Sunday, September 20, 2009

But the seller EXPECTS me to put ads in the paper!

I remember in the past century when I would sit at my desk with a pen in hand creatively describing a split level home for an ad in the homes type magazine or the Sunday classifieds. The ad would no show up for days or weeks depending on the medium. Sometimes the office would have a space in the full page ad and I'd throw my listing in at the last minute. The budget for every listing had to include a substantial sum for all the print advertising. I would provide the seller with a nice copy of the ads.

Real estate agents are still doing that today! Instead of using all the free sites available on the web, agents are crafting ads for printed medium. The sellers may have come to "expect" this as marketing for their property, but it is up to the real estate agent to educate sellers about how the market has changed.

This past summer a representative from a homes type magazine sent me information about the advantages of print over online advertising. The full color flyers were artfully done with graphs and pie charts. But, every statistic was from a survey that was more than 3 years old. Back in the year 2006, they have been applicable. But, in that short period websites, blogs, and online classifieds have grown astronomically. Print newspapers and magazines are in trouble because income from reduced readership and advertising does not support the cost of printing.

The most powerful marketing tool a real estate agent has to sell a property is the multiple listing service. We all know that when we look for a property for a buyer that we don't pick up a newspaper or even go to or Most properties sell because of the buyer's agent finding the property on the MLS.

But, that is not to say that marketing a property isn't effective. It brings attention to it from prospective buyers and also brings the real estate agent and company brand recognition.

Get that listing posted on as many sites as possible. Many agents use a service that does that or their office takes care of it. Take photos of the listing and even videos. Think outside the box. What can you do to encourage people to look at your photo tour that would make it different from the others? What if you took a photo of your bicycle in front of the house and wrote, "This is my bicycle and, by the way, the house behind it is on the bike trail and listed for $0000!" Be a bit creative so people pass info on your listing to others!

Mos importantly.. FIND you own listings on as many sites as possible. Often agents don't search on sites like and and see their own listing just as a prospective might. You may need to "claim" it as your listing and post a profile.

Then, print the listing out and show it to your sellers. In many cases, sending the sellers a link is effective if they are connected online.
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