With everything that has happened in the housing market over the last few years, there have been a lot of adjustments to account for. Not only have prices been the subject of extreme fluctuations, but also practices and strategies have seen their fair share of changes. More recently, and particularly with listings, there has been a trend towards the “basics.”
If you have become complacent with your listing strategy, or are just not gaining the traction you had hoped for, now is the time to step up your game: You are sure to see your home last fewer days on the market, covet more showings and warrant the attention of more clients. The following will illustrate some of the simplest steps you can take to increase your real estate listing exposure:
Use The Seasons To Your Advantage: While it may be too late to take advantage of the “Halloween season,” we are just now entering the time of year where holidays can play a major role in selling a property. Again, use the individual holidays at the end of the year to convey the message that your house is for sale. Perhaps even more importantly – don’t be shy! Intentionally go overboard to gain the attention of others. Half the challenge of listing a property is getting people to notice it.
Take it a step further: use the house to sell itself. Invite people in for a quick bite to eat/cocktail and tour of the property; the neighbors are always curious about homes that are for sale. You can have a holiday themed open house. Not only will it catch the attention of potential buyers, but it is a good excuse to reach out to any previous contacts as well. Regardless of the season, there are ways to market your property without sounding too “pitchy.” Make sure you are taking advantage of the holidays to market your property.
Blog Posts: Blog posts, for all intents and purposes, are a great way to get your point across. The key is to discuss relevant information that your audience can use. However, it is not enough to just post random blogs and expect a home to sell. First, in order for a blog to work, you need to establish a reader base. Give them a reason to come back. Then, and only then, should you introduce any listings you may have.
While it will be easy to talk about any house you may have for sale, consider your alternatives. Yes – write a blog on your properties, but expand your horizons. Write blog posts about the neighborhoods your properties are in. You can include information on everything from local restaurants and schools to the nightlife that is offered. If you think your readers might be interested – include it in your blog. This will also provide you with an opportunity to interlink your posts (great for SEO purposes). Any time you write about a particular neighborhood you may have a property in, take the time to reference said property.
Write An Article About The Home: As a part of your blog strategy, include a piece about the homes you have listed. Each home should have its own individual article. This is where you can be creative. Include as much information about the property as possible, and post it in as many places as possible. While your own blog is obvious, consider submitting it to local print ads such as a newspaper or magazine. Where do people read about housing and the real estate market in your area?
Maximize Your Open House Time: The concept of an open house is not exactly foreign, but there are several ways one can be organized. In other words, there is more than one way to wow potential buyers. Avoid mediocrity and make your open houses something that everyone would want to attend. Give away a gift card, Fitbit, Kindle or some other item of value and invite all local agents using an e-flier. Email the agents you know and get them to come; they need to see the house to sell the house! Equally as important is the regularity in which you hold an open house. Have as many open houses as you can. There is really no reason not to if you have the time.
Promotional Videos: Let’s be honest – the average reader on the Internet has a very short attention span. Essentially, they do not want to have to sift through mounds of data to come across what it is they are looking for. Despite their usefulness, long, in depth articles rarely get the attention they deserve. People see a lot of words and are immediately turned off. Conversely, studies have shown the benefits of videos. A video can cover a lot of information without overwhelming the target audience. It is also a visually appealing tool that can catch (and keep) the attention of anyone that comes across your listing. This might be a great opportunity to create a lifestyle video to highlight the home’s best features and also serve as a long-term marketing piece for you.
Consider Alternative Exit Strategies: Is it time to start thinking about possibly renting the house out for the winter? If this is a possibility/necessity, start listing it as for sale/possible lease and list it on all of the rental sites. You never know, someone who is thinking that they need to rent first might fall in love with it and buy it anyway.
Reevaluate Your Pricing Strategy: More often than not, the success of a listing is directly correlated to the price point. Priced too high, and a house may not gain any exposure at all. Priced too low, and you might be kissing any returns goodbye. The key is to keep the price point competitive. Instead of listing above market value, set the price point below what people would expect. In doing so, you will create appeal and, more importantly, competition. At the right price point, you may create a bidding war. At the very least, you are gaining attention for your listing. However, if your home has been on the market for a while, the end of the year is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate your price strategy. Now that many markets have hit a seasonal slowdown, it’s not surprising that homes are taking a bit longer to sell, and it’s more important than ever to price your listings strategically.