There are many ways to market homes for sale, but in this age of technology, it is imperative that your online presence is front and center... and fabulous! The fact is that the vast majority of home buyers are first searching online. According to Realtor.com, in one month alone, the site had more than 370 million pageviews in searches and real estate listings. On the site's mobile app, over 272 million photos were viewed in that month. That comes to more than 6,300 photo views per minute! And that is just one of the many forms of digital media that is available to you.
The first couple of weeks on the market are the most crucial. First, buyers must be able to find you. When they find you, the listing should "wow" them. If a buyer sees your listing and dismisses it, you may not get another look. So, in order to maximize your online presence, and get that second look, a showing, and even a sale, here are some tips:
1. Price it to sell. It goes without saying that making the sale always comes down to the right price. When selling a home, price is THE most important factor. The home must be priced competitively for the market, so it is wise to do your homework and have a competitive market analysis performed. A consult with a staging professional can help a homeowner identify areas where repairs or improvements can be made that would ensure a high perceived value for the asking price.
2. Get professional photographs and/or a virtual tour produced. We've all heard the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words." With most buyers looking online for their next home, it is imperative that your listing photos are of the highest quality. They should tell a story–one that resonates with buyers and creates an emotional connection, so much so that they just HAVE to follow up on it. This is also where professional staging can help create a story by ensuring that the attributes that are important to target buyers are highlighted.
3. Target your marketing efforts. Understand who your target buyer is. Would the home appeal to a young family? Empty nesters looking for a second home? A single? While you cannot call out a particular segment of the population, you can certainly speak to your targeted buyer in your marketing efforts. Using keywords, offering incentives and touting the positives of the property that appeal to this particular segment may strike a chord, pique interest and hopefully evoke a response from them. For example, young families may be interested in the proximity to the schools, but empty nesters may want to hear more about the home's one-level living.
4. Go where the buyers are. Once you understand your target buyer group, you must engage with them where they spend their time. MLS, Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow are great sites, but don't discount other venues that cater to specific groups like parents, singles and travelers. Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter can also be used to reach would-be buyers.
5. Make it easy to find you. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to pass over your property because it's difficult to find your contact information. Be sure that it is clearly displayed in all of your marketing materials. A simple link to your website or e-mail can be attached to any online marketing piece.
The digital age is here. Don't fight it. Use it to your advantage and stay ahead of the competition!
Credit: 24/7 Wall St., Thirteen Ways to Sell Your Home in 2012, April 24, 2012.