by Dan Wolf
on Friday, November 23rd, 2012 at 8:56am.
When I am visiting with a potential property seller about marketing their home, we often visit about what we'll be doing to market their home. Over the last 10 years, marketing trends have been changing. Somethings that worked in the past may not work as well today. Ten years ago, we, the real estate community, got a lot more mileage out of signs and flyer's on the curb as well as sending copies of our new home listings via snail mail to their offices.
Nowadays, consumers are more apt to do a lot of the leg work on their couch at home with their laptop, phone or other mobile device. Real estate agents know this, so they take quality photos of the properties they are marketing and get all information to the Internet so buyers can get the information they are looking for. We find buyers look at the large search real estate search engines, so we take care to get our home information to AlaskaRealEstate.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Realtor.com, KW.com, ReMax.com, Prudential.com and Homes.com. The deal is, consumers get used to a format they like to use for real estate and tend to stick with it as long as they are getting the information they need. We know it and want to look good in all those places.
According to a study of home buyers completed by National Association of Realtors, real estate signs are very important. Home buyers shop neighborhoods they like in areas that are convenient to them. They like to drive streets in those neighborhoods. They aren't as likely to call off the sign as they are to scope out the location and tour the home online before they ever ask to see the home. Properties on the market without a sign get far less interest from the buying public.
The same National Association of Realtor study showed that home buyers want to work with a Realtor. They may not want to "be sold", but they clearly want the help buying a home once they locate it. In the same survey, sellers were asked what the hardest part of the selling process was, and the answers were objectively pricing their property and understanding the paperwork process. Buyers valued their Realtor's advice and assistance. In fact, after the sale, over 80% said they would use the same agent again to buy or sell!
A full-time agent has a "sphere of influence" with other Realtor in different offices to give your property wider exposure as well. The agent sees a good property and think of his client and either emails or calls his customer or friend with the property. In fact, nearly 80% of the buyers in the poll said a real estate agent was instrumental in helping them locate the home they ultimately bought.
Traditions such as open houses or print advertising in the newspaper, or other print media, has slipped down the ranks as being instrumental in the home finding process. Marketing has changed a great deal, and realtors have had to adapt. 10 years ago a sign and a flyer were probably adequate; Today agents need to know about search engine optimisation and be adapt at technology to compete in the market.
In short, the market has changed, arguably for the better, but it certainly isn't easier today because there is much more to learn and become adapt at and more technology to stay current with.