The number one goal of any marketing campaign is to bring as many buyers through your home in the shortest amount of time to maximize your final sales price. Our award-winning marketing (print, web, photos, yard signs, etc.) is second-to-none and greatly benefits our home sellers. The saying “You don’t get a 2nd change to make a 1st impression” has never been more true then in real estate and is why we have developed deep competencies in digital photography, all things tech, and have also partnered with the best Addy-award winning graphic design, advertising and marketing firms.
There are a number of methods that we use to ensure that your home has maximum exposure. The obvious method used by us as well as all other real estate brokerages is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which provides information on properties listed by real estate companies throughout Northeast Ohio. The MLS serves as the “great equalizer” for all real estate companies who use it. In other words, if your property goes on the market it will be instantly visible by other Realtors searching the MLS for their buyers. Moreover, the properties in the MLS get sent on an hourly or daily basis to websites around the globe, websites such as Realtor.com, local and national real estate company websites, etc. Today, the real estate market is changing and most buyers seek on-line sources to gather property information via the Internet. The Internet has transformed the shopping habits of consumers as a whole, and certainly property buyers, specifically. Therefore, I utilize this vital resource for marketing all of our properties.
Want a buyer? First impressions are the most important!
Although sellers may think that first impressions are made when potential buyers walk through their front door, in today’s market, buyers are looking at houses from the comfort of their own homes via the Internet. Therefore, first impressions are made through the lens of a camera, which is why we stress the importance of preparing your home for sale before the camera snaps and taking the time to produce high-quality, clear, comprehensive photographs, emphasising focal points and the individual strengths of each property, as well as virtual tours of our properties.
We take first impressions very seriously and use many techniques to ensure your home stands out from the crowd. Remember, poor quality, dark, small, out of focus, inadequate photographs can be the reason a potential buyer clicks ‘Next.” We have received many compliments from sellers, buyers and other agents regarding our photographs, which we use for all of our marketing venues, and our extensive virtual tours, which we place on the MLS, Realtor.com, and both of our websites. Read more below to find out what we do to entice potential buyers to your home!
Most real estate companies offer the ordinary, and so do we:
- All the properties we list for sale are entered into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
- Pricing recommendation
- Yard sign
- Multiple photos
- Sunday Open House—We hold an Open House within the first month your home is on the market. An advertisement is placed in our MLS, OhioOpenHouseFinder.com, Realtor.com and other websites. We do not advertise in The Plain Dealer anymore as we have found buyers rarely use this outdated advertising medium today. We place numerous, prominent directional signs leading to your property. Personal invitations are sent to your neighbors. Subsequent open houses are at our discretion.
- Broker’s Open House—This is when a new listing comes on the market, and on the next available Tuesday, the agent either holds it open or puts it on lockbox so agents can tour at their leisure, during a specific window (ie. 11-2). Enticements such as food, gas cards, etc., are sometimes used to encourage more agents to attend. Rarely does the agent touring actually have a present buyer for the home. If an agent does have a buyer for the home, the buyer will most likely know about it via the Internet, automated searches, interactive searches, etc. The effectiveness of this technique is almost nill, and again, I’m not aware of any data that is kept to properly analyze the usefulness of this technique.
In addition to the above, here are many other results-oriented, cutting-edge marketing techniques we employ to both expand the reach of your home as well as to have your home viewed in the best possible light:
- High-quality digital and wide-angle lens photography. Digital photography is your first “virtual showing” and determines if a buyer decides to save your property and schedule a showing or simply clicks next. We take exceptional digital photography and we feel you will be hard pressed to find another agent who has spent as much as us investing in high-end digital photography equipment and technology, a well as training. We take exceptional pride in showcasing our seller clients properties and it shows. Chris has taken classes at the Cleveland Photographic Society, learned from professional photographers, networks with top professional real estate photographers around the country, has mastered post-production digital editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop, is skilled with Adobe’s line of products to ensure our photographs are expertly represented both in print and on the web. We creatively use desktop publishing and our technology skills to showcase your home and make it stand out from your competition. These photographs represent your home in marketing flyers, the Multiple Listing Service, Realtor.com and other venues. The “virtual” representation of photographs on the web is your “first virtual showing” and it can mean the different between the buyer clicking NEXT or SAVE. We get photography, it’s power, it’s lure, and understand how critical this component of the marketing plan is and we spend a great deal of time arranging photo shoots, taking hundreds of photos, carefully selecting the best, and then painstakingly making those photographs showcase the strengths of your property. Hint: We know how to shoot manual, understand histograms, light meters, aperture, vignetting, the three components of color, and a whole lot more — all for your benefit. Note: While we can take an ordinary home and make it look great, and take a great home and make it look stunning, we never exaggerate so as to disappoint a buyer.
- OlsenZiegler.com—Our company website includes all featured listings with property details and virtual tours and an MLS link to the property description. Our website name is on all of advertising, including print ads, For Sale signs, flyers, business cards, etc.
- ClevelandHomesSearch.com—Our consumer-facing home search website contains all the MLS listings for sale in Greater Cleveland and Akron (16 counties in all) and this website includes first page visibility for major search engines (Goggle and Yahoo) for select keywords. This website directs people to the Olsen Ziegler Realty website and also displays your home as a featured listing.
- First-page results on Google, Yahoo, Bing.—Buyers, neighbors, etc., will oftentimes use search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., to search for homes, specific community information, etc. While there are never any guarantees when it comes to organic search engine placement, our listings are usually plastered all over page 1 of the results.
- Global reach and hyper-local blogging using Social Media such as ActiveRain (the largest real estate professional network in the world), Facebook and Twitter.
- We syndicate your listing to dozens of major real estate internet portal websites, such as GoogleBase, Yahoo, Trulia, Zillow, AOL, etc.
- Professionally-designed virtual tour displayed on various websites.
- Professionally designed and printed Full Color Glossy Just Listed Cards—We send out postcards showcasing your home as “Just Listed” to notify your community that your property is for sale. Sometimes word of mouth from neighbors, etc., can also spread the word.
- For Sale Flyer in full color.
- Special Features and Highlights Sheet.
- QR Code. QR stands for Quick Response. Smart phones can use a QR app reader to scan the code and it will take them to your listing on our website so they can view photos, see the virtual tour, and more.
- New (optional): Video. Full-motion video of major selling features of the property. Uploaded to YouTube and ActiveRain. Certain properties lend themselves to video, some don’t. This feature will be used at our discretion. Our goal is to entice potential buyers to setup an appointment to view your home, so we carefully decide on which photos to display as well as deciding if video is relevant for a given property.
Now…bringing the conversation back to reality: no amount of marketing will sell a home if:
- The home is over-priced based on recent sales and local market conditions, and/or
- The current condition of the home is not in tune with the asking price. In other words, homes that are less updated will sell for less, all things being equal, than for comparable homes which have more updates (kitchen, baths, roof, windows, furnace, AC, flooring, paint, etc.). Homes that have not been updated in decades can still sell, but in this current high-inventory market, the price has to really reflect this. We have sold homes in top-notch condition (some of which we renovated and staged for the sellers) and have fetched multiple offers while many/most of the homes in the neighborhood sat unsold.
Marketing needs to be kept in context as one element of creating the right environment for a sale to occur. Marketing is not the silver bullet. Marketing is not the magic answer.
The real answer to achieving a successful home sale lies in what occurs BEFORE the home is placed on the market, specifically, the complex relationship between:
- Location and
- Current market demand.
If the partnership between the agent and home seller gets the previous four bullets right, marketing is the icing on the cake. Get it wrong, and no amount of marketing will overcome this deficiency, plain and simple. Even our innovative and broad-reaching marketing cannot overcome missing the boat on these four, crucial elements.
In addition to a “Showcase Listing Enhancement” on the #1 real estate website on the planet (Realtor.com), we also send your listing directly to these 51 Internet real estate website portals and the websites these sites power end up sending your listing to over 500 websites. In short: global exposure of exceptional photography and well-written text.