The days of putting a sign on the front lawn and entering data into the multiple listing service to produce a sale are long gone. Today we need to strategically position properties in ways that set them apart from the sea of available homes on the market. I utilize a six-point approach to positioning my listings. I have found these resources to be most effective in attracting buyers and other real estate agents. Let’s take a look at them, one at a time.
What do you think of when you hear or see the name Better Homes and Gardens? [Wait for their response] Yes, I hear that often. So many people are familiar with the Better Homes and Gardens brand name. Meredith began publishing the magazine nearly 90 years ago and has been a household name ever since. The magazine alone enjoys a readership of nearly 40 million people every single month. And one thing that my experience has taught me is that people want to do business with a name they know and trust .
The Better Homes and Gardens brand name is so powerful to consumers that real estate agents have been using it for years in their ads for properties that they are marketing. Consumers associate quality and desirability with the brand. Exactly what we want potential buyers to think when they learn about your home. Can you see how the Better Homes and Gardens brand will help in marketing your home to potential buyers?
If all that was needed to do to sell a home was to put a sign on the front lawn and enter information into the Multiple Listing Service, real estate agents would have a very easy job and so would sellers. Today especially, a marketing plan and promotion strategy are critical to attracting buyers to a property and ultimately to the sale of the property. And that’s where merchandising strategies come in. Have you ever noticed displays in the retailers store windows of the products they sell? This is merchandising. Retailers spend a great deal of time making sure their products look appealing to consumers so they catch their attention and encourage them to have a look. These same principles apply to selling your home. We need to merchandise it to make it as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. Let’s look at the elements of merchandising.
NOTE TO SALES ASSOCIATE: Feel free to add bullet items – such as “Clear snow off driveway”
The way that you live in your house is not the same you would sell your house. We will talk more about staging as we move further along in the process as it is important. Homes that are staged not only sell faster than the average home on the market, but also sell on an average of 6% more We will be talking about color. We will talk about giving it a more universal appeal so prospective buyers can visualize themselves living in the home. We have created short informational videos providing tips on how to stage and prepare your house to sell. When you have time this week, please take a look at these. They can be found in the “Videos” section of bhgrealestate.com. NOTE TO SALES ASSOCIATE: Play “staging videos” if you are online
Make it easy for prospective buyers to view your home!
Part of my job is to make sure your home gets maximum exposure – to consumers and to other agents in the area that will also be working with prospective buyers. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate provides us with state-of-the-art marketing tools to promote your home both online and offline.
Let’s start with the online consumer. And no doubt, you have already been online looking what is listed in this area – and also where you are thinking of moving to. So it is important that we give your home as much exposure as possible. I am just wondering, what sites have you already visited? NOTE TO SALES ASSOCIATE: Remember to include the sellers throughout. This keeps them engaged and creates opportunities for trial closes as well as helping to establish buy-in.
Mr. and Mrs. Seller – this schematic shows you the difference between our internet marketing and all others. We are the only broker in Houston that uses a listing distribution platform known as List Hub. We send a special data feed to List Hub and they in turn, distribute your listing to over 900 sites, the largest distribution in the nation. Many of these sites, as you can see from the callouts below them distribute your listing to major newspaper and media channels to give you even more exposure on a local level nationally! Most brokers distribute their listings only through har.com and we do too. We feel that internet exposure is so important that we provide exponentially more exposure. We don’t want to miss one buyer for your home, no matter where they are looking. In addition, online searchers tend to visit multiple websites so that’s why I’ll also ensure your property is displayed on all of these. These are all powerful sites to have in your corner. Mr. & Mrs. ____, are you beginning to see the value of the internet and the impact it has on buyers? We do too. And we do everything to leverage online promotion in our merchandising plan.
One way that our brand recognition can help, is through our national website – driving traffic to your listing Have you had a chance to take a look at our website? [Wait for their answer and respond accordingly] [If they have] – Great ! What did you think? Did you have any questions? [If they have not and they have internet access, you can log onto our site and demonstrate how easy it is to find properties.] – [If time does not allow]– Please do when you have a moment and be sure to give me a call if you have any questions. It really is very easy for people to search for properties at our site. We employ numerous strategies to drive traffic to our site. Any of these visitors could be the potential buyer for your home. Any potential buyer that searches on the national site for a home in our area will be seamlessly directed to our local company’s site. Meaning they won’t just see BHGRE listings, they will see all listings available through the local MLS – which is exactly what they are looking for.
Are you familiar with BHG magazine’s website, bhg.com? This is the site 7 million visitors go each month to locate recipes, learn home decorating ideas and more. We again leverage our relationship with Better Homes and Gardens, for part of our national advertising campaign to build brand recognition. Another plus for you here is that the 7 million visitors each month have the ability to get to your listing in just two clicks when they visit this site. That’s a lot of opportunity, isn’t it?
As important as the internet has become, according to the National Association of Realtors, 88% of the buyers use a real estate agent in the home buying process. When you home first hits the market, I will use an arsenal of materials to promote your property. I will create Just Listed marketing materials to reach my database of influencers and prospects. I will also use the latest digital tools to highlight and promote the important attributes of your home to generate buyer interest. NOTE TO SALES ASSOCIATE: If you are online, you can play a sample “Just Listed eCard” or Slideshow.
A lot of agents use direct mail to promote a new listing. Most of the time these mailings are sent to surrounding properties around the listing - which I will do as well. But because of our relationship with Meredith, we have access to a database of over 100 million people where I can determine more likely prospects for your home. This kind of target marketing increases the odds of us finding the right buyer for your home. Through our relationship with Meredith publishing, we have access to a database of over 100 million consumers that we can target by: 1. Location 2. Lifestyle (first time buyer, etc.) 3. And even income levels Using this tool, we can determine likely prospects for your property based on their match to our search. NOTE TO SALES ASSOCIATE: At this point, it would be nice to present them with a printout of a search you have already done for their address.
And just as you have probably driven around the area you are considering moving to, so are the prospective buyers for your home! Did you know that over half of all buyers use yard signs in the home search? The most popular age group for those to actually find a home through yard sign is between 45 and 64. Not to mention that these beautiful yard signs are another way of leveraging the Better Homes and Gardens brand.
Open Houses are a way to increase your exposure and reach out to those who might not otherwise know about it. The ability to advertise Open Houses on online instead of just in the Sunday paper, has certainly made them a successful part of today’s marketing strategy.
Over the years, I have built a large sphere that consists of past buyers and sellers, friends, professional acquaintances, etc. Each time I add a property to my personal inventory, I let them know about it. Everyone knows someone who is moving and you never know if they would be interested in your home. NOTE TO SALES ASSOCIATE: Use copy below only if Cartus applies And since your buyer could be in any part of the world, it makes it even better that Better Homes and Gardens is part of the Cartus Network. The Cartus Broker Network is made up of the best-performing brokers from across the United States and commands market share dominance in major metropolitan areas as well as secondary rural markets. The benefit for you is that we have just increased your buyer pool! Link for Cartus info: http://www.cartus.com/AboutCM/OurSuppliers.aspx?cid=772&sID=86&regID=2&mID=12
There are several factors that impact the price of your home including location, local market conditions and recently sold properties.
Remember that buyers who are interested will also go through the process of examining the comparable properties and factoring in the market conditions when trying to determine what price to offer. We want your property to be competitive - the higher a property is priced above realistic market value, the more time it will take to sell and the less interest it will attract.
One of the most important skills I can provide to you is the power of third party negotiation in your behalf. There are dozens of terms and conditions relating to a successful sale and my job is to make sure that all of those meet your needs.
I promise I will keep you informed and give you more details all along the way. But right now we need to discuss the pricing strategy for your home!
Selling a home represents one of the largest investments of a lifetime for the family and/or the individual owners. I think that not only should your listing agent provide you with a guarantee but also accountability. What’s going to happen if I don’t perform? As indicated in the enclosed box – we will release you from the listing. This clause provides you with the peace of mind that I would want if I were selling my home.
NOTE TO SALES ASSOCIATE: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene has a rich history. No other broker has sold more homes and no other broker has withstood the test of time – 50 years like BHGRE Gary Greene. Founded in 1963 by Gary Greene, owners Marilyn Eiland and Mark Woodroof are actively engaged in the day-to-day operations. With 20 offices across the Houston Metropolitan area and over 850 agents, we have you covered on the local home front. We were proud to be named the #1 broker in Houston by the Houston Business Journal for total transactions and dollar volume sold in 2011.
1. HOME SALESTRATEGY
2. Strategies for Selling Your Home1. The Power of Branding2. Merchandising3. Promotion4. Networking5. Competitive Pricing6. Negotiating & Closing
3. 1. The Power of Branding Nearly 40,000,000 monthly readers 1 in 6 adults 1 in 5 homeowners 1 in 4 women
4. The Power of a BrandConsumers associatequality with the brand
6. Elements of Merchandising Curb Appeal Many buyers will immediately eliminate a property from consideration based on its drive-by appearance Keep the lawn manicured Clear walkways Trim and maintain landscaping Rake leaves
7. Elements of MerchandisingStaging and Interior Condition“The way you live in your house and the wayyou sell your house are two different things” Remove clutter Put extra furniture in storage Organize closets and cabinets Depersonalize décor For more staging ideas visitbhgrealestate.com/views/video
8. Elements of Merchandising Be Ready to Show Provide easy access Be flexible for showings Prospective buyers feel more comfortable if the seller isn’t home Keep your home neat
9. 3. Promotion We will promote your home both online and offline to potential buyers and other agents
10. Online Promotion Where The Consumers Are!With 9 out of 10homebuyers on the Internetit is important that we havean online strategy topromote your home
11. BHG Drives Traffic to Your HomeOnce a home search is conducted on bhgrealestate.com, buyers are directed to our company’s website providing all MLS listings available in the area…
12. Driving More Traffic to Your Homewww.bhg.com7 million visitors eachmonth have the ability toget to your listing in justtwo clicks when they visitthis site
13. Helping You Get The Word OutAdvertisingDirect MailFlyers
14. Exclusive Access toMeredith Customers 100 million+ people in Meredith’s subscriber database
15. The Power of Yard Signs 3rd The most commonly used information sourceIn 2012, we consistentlydisplayed 36% more yardsigns across Houston than thenext highest broker.
16. The Power of Open HousesOpen Housesadvertised online & offline
17. Mobilizing Local AgentsIn 2011, 87% of all buyers used a real estate agent as a source ofinformation in the purchase of their home. We will mobilize the localagents to show your home: Entering it in the MLS Holding Broker Open Houses Emailing Just Listed notices Posting on social media sites Distributing flyersWe will also target agents who are known to workthis area in case they have buyers ready to go!
18. 4. Networking & ReachWe have a large sphere ofinfluence and a worldwidenetwork of agents behind us.Your buyer could be anywherein the world
19. 5. Pricing Your HomeFactors affecting home value1. Location, size, condition and amenities of the house2. Local market conditions3. Recently sold properties
20. Pricing Your Home Reviewing the marketRecent Sales Current Homes on MarketTo show what buyers have been willing to To show what buyers will be viewing – yourpay for a home like yours. This carries the competition. This is important in how wemost weight in pricing your home. position your home in the market.
21. 6. Negotiation & ClosingWhen we have aninterested buyer whomakes an offer, that iswhen our agents put theirmarket expertise to work.
22. 6. Negotiation & ClosingWhen we have negotiated and executed a contract with all terms andconditions agreed upon, then our agents will make sure every detail ishandled correctly and in the necessary time frame.They will interact with others to manage thepackage including: Other agents involved Attorneys Property inspectors Insurance agents Mortgage representatives
23. Our Commitment to YouOur commitment is to provide a real estateexperience that will achieve the highest possibleprice for your home, in a time frame that meets yourneeds and with the least inconvenience to you.If, during the listing period, you feel that I do notperform to this standard, you may talk with mymanager and if your concerns cannot be satisfied,Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greenewill release you from the listing.
24. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary GreeneOur Company began in Houston in 1963 with oneoffice and was started by Gary Greene. We blossomedinto 20 offices across Houston under the ownership ofpartners Marilyn Eiland and Mark Woodroof. Theyare actively engaged in day-to-day operations.Years in Operation: 50Number of Agents: 850Accomplishments: Placed first in 2012 HoustonBusiness Journal Book of Lists for total transactionsand dollar volume sold.