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Conference season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. From the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in early January to South by Southwest in March, the early months of 2020 are filled with opportunities to learn and connect, regardless of which industry you’re in. While the educational and networking opportunities abound at these events, are they really worth the sometimes astronomical cost of attending? Here are some of the advantages to attending conferences.
Learn from the experts
Yes, we all know how important continuing education is, but let’s be honest, it tends to take a backseat to the day-to-day work. Sure, you’d love to learn about the latest trends in your industry and keep abreast of the newest technologies, but you’ve got clients to meet, staff meetings to attend, and a non-work life to uphold. By attending conference you’re able to pack all that learning into the span of a couple of days.
Meet new people
One of the biggest advantages to participating in a conference is that you get to meet and network with others in a face-to-face manner. While being introduced through email or being a member of a group on a social network is a great way to meet people in your industry when you’re not at an event, getting to meet in person is the best way to form a relationship. Whether you’re looking for new clients, partners, or even mentors, conferences offer the chance to identify and introduce yourself to these key players.
Scope out the competition
Sure, you keep tabs on your competition now. Maybe you do watch their social media accounts or monitor their keywords. But, events are a great way to really suss out what’s going on with your competitor. Are they unveiling a new product? Does their booth match the rest of their branding? What kinds of items or information are they giving out? You can learn a lot about a company by just stopping by their booth at an event like this.
Learn what you didn’t expect
You never know what you don’t know is a great thing to keep in mind at conferences. Regardless of your field, most conferences will pull in speakers who cover topics that you wouldn’t normally think to have looked into yourself. From workshops on marketing to seminars on legal implications to a roundtable discussion on ethics, these horizontally integrated sessions can provide a ton of value where you didn’t realize you were lacking.
Do you plan to go to any conferences this year? This year my team is attending many conventions for the real estate industry. Hope to see you there!
It seems like some agents have all the luck. We all know someone that seems to have a pipeline of dream properties and buyers clamoring hand-over-(money-filled) fist to sign themselves into a new home while you sit and watch your listings grow stale. How do these agents do it? While nothing can compare to a well connected network, having a “secret weapon” in your real estate tool kit is the secret of success in 2020.
So what’s the secret? How can you get and keep more listings in 2020? It’s not about completely changing your method or reinventing the wheel, but rather it’s about having something different to offer your clients– something your competition can’t or won’t offer. It’s no secret we live in a global and tech-connected world, but have you thought about how you can merge your real estate business into the digital world? Event marketing is one of the best ways to do this.
What is event marketing?
Similar to a traditional auction, event marketing starts with a property being offered for sale at an attractive opening price. This price appeals to buyers which creates competition and the deadline of an impending auction creates urgency, ultimately resulting in a higher sale price. In this model, the seller retains control of the final sales price and the transparency the process provides helps the seller see the true market value. For agents, this can help overcome objections to price reductions or avoid them altogether. Buyers benefit from being able to determine what their highest/best offer may be.
For Signing New Listings: Bring something new to the table
Between working on your “personal brand” via social media and networking or making sure that your advertising fit your “brand image”, 2017 was the year of “branding”. Designed to make you stand out from your competition, branding is great for marketing, but results are what really pay off. To extend your listings or to sign new ones in 2020, you’ll need to offer something to clients more results-oriented than industry buzzwords. Offering a solution or tactic that your competition does not will be the key to getting ahead this year.
RealtyHive Tip: Make a list of all the services you offer clients and potential clients. Everything from creating a BPO to the individual marketing channels you use for your properties. Now go through that list and cross out anything that your competition can do as well. If the remaining items are pretty thin, consider partnering with RealtyHive to have a true “differentiator” in your back pocket.
For Selling Your Listings: Show up and be successful
Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” While he probably wasn’t talking about online property listings, he could have been! According to the National Association of Realtors, 51% of home buyers found the home they purchased online, but the average NAR member reports that their website only brings in 1% of their business. In a sea of online noise, do your listings stand out or do they just show up like everyone else’s? With the market as strong as it has been you should be selling upwards of 90% of the properties you list–the key is to position those listings for success and having a strong online presence is the way to do that.
RealtyHive Tip: Do you know what your website traffic looks like? What about your search rankings? Where is the traffic coming from? Are they real buyers or junk bot traffic? If your online traffic isn’t where you want it to be, you might consider joining the RealtyHive marketplace to create additional exposure and make all your listings have a unique marketing presence whether or not you utilize the event marketing platform.
For Untapped Success: Branch into new markets
With housing prices up, inventory down, and demand through the roof it’s fair to say that parts of the housing market are on fire! However, for every can-barely-get-it-listed-before-accepted-offer there’s a stuck-on-the-market-for-years property. From land to luxury, FSBO to commercial, every market has its own hard-to-sell niche. While most agents will run from this segment, you can stand out by confronting these challenges and land the listing by offering a new, exclusive solution.
RealtyHive Tip: Look at your market to discover where a need isn’t being met. Has a local department store sat vacant for years or has the same plot of land set vacant for as long as you can remember? These are indicators that tradition processes haven’t worked and you can use the RealtyHive Event Marketing platform as a never-tried-before solution to help land these listings.
Want to learn more about how event marketing can take your business to the next level in 2020? Check out www.realtyhivemarketing.com for more information or to schedule a meeting with a RealytHive representative. In less than 20 minutes you’ll learn how RealtyHive’s event marketing platform can help your listings reach a global audience, extend your listings and avoid price reductions–all at no cost to you!
1. The Price is Right (or it needs to be!)
Have you ever fallen in love with an item in the store, but when you saw the price tag decided it wasn’t worth the cost? Maybe you decided to just wait until there’s a sale, figuring that the price would come down before the item sells out. If you’re selling your home, this is exactly what you don’t want to do. Getting the price of your home right can be one of the most difficult parts of the home selling process. Especially in a “hot” market like we’re experiencing now. If you price it too high, it’s going to take time to sell, but if you price is too low, you’re leaving money on the table.
One option would be to work with a real estate agent. Real estate agents have access to tons of information about previous home sales. For example: they can tell you about another home that was built in the same year, with the same number of beds and baths, with the same size lot just sold for $152,000 in 3 days! This info helps them suggest a proper price. While some people shy away from using an agent in the sale of their home, usually being deterred by the commission, a real estate agent can help you sell your home for a higher price, leaving you with more money–even after figuring in their commission.
Tip: If you’re not planning to use an agent, make sure you do your homework. Your first step will be to get a home appraisal. This will give you a good frame to start your pricing on. You’ll also want to check sites like Zillow or Redfin. You can see the estimated value of your home on these sites, but they can be off by tens of thousands of dollars. So, the best use for these sites is to research homes similar to yours. Not only can you see how much homes like yours are listed for, but also how long they’ve been on the market. Additionally, you can see the sale history. This research will ensure that you’re getting pricing where it needs to be.
2. Prepare to be Seen
Before you stick the sign out in the yard or list your property online, you’ll want to make sure your home is ready to be seen. If you’ve already moved into another home, this will just be a deep clean of the home for sale. If you’re still living in this home, you’ll want to make sure it is picked up and ready to show at anytime. Staging the home by adding extra decorations or “homey” touches is great, but clutter-free and clean are the minimum.
Tip: If you’ve got the time and budget, it’s a good idea to throw a fresh coat of paint on the walls–especially if that hasn’t been done in a few years. Most advisers will tell you to not spend money on renovations before you move. However, a fresh coat of neutral paint is known help entice buyers and get you a great return on investment.
3. Get the Word Out
There’s a reason that real estate agents always put signs in the yard of the homes they’re selling–they work! Prepare yourself for it to work really fast as well, depending on your market. If you’re in a city or larger town and have a home in the low to middle-high price range, it’s very possible that as soon as you put the sign up, you’ll have people calling and knocking on your door. Make sure you’re prepared to take the next steps as soon as that sign hits the ground.
Tip: Not everyone lives in an area with a booming real estate market. For example, you may live in a rural area and you don’t see a lot of drive-by traffic. If this is the case, you’re going to need another tactic to sell your home. There are many websites that will list your home for free. However, because these are free listings, you may just blend in to the rest of the listings on the site. Another option to consider is an advanced marketing option like event marketing. Using an online event marketing platform, your home will stand out because of the interest gained through range pricing. Think of an opening bid and “Buy It Now” pricing – you’ll gain interest from those searching the lower price ranges and interest from those who want to jump on a deal right away. But, you still retain control of the final sale price. You can learn more about how this works here.
4. Understand the Players
If you’re handling the sale of your home without the help of an agent, it will be up to you to coordinate showings. Most buyers will not want to purchase the home sight-unseen, so expect to let potential buyers in for a look. In many cases, this includes buyers who are working with an agent. It may be uncomfortable for you to allow strangers to roam your house. However, this is how buyers fall in love with a property.
Tip: If you’re working with a seller directly, it’s a good idea to stay on premises, but if they have an agent the best thing to do is leave. The buyer’s agent will facilitate the showing (after all, they want their client to find a home), and it stops you from talking the buyer out of a sale.
5. Know the rules
This part gets a bit trickier for home selling DIY-ers. The laws concerning real estate vary by state. There are laws as to what the necessary inspections are, the time frame for everything to be completed and what needs to be disclosed to the new buyers. In some states you need to tell potential buyers if there was a death in the home, in other states you are required report on your annoying neighbors, and the list goes on. In short, know the rules or risk getting sued.
Tip: Even if you choose to not use a real estate professional in your home selling, that doesn’t mean you should completely go this process alone. Selling real estate comes with many financial, legal, and tax implications so it’s best to consult a lawyer and an accountant with real estate expertise that can help ensure you have the proper documents and don’t wind up with any costly surprises down the road.
Selling your home is a very exciting process. It can lead to many positive changes and help set you up for future financial success, but it’s important to consider all the moving parts to make sure your experience is a positive one!
They say that a picture is worth 1000 words, but if that’s true then real estate photos are worth even more. In an industry that typically confuses “cozy” and “cramped” or “vintage” and “outdated”, having good quality real estate photos can bring more attention and interest to a home or listing you’re trying to sell.
While some real estate agents will suggest you hire a professional, there are many tips and tricks you can use yourself to create appealing home photos–without breaking the bank! Here are the 6 Must-Do things for taking great real estate photos and 4 things to avoid!
1). Clear Out the Clutter
The best home photos have enough items in them that a potential buyer can get a “feel” for the size of a room, but not so much that they get distracted by your possessions. Clear off your counter-tops, remove excessive knickknacks, and clear the floor of unnecessary objects.
2). Let the Light In
How do you perceive a home that’s dark and shadowy? Scary, creepy, or just not right? Few things will put off a buyer than the impression that your home doesn’t have a lot of light. If you have blinds or curtains, open them! Overhead lighting? Turn it on! No overhead lighting? Grab some lamps (and set them up outside the frame). Natural light is the best for taking pictures and modern cameras have adapted remarkably well to preventing the wash-out effect that film cameras often faced. If you’re taking exterior pictures, schedule a time to take them where the sun will be behind you. If possible, otherwise about 1.5 hours before sunset seems to be the magical photo time. While it shouldn’t make a difference, having a sunny day or a pretty sunset will actually attract more attention to your listing than an overcast day will.
3). Night Light Can be the Right Light
If your house looks good at night, show it off! While the night look isn’t for every home, homes with many windows and thoughtful landscaping look great when showcased at night, just don’t forget to also include daytime pictures!
4). Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner (Unless it’s a Real Estate Shot!)
Most often you’ll find that pictures taken from a corner are the most flattering. You’ll be able to include more of the room than in a picture taken from the middle of a wall. Additionally, room will appear actual-sized (if not larger), and visually it’s just more interesting.
— Bad Realty Photos (@BadRealtyPhotos) October 9, 2017
5). Keep it Classy (and Legal!)
Some of the funniest “real estate fail” photos come from what people didn’t mean to take a picture of. Maybe it’s your reflection (sans pants) in the window or the unkempt state of your bathroom or any number of other didn’t-even-think-of-that things. Though, funny (and failing) is not what you’re going for here. Before you share your photos, it’s a good idea to have a friend look over them to make sure that there are no gross, funny, or illegal items shown in any part of your photos.
6). Take More Than You Need
You should always take more photos than you need. If one turns out blurry or off-kilter you’ll have backup. It might turn out that the antique vent covers and wide woodwork that you rarely think about are actually the charming pièce de résistance that your buyers were hoping for. Having photos of close up details as well as broad photos will help you decide what the best features of your home might be.
1). Don’t Wait
While you may think that you need a fancy, expensive camera with all the bells and whistles, don’t let that stop you! It is very, very difficult to sell a property these days without photos as most buyers start their search online. While you will still get a better photo from an SLR professional-quality camera, the camera you’re using is much less important compared to how your shots are set up and any photos you can add will greatly help reach buyers.
2). Don’t Pretend
While you want to showcase your home in the best light, don’t be disingenuous with your photos. Don’t use a wide-angle lens (like those found in GoPro cameras or filters available for other camera models) to make the rooms appear larger or frame your shots to exclude the neighbor’s home that’s this close to your home. Keep in mind that buyers will be seeing your home in real life and you don’t want to waste your time or theirs with the wrong expectations. The same rule applies to photo editing. Yes, you want your real estate photos to stand out, but no, this is not the time for 45° angle shots or crazy, unnatural filters. Likewise, changing the brightness or contrast of a photo is fine, but completely transforming your room via Photoshop is not.
3). Don’t Forget the Good Stuff
When you list your home for sale, you’re also going to need to have a description of your property. Depending where you have your home posted, these descriptions may be keyword searchable meaning you’ll want to talk up the biggest selling points of your home, but don’t stop there. Make sure you have photos to back it up! Nothing is worse than a description saying that a home has a “lavish and unique wine cellar” with no picture to go along with it.
4). Don’t be Afraid to Stage
Sure, you don’t always have your dining room table set for formal dinner, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t for your photos! No matter who buys your home, they’re going to have different decor and tastes than you, so your job isn’t to make your rooms look like your rooms, you just need them to look the best they can be. Need to borrow a painting from another room? Do it! Want to move a television set out of your kid’s bedroom? Do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your decor to attract a buyer!
Read this next sentence and tell me if it sounds familiar. Lately, when you get a listing for a modestly-sized, fairly priced home and before you know it you get SO much interest, you can barely add it to your MLS before you start receiving offers– some even above list price. But when it comes to your commercial listings, vacation homes, or even some residential properties, for whatever reason, some properties just sit. And sit. And sit. Your sellers start to get restless, your listing expiration is coming up, and you’ve already considered a price reduction. What are you to do? Sure, almost everything will sell if you wait long enough, but that’s not the strategy that will make your sellers happy, after all, they’re ready to sell, not wait for some time in the eventual future. This is where event marketing can help.
What is event marketing?
Event marketing is an online auction marketing strategy that helps properties rise above the noise and clutter of traditionally marketed listings and grab the attention of potential buyers. Once an interested buyer becomes aware of the property, a genuine sense of urgency develops due to the auction format. Since there is a specific time and date assigned to obtain this “deal”, buyers have to act. This sense of urgency typically creates a very competitive bidding environment. Whether it’s at the online event or at any time prior to the event. In many cases, properties can sell prior to the event if the potential buyer’s offered “pre-auction” bid entices the seller to remove the property prior to the scheduled online event.
Advantages of Event Marketing for Real Estate
Increased exposure on a global level
It used to be that home buyers usually lived near the area they were buying. With the advent of telecommuting and increased globalization, buyers can come from anywhere in the world these days. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, foreign buyers closed on $135 billion worth of residential US real estate between April 2016 and March 2017. This is why online marketing is so important. Sure, a potential buyer could find your listing from your local MLS’s website, but why leave it to that? Using an event marketing platform exposes your property to a global audience, at no cost to you, the agent. Additionally, you can use it to generate more interest (and more offers) on your listing from all over the world.
Alternative to Price Reduction
One of the hardest subjects to tackle with your sellers has got to be the price reduction talk. Your sellers are emotionally and financially invested in their home. For this reason, it can be hard to convince them that it is not worth the price they’d like to ask for it–especially if they’re looking to sell quickly. While having hard facts can help with this discussion, for example talking them through what similar homes in their area have recently sold for, it doesn’t always go well.
Using an event marketing platform allows homes to have a lower suggested opening bid than current list price to attract more buyers. Yet, it allows the sellers to remain in control of the actual sale price. For example, a home can be listed at $390,000 with an opening bid of $290,000. If the seller receives a high bid of $350,000 they have the choice to accept the bid and move forward with the sale (after all, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush), or reject the bid and start the process again.
The advantage of taking a property to auction in this method is twofold. On one hand a lower opening bid attracts more attention, more attention creates competition, and competition ultimately raises the price. On the other hand, this method can help determine the true value of a property. If a seller is receiving offers that are tens of thousands of dollars less than asking price, they may see the property is overpriced for the current market conditions.
Tool for Listing Extension
One of the most difficult parts of being a real estate agent is having your clients see the value of the service you provide. Sites such as Zillow assist sellers with by owner sales and a hot housing market. This leaves many clients wondering what you are doing that they couldn’t themselves (hint: a lot, but that’s a subject for another day). One of the advantages of event marketing is that it is another tool in your arsenal to extend your listing. You can go to your clients with this new and innovative process to help gain exposure and increase activity for their home. Interested in getting started with event marketing? Whether its commercial buildings or vacant land. Luxury homes or the Caribbean islands. RealtyHive has the experience and tools you need to move your listings through its event marketing platform. Click here to learn more or get started today!
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