Today’s home-buyer is different.
Culturally, Americans are more mobile than prior generations. Motivated by several reasons, folks are moving to locations based on cost of living, geography, or personal interest.
As a realtor or a seller, this means your potential home buyer could be starting their search from across the country or, at the very least, across state lines.
As a result, the first place a majority of buyers will see your home for sale is online. The only problem? There are hundreds of sites to shop for homes digitally.
After speaking with realtors who have seen virtual listings succeed and fail, we’ve unlocked the secrets to setting your home apart online.
For Mark Motes, a real estate investor at Mark Buys Houses, the number one trend he’s seen over the last year is the number of people willing to bid on a home without seeing it in person.
“The best tip that we offer to homeowners is to use high-quality photography.
Take the pictures on a sunny day with a high-quality camera, remove the clutter from your spaces, and use a photo editor to increase the saturation and brightness (this makes the colors and natural beauty of your home ‘pop’).”
If someone is trying to sell their home by themselves, he also suggests investing in a 360-degree camera.
“It’s a huge advantage because of the ability to do virtual tours. While expensive, it greatly increases your ability to acquire competitive bids.”
Nearly half of most real estate agents use staging to help buyers feel like a house is a place that could become a home for them.
Instead of spending too much money on furniture and decor, Ben Reynolds of Sure Dividend suggests you invest instead in virtual home staging, which can cost you $40 per photo with some companies.
“It’s more affordable than providing furniture and other decorations throughout the home. You can portray an expensive outlook with more high-end furniture and other personal effects without breaking the bank.”
As a realtor at Amelia-Fernandina RealEstate, LLC, Colleen Gerke maximizes online-curb-appeal in a few different ways.
The first is developing a website specific to each home, complete with SEO tools to help get the listing in front of whoever is searching for a home in her area.
“Today’s search trends include a lot more voice search commands, and we optimize to help our sellers be found. SEO also includes keywords for what buyers are looking for post-pandemic–spacious, home office, tranquil, ample storage, and other buzzwords.”
Online real estate faces many of the same challenges as e-commerce stores. Mainly establishing consumer trust. A problem Scott Cam, Founder of Blueprint Homes in Australia, knows all too well.
“If you are selling your house independently, customers are going to think twice. This is mainly because of online scams. Make sure you have good real estate support to make your deal trustworthy.”
Logos, customer testimony, and ample contact information are a must.
While high-quality photos are great, you can take your listings to the next level with something real estate agent Nick J Kyte refers to as lifestyle videos.
“A true value-add that I have found huge success with is showcasing listings and community, by way of lifestyle video. Key aspects and selling features of what buyers want and should know, that make your listing stand apart from your competition.”
Drone footage, more specifically, provides an excellent perspective for buyers in a short timeframe as to the local amenities, attractions, and overall community vibe.
“This allows buyers to picture this new lifestyle and want to come to experience the home in person, which is the name of the game!”
A recent survey found that more than 80% of millennials want to view 3D virtual tours and digital floor plans when shopping for a home.
“Virtual tours give house hunters the illusion of getting inside your house without really being there,” notes Kris Lippi. “Because of this immersive effect, creating a detailed video tour of your house is a great marketing tool that can up your chances of selling it fast.”
“The web copy should emphasize benefits over features, have rich descriptive and emotive language, and be memorable. Stand out from the crowd. Tell the home’s unique “story.”
Here’s an example from one of his latest listings:
Steve Groom, a real estate professional for almost 20 years, has one tool up his sleeve at all times—the MLS.
“Be sure to get the property listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in your area. This can be done without the services of a realtor by purchasing a “Flat-fee Listing.” This allows you the full exposure of the MLS for your property without any realtor commissions or commitments.
I have personally seen the power of the MLS when attempting to sell a home without using the MLS. The result was few calls, no showings, and no activity. After three weeks, we placed the home in the MLS, and the home sold in a week.”
92% of home buyers start their search online. That means it’s more important than ever to market your home and make sure it stands out among the competition.
Check out our guide for more real estate marketing tips geared towards buying homes in the digital age and take your listings to the next level.
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