In the 2013 National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, home sellers stated that what they wanted the most from real estate agents was help marketing their homes to potential buyers. This is home sellers’ absolute No. 1 desire from their agents.
Here’s what you did to market the home, per the same NAR survey:
- Placed the home in the MLS (85 percent of the time)
- Placed a yard sign (66 percent of the time)
- Held an open house (51 percent of the time)
- Placed the home on the agent’s website (50 percent of the time)
- Placed the home on the brokerage website (45 percent of the time)
- Placed the home on realtor.com (42 percent of the time)
- Placed the home on third-party aggregator sites (27 percent of the time)
- Used newspaper advertising (15 percent of the time)
- Sent out direct mail (12 percent of the time)
- Advertised in a real estate magazine (10 percent of the time)
There’s more on the list, but I don’t want to embarrass you … OK, actually, I do. Perhaps then these items won’t be listed as marketing methods on the next survey.
None of these alleged “methods real estate agent used to market home” are actually marketing methods — nothing on the entire list above. These, at best, are advertising methods, mostly in useless mediums.
Marketing is researching and defining your market’s greatest desires, then providing a service or product that meets your market’s key desires better than your competition can.
Advertising is demonstrating to the marketplace that you have something more beneficial for them than what they have seen before. (Ideally, you’ll do this in a visual medium, creating emotional connections between your buyer’s key desires and how your seller’s home meets those desires.)
If you were to truly meet your home seller’s No. 1 desire and market the home, you would do this by helping the seller understand what homebuyers’ greatest desires are for the specific neighborhood.
Here’s how you would do that:
First, you would gather all sold properties from your seller’s neighborhood. Yes, all of them — not just three for comparable sales. Use 18 full months of home sale data. You’ll understand why in just a minute.
Import that information into Microsoft Excel. You are going to sort all those sold homes by price per square foot, with the highest amount at the top and the lowest at the bottom.
You will discover that the typical neighborhood has a spread in values of about 178 percent. Yep, if your lowest-priced home sold for $100 per square foot, you’ll see that the highest price per square foot is around $178. (This is an average value spread — it might be higher or lower than 178 percent.)
Ignore the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms and lot size — actually, ignore almost everything that an appraiser thinks is important. There is no consistent correlation in value between the eight major physical characteristics an appraiser uses and the home’s actual sale price.
From your list, pull aside the top one-third of the homes that sold for the highest price per square foot. Look only at the text descriptions and inclusions of these homes. The attributes found in this group of homes is what buyers most desire in your seller’s exact neighborhood.
Show this to your seller. Have the seller help you note how many of these features the home has.
You can now use this information to coach your seller to prepare the home to meet the desires of homebuyers better than the competition — the other sellers in the neighborhood.
This is real marketing. If your sellers do this, they will maximize their selling price, minimize their time on market — and they will actually like you!
No, not all sellers will do this. But your seller’s No. 1 desire was for you to help market the home to buyers. By doing these steps, you have done your job — and done it exceptionally well.
Once your seller’s home is prepared to meet the key desires of the buyers in their neighborhood, then you advertise something that will excite homebuyers.
The Demon of Marketing provides painfully honest strategic marketing for the real estate industry.