Real estate is not just about making sales. It’s about helping people.
And sometimes it’s that people element that kinks the marketing procedure.
Sometimes people want what they want, whether it’s useful or not. (I mean, how else would knitted beard-hats ever have become a thing??)
Real estate is not immune to these kinks. Or at least, it shouldn’t be.
Sometimes business decisions can’t be about financially effective or time-efficient. Sometimes, our decisions are straight-up based on what makes the client happy. And really, that is its own kind of effective, isn’t it? That’s a result I want, and results cost. That’s why I use these three ineffective tools anyway:
3 Ineffective Tools I may Use Anyway
- Open Houses
I have never, ever yielded a sale as a result of an open house. Most agents in rural areas haven’t, and it’s why many agents prefer not to do the open house. It makes developers and clients happy though, to see that we, the agent, are putting our time and dime in this game. We’re on their side, and it shows. So, we do Open Houses, at the seller’s request. Better yet, we offer an online open house.
Yes, I dare to paint Kijiji with the brush of inefficiency – for selling homes. Kijiji is a meeting place for bargain hunters, and they expect to haggle. I don’t expect a kijiji bargain hunter to pay market value for a property. My goal is to get my seller top dollar. Most every message I have ever received through Kijiji ads has been a waste of time. But. Clients, having had success selling everything from DVDs to fishing boats, insist their ad be placed on this site. It may not yield leads, but it will yield a happy client. So we do the kijiji thing. Upon request. Better yet, we offer to put our listings on multiple websites that are specific to real estate so that the buyer who is actually searching for homes will definitely come across our listings. We even pay extra to have our listings be featured on key real estate related websites. You know, the ones that actually attract buyers that are shopping for property?
- Newspaper Ads
You’re not really that surprised I label newspaper ads as inefficient, are you? I mean, the last time you wanted to buy a house, where did you look? I have a hunch that the newspaper was not the first place. Again, newspaper ads may be a fine place for job ads or event announcements, but not so great for generating leads for a home sale. People just don’t look there when they’re house hunting. They get an agent, or look on MLS. Most sellers understand this. However, we do feature our listings in the local property guide which is targeted especially to buyers and potential buyers interested in real estate. I see people of all ages enjoying flipping through this glossy magazine.
These methods may be ineffective in producing leads or sales, but they’re pretty effective at pleasing clients. In the end, Real Estate is about people. Invest a little time and money into your client’s happiness, and you’ll find even ineffective can become worthwhile.
Where did all the open houses go?
Open house attendance has decreased and there’s a good reason why.
Once upon a time when buyers would want to view the inside of the home they would contact the listing agent and the listing agent would meet him at the property and show them the house.
Today, if you see a for sale sign, you Google the address and you can see what the house looks like inside through the online listing.
I am noticing more and more that people will disqualify homes based on what they see on the Internet. Therefore, I believe it is critical that a home be displayed with excellence.
If your home is a masterpiece then it should be presented as such.
The Floor Plan
How many times have you looked at a listing online and wondered what the floor plan was like? Do you find yourself trying to piece together the floor plan as you go through the photos? How would you like it if when you looked at a listing you would get a quick overview of each floor in a traditional top-down perspective? Better yet, what if those rooms were labeled?
The Dollhouse View
Wouldn’t it be nice to know how the different floors relate to each other? What’s directly below the master bedroom? Imagine if you could see a dollhouse view like this when you viewed a listing.
Or like this. This incomparable Dollhouse View gives a completely unique sense for the place. See all floors at once!
The Walkthrough- A Five Star Experience*****
Wouldnt it be great if you could be inside this photo an look up and see the ceiling and light fixtures or look down and get a good look at the flooring? Would you like to turn around to see whether that is the entrance behind you or the kitchen? Click on this photo to see what you will find. But come back after for the closing message. I have got exciting news to share!
*This home is not for sale. It is a sample.
All 3 in 1
A 3-D showcase is an online experience that lets homebuyers move through a property and see it from any angle, as if they were there.
Tina Plett/Eniko Crozier of Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate came back from the National Association of Realtors Conference and Expo with a new tool called The Matterport. With this tool, we can display our listings as a 360° Virtual Tour, as a floor plan image as well as in a Dollhouse View.
Can you see the benefit of using this tool when listing?
Most showings happen online. The internet is the open house of today.
MATTERPORT 3D IS THE MOST REALISTIC, IMMERSIVE WAY TO EXPERIENCE A PROPERTY ONLINE.
“Hello Tina speaking,” I answered.
The male caller said, “Hello, My name is Mark. My wife and I want to see your listing at 123 Country Rd. outside of Winnipeg tomorrow evening. This is exactly what we have been looking for. Your list price is $600,000. We are pre-approved for $650,000, but we really don’t want to spend that much.”
I was pleasantly surprised by his self-awareness and willingness to be open about details.
He continued, “I own 160 acres of land in a completely different direction but I don’t have to sell it to buy. Scotia bank pre-approved us without having to sell first. We would like possession in about six to ten weeks, but we are flexible.”
We parted with my promise to confirm arrangements after I speak with the seller.
The caller was definitely familiar with the questions real estate agents ask. He had been quick to qualify himself and had told me everything an agent wants to hear.
One of the most difficult things to do is qualify a buyer who calls because they saw my sign. Typically, the buyer wants to withhold information. Usually people don’t offer this much information to a stranger on the phone. He’d made it easy.
“Tomorrow evening will work for the seller,” I told him when I called to confirm our appointment.
He asked, “Is it okay if we bring our Real –a – tohr?” I gritted my teeth at the mispronunciation.
“Mark,” I began, “you never mentioned that you are working with a Real-tor.” I made sure to pronounce the word properly and very clearly. “I co-operate with other agents. Please have your agent contact me to confirm arrangements.”
“Oh, well, our real-a-tohr is too busy. He does not have time tomorrow evening.” Something smelled fishy. “Can’t you just show it to us?” He asked.
“Let me ask you something Mark. If I showed you this property and you were interested in writing an offer, which agent would be writing the offer?”
I was a little surprised when he replied, “I will be writing the offer with ABC Realty. I have signed a buyer contract with that office so I have to write the offer with them.”
My spidey-senses were tingling.
“I am very familiar with ABC Realty. I like doing business with them. May I ask which agent you are working with?” I probed.
“John Smith and Jim Tayler.” The names rolled off his tongue effortlessly.
I did a quick mental inventory and realized that both of the named agents did, in fact, work at ABC Realty.
“Hey, I know John Smith!” I said excitedly. “I just did a deal with John recently. He is a great guy.”
“Well we actually have been working with Jim. He has just been so busy. Do you know Jim?” he asked.
“I have never met Jim but he has a good reputation in real estate. I will be happy to co-operate with either Jim or John. Please give one of them a call and have them show the property to you. The agent who is being paid should be the agent introducing you to the property.”
Mark never did come look at the property. In fact, neither Jim Taylor nor John Smith had ever spoken to this caller before this day and neither of them had a buyer agency agreement with Mark.
Mark knew a lot about real estate. He knew that if he told me that he was under contract with another agent that I was forbidden to pursue writing an offer with him.
Mark also knew that if he told me that he and his girlfriend just liked looking at nice houses together, and were not actually wanting to buy, that I would not drive out and spend my evening away from my family just to let them see it.
So Mark lied.
Some people – even some real estate agents – think that every Tom, Dick, and poodle with a whim to see a house should be entertained.
I disagree. For a few reasons.
It’s disrespectful to me and my family for one thing.
I value my time and family. I’m all for charity and generosity and sharing, and definitely give until it hurts. But I don’t fill the tank with gas and leave my family for hours just to humor a browser with no intention of buying – especially when they’ve spent a good deal of time lying to my face. Sorry, no. I will not enable that.
It’s also disrespectful to sellers.
If it was your house for sale, would you want to change your plans for the evening and rush to get cleaned up and out of your own house just so someone could view the house for something to do?
If you knew the people viewing the house were not in a position to buy a house, would you want me to bring them by anyway?
My sellers appreciate their time being respected, so I continue to guard them as much as I can from browsers, looky-loos, and anyone else who just likes to poke around in people’s houses for a good time.
They are free to do so at open houses.