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Welcome to your constantly updated resource for news and views on the Brookline Real Estate market. Here you will find commentary and statistics to explain the daily changes in the Brookline specific housing market.

Whether you're looking for an estate in Cottage Farm, a condo in Brookline Village or are just stopping by please feel free to read along and comment at will. If you are interested in speaking about renting an apartment, buyer representation or listing your home please feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What does my agent do to market my house?

I get a lot of questions from people about what actually goes into getting a house out there on the market as effectively as possible. With the rise of "entry only" or "flat fee" MLS companies, I can tell that a decent number of sellers believe that their REALTOR simply goes to the computer, punches in a few numbers and comments, uploads a photo and then sits by the phone and waits.

Well, not exactly. You see, when I have a listing in a specific neighborhood, I know what agents tend to have a higher number of transactions (and therefore a pool of interested clients) in that area and I immediately arrange for those agents to take a look. Then, we target internet marketing to the community it will be best received by. For example, if I have a condo listing under $500,000 then I am going to go on craigslist with a slightly modified ad every 48 hours. I will try the various national search tools like Trulia.com, Zillow.com, Google Base and Active Rain. Now, everyone can do this part of it if they put the time into updating, so where does the agent come back into the picture? We now start tracking. My access line and toll free numbers are set up in a way where we can see which form of advertising is getting us the most interest. From there we work on refining and updating, giving us more and more of a presence where it has been reaching the best.

When I first get a call from a buyer, I make sure that I have already done my homework. I know that however that buyer came to me(website, classified ad, etc...) they've also seen other similar properties, and I need to have a conversational working knowledge of those properties. That way, while on the phone with the buyer I can compare and contrast right off the bat. Every property has a special hook, and I need to make sure that I can convey it each and every time. The buying customer might not have been in any of these properties in person, but if I can describe the relative strengths and weaknesses to each of them, I know that I have a better chance of getting them in the door of mine.

Once the customer is in the front door, the marketing goes into full swing. Why should this customer buy this specific house or condo? Well, it starts with finding out why they're buying. If one person wants a bigger kitchen then we're going to walk into the kitchen first and let them spend time exploring. I then speak of my views of the kitchens in the other homes or condos available in that neighborhood. We'll linger in the kitchen because that is one of the most important factors in the decision. Yes, this condo or house might have a lot of extra basement storage, but that is not why they're here, so why go there?

Finally, once the buyers have taken a look, I immediately ask them when they want to come back to see it again, or who needs to see it before they can make a decision. This is a perfect method for getting feedback right then and there to give to my sellers. This way, if I have a showing 20 minutes later, I'm armed with the most recent views and impressions to help lead me to a successful showing.

Once the buyers (with or without their agent) leave, it then falls on me to make sure they understand the financial reality of buying this home. If I need to break it down to how much it will cost them per day compared to their current home, or if I need to talk them through the costs of the transaction, I need to do it sooner rather than later. I also, especially if they're working with another agent, need to let them know which homes they should go visit to compare and contrast my listing. The longer a buyer has, the less likely they are to actually move forward. While it's not my job to create an offer where there otherwise would not be one, it is my job to take away as many of the barriers and objections to that offer as quickly as possible. This way, if an offer does not come, we have pin-pointed why and can adjust our marketing and presentation accordingly.

3 comments:

Dennis said...

Great analysis Greg of what agents can and do, do for clients. I did have a little bone to pick about your comments on posting to zillow and trulia. I know it is good to get exposure everywhere, but I can't help but feel when agents do this they are helping the enemy. Zillow has long been stated as the expedia of real estate (in other words putting real estate agents out of business). I wont use them, there are alternatives that are tools working with realtor's that do the same thing (www.housefront.com comes to mind as one of my favorites). Just my two cents though. Great posting.

The Brookline Connection said...

Dennis, I agree that Trulia and Zillow are not effective means to get a house sold, but in terms of letting a seller see their house marketed in different formats it helps put them at ease. Also, the first thing most sellers do is tell their friends and family to check out their listing online, or even better, google search their listing. If they can't find it quickly then questions start flying.

David G from Zillow.com said...

Hi, it's David from Zillow,

Great post!

Dennis -

Zillow (and Trulia) are media companies - just like your local newspaper. Neither website is competition for Realtors or brokers. More than 80% of homebuyers start their search online - 4,4M people visited Zillow in August. Not posting your clients' listings on these sites is a missed marketing opportunity.

... and seriously; this housefront comment spam is getting old really fast. You're not doing your brand any favors.

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The views expressed on these pages are the opinion of the author and any public contributors. They do not substitute for the advice of a legal or financial professional. These opinions are not representative of any firm or business. Please always consult an attorney, financial professional or sign a contract with a Buyer Agent or Seller's Agent for specific advice.