by Sean Hess (www.SeanHess.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Follow us on Facebook.
What do Realtors do to “market” a house beyond putting it on the MLS…
I found this question while trolling the real estate blogs this morning. It’s a good question.
I can’t speak for other Realtors, but I can speak for us. To dumb it down a bit there are four different ways to market a home for sale: networking, print advertising, online advertising, and “other.”
Networking is the most important of the four, and I would include MLS (multiple listing service) in this group.
Buyers use Realtors to buy homes. Realtors use the MLS to find those homes. So when I create a listing in MLS, great care is used in speaking to the Realtor as well as the Buyer. It affects the headlines I use, the copy, and even the sequence of photos. Since the Realtors often create the final short list they give to their customers, we pay a lot of attention to their needs.
The other side of networking is the face-to-face part, and it is just as important. Certain agents work with certain buyers or certain types of properties. We make sure they know us and know our properties, so they feel comfortable coming to us with offers and questions. Most importantly, when we get one of “their type” properties we put a bug in their ear and make sure they know it’s out there.
Print advertising is the thing we wish would all go away…it’s expensive and ineffective for selling homes. So why do we and other companies plunk down hundreds if not thousands on print? Because it is effective for attracting sellers and agents. Sellers live in a market day to day, get the paper every day, and they see so and so advertises. Must be successful, right? Possibly. Companies, ours included, use print to tell other agents, “hey, we’re in business and spending money, come work for us.” But for the most part it won’t sell your home.
Online advertising is how we find the buyers, so it’s the thing we pay the most attention to (equally with networking). While we feed our listings to something like 73 different sites, it’s how we do it that’s important. We structure a lot of these feeds differently, and these are structured strictly for the buyer, to catch their attention, so hopefully they will contact us about buying your home. We don’t post listings willy-nilly, but are very calculated in how we do it: we want our online advertising to make sense to the buyer so they find what they’re looking for fast and without a hassle. We use things like social media and blogs as well to accomplish this.
“Other” is more the institutional advertising we do with logo decals, race sponsorships, bike team sponsorships, television, radio, etc. We’re hoping to catch a customer’s eye or ear. It’s an indirect way to get the properties we list sold by attracting customers to our firm. If they have a list of wants and needs we’ll help them find it, and we’ll make sure they see our listings that meet those needs as well. One of those could be your home.