Realtors have so many FREE tools at their fingertips, I’m amazed at how little they utilize. I suspect that everyone is a little wiser with their expenses at the end of 2009, so here is a quick lesson on utilizing these tools to impress your clients. You can capture your seller at the listing appointment with all the bells and whistles, but at 4-6 weeks into the listing, you’d better have something to show them! What if the average days on market in their area is 90+ days? Are you going to hold open houses every weekend? Invest in costly, unproductive print ads? We hope not!
Online Flyer Services You could use just one of these, or all of them. However, if you’re going to use more than one, you’ll need to keep the log in information organized so you can update price changes manually (or let your virtual assistant handle that!). Here are our favorite top 3: Vflyer, Postlets, and SawItOnline.com. Vflyer has an attractive pdf version that is easily printed, great for placing inside the home. Postlets has great syndication, and if your sellers are saavy, this one can send their listing to the most popular sites out there for hit tracking: Zillow & Trulia. Both Vflyer and Postlets provide HTML code for enhanced Craigs List postings. We’ll assume you’re already using Craigs List…if not, please start! Regularly! SawItOnline has incredible syndication as well, to sites such as Overstock.com and HGTV’s FrontDoor.com. We don’t recommend SawItOnline for HTML Craigs List posts; the ad is not as attractive as Vflyer or Postlets (sorry SawItOnline, we do love your product otherwise!).
Viewing Statistics and Hit Tracking Did you know that you don’t need an enhanced subscription to Trulia to see how many views your listing has received? You only need a free account, then claim the listing as your own via the MLS #. Hits are tracked weekly, and you can easily provide your seller with this information.
Craigs List Views? You can now track hits by signing up for a FREE account at www.craigslistadtracker.com. It’s so simple, and reports are easy to read. Does your MLS provide a hit tracker? Have you asked your Broker if there is a way to track hits on your corporate site? Prudential, Coldwell Banker, and Allen Tate can provide this information for you. If your company does, feel free to share in your comments and let the rest of us know!
Local Realtor Tours, Networking Events Does your local association or office have listing tours? If so, don’t make the mistake of putting your listing on the tour when it’s brand new, especially if it’s overpriced or not in the best condition. Wait for 2-3 weeks, and the sellers will be more willing to accept the feedback of ‘Price Reduction’ or ‘New Carpet’ or ‘Needs Painted’. Most sellers think their home is perfect, until 3-4 weeks pass and not a soul has entered or made an offer.
Facebook and Twitter Yes, the old social networking. Everyone is catching the fever, but are you posting your listings for everyone to see, especially if your client is a friend or a follower? Postlets, Vflyer and Trulia allow you to post your listing easily to Facebook and Twitter. What if someone knows someone else who is looking for that GORGEOUS blue carpet, on that super busy street? Wink wink!
You now have FIVE sources of FREE exposure for your listing. If you look at those five ideas and think ‘None of those are going to sell the listing’, you’re probably right. Good old fashioned price, location, and condition will sell the home. But don’t sellers want more from you today? After all, they are putting their faith in you that you are going to carry them through a huge transition, upgrade, or crisis intervention, depending on the situation. They deserve to know, on a weekly basis, that you are doing SOMETHING for them. If they trust you with the marketing, they are more likely to trust you with the price reduction, negotiation, and closing.
Stay tuned…our next post will give you some tips on using these FREE tools to really impress your sellers on a regular, consistent basis to build their confidence in you.
You could always hire A Virtual Genie to get it done for you…but we don’t mind sharing! Hopefully you’ll get busy enough using our ideas, that you’ll actually need us someday, while your listing inventory passes into double digits, and you really need a vacation…