Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Listing of the Day series begins........

Every home is unique. People live exactly where they do for a number of reasons. For every home there is a story behind how and what made it that particular home.

In my 20+ years of experience working with realty agents and mortgage lenders on a regular basis has let me see, close up, how a variety of properties are presented and marketed. I would estimate that I have personally written more than 12,000 unique property descriptions. These range from single family homes and condos to commercial and investment properties from all around the country in all price ranges.

These descriptions have been used for everything from telephone hotlines to online to newspapers and magazines to radio and TV to flyers to listings books for real estate organizations.

However, at this point in time, fewer advertisements and property descriptions are successful than before. Listings are not selling at all or as quickly as they did years ago. Yet, it still takes one buyer to make it a successful transaction.

A retailer might need at least 10 sales per day, all to different people, to have a successful day. A service business may need at least 1 "order" per day, also from a different person or business each day, to be successful. Their sales and marketing efforts are directed toward attracting a large number of customers or clients on a consistent basis.

Some of you reading are probably ready to comment that they economy stinks and how many buyers can't get the financing to buy a home. That is true, but every day somebody is successfully purchasing a property in your area.

I see the realty associations and their statistics about how home sales have dipped over the past year or two. As I have so often commented, I instead see how many hundreds or even thousands of properties sold within that realty association's territory within the past month.

Again, a property only needs 1 buyer, not 20, to become a successful sale.

In other words, marketing and advertising means everything in this climate. I continue to find fault with how the majority of properties are first presented to potential buyers. First impressions are everything.

Part of my experience has consisted of helping realty agents to enhance their listing presentations. They have to show the seller why he/she is better qualified than the other agents they are considering to handle the sale of their property. Needing only 1 buyer.

Yet, they secure the listing and then treat it like any other. As if writing the description for ads is a simple formula. Frankly, it shows in more and more cases. In a market where homes would be on the market for 3 days if priced right, it doesn't matter as much. But in this climate, it matters more than ever.

Even when I have had to write as many as 50 separate property description ads in one day, I always make it a point to make every property unique. I never used a written template and filled in the blanks like it appears some agents do.

Part of my secret is that I would read descriptions of other similar properties for sale, often in different areas, and then be certain I come up with better selling points than the others. When doing this for clients, I use the same practices, even though there have been times I have lost realty agents as clients because I make what they perceive as too many changes in what they wrote.

For my next step, I am taking an idea I have been using for myself over the past few weeks and going public with it. I have begun to randomly select a "Listing of the Day" from different parts of the country and in different price ranges.

At least 3 times per week, I plan to present my critique of that listing description as it appears in at least one place to the public, and publish it on my blog.

Here is my hope:

1) Consumers who read these will keep these comments in mind when it comes time to select a realty agent to help sell their unique property, and be sure they get the best representation.

2) Agents who read these will make notes and improve the marketing approach for the listings they have now and secure in the future.

Since I feel as though I have written more property descriptions than the vast majority of realty agents (and I do not have a real estate license|) and have a 20+ year marketing background specific to real estate, I feel that my efforts can make a difference in picking up the real estate market.

Please note that the properties I will feature are randomly selected and will not be from any agent who is or has been a client of mine. As of this time, I do have openings for realty agents and offices to provide listing marketing critiques on an hourly rate basis.

Your comments are always welcome. We can all work together to get these properties sold much faster than the current market pace.

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