Q: How many dimensions are involved in marketing a house?
Q: What tools are most effective for buyers and sellers in today's market place?
There are a number of traditional marketing techniques that have been successfully used in the past to help sellers sell their homes. However, in today's business market place, the overwhelming featured tool that buyers use to research and define their market place is the web--online. Other marketing techniques can work to a much lesser degree, but all in all, if you are not marketing online, you are missing out on most of the buyer traffic in most major metropolitan markets.
In today's Real Estate market you should have full access to:
- The entire local MLS listings--not just the agents' listings. And make sure they update their listings at least once a day--else you will never know if it is sold or still active.
- Full time Realtors in the local area (not just online) there to assist you in the research, the search, contracting, inspections, loan, title review, and the entire end-to-end buying and selling of your property. I don't recommend that you buy any home without the help of a qualified and licensed Realtor. (I know a good Realtor in Austin!)
- Lenders, inspectors, attorneys, title companies, and other professionals in their "extended team"--there to help you through the entire process from search to contract to inspection to close. A good Realtor is surrounded by professionals who are good at their trades.
- A full online portfolio and in-person resources of local information to give you as much info as possible and assist you in the buying and/or selling of your next home in the local market. Don't settle for out of state help, or DIY (Do it Yourself) real estate propositions. Use the best resources available to buy and sell your home.
Compare what you get today and how buyers research property today, to how real estate was sold 5-10 years ago:
- Open House. While Open Houses still happen today, when pressed on the question of results--most Realtors will admit that Open Houses constitute less than 5% of their annual sales. Thinking as a buyer--why drive around hundreds of miles and spend hours looking at houses across your city, when you can see every house for sale online (not just the houses that are open on any given day). Some buyers will go to an open house, but buyers seldom buy from an open house. The choices are so limited--compared to online research. (Also note, out of town buyers don't have the luxury of coming into town to look for days or weeks at a time--but they can shop online daily until they become familiar with the area and the market).
- Signage and brochures in the front yard. Signs get a little attention, but mostly from neighbors who are thinking about selling their house. Brochures in the yard are for the neighbors. Serious buyers will come inside with a Realtor to see the home first hand. Signage is not totally obsolete, but it is by far less effective marketing tool than it was before "every home" in America had internet access.
- Grocery store magazines. One question for you--when was the last time you picked up and poured through a free real estate magazine that you picked up in the grocery store? If you picked it up, my guess would be that you spent no more than 3-5 minutes looking at it. When was the last time you saw the Real Estate magazines completely taken? This constitutes only a very, very small percentage of people who may be using these sales tools to find a home.
- Sunday newspaper. Same as the grocery store trade rag--paper advertising is a thing of the past. It takes too much time, is not very informative, and it is not as convenient or up-to-date as online marketing.
- Local bulletin boards. Really? Would you buy a house from a flier on a restaurant bulletin board?
- Friends network. Having a built-in network of buyers is always a good thing. If your Brokerage has lots of buyers, and those buyers have access to your listings as well as the open MLS listings, this is a good thing. Having lots of Realtors means very little--if they do not have active buyers. But most buyers are still starting online. If your property is not well advertised and promoted online, it may get lost in the noise of thousands of other homes online. You need your home to stand out in order for it to sell.