One of my favorite things to do before I fall asleep at night is to shop/surf the internet on our iPad. I love to research purchases, compare prices, check various sites for coupons before I make a purchase. I do this with everything from new patio furniture to planning my son’s 7th birthday party. It should come as no surprise that people are using this same approach when it comes to buying a home. I recently took a listing and planned the kick off weekend, as I mentally refer to the first weekend a listing is on the market. We came up with a plan, entered the home into the MLS and marketed the first open house.
I use Craigslist, Zillow, Facebook, Google+, postlets, and a few others to market listings. Our open house was Sunday from 1-4pm and the weather was very cooperative. I came in with my water with lemon, flyers and a multitude of signs and balloons. The open house was a huge success and about 50 people came through the home. The interesting part about this open house was that at least 75% of the prospective buyers came through with no agent. They had seen the open house advertised on one of the many websites, the home was being marketed on. These buyers were educated on the market and had researched what the seller had paid, what the property most likely would rent for and what schools the home was districted for before they even stepped foot through the front door. This was incredibly insightful as a residential broker as to the path most buyers are walking towards finding a home. As a broker, it challenges me to stay ahead of the curve with my marketing approach and to hone my negotiation and contract writing skills. Gone are the days when a real estate broker was the only way to gain access to information. The role as a real estate broker is changing and I think there is so much more value in the contract writing and negotiation in addition to accurate, updated market knowledge and an aggressive online marketing strategy.