One Real Estate Myth About Marketing That Needs To Die
In the November 2017 issue of Salt Lake Realtor Magazine, an article was published about different ideas surrounding the real estate world that need to die. Number 4 on the list really strikes a chord with us and I have to expand on what they said.
MYTH: There's no need to spend money on marketing when homes are selling quickly.
All too often it feels like the real estate market is feast or famine. Either houses are selling like hot cakes (which I guess sell really well) or business is so slow you're wondering how much more hits your credit card can take. The wonderful team that is our National Association of Realtors gives great advice here. Marketing is an investment that pays off in spades in the future. Without great marketing, clients don't know who you are, where to find you, or will be convinced to work with you. During times of feast like we are seeing in Salt Lake City's current real estate market, it is the best time to work on your marketing.
What kinds of things can you do during these times? The article has a very short paragraph that gives some advice. One key piece says,
"Now is the time to spend the money and build a portfolio of your work."
I see many Realtors lacking a decent portfolio of homes they've sold and how they marketed those home. The most important thing to a homeowner selling their home (that we learn from the annual NAR survey) is how it will be marketed. I see far too many agents focusing on numbers and figures that clients don't care about. Home sellers don't care how many homes your brokerage sold last year, or that you were nominated for some Realtor award, or that you have a half dozen acronyms after your name on your business card. What they care about first and foremost is that you will treat them like a person (not a number) and give them the best marketing for their listing. My guess is that many agents don't have portfolio quality images of their listings so they have nothing to show off. But imagine if you were talking to a potential client about selling their home and you were able to show them the professional marketing you do for each of your listings. How much more attractive will you become to that client versus the agent who just snaps a few photos with their cell phone? We have a client who has prints made on 8x10 glossy photo paper to give to potential clients during her listing presentations. A big part of her brand image focuses on marketing and providing the best marketing in the industry.
We work not only with real estate agents but also homeowners who are selling their homes themselves. What we find happens the most often is these homeowners are asking for our most expensive services in order to have the most eye catching listing on Zillow, Trulia, and even Realtor.com and the MLS (if using a discount broker). In fact, out of all the homes we've photographed for FSBOs, only 1 has chosen not to list with twilight photos. Homeowners see this enhanced marketing as the best value for their money in reaching potential buyers and getting the most eyes on their listings.
When we talk with people about their experiences looking for and buying a home, many have told us that they will click on a listing that has an amazing profile photo even if it doesn't match exactly what they are looking for. "If it looked beautiful and stands out, I clicked on it. It didn't matter if it wasn't in my ideal neighborhood or had 3 bath when I was looking for a 4 bath" says one woman who was doing her home search this past summer and fall.
Do you remember the fable of the grasshopper and the ants? The ants worked hard in the summer to build up a stockpile during times of feast while the grasshopper just sat around. When winter came, the grasshopper died and the ants thrived. This story is directly applicable to the real estate world. It seems that there are surges of new agents during hot markets and plummeting license renewals during cooler markets. This is most likely due to a diminished understanding of the importance of building up your marketing portfolio while homes are hot so you have something to carry you through the slow season.
Lastly, I really want to stress how important it is to maintain a brand image. It will serve you much better to maintain consistency in your marketing across all home values than to just have great marketing for the more expensive homes. If you can show your clients that you provide the best marketing regardless of the price point of the listing, you'll sign more clients and get more listings. This also leads to more referrals because your current clients will be so impressed with the high quality of your marketing. Now, I'm not suggesting you spend $1000 on marketing for every listing. That wouldn't be reasonable. But there should exist a base service you provide on every listing, professional photography for example. When you do this, you can say without hesitation to a potential client, "I provide the same marketing for my $250k homes as I do for my $2M homes because each of my clients deserves the best."
The great thing about investing in your marketing is it doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. We offer professional photography at a very reasonable price. Give us a call for your next listing and see how fun it is to show off your properties when they have eye popping images to back them up.
Excerpts pulled from Salt Lake Realtor Magazine Nov 2017; reprinted from Realtor Magazine Online, Sept 2017. Copyright National Association of Realtors.
Keywords: marketing, real estate agent, real estate marketing, salt lake city real estate photographer, utah real estate photography
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