In the olden days of real estate, only properties listed in the MLS, newspaper, or on busy roads were easily found. Thanks to the power of the Internet, this has all changed. A “For Sale By Owner” home located out in the middle of the woods can now easily be found thank to sites like Zillow, Realtor, and RealtyHive.
This same mass exposure has also changed the way agents need to think about positioning their listings for success. Sure, some homes seem to sell themselves thanks to a hot real estate market, but others sit and wait for their next owners. While many agents will simply carry on as they’ve always done (and wonder why it’s not working like it used to), you know that times are changing and to keep your competitive advantage you need to step your game up. This poses the question, in today’s digital world, how do you position your listings for success?
Perfect the Art of Listing Descriptions
Enough cannot be said about the importance of having a strong, well-written listing description. Nearly all the major real estate sites work based off keywords so if you’re not putting it in the description, you’re missing out. Photos might be worth a thousand words, but search engines like Google still rely on text when deciding what a web page is about and simply showing a picture of a lush, fenced-in backyard with a pool and spa will not get your listing found by someone searching for any of those terms.
Take Quality Photos (or Hire a Pro!)
Second only to a rich description are excellent photos. Photos with good lighting and a strong sense of composition can help move a listing from “nice” to “MUST SEE”. While professional photos are preferred, there are some tricks to making even a cell phone camera look high quality. Using the HDR feature (available on most smartphones) will help you have richer colors and more leeway when editing and using the grid overlay will help you make sure your photos are nicely positioned and not off-kilter. If possible, remove clutter and personal items from the rooms before taking the picture.
Get Your Facts Right
Thanks to the Internet, buyers and sellers are more informed than ever before. While this is generally positive, there are some drawbacks, especially when the information they’re getting is questionable. One of the most popular gripes among the real estate crowd is the wide variance in Zillow’s popular Zestimate tool. This tool shows an estimated home value, and while they can be very close to true value, they can also vary wildly. If a home you’re trying to sell has a Zestimate over your list price, it makes the home look like a deal and can be even more attractive to buyers, but if the Zestimate is less than the list price, buyers may view the property as overpriced, even if that’s not the case. As Zillow is one of the most popular real estate websites in the United State, it makes sense to find out what the Zestimate is. If the price is substantially different than your list price, it is worth your efforts to contact Zillow on behalf of the property owner and attempt to rectify the issue.
Marketing is Magic
There’s something to be said for a strong marketing strategy, but it can be costly. Many agents don’t have the time or resources to be confident in rolling out a marketing plan for each of their listings so having a partner can be extremely valuable. In addition to time-limited events, RealtyHive can also market properties for traditional or auction sellers. To learn more about how RealtyHive partners with agents to market their properties with no upfront costs, click here.