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30 September 2021

IN A HOT MARKET, LET YOUR LISTINGS BE YOUR BRAND

Introduction:

There’s a dash of the old ant and grasshopper fable to this post. 

As the fable goes: When times were easy in the summer months, the grasshopper kicked back and just let things slide. The ant, on the other hand, continued its hard work. When winter came, the ant continued to thrive and the grasshopper withered, lamenting its dismal fate. 

If you are an agent, the lesson in this fable will serve you well in a hot real estate market - especially when it comes to keeping your real estate branding strategy strong.

DON’T COOL DOWN WHEN THINGS GET HOT

In a hot market, some agents tend to fall into a bit of a grasshopper mentality. The first thing to go is often the attention given to marketing a listing. 

When buyers are battling for every property on the market, it can be tempting to lower the bar a little when it comes to presenting a listing in its best possible light. 

After all, why bother investing in marketing when you know your listing will sell almost immediately? 

Aside from the obvious risk that the seller you’re representing will be unimpressed and pass upon retaining you for their next property transaction, there is an even greater danger at stake.

It’s called “The silent Interview”. You might be taking part in one right now and not even know it. 

Before we look at its rising prevalence in real estate marketing, let’s revisit the notion of “branding”.

BRANDING, REBRANDED

In 2020, respected property website thebalance.com stated that “Real estate agents run advertisements for two reasons: they want to sell specific real estate and they want to promote themselves.”

This echoes the prevailing industry philosophy that social media should be used more for “branding” while sites like Zillow or Redfin should be used to market specific property listings. 

If you are a savvy agent, however, you will see this as an artificial divide.

Indeed, there seems to be no limit to what some agents will do to build their real estate brand on social media. Some jump out of planes, some wrestle snakes, some run marathons - all in the name of personal brand-building. 

Such extreme efforts can bear fruit, but don’t let the branding power of social media distract you from the fact that nothing says more about you or your brand than the way you market your listings. 

Every listing you advertise should be treated as an act of branding. If you fail to treat it this way, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to enhance your reputation and grow your business. 

Through each one of your listings, you are also being vetted by prospective clients in any number of silent interviews.

BE READY FOR ‘THE SILENT INTERVIEW’

The ‘silent interview’ refers to the increased tendency of people to go online as their first step when shopping for an agent. How is your online presence?

With 97% of people now using the internet as the first step in their real estate transactions, the amount of silent interviews you go through every day is unprecedented.  

You’ll never know when they’re going to happen, but you do know where. 

They are happening on social media, but even more than social media they are happening on sites where your properties are listed. Nowhere will your brand and your capabilities as an agent be on better display in relation to your competitors than in these real estate portals.  

Here, a scroller can instantly compare your marketing prowess and the effort you are putting into your job, with all the other agents on the page - a compelling reason to keep your branding strong and your presentation standards excellent, even if you feel the buyers will come to you anyway.

1ST PLACE FAUX PAS: POOR QUALITY IMAGES

There are many ways to pass a silent interview, but there is one certain way to fail: attach dark, grainy, or unprofessional images to your listing description. 

This should be a no-brainer. Yet a quick glance through any major listings site reveals an astonishing number of poor and uninviting images being used to promote properties that are in some cases worth over a million dollars. 

This indicates that many agents are still under the impression that the ONLY purpose of an online listing is to sell the property in question, and that in a hot market they don’t need to try all that hard. 

It makes very little sense to tirelessly work at brand-building on social media while neglecting to ensure the images you use to market listings meet a professional standard.  

The agent who understands that every listing is a billboard for their own services and a branding opportunity has a lot to gain here.

Our suite of image enhancement services can make even the most dismal, dimly lit photograph come out looking phenomenal. 

At US$1.60 per image with a 24-hour turnaround, it’s such a low-risk, low-effort, low-outlay way to ensure that every property you list is presented with impeccable quality and to show the world that you as an agent will always make properties look their best.

OUR 17-STEP PHOTO ENHANCEMENT PACKAGE

  1. White Balancing
  2. Image Sharpening
  3. Vertical & Horizontal Straightening
  4. Remove Minor Blemishes
  5. Lens Distortion Removal
  6. Brightness & Contrast Adjustment
  7. Sky Replacement
  8. Lawn Enhancement – Repair or Replace
  9. Ocean/River Water Enhancement
  10. Remove Pool Cleaners from Water
  11. Tone Adjustment
  12. TV Screen Replacement
  13. Dust Spot Removal
  14. Flash Reflection Removal
  15. Add Fire to Fireplaces
  16. HDR Bracketing with Indoor Window Replacement
  17. Remove Photographer’s Reflection

INCLUDE  A BRANDED FLOOR PLAN WITH EVERY LISTING

When it comes to floor plans, the numbers make a pretty compelling case for including one with every listing.

In a PREVIOUS POST (WHEN ONLINE) we unearthed the following statistics.

  • buyers consider floor plans the third most important piece of information when shopping for property. 
  • a floor plan will increase visitor clickthrough by 52%
  • one in five buyers will ignore a listing that doesn’t include a floor plan
  • 42% of sellers will not hire an agent who doesn’t offer a floor plan

As the numbers indicate, floor plans attract a lot of attention. They also tend to be revisited by buyers throughout the purchasing process, which gives extra oomph to their branding power. 

Even in a super-hot market, where you might not need one to sell a home, our branded floor plan templates are excellent ways to score points in a silent interview, while taking full advantage of the 52% greater clickthrough that floor plans attract.

CUSTOM FLOOR PLANS SELL HOMES, BUILD BRANDS

Including a customized floor plan with every listing you market shows sellers that you have done your research and are willing to do what it takes to present every listing you receive in the best possible light. 

It’s also an effective, consistent way to put your real estate logo in front of every single person - whether buyer or seller - who views your listing.

MANY REASONS TO KEEP THE STANDARDS HIGH

If you’re unmoved by the ant and the grasshopper fable, unconcerned about doing well in the silent interview, or simply unconvinced in the value of establishing a “brand identity”, there is one more compelling reason to keep your marketing strategies strong during even the hottest of times. 

That reason is money. 

Going the extra mile with your listings presentation can result in higher selling prices.

Take virtual staging, for example. Even when the market is hot, properties that are virtually staged sell faster and for more money than empty listings that appear without virtual staging. 

Or virtual tours?

In this age of low inventory and bidding wars, you want your net of potential buyers to be as wide as possible. Nothing accomplishes this better than the 360° Virtual Tour, which allows buyers to tour a property from anywhere in the world. 

This is a perfect example of how in marketing a listing you are also marketing yourself and your real estate business. 

Not only does a 360° Virtual Tour expand your network of potential buyers and increase your chances of a higher selling price, but it also shows future sellers that you are willing to go the extra mile to sell their home at the best price possible. 

These are the people silently interviewing you, and that is exactly what they want to hear.

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