Over the weekend, I had a request from a client about what we could do to try to move her home. As she put it, what levers could we pull that might generate a quicker sale or another offer?

Takeaways:

  • You have to start by looking at what you have already done and how it’s working.
  • The big portals aren’t always the best place for listing data.
  • According to Alexa, last month Zillow, Trulia and Yahoo Real Estate, along with realtor.com, had more than 97 million search hits and made up 80 percent of the top 10 sites’ hits. 

Over the weekend, I had a request from a client about what we could do to try to move her home. As she put it, what levers could we pull that might generate a quicker sale or another offer?

Looking at this area of our market, I found that inventory overall shows a 3.3 months’ supply of housing. In her price range, however, it ballooned to a still manageable 6.3 months’ supply; this figure finds us on the border of a seller’s versus buyer’s market for her price point.

I found this list some time ago, but I wanted to expound on it to put forth things that we should look at before examining a new price.

These are hopefully good talking points for you as you also work with your seller clients.

How many hits has your listing received, and where is it listed online?

This question is critical to the conversation, because, as we know, buyers usually don’t conveniently walk into a real estate office and say, “I want to put an offer on that house.”

Where do we start? The source for all listing data — to the surprise of some — is not Zillow, Trulia or realtor.com; it’s the local MLS.

In our market, for example, in additional to listings on FMLS and GAMLS, I remind clients that their homes are listed with every brokerage company, as well as agent websites.

Beyond this, we have the big three or four

According to Alexa, last month Zillow, Trulia and Yahoo Real Estate, along with realtor.com, had more than 97 million search hits. These four portals make up more than 80 percent of the top 10 sites’ hits.

As agents, we can generate reports showing how many online hits a given listing is getting from Zillow in “My Hub,” within my online profile, as well as realtor.com, Trulia, etc.

Due to it being one of my top five highest-priced listings, this particular listing was instantly featured on Zillow as well, which helps it get in front of the eyes of house hunters.

I also get listing weekly snapshots from Trulia that show off my top listings’ search hits and views online, and I can share that with my clients.

Does the description of the property sell the benefits or features?

Today, we still see our two major MLSs limit characters for property descriptions to 575 and 767 characters, respectively. It’s difficult to do much more than abbreviate a description, especially on a luxury home listing where there can be endless detail.

I always keep a Word doc on my desktop where a full description is typed and saved. I enter the shortened version into the MLS, but I always go into realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia (my big three once again), and I upload the full version.

I do the same on my personal website. That makes sure a complete set of details communicating benefits and features gets to the consumer.

Let’s be honest, compared to MLS, this same listing is getting 65-70 times the views on Zillow alone. Why wouldn’t we enhance those listings and beef them up?

It is crucial to the MLS to be as fully detailed as well, because all it takes is one buyer. So in the MLS even with limited information, my descriptions are still trying to emphasize the major points of interest and features of the home.

What kind of direct mail campaign has been implemented?

As agents, we receive emails daily from other agents regarding new listings. For me, over the years, these come so frequently that I am numb to them.

What I have personally been using is QuantumDigital‘s Trigger Marketing system. Within minutes, I can send targeted cards out to 100, 200 or more homeowners nearest to my new listing to help me find their next neighbor.

A few weeks ago on one new listing where I employed Trigger Marketing, I got a call from a neighbor down the street who had a co-worker moving into the area.

They shared the listing postcard with them (it comes with a QR code and a website); the friend looked at the photos, fell in love with the property, and we will close in a few weeks.

When ordering a “Just Listed” post card from QuantumDigital, I have the ability to post it on my Facebook business page, as well as our local Re/Max closed group.

A partial function of the closed group is to let each of the agents within the group know about new listings in our service area. The key thing is that the marketing is focused — not random.

Stay tuned tomorrow for “What ‘levers’ to pull when trying to get an offer: Part 2.”

Hank Bailey is an associate broker and Realtor at Re/Max Legends. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Hank Bailey.

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