What Do Barrington Realtors Do To Market A Listing?
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It’s a very fair question and one I was recently asked but would not, and actually could not, explain in a five minute phone call. Now I’ll let you know all we do when we are contracted to help a seller market and sell their Barrington property. Before I start it is important that home sellers understand there is no one size fits all marketing plan. Nor are the marketing plans from Barrington Realtors all the same. Quite the contrary. We hope to show how we are different and how our marketing plan for Barrington home sellers is a cut above the rest.
What is A Listing?
Just to make sure everyone understands what might be considered real estate speak, a listing is a word we use to reference a property listed for sale in the Multiple Listing Service. Some might actually call it a marketing agreement. The technical term is a contract with a Right to Sell and in most cases is exclusive. All that means is you have hired one company to represent you.
Marketing Homes – Barrington Realtor or Company?
It needs to be explained that your agreement is always with the brokerage. The Realtor you completed the forms with becomes your designated agent. So who is going to be doing the marketing? Realtor or Company? What’s the difference?
The brokerage is not the active participant in the marketing of your home. I believe this to be one of the most misunderstood aspects of marketing residential real estate here in Barrington. Property sellers might gravitate to those big brand names thinking the marketing that the brand is going to be doing is bigger and better that the smaller companies, like us here at Barrington Realty Company. In fact nothing could be farther from the truth. Indeed it is the Barrington Realtor you chose to work with that takes on the bulk of the marketing for your home. The only activity a brokerage will likely do is to have your home featured on their web sites alongside all their other listings?
Does lost in the crowd come to mind?
The reality is by adding your property to the MLS you home will be advertised on their web site and also the other hundreds of Realtor sites out there. This is achieved via a data feed.
So imagine this. A Realtor in Joliet. He has a website with the MLS data feed. You list your property and it now appears on his web site courtesy of a feed. Imagine another in Harvard or Waukegan or Aurora. The issue is the feed is the feed, there’s no cherry picking what homes to show. There are thousands of companies and Realtors that may have a feed on their website. So the fact that a brokerage sells you the line that your home is on their website means a whole lot of nothing much. Even if you are sold with that special web site they have for homes like yours, it’s really just another among the thousands.
The final part of this is that they all read exactly the same, the information is that published on our MLS.
Not exactly standing out from the crowd, is it?
How Do Barrington Realtors Market A Listing?
Having established that it is indeed the Realtors job to market their listings, how and what is or can be done. It’s not my job to let you know which Realtors do what. Suffice to say you should ask the question:
“What are you going to do to market my home?”
You should understand what you are told. If not, ask for more explanations. At the end of listening to the presentation or explanations consider; is it up to your expectations or does it sound like not much? It’s your property, your decision. Be sure to be happy with what you are being offered at the get go, you might not realize what you’re not getting until it’s too late.
So I thought I would take the time to explain what marketing we have done on our newest listing. Although in Dundee IL the owner contacted us because their property is large and on acreage, zoned for horses too. It compares very well with similar homes in Barrington, and almost nothing like homes in Dundee.
As a Realtor I do a lot of pre-marketing a home. Once our agreement was in place the sellers and I came up with a strategy for pre-marketing, MLS marketing and post MLS marketing. Let’s dive into all the things we have already achieved:
Any marketing done before adding a home to our MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is considered pre-marketing. It’s a way of generating interest before seen by other Realtors. And yes it’s perfectly legal. Here’s what we achieved in the two days we were given before listing on the MLS. In total I spent 3.5 hours at the property. Previously I had spent 2 hours with the owners discussing pricing, marketing and answering questions. So in total 5.5 hours spent before we really started. If that’s too long for you, sorry, I am thorough!
- The first thing was to take full details of the property. That included both the house, the lot and the barn, attic, turret.
- Next I spent considerable time with the camera. Yes I do take all my own photos. Let’s just say I do, I have a decent camera, and don’t care that I may buck the trend of hiring someone else. In total I got 85 photos of the property, much more than a pro would do for me.
- A lock box was placed at the property, access instructions gathered and showing procedures were explained. The owners were thrilled to know all appointment requests would come directly through me. It’s one way I like to provide superior service. We discussed and agreed methods of communication too.
I left the property and headed home to start work. Now some of what I talk about may seem foreign language to you, don’t worry, my goal is to give you an overview and at the same time not explain to my competition what I do and how it works.
Now it’s time to start work on our photos.
- The photos were downloaded, edited, re-sized into 3 different sizes for our internet marketing platforms, some were watermarked.
- A property listing was created on my website. This is an extremely important step in internet marketing and it’s always the first thing I will do and always before the MLS. There are good reasons why, but that’s one of my secrets. Search engines are tested to see if they have seen our new listing.
- One batch of correctly sized images are now added to Google. Another of my secrets, the how and why to remain so here!
- A task board is created next so we can be sure never to miss any of our marketing steps.
- The next tasks are divided between me and my assistant. He’s better with the photo and video side and has already spent hours getting our photos ready and re-sized for various platforms.
- My assistant starts to create two videos. One for the MLS, the other for YouTube.
- While he’s doing that I add the new listing to Trulia. Instead of the feed from the MLS, our listing was live within the first day and has a much better write up with more photos and our video. Already buyers are seeing it. It’s important to know that not all homes are seen on Trulia. For our area it’s about 80%. I am not sure about Zillow but you must be aware they are not the MLS. Not all homes have to be shown there and not all are.
- We do the same at Zillow and both can click our web link to learn more. There’s one more little secret here which I can explain should you list your home with us.
- Next we added the property to Realbird.com. That’s a funny name I know but the company is an excellent place to advertise properties and you’ll see that a domain is created, a virtual tour is created and on the property page buyers can link to a lot of local information. Perfect for relocation buyers who at this point may never have set foot in our area.
Day one complete. Both my assistant and myself have been working well into the evening to get all this achieved on day one.
Syndication is an event whereby a property listing advertised on a platform can be sent out to other platforms for advertising. Overnight our listing at Realbird is sent out to many other real estate advertising sites. You’ll be interested to know this is not part of the MLS, but these sites gather a lot of visitors and who knows where your buyer is going to come from.
Pre-marketing is almost complete and social media now kicks in. It’s time to share the property with our networks. Using Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, Active Rain, all of whom we have size-able national networks with, we share the property on a regular basis. We refer to this as broadcast advertising.
It should be noted none of this is free marketing. What I mean by that is many of the platforms we use are paid for. However we don’t skimp, we use them all. As new platforms become popular, we assess and buy. Some are quick to come and quick to go. Others like Realbird have stood the test of time and tough markets.
Day two is the day we prepared the MLS information. The property is set to start advertising there on day three in accordance with the property owners instructions.
- Property information with 24 photos are added to the MLS, the data is checked and critiqued, the property is released the next day.
- Did you know we get 440 characters to describe the property. That does not amount to a whole lot of words. But it’s all we have so have to pick what we think buyers will be drawn to.
There’s really not much else to do once the property is live. Realtors can now send it out to buyers looking for this kind of property. The feed I have talked about transmits the listing to real estate member websites, that includes Realtor.com which we subscribe to. Not all brokerages do. Some listings never get shown there.
Post MLS Marketing
- Now it’s time to get back to social media for more sharing. A platform we use is Active Rain. We share the property we created on this platform and follow it up immediately with a story about the property, more photos and the YouTube video we created. Because we do this buyers get more of their questions answered at the start.
We actually took a break from marketing the property the following day and there is a good reason (secret) for that too. We also had another client to service.
On day five it was time to write a press release and to add the property to an up and coming new search engine. Relocation buyers are using the internet to do research long before they ever come to town. News outlets online have a far better reach than a local paper ever will. Press releases get picked up buy local outlets and national outlets.
We believe in doing very aggressive, advanced marketing strategies for our sellers. Each one of our listings gets maximum exposure and is posted to over 100,000 twitter followers and is announced on over 284 news distribution channels.
We paired with the only company that gives us these advanced strategies.
We are at the end of day five and an awful lot of property marketing has been set in place. How much time has been spent so far? My assistant spent 4 days and in total 16 hours with photos, movies, social media. I spent in total 24 hours writing, compiling and publishing.
I wonder how many other Barrington Realtors will do this?
Are we done? No, not by a long shot. There’s so much marketing that can be done online to get real estate listings the exposure they need. If you want to know more and are considering selling, I would be more than happy to give you the insights into our continuing post MLS marketing.
Don’t Pick your Realtor Based on Pricing!
Given the choice many sellers ignore the marketing plan and fall for the one liner that in effect says. “Yes seller, we can try to sell your property at whatever price you want.”
That’s called buying your listing. One could argue it’s not legal. As Realtors we are bound by the Code of Ethics. We are bound by all national and local Fair Housing Laws. We must be honest with you at all times. To suggest simply that your property can sell for what you want is not honesty at all. At least not in my book.
You’re on your way down the slippery slope of failure. Why?
- First you may be over-pricing your home just to test the market.
- An over-priced home will not be looked at by buyers and you’ve just missed the best chance of selling.
- You selected based on emotion alone without regard for aggressive or even complacent marketing.
- There is no point to marketing. Even aggressive marketing cannot sell an over-priced property.
- You’re stuck. You signed a long term agreement and now you’re majorly unhappy.
Unlike some parts of the country where there are no houses available, loads of frustrated buyers and multiple offers all day long, I am pleased our market here in Barrington is a more stable one. Prices will slowly rise, marketing times are acceptable. However many properties undergo price changes to sell. It is not a sellers market but gladly we’ve moved away from the buyers having all the power. Pricing is still key. If you hired based on the highest price, make sure it can be supported on paper! The market and buyers determine your price, not the Realtors.
Ask to see comparable sales and stick within or close to the range of sales shown. Make sure they really are comparable.
If not you’ve failed right out of the gate!
Aerial Photos Coming
Aerial photos add great perspective to properties for sale. We will now be doing this in house as part of what our team does to market homes. We are waiting on our equipment, due to arrive very soon. We’ll be revisiting out new listing to get some aerial shots. Properties on acreage lend themselves very nicely to aerial shots. Here’s an example of regular versus aerial photos. No matter the value of your home, if we can get aerial photos, we include them.
Tell us which you like best.
Ready to sell your home? Looking for some positive marketing rather than a Barrington Realtor that only uses the MLS? We’re here to help. We love marketing homes for our sellers. Yes it takes a considerable amount of time and effort. But that’s what you are paying us for, right? Contact us for real marketing today. You can reach Corinne at 847-363-3686.