After spending hours reading up about certain realty agents and how important the new techology supposedly is in their sales process, it took me about 30 seconds to find out that far too many of them are still not using it where it counts the most.
As most of you know, the first week of 2014 brought record and near-record cold temperatures to much of the country, along with significant snowfall amounts in many north and northeast states.
However, homes are still for sale, and there are some potential buyers out there looking in certain areas. Yet, the advertising that so many realty agents are using fails to reflect this, even when the only technology they truly need this week is a decent camera.
I can understand if an advertisement for a home appears outdated in a monthly magazine, but when it happens on updated web sites, there is no excuse.
South Bend IN was hit with 20+ inches of new snow during the first few days of 2014. So on January 9th, I went on to Homes.com and searched the area. My hope was that at least a couple of agents would update their primary photo or the "headline" description of their listings to reflect coping with the winter storm.
What did I find? Of the first 15 listings which showed up on my search from $100,000 up, not one of the photos had any snow in them. In fact, 14 of the 15 showed green grass on their exterior shot. (While the 15th also had an exterior photo without leaves on the trees and a lawn that looked as though the grass had died for the winter. Not exactly flattering.)
Suppose I really was a potential buyer in that area. My first impression is that, based on the snow and cold weather currently in place, every house in the area has been listed for weeks if not months, and therefore with ZERO urgency for me (potential buyer) to want to follow up about.
Why not use some technology to update the copy? Can't these agents let us know that "the furnace heated the house every day as usual" or "The sellers drove to grocery store every day during the storm"? There should be something to indicate that these houses would be good buys during the worst of winters.
Why not change the primary photo to an interior shot? Obviously, somebody looking to move in during the first quarter of 2014 (the SOONEST possible) is not worried about the lawn and the yard in a cold weather area such as this one.
But it gets worse. I clicked on the property at 19540 Southland Ave., which, during this January snowy mess, showed a primary photo from a sunny day with a large and very green lawn in front, and found out that MORE THAN ONE MONTH AGO this home had a price reduction of $25,000.
The property description includes the "large yard and deck" and boasts about the "landscaping". In January?
So if a more than 25% price drop announced five weeks ago has yet to spur any interest in this home, why is the SAME advertising photo and description still in place?
Yet, it gets even worse, if that is possible. I then clicked through the photo spread to see that this appears to be an EMPTY house. All we see is what appears to be empty rooms, with one of the published photos being blurry.
Let's hope these agents learn to use the new technology to actually UPDATE potential buyers.