Listing Marketing Plan

10 Things Your Agent Must do to Market Your Home

If you decided to sell your home, but didn't tell anyone, how would buyers find out about it.  The goal of a good marketing plan is to expose your home to as many qualified buyers as possible and entice them to come and see it personally.  Buyers don't right offers for homes they have never seen before.  At any given time, there are in excess of 10,000 homes on the market in the Austin area, and about 1,500 buyers who will put an offer in on a house within 30 days.  So how do we get those buyers to you home?  Make sure your agent is following this 10 point marketing plan.

1.  Setting the right price.  The first step in attracting buyers is setting the right price.  Your agent should provide you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which shows homes in your area that have sold in the last six months, and currently listed homes.  This information will be extremely valuable when determining the right listing price.  Buyers agents won't recommend showing an overpriced home to their clients, and if they do show it, you can bet the first thing they will tell their buyer is that it is overpriced.  If you're not getting enough showings, it may be time to consider a price reduction.

2.  Listing Preparation - Having you home in top showing condition is critical.  When a buyer does visit your home, we want to leave them with the best impression.  Read out tips on preparing your home to list and showings.

3.  Photography - A picture is worth a thousand words, and since a buyer’s first impression of your home will likely come from the pictures they see online and on the flyer, you should have professional quality pictures taken of your home prior to listing.  For outdoor pictures, High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos will help your photos stand out from the competition.  For indoor pictures, a wide angle lens will make sure that a buyer can see the whole room.  360 degree images tend to confuse buyers and that's not what we want.  Video tours show some promise, but haven't fully caught on with buyers yet.  The bottom line, you need great pictures and a camera phone isn't going to cut it.

4.  Yard Sign - Although you rarely see a home for sale without one (unless you're in Lakeway), this age old tool works.  Neighbors see it and tell their friends and casual buyers see it which might peak their interest.  Although it's the de facto standard, it can't be overlooked.

5.  Property Flyers - in addition to the yard sign, a flyer is a great tool to let people know your price, how to contact your agent, and show them some inside pictures.  These should be in color.

6.  Property Texting - Property texting is a new marketing tool in the real estate industry.  It works by having a text messaging code on the sign that allows the buyer to send a message and receive information about your home on their cell phone.  It also captures their phone number so that your agent can have a follow up call with them to see if they need more information or if they would like to schedule a showing.  This tool shows lots of promise and may entirely replace the property flyer someday.

7.  Online Marketing - This category encompasses a lot of possibilities, and in this day and age, you need to have a strong online marketing presence.  Virtual tours, virtual flyers, social networking, Email, SEO, pay per click, video tours, IDX links, and real estate marketplaces are just a few of the tools available to market your home online.  The more sites your home shows up on, the more exposure you get to buyers.  Industry reports show that 90% of buyers start their home search online.  This is where the majority of the marketing budget should be spent and your listing should have a strong internet presence.

8.  Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - The MLS is a service that is supported and run by the Austin Board of REALTORS.  Only members have access to place listings in this service.  Through this tool, other agents will be able to match their clients to your home and schedule showings of your home.  An MLS listing is an essential part of the marketing plan and enables many of the other marketing tools to function properly.

9. Showings - This is where the magic happens.  This is where a buyer will see your home for the first time and hopefully fall in love with it.  Making it easy for agents to show your home and having lockbox access for agents is critical.  If it's not easy to show, agents won't show it.  You also want your home in the best condition for showings, so take a look at our listing preparation guide and our showings guide.    

10.  Print Media - This consists of news paper, magazines, and post cards.  Once the staple of real estate marketing, it is quickly becoming an obsolete advertising method.  Of all the strategies, it is the most expensive and has the poorest results.  Today's buyer wants their information in real time, and for that they turn to the internet. 

You may notice that I did not list open houses as a marketing tool for sellers, and there is a good reason.  Open houses are a marketing tool for the agent, not the listing.  Agents use these (not very successfully) to meet buyers who don't yet have an agent in hopes of becoming their buyers agent.  Open houses don't sell houses, they sell an agent's services. 

If you are interested in learning the best way to market your home, give us a call.  We'd be happy to help you with a custom marketing plan.