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Top-10 Questions to Ask a Listing Agent (Part 2)

In the last newsletter Top-10 Questions to Ask a Listing Agent (Part 1) we outlined the questions you should ask a prospective listing agent. In this newsletter we'll finish off the questions.

6. What is your social media marketing plan?

100% of buyers search for a home on the internet so having a comprehensive social media plan is really important. Our key social media platforms for advertising a home are currently; 1) Facebook, and 2) Instagram. We find the most impact coming from Facebook so this is where we concentrate our advertising. When I say advertising, it is not just a post with a picture of the home, the price and the address. Our advertising has a multipronged approach.

  • We take video of when the stagers are staging the home and stimulate the interest of buyers who are watching for homes coming on the market soon.
  • We take video when the photographer is taking photos/3D tour and video of the home and market it as a sneak peek of the home coming on the market soon.
  • We will often have our 'movie star', Sudo the Golden Doodle, show us around a home with a Gopro on his back, or footage of him checking the home out. We always get permission from the seller before doing this one though.
  • We take a 'formal' video of the home to show key features of the home.
  • We announce the home when it comes on the market with Open House times and promote the 3D tour of the home where buyers can virtually walk through the home as if they were there physically.
  • We often takes photos or video of an Open House and promote the next one coming.

Not only do we post all of these on our Facebook MAPropertiesOnline page but we also create ad campaigns for each one of them where we can target potential buyers. All of this costs time and money and unless your agent is doing all of these they are NOT marketing your home. We know we are being successful with this because we often hear during an Open House comments like 'I saw a video of a dog showing us the home - I shared it with all of my friends', or 'I walked through this home online and wanted to come and see it in person', or 'wow, you had a lot of people here yesterday from your video of the open house'.

7. What is your digital marketing plan?

100% of buyers search for a home to buy online so it is critical that a listing agent has a comprehensive digital marketing plan and don't just rely on their real estate company to post information about the home, along with 1000's of other homes the company is promoting. This is most agents 'digital marketing plan' and, 'No, that is not a digital marketing plan' in our opinion!

Our digital marketing plan comprises many elements:

  • Website with a url of your street address. On this website are more than 30 photos, video, 3D tour, information about your home, maps of schools and public transportation in the town in relation to your home, floor plans and any other documentation needed to highlight the home.
  • Video of your home 'walking' buyers through the home highlighting features.
  • 3D tour of your home where buyers can virtually walk through a home as if they are physically in the home looking up, down and around, along with a dollhouse view of the home and a floorplan showing the current furniture placement and sizing.
  • Floorplan of your home showing room layout and placement.
  • Email sent to every buyer who attended an Open House of a similar home recently announcing your homes coming onto the market, along with a 'Thank you for coming to the Open House' email after the Open House providing the buyers with more information about your home.
  • Social media marketing discussed above that encompasses advertising of numerous postings on Facebook and Instagram.
  • High quality photography with a minimum of 30 photos. MLS limits us to 30 photos, but our website does not, so we take as many photos of your home to show buyers its features as necessary. Some agents take less than 10 photos of a home and that is the sum total of their marketing - that is not marketing, that is a disservice to their clients.
  • The same 'standard' websites that other agents promote as their 'digital marketing plan' which is in fact automated from MLS. Sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com are all websites that 'pull' the information of any listing in MLS into their website. So, when an agent tells you that they market your home in all of these websites know that they have done nothing to make that happen as it is all automatic.

8. What is your print media marketing plan?

Real estate marketing in the last 5 years has moved solidly away from advertising in the local paper, or the daily paper like the Boston Globe, because buyers just don't look to newspapers when they are searching for a home. It is all online. But there is still a role for print media marketing which includes:

  • High quality color brochures about the home. Nothing sets the 'tone' more for a home than the brochure that is provided for the home. If it is a quality publication then the buyer 'feels' quality in the home. If it is a single sheet preprinted from MLS then it clearly states that the agent, and by association the seller, don't care what the buyer thinks about the home. The brochure should have information about the home, the floorplan, some photos, some statistics about the local market, some information about the town, and a 'where to go for more information' link.
  • Inclusion in 'Luxury' home catalogs, and Just Listed cards sent when the home is over the $1,000,000 price range.

9. How do you let serious buyers know about my home?

Team:

With a number of buyers agents in the team we have a constant supply of active buyers all looking to buy in the area. When a home is coming on the market which may suit our buyers we give them a heads-up that the home is coming on the market soon. Not only do we have a number of buyers we work with all the time, but the wider RE/MAX Leading Edge offices also have a large network of buyers and we provide a notification that your home is coming on to the market to our wider network also.

Prior Open house visitors

We have systematized our internal processes and every buyer who attends an Open House, and every buyer who has enquired about a home on the market, are all contained within our contact management database. We know the price range and the towns that these buyers are interested in, and these are all buyers who are ready to buy. As soon as we bring your home on the market we send a personalized email with all of your homes information to them. Things like the 3D tour link, the video, the website address, and information about the homes Open Houses are all in the personalized email that we send to these targeted, real buyers. When we hold an Open House for your home we email the buyers who attended with more information about your home so not only do we tell them about your home as soon as it comes on the market, we follow up with them once we've held the Open Houses on the weekend.

RE/MAX

RE/MAX is the largest real estate company worldwide. It is a global brand so not only do we have access to the buyers countrywide, but we have visibility for your home worldwide with the largest buyer network in the world. This is not the case for many of the real estate companies around. Many are one-office brands, or Massachusetts brands, or USA brands. Very, very few are worldwide brands with access to the worldwide buyer pool that exists for homes in this area.

10. Where would I go to find Reviews on you?

As is common these days, online reviews are incredibly helpful for consumers to find out information about all sorts of services whether it be restaurant reviews to contractor reviews to product reviews. Same goes for real estate agent reviews. You can glean a lot from reading the reviews of someone you are potentially thinking of hiring. The defacto 'store' of real estate agent related reviews are on Zillow. You open Zillow, go to Agent Finder, and under 'Looking for Pros' select Real Estate Agent and type in the name, or the location. Skip the agents who are 'Featured' - they paid to be at the top and it does not necessarily mean they are good agents. Ask the agent you are considering where you would find their reviews online - if they don't have any, or only a couple, then this should be a red flag to you that they are only relatively new to the business and you really shouldn't be trusting your most valuable asset in their hands! You can find our reviews on Zillow, and also on our website under 'About Us' - read what our prior clients have to say and then make your decision.

If you would like an estimate of what your home would sell for in today's market I would be more than happy to come by, have a look at your home, and then provide a CMA (comparative market analysis) which will provide you with an estimate of what your home should sell for, along with a marketing plan to get maximum exposure for your home.

If you'd like to chat more about the topic presented here, or the Real Estate market in general, then please call me on (617) 997 9145, or email me at Dani.Fleming@MAPropertiesOnline.com.

Lexington Statistics







MLS data is provided by MLSPIN. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of MLSPIN.
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