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30 Sep 2011
It’s time to talk about why Sequim listings don’t sell. I had a great conversation with a couple yesterday who had three really great questions. They had their home listed for over a year, and it did not sell, even though it is an incredible home. These questions come from a couple with discernment to recognize that something isn’t quite right and perhaps there is more that could be done to successfully market and sell their home.
The first question came with an explanation. “We have no problem with our agent who had our home listed for over a year. We don’t blame her for our house not selling. This market is probably the reason it hasn’t sold, but we are just wondering if there is something that could be done that is different. If we keep doing the same thing, we feel like we will most likely get more of the same. So is there something we can do that would be different that could help sell our home? In other words, is there something we have not done that we could be doing?”
I love this question. The answer is, “There is much more that can be done to market homes (and Sequim listings) today that is not being done by many agents who have traditional approaches to real estate sales. Marketing a home for sale has changed dramatically over the past decade and even the past three years. Virtually everyone knows this, but isn’t it interesting that so many agents continue to market and advertise a home like they always have. Many sellers are beginning to ask questions and are looking for a different approach.”
There isn’t enough room in this short article to lay out an entire marketing system to handle Sequim listings. I would have to write a book to answer the question in full. [Wait, I did. It is The New World of Marketing for Real Estate Agents, and the all new 2nd Edition will be available in a few weeks on Amazon.com, in book stores, and in a digital version in both the Apple iTunes store and the Nook and Kindle digital book stores.] My point here is that there is, in fact, much more that can be done to market a home. Let me touch on a couple of things that no longer work that most agents are still doing today and what could be done that is different and new.
Traditional print advertising in newspapers and magazines is essentially dead. It simply doesn’t work anymore. Until recently, some brokers were still using billboards, but billboards have not been effective for real estate sales for over a decade. The big traditional real estate offices still have agents taking turns sitting by the front phone waiting for it to ring (called “floor time). Agents tell me they dread sitting there waiting for the phone to ring, because it isn’t ringing off the wall anymore. (Picture the Maytag repairman, where he is sitting by the phone but no one ever calls.) Traditional branding is also dead, and buyers no longer care about big names. I know that, because I’ve asked all my clients for the past 3 years.
By the way Sequim listings also will not automatically sell just because they are in the MLS. All Sequim listings gets put into the MLS. Clearly that is not the key to a guaranteed marketing system. A virtual tour is not the panacea either, although it is important. And just listing properties and hanging for sale signs does not generate many leads anymore. In other words, many of the major marketing strategies of yesteryear no longer will draw clients into your world–your listing and into your home.
Old fashioned referrals that long established agents relied upon so much for decades are no longer generating lots of qualified leads for sellers. A full color brochure, mass mailings, and broadcast emails that some agents send out to other agents no longer are generating leads for sellers. Most agents are really struggling to find something that works, but when talking to their listing clients, they learn to put on that confident poker face and assure their clients they are doing all they can. But the truth is, many aren’t sure what to do. Their brokers don’t know either. Hence, the title of my new book, The New World of Marketing for Real Estate Agents. It really is a new world when it comes to marketing a home.
There is a brave new world of marketing in the Internet world, and it involves technologies and new business models to effectively generate leads and connect buyers with sellers. Old traditional approaches no longer work so well. In fact, many don’t work at all. But the truth is that very few agents are early adopters of new technologies that reach out to buyers and connect with them wherever they are at any time of the day or night.
Why are Sequim listings not selling so well? Some are and some aren’t, but sellers cannot afford to rely on pure luck or that “one unique buyer,” or an outmoded marketing system. I said there were three questions, but we’re out of room, and I only answered one question today. The next question, “Do we list at a higher price than what we want to get to leave room for negotiating, because buyers always expect to buy for less?” will be answered later this week.
If you have a home you want to sell, and you would like to know more specifically how to sell your home in this Internet age, call me and let’s meet in your home to discuss what you’ve been doing and what could be done. I love what I do, and I’ll share with you confidentially the secrets to successfully marketing Sequim listings in this market.
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