I’ve been stewing over Help-U-Sell Marketing and how to present it powerfully to a potential Seller.
By nature it is already powerful compared to what goes on in ordinary offices, where marketing/advertising has largely become the responsibility of individual agents. It didn’t use to be that way. A long time ago, real estate companies created, orchestrated and paid for marketing to benefit their agents. But back then, agents were usually paid 50% – 60% of the earned commission. Today, most ordinary brokers start newbies out at more than that and 75%-80% splits are not uncommon. When ordinary companies gave in to the pressure to pay more to their agents, they had to cut somewhere to make up the difference, and marketing budgets took the biggest hit.
So at brand X down the street, you have dozens of little agents whizzing around willy-nilly ‘advertising’ on Craig’s List here and a homes magazine there, and dropping an open house ad in the local rag when the seller gets antsy. There’s no coordination, no maximization of the power of INVENTORY, no grand design to marketing, and the results are negligible.
At Help-U-Sell, marketing is the purview of the Broker. It is an office responsibility. Our brokers do deep research into the local marketplace so that they can make informed decisions about where, when and how to market. They design, implement, monitor and constantly refine a coordinated marketing plan that generates a strong flow of buyer leads into the office. New listings are simply plugged in to the marketing program and marketing featuring any of the office listings will benefit all of the office listings. It is the strong flow of leads that causes our listings to sell.
We used to talk with potential sellers about the components of the marketing plan: ETMs, Brags, Weekly Lists, Bootlegs et.al. and while I’m sure those things are important today, I think sellers want to hear more and more about the Internet. Since everyone knows that buyers are all over the Internet looking for houses, sellers want to know what you’re doing to get their property noticed in that arena.
I think saying you syndicate to 28 websites and sharing a graphic of what those websites are is helpful. But it’s not a differentiator. Most main line real estate companies are syndicating in similar fashion. (By the way: this does not mean you shouldn’t talk about it and show the graphic. You should. It’s still impressive.) I think what’s more important is to show how you’ve maximized your web presence to be most attractive to the Internet buyer.
Here: have some fun with this: Open Google and type in ‘ Sell Real Estate’. The top few responses are paid ads. But after that, Help-U-Sell is often the first main-line real estate company that shows up. Every time I’ve ever done it we are in the middle or near the top of the first page. Of course there’s a reason: our name is Help-U-Sell real estate!
But if you’ve done your homework, if you localized and optimized your website, if you’ve bought good domain names to point to your website, if you’ve created new pages of localized content for your website and so on, there should be search strings that have your office appearing near the top of the first page. Why not spend a little time trying to discover what they are? Then start sharing those search string results with sellers when you sit down for a listing consultation.
Want to see someone doing a very good job of this? Go to Google and search for ‘Santa Rosa Homes.’ See who the first several results are. Now try ‘Santa Rosa Real Estate.’ Maurine Grisso has created several websites, each targeted at a different kind of consumer in her marketplace, each optimized and localized; and she’s further boosted their effectiveness with a little pay-per-click. She goes onto to the Internet and casts a net made up of all the places a home buyer might find her, and comes back with leads. This is great stuff. And it’s the kind of thing sellers want to see today.