout of each piece on a four-color page in your presentation folder. It’s good to carry hard copy samples so you can show the quality of your materials. For the online marketing it’s a little harder to show in print format, but I do suggest you attempt to have something in your printed presentation that depicts your online marketing. For example, you can show a sample just listed email considering you are using a formatted template (another must!). You can also show the home pages of your social networking sites and cite how many people are in each of those networks, for a grand total number of impressions. You can also screen grab the home page of your personal web site and your broker’s site. I suggest you pay a graphic designer to lay out the plan in a visual format for you (that fits with your current presentation) and plan to update it quarterly. In the long run it will pay off to have it done professionally and make you stand out from the crowd.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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