Hi Christine, This year everyone is saying that to sell real estate you have to think outside the box. What does that mean to me as a realtor? What exactly is it that I am to be thinking about to make myself stand out from my competitors?
– James, Canada
Well, James in Canada, that is a good question which deserves a clear answer.
There are many things you can do to make yourself stand out from the competition. One thing is staging every listing. I teach graduates to use a specific comprehensive Room Ready Handbook(TM) to compile a plan to prepare the house for sale. Budgets are taken into consideration and the recommendations enable sellers to maximize ROI. Staging is a three-step process, so those recommendations need to be completed, followed by the “showcasing” of all rooms plus outside – all three steps need to be completed to maximize results. Showcasing is the crucial step; it takes it from a tidied-up house to “WOW”.
The next step is to have the property professionally photographed by someone who has a background in shooting products, as the house is now a product for sale. Ninety-one percent of buyers start their search on the Internet. Buyers today make decisions more quickly and see fewer houses. Traditional buyers see 15 properties; Internet buyers make decisions after seeing six and decide which properties to see by looking at photos on the Internet.
Professional listing photos will attract traffic to your listing by creating desire in the buyer to put the listing on their “must-see-list”. Once the buyer is there, the staging will market the highlights and focal points of the property and initiate action on the part of the buyer to make an offer. Because the recommendations have been completed, there are no lowball offers.
When you work with a CSP, they can offer you a service through their connections called Obeo, which gives amazing photo service, a virtual tour if you want it, and an amazing social network marketing privilege. (If you are not using social networks to drive traffic to your listings, you are missing another out-of-the-box marketing opportunity. Call me; we have a work-at-home training program to help you.) You might be interested to know that Internet buyers are more loyal to their agents; 97 percent say they would use the same agent again compared with only 50 percent of traditional buyers.
Once the property is listed, many CSPs also make a post to their personal blog and social media sites (such as Active Rain, Twitter, Facebook) to increase their reach to the public. This linking to the listing and the realtor generates more Google juice for the property. The realtor is encouraged to have a blog that talks about their area of service and their listings.
James, I hope you find these ideas useful and will put them to work in your community. Raise your profile and become the realtor who brings fresh, new ideas to the listing proposal, allowing you to stand out from the competition every time. You might want to get started by earning the prestigious CSP affiliate designation, which will teach you all you need to know about marketing with stagings. Check out class dates near you at www.cspelite.com or call us and we will do a private session for you and your colleagues: 1-888-STAGING.