It seems that everyday we are bombarded with bad news about the economy and housing market, and yet, many brokers and agents continue operating in a vacuum: no marketing to speak of, minimum # of property pictures, no virtual tour, ad infinitum. I admit to being ashamed of what some in our industry do - and don't do. It's not unusual for me to receive 10 or more messages a day from brokers touting higher commissions, no meetings, less work/more pay, etc. Not a one of them ever touts better marketing, or working harder for our clients. I don't know of any other industry that promotes making more at the expense of everything else. Fact is, anyone can 'list' a home for sale: the real test is actually marketing a home for sale. After all, when did anyone ever benefit from LESS marketing? Never.
Selling a home in todays market takes more marketing than ever before: fact is, in Orange County, many homes will expire unsold, costing the seller valuable marketing time in getting their home sold for top dollar. And over 40% of the homes offered for sale in Orange County are in a distressed situation: pre-foreclosure (short sale), or bank-owned (REO) - and these homes compete with those that are not in a distress situation.
Studies show what home buyers look for when searching for a home:
- 98% of all consumers want multiple photos and virtual tours.
- 78% of home shoppers refuse to view a home if it doesn't have a photo or a virtual tour. See below for some eye-opening statistics regarding how important multiple pictures are.)
- Listings on the #1 Internet real estate site, Realtor.com, receive 40% more viewings if they have a virtual tour.
And still, knowing how important doing the above is, less than 2% of all Realtors actually take the time to do what is being demanded from home shoppers - and what is required by sellers to make their home stand-out from all others on the market.
What is different about how the Clark Group markets and sells a home?
We pay attention to the above statistics and make certain that all of the homes we are selling receive the best in marketing. Here are just a few of the things we do to sell a home that most other agents don't:
- We use a professional photographer and graphic artist: we know how critical first impressions are. (We spend more on our photos and flyers than most agents spend on their entire 'marketing' campaign.)
- We post the maximum # of pictures on the Southern California Multiple Listing Service (MLS): 30.
- We post the maximum # of pictures on the #1-trafficked Internet real estate site, Realtor.com: 25. (This is VERY important as Realtor.com allows the user to sort the homes by # of photos: those with the most are shown first, which results in a huge number of additional viewings.)
- All homes marketed for sale by the Clark Group receive a Virtual Tour that is available for millions to see on Realtor.com, and other leading real estate sites.
- All homes marketed for sale by the Clark Group receive a professionally-designed property brochure created by the award-winning in-house design and creative advertising studio at Surterre Properties.
- All homes marketed for sale by the Clark Group receive benefit of being a Showcase Listing on Realtor.com which, according to Realtor.com, results in 116% more viewings. (Allows for such things are larger pictures, Open House Alerts, Property Traffic Reports, and more.)
- All open houses listed on multiple websites, including some of the most-trafficked sites on the Internet: SurterreProperties.com, Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com and BruceClarkHomes.com.
- Toll-Free call sign (where allowed): allows for 24-hour marketing and property information, including receiving property information by cell phone plus offering a fax-on-demand of property information.
- The best in Internet marketing: Your home is promoted on the top-trafficked Internet sites, including premium placement on Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and exposure on Yahoo! Real Estate, FrontDoor, Backpage, MSN, AOL, Homeseekers.com and many other leading Internet sites.
- The best in offline marketing: click to see how we aggressively market your home using Surterre Properties and the Clark Group's Proven Sellers Marketing Plan
- Prominently located state-of-the-art offices throughout Orange County. (Unlike our competitors, any Surterre Properties Realtor can use all facilities at any Surterre Properties office; we are not a franchise.)
- And much, much more. To find out more about the Clark Group and Surterre Properties' proven Sellers Marketing System, click here
The Clark Group and Surterre Properties: #1 in Orange County luxury home sales. Fact is, being #1 doesn't just happen by accident: The Clark Group and Surterre Properties spend more annually marketing homes for sale. In other words, we spend money marketing your home for sale, not just hoping it will sell. Our Internet advertising is unparalleled. Click here to schedule a private consultation with the Clark Group today, or call us at 949-285-1207.)
How having multiple property pictures plays a role in the amount of time a home spends on the market - and the potential selling price:
The California Association of Realtors findings show that "Multiple photographs/Slideshows" continue to be the online feature with the highest rating among all online features, followed by "Map/Directions." Because of the nature of the Internet, more photos can be posted with your MLS Web listing and on a home website than in any other medium and for a fraction of the cost.
Point2 (point2.com) conducted a study monitoring listings over a 30-day period which clearly showed that properties which feature just one photo generated approximately five views and 1.37 leads, while listings displaying 21 or more images received over 77 views and close to 11 leads. Clearly, the listings that added 20+ photos generated nearly 10 times the number of leads and over 15 times the number of views.
Another study relating to the number of photos a listing posts compares photos to the number of Days on Market (DOM). The findings show that listings with more photos sold faster. Below is the synopis on the average photos-to-DOM analysis.
- 6 photos = 40 DOM
- 16 - 19 photos = 36 DOM
- 20 photos max - 32 DOM
And listings with fewer photos sold for less. The closed sale NET Price as a percentage of the Original Price also showed a direct correlation. (These findings are based on 2006 numbers and are, again, estimates.)
- 1 Photo = 91.2% of Original Price
- 6 or more photos = 95% of Original Price
According to these findings, a $750,000 home, with only one photo, could potentially sell for as much as 3.8% LESS - or a loss of over $28,000 - just because there was only one photo accompanying the listing.
We believe that not doing doing the above to sell a home is simply not acceptable, which is why we use a professional photographer and graphic artist: we know how critical first impressions are, whether in person, on a flyer, or on the Internet.
For more information about the Clark Group and Surterre Properties' proven Sellers Marketing System and how it can benefit you when selling your home, click here.
Real estate brokers are not immune to the downturn in the market. Bloomberg recently ran an article about the financial straits Realogy Corp. (parent corporation of Coldwell Banker, ERA , Sotheby’s International Realty, and Century 21) finds itself in: they are at risk of violating the terms of its bank loans and is offering to exchange about $1.1 billion of bonds at a discount for new debt, and reported $209 million of losses in the last three quarters.
How does - and can - it affect you? There could be much less advertising dollars available to promote homes for sale listed for those real estate brokers that are having financil problems. Plus, they could be cutting their office support personnel and services, which includes Transaction Coordinators, etc. Yes, this is a tough time for those in real estate, but you, the seller and buyer, should not expect less than stellar service, support, and marketing.