For the obsessive compulsives out there. Move into your brand new home (taps not included) and spend days cleaning…heaven!
For the obsessive compulsives out there. Move into your brand new home (taps not included) and spend days cleaning…heaven!
We hope that those of you who attended Stefan’s presentation last Friday at Alexandra Park found it both interesting and informative. We have certainly received a lot of positive feedback in regards to the event:
Just wanted to thank you very much for the opportunity to hear Stefan speak, he was well worth listening too. We certainly appreciate being kept in the loop, and the work you do on behalf of all of us, perhaps more so coming from a smaller independent office without the might of a franchise behind us.
Way to go realestate.co.nz for bringing Stefan Swanepoel to NZ and providing us with the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the current and upcoming trends that will affect the Real Estate market.
Stefan’s talk was very illuminating (and sobering)and I feel I have gained a great deal from attending.
Stefan was unbelievable and the best real estate speaker I have ever heard. I would drive 100 miles to listen to him again.
I have also received a few emails since the event from salespeople who said they had no idea the event was taking place and would have liked to have come along. If you do not already subscribe to Alistair’s monthly email updates, please click here to do so and ensure that you are kept in the loop in regards to future events.
For those of you who were unable to attend on the day, we do have a few copies of Stefan’s 2008 Trends Report still available. We can offer this to you at the special price of $150 (GST & postage included). If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please email me. It’s full of invaluable information for both salespeople and business owners so why not purchase a copy for the office?
The classic ‘agent-in-the-mirror’ photo. I can’t help thinking that this might have been a deliberate move to distract attention from the decor though…
Anyone else fed up with this miserable weather? We are and we bet you are too so we’ve decided it’s time to sweeten up your week! Now that the petrol prices have decreased just a little, we’re going to celebrate by putting away our bicycles for a few days, dusting off the car and taking a drive! But this is not just any drive - our car is choc full of lollies to share with YOU!
Obviously we’re not going to drive all over the country (that would require a serious reduction in petrol prices!) but if you’re not within our reach, we’ll post your lollies out to you - we don’t think you should miss out just because you’re not lucky enough to live in or around Auckland!
Not only will we be giving out yummy lollies, but we’ll also be including a box of realestate.co.nz pens and some consumer brochures for your office. Earlier this year we did a mail-out to all our subscribing offices and you would have received some consumer brochures and holders for your reception desks. So, we figure that some of you probably need a top up at this stage.
So if you’d like a goodie box packed with lollies, pens and brochures just email me* before 5pm next Monday. Supplies are limited, so get in quick! Include your postage address in the email just in case we can’t make it in person – don’t forget your postcode or you might never get your lollies.
Once they’re in your hands, it’s up to you whether you share them with your colleagues or just hide in a dark corner till they’re all gone!
So watch out for our unmarked car on a street near you! Even if you don’t invite us, we may just turn up on your doorstep anyway, so please have the kettle ready to go and the choccie biscuits in stock
* Offer applies to subscribing offices only. We will not accept any responsibilty for dental expenses incurred following consumption of lollies - or the pens and brochures for that matter. Deliveries will be made sometime between 28/07/08 & 31/07/08. We can’t be more specific than that, it would ruin the element of surprise. If your goodie box is posted, then it’s anyone’s guess when you’ll receive it – hopefully prior to Christmas.
Maybe it’s a Magic Eye picture!
There’s been a lot of talk lately about online listing presentation and the quality of photos used by salespeople. While there have definitely been great improvements over the last few years in the quality of photos used, there are unfortunately still quite a lot of salespeople out there who put little or no thought or effort into the photos they add to their listings.
As Brenda Beale’s stated in her recent post Say “Cheese” some photos of houses for sale can be quite entertaining – when you’re not trying to sell them or interested in buying them, that is. Others are just so bad you can’t help but cringe on behalf of the salesperson.
I’m going to start a collection of terrible listing photos that we find on our site and you can be the judge. They may make you chuckle, they may make you cringe or you may not think they’re that bad at all! Whatever your opinion, let it be known. Perhaps those responsible will start to take some notice when they read your comments.
I won’t name any salespeople - not at this stage anyway! I reckon that by adding these photos to their listings a salesperson has already done their reputation enough damage. After all, you only get one chance at a first impression. Would you really consider anyone adding such photos to be a professional - someone you would hire if you were to sell your home? Of course you can’t answer that till you see what’s to come!
If you just can’t wait any longer to see how bad listing photos can actually be and then check out this website called Reagent in Connecticut which features Bad MLS Photo of The Day and puts a humorous spin on things! (Funnily enough the website owner is a Kiwi. Keep up the good work Athol!) It’s pretty clear that the same issues are prevalent in the States (and undoubtedly worldwide) when it comes to online real estate advertising.
So here are my recommendendations:
Use Featured listings
It’s all well and good to say that your vendor should be prepared to pay a lot of money to promote their home in the current market. Despite this fact, many agents are still uncomfortable broaching this subject with their vendors. To make that a bit easier, we’d like to offer you the chance to take advantage of our featured listing service for the special rate of only $295 (incl GST). The regular price is $795 (incl GST) for two weeks so this is a substantial saving for your vendor and a great way to promote their property.
On average a featured listing is viewed over 2,000 times in a two week period, while a standard listing will receive on average about 80 viewings for the same period.
Here is some recent feedback we received regarding a featured listing which was on the site from the 8th June - 21st June:
Thank you for featuring Elderberry Crescent for us on your website, we had hundreds of hits as a result (over 500 in just a couple of days) and the property sold within a couple of weeks of being featured, we will be recommending your feature pages to future vendors. – Vicki Spearing, Harcourts Wanaka
This offer is available for a limited time only so if you would like to take advantage of this special, email me or call our support team on 0800 732 536.
Start Your Own Blog
We can also help you to build your online profile. Online is the future for real estate marketing and developing your own online presence is critical. The easy, informative and engaging way to build your profile is by launching your own blog and the good news is that it costs nothing to have a Voices blog.
A blog allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field – a suburb, market sector, or house type, for example. Like everything worthwhile it does take effort though. A blog with little or no content will do you no favours but if you add regular content and engage your audience, you will become well known and more visible in search engines.
Before you start your blog, visit the Voices homepage to browse the existing blogs or read the advice and background information available.
Add Video To Your Listings
We now offer you the ability to add video to your listings. This is a great way to add impact to your listing and give buyers a better ‘feel’ for the property. If you have a video you wish to add to one of your listings on our site, then click here for more information. If you do not have a video at present, but would like to offer your vendor that option or feel they would be interested in this new media then we can help you out.
We have partnered with a New Zealand company called Website Telly, who can provide you with professional and cost effective video for your listings. Website Telly can offer you a high quality thirty second video for only $250, making this a very affordable option for your vendors. For more information, or to download a fact sheet, visit On Target.
And lastly, just remember that everyday you spend in a tough market is one day closer to the next boom…
I recently attended a number of company conferences, attended by many high calibre speakers offering tips on how to survive in the current market. Unfortunately, they did not impart any secret formula for success that I can share with you. The fundamental message coming across was to get back to the basics – do what you should be doing and do it well.
At the end of the day it comes back to the 3 P’s for selling your property .
Presentation is once again paramount. Last year there were tales of salespeople holding homes without worrying about the fact that the owners had not even bothered to clear away the clutter or dirty dishes from the sink. Why worry? The homes were still selling. Likewise, salespeople got away with adding very little information or photos to their online listings. If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know how I feel about that! This is no longer something you can get away with.
There’s no doubt that it’s difficult to set a price on a house when the market is unsettled. I’ve heard salespeople recommending that their colleagues encourgage vendors to sell by auction to avoid this problem. While it may be hard to set a realistic price with your vendor, I would encourage you to work it through with them rather than suggesting an auction. You will get more interest from buyers if can set a price or at least show a price indication on your listings. If you’re based in Auckland, consider the Value Verified service.
The following feedback received from members of the public, highlight the frustrations people experience in regards to auctions and other non-priced listings on the site:
You have a very powerful search system, but it would be even better with the option to untick Auctions from the search…
Why oh why do you put all the POA and tender sales at the top of the search. Surely if a real estate agent cannot name the price they should not be at the top. I want to look at prices before I choose property. It is the first thing people look at…bringing up all the no prices is frankly boring and spoils your site.
Is it possible to provide a search that only gives the price range selected and does not include ‘tender’, ‘negotiable’, ‘POA’ etc? It is very frustrating having search results cluttered with unsuitable properties
It probably comes as no surprise that the top earning salespeople are those who have the skill to secure vendor paid marketing. Don’t be afraid to ask. Remember you’re the expert – your vendor is counting on your knowledge to help sell their house. If they’re really motivated to sell their home in today’s market then they need to be prepared to spend money promoting their home to set it apart from the ever increasing stockpile of properties currently on offer to buyers.
WE CAN HELP!
Tune in for Part 2 tomorrow to find out about the tools realestate.co.nz can offer you to get you through these tough times…
Every listing you upload to realestate.co.nz is not only advertising a property for sale, it is also advertising the service that you provide as a salesperson. So what I can’t understand is why so many properties are so poorly advertised, particularly in the current market: one or two photos (sometimes none at all), a scant line or two about the property, no features or map displayed. In my mind, anyone adding a listing like that is not someone I would like on my side when I’m trying to sell my home.
In particular, I can’t get my head around listings without photos? It’s so easy to take a photo these days with digital cameras that there’s not really any excuse. Maybe it’s not a great day? Well at least take some photos of the inside of the property initially and then follow up with the outside shots. Maybe the property is not the most beautiful you’ve ever had to sell? Fair enough, but would you blindfold people when you take them through the property?
You may be aware that any listings entered onto our site without photos go to the end of the search results. As the search results automatically default to the latest listings this means that without a photo you may appear on page fifty of the search results - or page two hundred and fifty depending on the search criteria selected! I’m guessing there aren’t very many vendors who would be happy with that result.
Whether intentional or not, a growing number of offices are now getting around this by adding images stating “photos coming soon”, “no image available”, using cartoon houses, pictures of cameras, etc. To the left is a selection of those images, which have been deleted from listings on the website over the last few days.
Please do not add images like this. There are many reasons why they are a bad idea. Firstly, nobody is interested in properties without photos and they don’t want to find them in the search results. Secondly, we need to trawl through the site to find these pictures and remove them so that they don’t appear. Thirdly, while these images may be added with the best intentions, we have in the past come across listings which have been on the site for several weeks and are still displaying those images.
As a salesperson, what does that say about your commitment to sell that property?
We’d much rather be using our time to do something more productive, but we will continue to remove these images and ask the offices concerned to stop sending them through.
Luckily, there is one very easy way to help us and at the same time benefit yourself, your vendor and the public – use the resources you have available.
The internet offers you so much potential for advertising your listings, in a way that could never be done in newspapers, property magazines or your office window display. Think of your online listing as the equivalent of a 24/7 open home. You can now added unlimited photos to realestate.co.nz. Not only that, but any photos, virtual tours or floor plans you have on Open2view will be displayed against the listing and you can also add videos to your listings.
Approximately 80% of real estate searches now begin online so why would you focus less attention on your online advertising than you do to printed media?
That’s it, rant over. Have a great weekend everyone!