A Multimedia Crash Course for New Sales Representatives
TORONTO – Earlier this year, the Career Series took a look at social media and the digital channels that tech savvy realtors can use to help solidify their reputation while building their client base.
While building a personal brand for yourself is a crucial element of getting started, at the end of the day, your offerings are all about your product. When working with sellers, what are the best strategies for advertising a listing to make it impressive and memorable for buyers?
In our guide to surviving the spring market, we went over some of the basics that you can take care of right off the bat: maximizing curb appeal, creating a “virtual tour” with high-resolution photos, along with a feature sheet highlighting the most desirable elements of the property. For those who are ready to take property marketing to the next level, though, here are a few more ideas to get the most interest (and the best price!) for your listing in 2014:
- Great properties deserve their own online home.
In case you haven’t noticed it already, here at GTA Real Estate News we are proud to offer a Featured Listings section highlighting some of the finest properties for sale or lease across Greater Toronto. You might be wondering: what makes these special profiles different from the MLS listings you can already access in your browser? In truth, there are a few differences between the two:
- MLS listings can be difficult for buyers to find without being provided a link. They rarely come up in search engine results, and they might evade the attention of buyers who aren’t comfortable using an IDX map.
- In a similar vein, you can often customize the URL of a custom-built listing page, making it easier to find for the average home buyer looking around on the web.
- When your listing is uploaded to MLS, any pictures you provided for it will be compressed – i.e. reduced in file size, often at the expense of image quality. By contrast, a custom listing page on your own web site should allow image uploads in a larger and less compressed format – helping your images shine in brilliant resolution and integrity.
- MLS has strict controls on what links you can publish along with your listing. A private webpage and web presence can allow you to link to virtual tour sites, you-tube videos or other promotional tools and helpful links that distinguish your client’s property.
Check with your branch manager to see if your brokerage offers a service like Featured Listings, with which to build custom pages for listings you’d like to grant special attention. If not, it might be worth looking into setting up your own domain with a hosting plan, and an easy-to-use “Content Management System” or CMS (examples include Squarespace or WordPress).
- Unleash your inner photographer (or bring in some help).
As a real estate professional trying to grow your business, keeping costs down is important. For properties with a high potential price tag, though, it may be worth it to look at getting a more professional level of images. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Invest in a simple, durable DSLR camera that you can use at your own discretion. Reputable lines such as the Canon Rebel or Nikon D-series now offer affordable prices, often starting at less than $500. There are lots of free lessons available online and on YouTube, to help you get familiar with the basic principles of shooting, lighting, and the settings on your camera.
- Still need to work on your own technique? If you’re listing a high-value property, it might be worth it to bring in a freelance photographer for a quick shoot. If you can find one who comes well-recommended, chances are they will work quickly, and most will be able to include a quick digital touch-up in their rates.
These photos can be used on your feature sheets, newspaper ads, and other print materials, while doing double duty as key components of digital slideshows and virtual tours for your online channels. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it will impress your client with your commitment to marketing their property in the best possible light. Talk about a worthwhile investment!
- Craft concise, informative property descriptions.
When people look at your property advertising, the photos are always a nice touch. At the end of the day, though, the text is the most important component of all. When you’re trying to come up with a great listing description, it’s a great idea to heed the advice of Mad Men’s Don Draper: “Keep it simple, but significant.”
Before your brief property description is over, you will want to have touched on every key detail pertinent to potential buyers. These will likely include:
- Location and address (buyers may want to drive by and take a look!);
- Asking price;
- Numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms;
- Nearby amenities (schools, parks, community facilities, retail spaces, etc.);
- Outstanding features, finishes, and recent upgrades.
If you’re working on a feature sheet or custom listing web page, the worst thing you can do is simply copy and paste the description from your MLS listing. The default settings will have every word capitalized, and many will likely be abbreviated due to stringent character limits imposed by the system.
Remember: when it comes to writing great advertising copy, it’s always helpful to have a second set of eyes review your work. This helps to prevent errors, and may even solicit some additional constructive advice.
Got any property marketing tips that we missed above? Please feel free to share in the comments below or tweet us @livingrealtyinc.