More About Marketing Those Unsold Homes

Yesterday, we discussed some ways to cut costs and improve real estate agents’ profits. Increasingly, that involves going online.

For example, the Baltimore Sun reported recently that one in five agents/brokers say they have a blog; one out of
four use social-networking site like MySpace, according to a real estate
advertising survey released in October by Classified
Intelligence and Realty Times. (And by the way, neither strategy even showed up last year on the survey.)

On the heels of that chat, I came across a press release on BusinessWire about agents and marketing.

According to survey company Constant Contact, Inc., a recent real estate agents survey revealed that 60 percent of respondents used e-mail marketing to communicate about property
      listings and open houses. More than 35 percent said they have rented or sold a property as a result of an e-mail
      marketing campaign.

Note that doesn’t say Web site (which agents actually rated the most effective form of marketing, although 60 percent of them felt the sites hadn’t paid off as
they’d hoped, Classified Intelligence said) — but e-mail marketing, like the e-newsletters mentioned yesterday.

The agents interviewed told Constant Contact it was a faster, cheaper way of reaching clients that the typical print ads.

Note the comments from Stephen Saunders, owner of The NextProperty Group: I have had great success with my email newsletters and recently ran an online survey that gave me better ideas of what my clients are looking for, which will help put me in the best possible position when the
market turns around in the Tri-City area.

When the market turns around. No one is saying this will help sell every listing you have or bring in scores of new clients — but positioning takes time, and if it can help keep you afloat and build a new base of clients, isn’t it worth considering new tech marketing options?

Today’s clients want constant contact: Immediate, online access to information, listings and advice. That’s why the following tech goodies have proven popular:

  • Coldwell Banker Real Estate in March unveiled Second Life, a virtual sales office, according to CNNMoney.com.
  • Talking House, produced by an Illinois firm, involves placing a transmitter inside the for-sale house, which is advertised on the external "For Sale" sign. Potential buyers can pull up at any time of day or night and tune into an AM radio station to hear all about the house.
  • YouTube features video walk-throughs for developer communities and single-family homes that are for sale — just enter "home tours" into the search engine and see how many pop up.
  • CellSigns Inc. charges agents about $5 a month per home for agents to have a telephone number for prospective buyers to text questions about homes as the wander neighborhoods, away from their computers.

These are just a few of the innovative marketing techniques agents are using to up home exposure — and hopefully, home sales. Could one work for you?