The Truth About Real Estate Marketing

Posted by Steve Vincent on Apr 28, 2014, 9:46:21 AM

In how realtors market, getting home sold, How to advertise your home, marketing real estate, Sellers

You listed with a real estate broker to sell your house, right?

Actually, that's probably not the correct syntax. What you really did was to list with a broker to get your house sold.

It's a subtle difference in wording, but one that points out the disconnect between thought and reality for many real estate consumers. The first phrase imbues the broker with near magical powers: he is going to take the house, wave his magical real estate wand, and cause someone to buy it. That's really not what happens, although many brokers would like you to believe that it does. Phrase two is closer to the mark: you're going to use a broker to gain access to the natural matching of buyers and sellers that's already going on. The broker is not magical. He is just a skilled gatekeeper.

The truth about real estate marketing is this:

A certain number of buyers are going to buy in the neighborhood today and a certain number of sellers are going to sell. The broker's job is to get in front of, and prove valuable to as many of those people as possible.

That statement encapsulates the marketing function of a real estate broker as accurately as it can be. People can't be made to want to buy real estate. They either do, or they don't. A little education can help them make an informed decision, but it is a decision beyond anyone else's control. Their decision to buy one house over any other is not a decision at all, it's a choice, an illogical, personal, quirky choice. No amount of full page advertising is going to cause them to choose one house over another.

The broker's job is to a orchestrate a marketing program that puts his or her office in front of as many of these potential buyers as possible. Once that is achieved, 'selling' real estate becomes a matching process: buyers' wants and needs to inventory.

So how does a smart broker market to get in front of as many potential buyers as possible?

Job one is to be SEEN, to be VISIBLE. The consumer needs to see the sign, the logo, the name everywhere to have a comfort level that the broker may be able to help. This is accomplished with For Sale signs, local advertising and, increasingly, Internet marketing. But, you have to have something to market first . . . SO: the best thing your real estate broker can do to sell your house is to go out and get another listing and another listing and another listing. Each new listing is a marketing opportunity, an opportunity to generate buyer inquiries into the office. Of course, what's done with those calls is another issue, one we'll talk about in a moment.

Job two is to GENERATE LEADS: to put marketing pieces into the hands of consumers that will motivate them to make contact with the office. When a broker decides to create a marketing piece, he or she must do it  dispassionately . The decision to advertise one house or another should be made based on which one will cause the largest number of potential buyers to contact the office, not on which seller is 'owed' advertising this week. This is an important point. Truth is: almost always, the advertised property that motivates the potential buyer to contact the office is NOT the property they eventually buy. There are dozens of kick-out factors they may encounter as they do their investigation. But that doesn't matter. What's important is that they contacted the office.

So, when a sharp broker decides to advertise a property, it's not to get that particular property sold, it's to generate buyer contact. It is this general lead generating activity that will cause your house to sell and it may not even involve advertising your house at all.

Ok: we've got Job One and Job Two. Here's the third thing the real estate broker needs to do: CAPTURE LEADS. When marketing causes a potential buyer to contact the office, what will then cause them to agree - however subtly - to letting the office match them with a perfect property? It is a process that often occurs on the telephone, and at GreatNest and the Vincent Group, we work on it constantly.

It's important to understand what courage it takes for a potential buyer to pick up the phone or fill out an online inquiry form. They know they are likely going to hear from a salesperson . . . and that's not what they want at all. What they want is the information. Period. So there is a very natural defensiveness on the other end of the line when the agent answers the phone.

How the agent handles the call, how he or she relaxes the caller, provides valuable information, builds a comfortable rapport with the caller is EVERYTHING. All of time money and effort the broker has used to generate the lead can be lost right here if the agent is not prepared to earn the caller's trust and then to begin the matching process. Now, think back to the last time you called a real estate office for information on a property. Uh-huh. I know. It was a painful experience. If the agent made any attempt to earn your business at all, it was probably pretty lame. And that's IF they tried to earn your business at all (most won't).

It's such a shame, because that moment, when a buyer inquiry is handled in the office, is the ARENA. That's where the process of 'selling real estate' begins. It is so important, I think it makes perfect sense for a home seller to call the office of the agent they are considering and see how they are handled. If the person on the other end of the line can't comfortably communicate competence, if they can't skillfully earn the right to help you find your next home, how are they going to capture the real caller who might be perfect for your house?

Bottom line: advertising won't sell your house. An agent or broker won't sell your house. What will sell your house is an office with an active lead generation and capture process. And where will you find such an office? Honestly? Right here: GreatNest. Here, the broker is in charge of marketing, lead generation and capture. We are completely focused on the process and we do it better than anyone in the area. AND: with low set fee pricing, we save sellers a lot of money, too.

Want to know more? Click here or, if you prefer, you can watch a quick video about our set fee service.