Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Listing of the Day - Pittsburgh PA

In an effort to improve the impact of the marketing of listings, I randomly choose current listings around the country in a variety of price ranges and comment on their effectiveness. No current clients of mine are used, nor do I know any sellers or buyers or have any additional information about the property.

924 Rita Dr. Pittsburgh PA 4 + 2.5 $155,000


NOTE: It is rare that we use a Zillow.com ad for this evaluation. However, this was linked to me via the Tribune-Review Newspaper site.

The first impression with the exterior photo is a positive one, showing the exterior and surrounding looking toward the front. Normally a lawn littered with leaves is not good, but in this instance it adds to the photo because it is a reasonably current photo.

However, the only 2 other photos are also exterior shots from about the same distance, with only the angles changing. We can barely tell there is an attached garage, yet we are not told in the description whether or not it is a 1 or more car garage. That could be a "lost" sales point right there.

We have no interior photos to choose from even though the description begins with "Spacious home with a lot of character". We do not see this, and this, plus the "convenient location" comment at the end of the description are examples of what I call "Realtor fluff" in the copy. We do not see the "character" or know what this home is "convenient" to.

Out of all the features and "character", we are first told about the "plaster crown moldings" in the description. Once again, the advertisement does not target the likely potential buyer. This is hardly the biggest concern for a family looking for a 4-bedroom home.

Further into the description, there is a misprint of "&amp". That is how it shows on the advertisement. I understand with HTML code things like this can go wrong. However, this shows me (and a savvy potential buyer) that the agent or the office obviously did not check this ad.

There are several strong sales points within the description for a potential buyer who sticks around on this page long enough to see it. Amenities such as the Central AC, 2 fireplaces, zoned heat, and a laundry room are excellent points for a 4-bedroom home, especially in a city with all 4 seasons.

Information about local schools ranging from elementary to high school is included. As important as this is along with a 4-bedroom home, this is one of few listings which actually provide that.

However, the "last impression" on this page happens to be Zillow's map comparing this property at its asking price with other surrounding homes. Fine in concept. But upon further review, this map shows this home to be at least $13,000 HIGHER than any of the others included.

The map situation is not necessarily the fault of the agent or the listing office. But since it appears to me that nobody checked this ad, they probably don't realize the damage done. If I were this advertiser, I would either demand that the map be removed from this page, or I would pull this listing ad effective immediately. There is nothing in the property description to help me justify this being the most expensive property. Not to say that there are not good reasons. For example, something like "only 4-bedroom home on the block" in the description would easily explain the higher charge.

If I was the seller of this home, I would be furious about that map and strongly question the agent whose job it is to represent and sell this home.

Right information, but wrong way to present it. This is another of those listing advertisements which could EASILY be improved and get this home sold.


Note: This commentary is uncompensated and for marketing purposes only and is no reflection on the featured property. Its accuracy is not guaranteed. Neither Dave Kohl nor First In Promotions shall be held responsible for any representations.

At this time, I have openings for more realty agent/office clients to critique current and brand new listings on an hourly basis. No current or past client listings are featured on this blog.Random listings are chosen around the country.

Your comments are most welcome!

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