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Marketing Tips Tag

International Markets

How to Reach Out-Of-Area Buyers EASILY

  |   Marketing Tips

Why Does This Matter?

According to the National Association of Realtors®, “International buyers invested $92.2 billion last year in the US! Individuals outside the US are buying property here in the states more than ever before, which means the practice of marketing properties is changing.

 

Agents need to recognize that a marketing plan that incorporates

By Disregarding International Buyers, You're Leaving Money on the Table!

By disregarding international buyers, you’re leaving money on the table.

the tools necessary to attract and convert out of area, out of state, and even international buyers is vital. Marketing to those buyers will result in more offers on your listings, and higher sale prices. In today’s ultra-competitive real estate market, it’s crucial to be able to say you go the extra mile, reaching the best possible audience, so that you can win more listings, and do more business. The most prepared agent wins!

 

The thing is, most agents don’t care. Most Realtors are happy to sit back and use the traditional approach to marketing a listing. They take a few cell phone shots, and slap a home on the MLS, and then wait for a decent offer to come through. In today’s global marketplace, doing it that way is a disservice to a seller. Especially when international buyers are typically cash buyers, their offers can be very attractive. More quality offers means more options for your seller, which translates to a happier client, and more potential for referral business!

 

So How Do You Do It?

How do you compel people to buy a home they’ve NEVER SEEN? What if the viewers don’t even speak English?

 

In this age of information, buyers who are looking in a given area are going to know what their options are. They’ll know how

Using 3D models in your marketing materials is always a good idea. They're eye catching!

Using 3D models in your marketing materials is always a good idea. They’re eye catching!

many 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom listings there are in their preferred area. The key is to convince them that YOUR listing is the one to choose.

 

An easy way to do that? Weave a non-linguistic, super-detailed narrative with your marketing media. For instance, feature your 3D WALKINTOUR very heavily in your marketing, ensuring viewers will see it. Even individuals who can’t speak

English will be able to navigate the home as if they were there.  This makes them feel confident enough to make an offer sight-unseen (yes, it happens to our customers ALL THE TIME).

 

Allowing international buyers 24/7 access to view and engage with media that highlights all of the BEST features of a property allows them to feel like they’re really there. Giving them the power to visualize space in a way in which they can feel how the home fits together adds significant legitimacy to your listing. It also gives viewers a sense of deep understanding, which leads to more interest! Don’t let distance be a limitation.

 

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How can I make an impression with my marketing materials, even if the home is unstaged?

  |   Marketing Tips

A Classic Problem:

Vacant, unstaged listings simply don’t look good in photos. It’s a well accepted fact! Sure, viewers will know when they’re looking at the kitchen, and when they’re looking at a bathroom, but most of the rest of the rooms are pretty much going to look the same!

 

Rooms without furniture in them make it difficult for the viewer to piece together the space. They can't visualize their life in the space, because they can't relate to it!

Are these two pictures of the same room? Or different ones? Hint: It doesn’t even matter. If it takes your viewers a few moments to figure it out, you’ve likely already lost their attention.

Rooms without furniture all tend to look the same!

 

This is because the human brain relies on anchor points when viewing photos. Furniture acts as a link between two or more photographs, creating a sense of space and unity in the viewer’s mind.

 

When presented with this challenge, MOST Realtors assume that it is not worth it to invest in decent photography, or any other kind of marketing. In reality, they couldn’t be farther from the truth!

 

An Easy Way Around It:

 

The key is to use a 3D WALKINTOUR! Their interactivity takes the

Using 3D models in your marketing materials is always a good idea. They're eye catching!

Using 3D models in your marketing materials is always a good idea. They’re eye catching!

emphasis off of empty corners, and puts it on the flow of the home. When your viewers are actually walking through the 3D model from room to room, no space will be mistaken for another!

 

Once your viewers begin to feel how the space fits together, they’ll begin imagining how their life would be within the home, instead of questioning “are these photos of the same room? What is this photo even of??”

 

Try a 3D WALKINTOUR on your next vacant, un-staged listing, and you’ll see the difference.

 

Happy marketing!

 

 

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Using a screen cap like this one in your marketing materials will help establish your brand. Making a marketing commitment!

Make a Commitment to Your Marketing

  |   Marketing Tips

Here’s the thing folks: When it comes to branding yourself, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to create an image of excellence, and get people to not only recognize you, but also associate you with ultra-high quality. That’s the goal, isn’t it? You want to establish yourself as a rock star real estate professional, and to make people be DESPERATE to work with you.

 

Well here’s an easy way to do that.

 

Right now, make a commitment to marketing EVERY listing you get to its fullest potential. Not just a commitment to

By using excellent photos on your website, you make your brand synonymous with high quality.

yourself, but a commitment to all of your leads. Put this commitment online, in the form of a general marketing plan. Proclaim to the world that you use the BEST photography AND a 3D WALKINTOUR on every listing to ensure maximum exposure for your clients’ homes. The industry is rife with Realtors looking to get a listing, do the minimum, and collect a check. That leaves a huge opportunity open to establish yourself as the “I do it right” Realtor.

 

So here’s our 3-step guide.

 

  1. Make a commitment online. Tell viewers about what kinds of media you use to market every listing. Use pictures of 3D models, and the best photos of some of your previous listings to really grab their attention. If you have been using these kinds of media for some time, you should have links to past single property websites, etc.
  2. Develop a system for spreading the word about a listing, and tell people about it generally on your website. Don’t give away all of the details, but give them enough to want to use YOU when they sell their home! 
  3. Incorporate this message into your lead gen activities. Sending out mailers? Talk about your marketing system. 3D models are very eye-catching, so they make a great hero image!

 

Now I know what you are thinking…

 

“But 3D only works on SOME homes. I can’t commit to doing it on all of my listings, because I work on [insert excuse: small

Using 3D models in your marketing materials is always a good idea. They're eye catching!

Using 3D models in your marketing materials is always a good idea. They’re eye catching!

homes, ugly homes, homes that sell fast anyway, unstaged homes].” Fortunately for you, we’ve written ad nauseum about these doubts. Check out the articles below for a few pointers.

 

Don’t think your unstaged listing will look good without 3D? You couldn’t be farther from the truth. Check out our post on that topic here.

 

Small homes are the same way! With small homes, the layout becomes one of the most vital things. Still photographs don’t capture the layout, so 3D is a great option! Furthermore, 3D is priced based on square footage, so you don’t pay as much if you’ve got a small home.

 

Have a listing with a lot of clutter in it that doesn’t show well? Check out our post on occupied listings.

 

If homes in your market are selling quickly anyway, you are probably facing a lot of competition for listings. You should probably have a few tools in your toolbag that the other guys don’t have to ensure your success.

 

Happy Marketing!

 

 

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Using a screen cap like this one in your marketing materials will help establish your brand. Making a marketing commitment!

Marketing for Success: Transparency

  |   Marketing Tips

People love transparency. So give it to them!

 

Transparency leads to trust, and trust is the foundation of any business transaction. So why aren’t

you building transparency into your marketing? Consider the following circumstance. You’re online, looking for a contractor to redo your kitchen. You find two websites for two different professionals. The first is pretty simple website that features a simple message. “I’m an awesome contractor! I work on all kinds of projects, and I do everything to code.” The second contractor’s website has a dedicated section for kitchen remodels, and talks specifically about their process. They even show pictures of some of their past jobs, with explanations of what the client was looking for, and how they achieved it.

When hiring a contractor, you're going to go with the one with a proven record, and transparent procedures.

Who would you hire?

 

Now let’s bring it back to real estate. When someone is shopping for a Realtor, they are going to be drawn to the one who gives the most specific case studies and samples of their work. This harkens back to our post about increasing the quality of your marketing impressions, versus the quantity. That’s why it’s vital to make a commitment to your marketing on your website.

 

 

Here’s How:

 

  1. Incorporate a “my team” section on your website. This is a great spot to list your recommended vendors, and talk a little bit about why each of them is the BEST at what they do. This will give potential clients a more in-depth idea of what they’re getting when they use you. Featuring preferred stagers, landscapers, photographers, lenders, and more are all a great way to build the appearance of a team around you without having to pay any salaries. Link to their websites so that your prospective clients can do a little research of their own.
  2. Have a special section on your website dedicated to marketing, and discuss some of the tactics you employ! Use screenshots of 3D WALKINTOUR models to grab viewers’ attention, and promise to have one created for their home. Tell viewers about the difference that professional photography can make, and how you use it on EVERY property to extract maximum value out of each listing. To read more about why you should NEVER do your own photography, check out this post.
  3. Next, ask viewers to contact you for a free marketing consultation. Use a message like: “Every
    Calls to action are very effective at driving leads into your pipeline. Offering a targeted lead magnet will increase your conversions.

    Buttons like this are very effective at driving leads into your pipeline. Offering a targeted lead magnet will increase your conversions.

    home has its own unique narrative. Contact me today for a free marketing consultation, and we’ll talk about how we can use your home’s narrative to extract the MAXIMUM value out of it!”. The reason this works is because it’s targeted. People who are browsing the marketing page on your website are clearly interested in learning more about how you market homes, and are most likely to respond to a call-to-action that addresses this curiosity.

  4. Now, incorporate this message into your other marketing pieces. Do you have a mailer or brochure that goes out to the neighbors in your farm? Feature 3D WALKINTOUR models, drone imagery, and more on as many of your lead-gen marketing materials as possible. This approach will make marketing a part of your brand identity! Drive traffic to your website by teasing a new marketing tactic you’re using, or by talking about a powerful statistic.

 

Happy Marketing!

 

 

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Occupied Listing? Get a VT Tour

How Can I Avoid the Pitfalls of an Occupied Listing?

  |   Marketing Tips

We’ve all had to deal with it: You’ve got an occupied listing, either by the owners, or worse, lessees! You have to deal with scheduling showings, which is a pain. The house may have been clean for the photos, but since then, the clutter has returned, and the place no longer has that “lived-in charm,” and has developed more of a hoarder-house feel.

 

You’re afraid that these kinds of obstacles are heavily inhibiting the amount of attention your listing is getting! And you should be. Little things like this add up, and can have severe consequences to your viewership, which limits the number of great leads you’ll get, and the number of offers you’ll have on the listing!

 

 

So What Can I Do if I have an Occupied Listing??

 

Actually, today’s visualization technology is so potent, that viewers can feel like they’re in a home without ever having to set foot in it. Our 3D WALKINTOUR is a pretty good step in the right direction, but is still not a substitute for actually being there.

That’s where Virtual Reality comes in! Did you know that our 3D WALKINTOURs can be made into virtual reality tours? It’s easy, actually! Once you’ve have had your listing’s 3D WALKINTOUR converted to VR, you can do showings on a Samsung GearVR, or for an even more inexpensive option, Google Cardboard. These devices both give online viewers a truly immersive experience, rivalling being in the space itself!

 

This way, the home only has to be ready once, so that the photos and 3D WALKINTOUR turn out great. After that, the owners or tenants are free to live their lives normally!

 

Your listing will now get all the attention it deserves, and show as best it can.

 

Here’s why:

 

1.   Having great visualization online can ease the need for people to visit to your physical listing. That means that your sellers or tenants will only have to clean up for a few serious buyer prospects, decreasing the workload for them, and increasing the chances they’ll do an awesome job.

 

2.   Even if your tenants DON’T do a great job of cleaning up for a showing, your potential buyers already have a really solid idea of what the home CAN look like when it’s nicely set up.

Homes with great online visualization attract more interest, which means more leads, and more options for your sellers!

 

3.   When leveraged correctly, great visualization tools such as 3D WALKINTOURs and VR tours increase the amount of interest in a listing significantly. (To read more about that, click here) That means that you will get more offers, and make the seller very happy.

 

So next time you’ve got an occupied listing, and you’re worried about showings, you know what to do!

 

Happy Marketing!

 

 

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Photography: 4 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Do It Yourself

  |   Marketing Tips
Many Realtors think they need to do it all to be successful. When it comes to photography, we’d like you to reconsider. Spend your time doing the things you’re great at instead! Here are our 4 reasons why you should NEVER do your own photography.

 

      1. Tools/Equipment

        A professional photographer will likely have a lot of specialized equipment.

        • The DSLR cameras that Costco sells are not professional cameras. Sorry folks. A professional photographer is not only going to have significantly better equipment than a Realtor is willing to shell it for, but they’ll know how to use it! Even if you were to get your hands on a top-of-the-line Hasselblad H4D-200ms ($45,000), you probably wouldn’t have any clue what to do with it! A great photographer is what makes a professional camera 

         

      2. Core Competency

        • In business, it is a generally accepted principle that you should focus as much of your time as possible on the things that bring you the most return. Typically these are the things you are best at. Photography is not one of those things! Pretty much no matter how you slice it, professional photography is not expensive, and will likely yield you more money than it costs you. While you’re not wasting your time photographing your listing, you can be out prospecting, and finding more clients! That’s the lifeblood of your business, so you should be spending as much time as possible doing it.
        • Instead of being a Swiss Army Knife, which really nobody’s first option for any job, be a Miyabi 7000d Chef’s Knife (I Love This Video). It only does one thing, but it does it REALLY well. As such, it commands a much higher price point.

         

      3. Photos Alone Just Are Not Good Enough Any More

        Providing engaging content is the easiest way to capture and hold a viewer’s attention.

        • Professional photos are the bare minimum nowadays! Visualization technology has taken enormous steps forward, and so have the expectations of an ever-increasingly demanding buyer base. Home shoppers have a lot of options, so the home that is going to stand out is the one that has the BEST quality marketing materials.
        • Furthermore, using great marketing media is a super easy way to set yourself apart from the competition. You can learn more about that here

         

      4. Professionally Photographed Homes Sell For More (Yes, It’s Actually True)

        • Plenty of companies throw this stat around, hoping that Realtors buy in. Well we at WALKINTOUR made sure. We did our research, and found that according to an independent study done in the San Francisco Bay Area, homes that are sold using high quality professional photography can sell for upwards of 10% more than comparable homes that utilize amateur photography.
        • Going into a listing presentation armed with stats such as that is powerful! Plus, when a home sells for more, you make more commission!

 

The moral of the story? You’re great at being a Realtor. Let us be great at being photographers!

Happy Marketing!

-WALKINTOUR Marketing Pros

 

 

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