Creative Marketing Ideas for Home Sellers
Feb 27, 2019 February 27, 2019
So, you’re thinking about selling your house and your checklist includes - putting up a ‘For Sale’ sign, listing it on the MLS, buying ad space in a newspaper/magazine/Zillow, putting the word out on social media, holding an open house. Standard stuff, right? But, is that enough?
In today’s fiercely competitive world, it has become that much harder to grab the right attention. So, while the standard checklist does make sense, you will need to step things up to stand out and grab as many eyeballs as possible. In this blog, we’ll be looking into the most easily overlooked creative marketing ideas that have helped people sell their homes faster, and for more:
Don’t Stop at Zillow, Use Social Media -- Better, Get a Website
We all know how marketing 101 says to put your property online and make it accessible for all. But, why just stop at Zillow or Craigslist (which is far from ideal)? When you’re marketing your home online, make sure to put it up on every possible social media network out there. Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, the works. Heck, even get yourself a dedicated website. And, no, you do not have to be a code genius to put out a beautiful website. There are tons of sites out there, such as WordPress and Wix, that let you just fill in the blanks on their pre-made templates and have your website up and running in a matter of minutes. Best part, even some of their premium plans cost less than $100 a year.
Facebook Advertising and/or Google AdWords
Honestly, how many people do you hope to reach even if you forward a message to all your friends and ask them to forward to all their friends and so on and so forth. For some serious marketing muscle, consider going all in with targeted Facebook or Google ads. These online marketing mediums let you build your own ad, choose the location and demographic of your likely buyers. For example, if you decide the perfect buyer would be a second-homer from South America, you can actually create targeted ads that get in front of high network prospects from South America. But, make sure to choose your words and images wisely, since a “3 beds, 2 bath Miami Beach condo with water views” and professional photograph is more likely to grab the right attention than a simple “3 beds, 2 bath condo with views” and a selfie.
With so much control over advertising, you can really use these mediums to play to your advantage and target the right buyers. Best part, these ads are mostly pay-per-click, which means you only have to pay for when someone actually clicks on your ad for details and not just for it to be seen.
Roll Open the Floor Plan
It’s quite amazing to think that this would be a no-brainer for most, but every time I mention this to clients they almost have a light-bulb moment.
Always, always, always have a neat, professional-looking floor plan included in your marketing (Facebook page, website, marketing email, MLS listing or flyer). Most people will forget your floor plan as soon as they walk out the front door, so to have a clear representation of your floor plan handy will help them take that final call. Being able to envision themselves and their stuff laid out in their future home will definitely be a push in the right direction.
Give a Video or 3D Tour
In my 14 years as a real estate agent, I’ve only seen about 10% of the people including a video tour to their homes. Let’s admit it, no matter how many pictures you put up online or how many pretty words you use to describe your property, they can’t beat a video tour. A video or 3D tour gives people a real feel of their future home, without the hassle of taking time out for a visit. This also gives them a real-time idea of the kind of paint scheme, décor scheme, furniture placement, etc. used in the home and lets them have an idea of how they would like to keep/re-arrange things. The larger the home, the more useful the video or 3d tour becomes.
‘Staging’ a Lifestyle
Taking a cue from the above, the biggest appeal for any potential buyer is to be able to envision himself/herself living in a property. It is that very moment when a property stops being an address and becomes a home, and that is exactly what staging achieves. If you win their hearts, you sell for more money and faster, which is what every seller wants. Not everyone can be a designer or afford designer furniture, so in a staging a home is decked up to its full potential. A professional stager will help you de-clutter, re-arrange existing furniture for better space utilization, or even bring their own furniture to make a vacant home look more “lived-in”. This gives the future owner a peak into everything the place can be. In case, you cannot afford a stager, there are still plenty of affordable ways you can improve the look of your home by bringing a friend or an experience realtor in who has “an eye” for interior design.
Expense List - Insider Info for Practical Living
A majority of the home sellers overlook putting out the basic costs of living on their premises for the next owner. Practical information such as the average utility bills, home insurance cost, condo association fee, termite treatment cost/frequency, cleaning costs or even information on the kind and cost of the security system they use is generally skipped over. However, imagine this, by spelling out such costs and giving the potential buyer a very tangible list of expenses plus professionals who could help with the upkeep of their home will put them into a much better decision-making position. In fact, this could even be the game changer that could help convert a renter into a first-time home buyer, as the actual costs and ease of management could turn out to be much less daunting than what they may have imagined.
Highlight Neighborhood Amenities and Facilities
Who better to give the future owner of your home information on your neighborhood, but you! You’ve lived here, walked here, traveled to and from here. Including important information on the public transportation, top schools, eateries, shopping/entertainment venues and other conveniences in your neighborhood can help potential buyers actually fall in love with the area. However, simply sticking to listing names won’t be enough. Include ratings, reviews by others and more specifics wherever you can to give the buyer the bigger picture. For example, you can highlight the places you love most and why.
HOA / Condo Association Rules
Along with all the fun and laughter, future owners definitely need to know the nitty-gritty of living in your building or neighborhood. This is why it makes complete sense to put together a simple list of all the key things your association does and does not allow, from rules about pets to rental policies. This kind of transparency, and straightforward approach is what will help build trust between you and the next owner, letting them know that there are no more loopholes or “catches” left that might jump out at them anytime later.
Host a “Virtual” Open House
Since you will be at the home often for the photo shoot, showings or an actual open house anything, why not use the opportunity to get additional free exposure by going live on Facebook, Youtube or Instagram? All of these social media sites love video over regular photos, and end up posting them more prominently in everyone’s feed, especially if it’s live video. This is a great way to get an edge and grab more eyeballs for your property. All you need is a good wi-fi connection, your smart phone, ideally a wide-angle lens attachment, and you’re good to go live. You can give at least hundreds, if not thousands, of your followers, friends and friends of friends a live tour at the same time.
Create an “On-call” Open House
This little trick of the trade will give your marketing efforts an instant boost. Simply go to a highly trafficked website like Zillow and add your weekend open house on a Thursday. This will end up putting you in Zillow’s Friday “Plan Your Weekend” email alert list, which will instantly spike the number of eyeballs for your property. Though, ideally, you should make the open house, but even in case you need to cancel, you still would have benefited from all that extra exposure.
Target Top Producers
This one’s all about using the power of networking and numbers to your advantage. Try and get a hold of the emails and phone numbers of the most productive agents in your neighborhood, and make sure you specifically let them know about your property. Typically, high-producing realtors like myself do a lot of business by making sure all my other top producing colleagues know about my listings. This little networking trick has helped sell many a homes in very little time.
As a real estate agent servicing Miami and the beaches for more than 14 years, these are just some of the tools I use from my creative marketing kitty. From knowing and hiring talented photographers, videographers, stagers, writers and many more professionals to help put homes in the market spotlight, my team and I will be more than happy to share other out-of-the-box ideas that have helped us sell homes faster, for more!