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Is Your Agent Marketing Your Home Correctly?

Ryan Rodenbeck

Ryan started in Austin real estate as an investor in 2001. He looked at all investment opportunities — Austin foreclosures, condos, homes for sale...

Ryan started in Austin real estate as an investor in 2001. He looked at all investment opportunities — Austin foreclosures, condos, homes for sale...

Feb 11 27 minutes read

Ryan: Thinking of selling your home and wondering what questions you should ask your agents about how they're going to market your home today, you're going to hear about how agents. It shouldn't be marketing your own the right way. Stay tuned.

Ryan: It's Austin Real Estate Insider where we tackle all the issues that buyers and sellers in the Austin area encounter. Hey, I'm Ryan Rodenbeck with Spyglass Realty and today we're going to be talking about how agents should be marketing their home. As always, be sure to like this video if you're watching it on Facebook, if you've found this information, helpful comment home below the subscriber future broadcast. If you're watching this on youtube, please like and subscribe to our channel and as always, if you have any topics or questions that you'd like us to cover, please comment on Facebook and youtube. All right, we're going to bring in Isabel Affinito, who is one of our agents that spyglass realty and today Isabel. As I said, we're talking about marketing a home. We did a broadcast two weeks ago and suddenly went over how to prepare your home. So this is the second in our series here, and I think the timing of this is really appropriate because we're entering this spring season, so I was at inbound last week and him as a conference for real estate agents and we already knew the season was the best time of year to sell is, you know, kind of middle of February, but really march, April, May, what are the things they said there is that, you know, we start to see a boost right after Superbowl and then right after Easter we're in full fledged selling season.

Ryan: So today let's talk about, you know, some of the things that, that you think that you do when you're selling homes and um, you know, how do you drive the man to, to a listening when you're marketing a home.

Isabel: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me on today. Right I'm excited to do this. So one of one of the big reasons that I came over to spy glasses because you guys have a really robust systems for marketing listings and I felt like it would help me step up my game, but there are a few things that I luckily figured out for myself while I was I was getting started in real estate. So you said you want to talk about what I do to mark at house

Ryan: Yeah, we'll, we'll first was on the driving demand, right? That's something that a lot of agents miss. If you're watching this, you're about to sell your home. I think what you have to realize is that 90 percent of the agents do nothing before the homeless list. And now we're talking about prepping. We're talking about marketing, right?

Isabel: Coming soon. Marketing is really important and that's something that I have always tried to do for my clients when ever possible. And I always encourage them to make some room in the schedule for coming soon marketing because I think that it's easy to overlook how important that exclusivity aspect is to it. I mean, think about how powerful it is of a motivator for buyers, for us to be able to say, hey, this isn't on the MLS yet, you know, if you want it, you've got to get ready because when it hits the MLS, everybody else is gonna know about it. Right And it creates that idea of scarcity. This was a term that you use the other day, Ryan, that I thought was a really interesting way to put it build up like what was the term you use Like a backlog of interest or like a bottle buildup, a bottleneck of interested buyers so that when you hit the market, it's not like this fizzle, right? Because if you don't do it right, then when you hit the market, it can kind of be like a physically hit the market, which does not get you as a seller. The amount of money that you want.

Ryan: I think, you know, when we're talking about listings homes, you've got, you've got a window of like when you're first listed and then at three months, right? And the like, the way I like to put it is your stock is generally the highest on the very first weekend. You want to take advantage of that first weekend. You really need to start marketing your home before that first weekend. Just to give you an idea, can I share my screen here, Kelly. Okay. Let's, let's start with this one. This is a page we do for 78704. And we use these same principles in every single listing, right? So the coming soon process is, you know, we're doing Facebook ads to the listening to the, for the listing into our side. Okay. And then we may be doing Facebook ads for other listings as we retarget those listings.

Ryan: So what we have here is, this is a list of ad that shows every list. This is an ad we use to promote listenings to our side. Okay, we're also doing the Google ad placement for a particular neighborhood that we're in so that if you type in home for sale and Travis Heights or Barton hills homes for sale, that you're going to go to one of our sites and what we're using is something similar to this, but it's a pop up on our site. So we're doing that between five and seven days. Right And as we do that, we capture these people in our audience so that we can retarget them. I'm going to go back to my screen and you'd do anything to that. Yeah, there we go. So when we talk about marketing homes and creating a bottleneck, uh, what other instances can you think of to, to kind of create that demand.

Isabel: Sure. So you touched on like internet marketing, Google ad words, putting it on Instagram. Those are all important. The other thing that I think is really important, it's so simple and it gets overlooked way too often. Take professional photos, like the number of agents who are not using professional photos is crazy to me. Or you'll sometimes see stuff get listed and you're talking about how valuable that first weekend is. Imagine listing the home with no photos or temporary photos and saying like professional photos coming soon. That drives me so crazy. I'm like, the most eyeballs are on this home, the first weekend that it hits the market and if you've got crappy photos on there the first weekend, you've just blown like your biggest opportunity to create multiple offers.

Ryan: Yeah. You touched on this before, but you know it. When we were doing our pre-call talk about taking a kind of crappy photos during the coming soon process. I mean, look, if we have a property that's not ready and ready, we'll get professional photos and then we'll say we're going to get other photos for this. So let's say we're trying to finish that. The home, we're going to get some professional photos of that home. It may not be ready, but we're only going to pick a few of those photos, right Maybe five or 10, right I mean normally when we list to home, we hit. We hit about 30. So what we want to do when we're lifting at home, and we're marketing that home coming soon, is do a teaser on it and I'm going to share my screen again, Kelly. So we're, we're really bullish on Instagram and we've got like almost 13,000 followers. This is an example of this or a home we listed in Barton hills. It was the highest resale ever sold in Barton Hills, you know, by 200,000, right? And, and we marketed this using Instagram and then we also did a promotion on the coming soon basis, right? So if you're looking at Instagram. I don't want get through the Instagram part of it, but what we're doing back to makeup is, what we're doing in these instances is we're going to try and drive demand from that listing through Facebook and Instagram. And then we're going to take a listing in that neighborhood that we previously sold that were similar or the same area or whatever. And we're going to retarget people that look at that listing. Okay? Now that's confusing. So let me, let me back up there. Let's take Barton Hills for instance. Okay. We saw a lot of homes with barbells. We have a listing we sold in September. We have another listing coming up in September. We drove about, you know, 6,000 people through that listing. Okay, well that's like September, the last quarter of the year. Okay. So there are four stages of listening.

Ryan: There's coming soon, just listed under contract and a just sold. So instead of putting your regular um, fields of like address, square footage, beds, bath, we put all that, but it's more in a blog style or want to tell the story of that. Then really giving you the five reasons this house is the best choice for that neighborhood. And then we're going to drive traffic traffic through Facebook and Instagram. I'm in Google ad words to that listing and then at every stage of that listening is going to be retargeted. Okay. So we start with, can we assume that we do the just listed when it goes under contract It's under contract and then we do just all. Okay, well we'll have that audience coming back, so then the next listing that we have coming up in Barton hills, we're going to put coming soon and then it retargets to all the people that looked at the other listing before his next level advertising. I got to tell you, I don't know anybody that's doing this. Yes, there are what they call dynamic Facebook ads for listings, but not on this level. This is a more personal, personalized level. So

Isabel: So one thing that I think gets overlooked with social media from both the agent side and this, the client side is people saying like, oh, well nobody buys real estate often. Social media. Well they don't, but it's a way to get attention and one of the best things about it is that it's that it's not all real estate. So if your home is on Zillow, which it should be your homes on zillow or realtor.com, all those other sites. It's among a whole bunch of other homes and it's really easy to get lost in the shuffle. But if you're advertising on social media, then it's mixed in with all kinds of other stuff, you know, cute pictures of people's dogs and whatever. So it stands out because it's not the only, it's not just real estate number one. So it's a way to stand out. And number two, there is a way in which people feel safer engaging on social media than they do on real estate websites because everybody knows exactly what's going to happen when you put in an inquiry on Zillow, you're going to get bombarded with agents, but you can like something on Facebook or share it with your friend or whatever.

Isabel: And it's a little bit of a safer environment to engage with real estate listings.

Ryan: Yeah. And I would tell you Isabel, that homes do get sold on social media, like not all the time, but that never hit the market. And the reason it didn't hit the mark it was because we were selling it so much higher than any home had ever sold in a any resale home in Barton hills. And this one, a six one point $6,000,000 more than that actually. So what we did to drive traffic to that was we did the Facebook ads and then we did an email blast to everyone, like 2000 registrations of people that have a registered for homes in just in 78704. What happens is on our 2000, these people, buyers, no, probably not even a 100 of them are buyers, but they're voyeurs and they're people that are interested in an area and they forward that to their friends and their friends forwarded that to the agent.

Ryan: In that case is the agent came to me on day one. They wrote an offer that was below list price and they said, hey, here's a good offer is based on the cops we want to answer tonight. And the answer was no. Like, we have a big open house this weekend. We know we will consider offers that are full price or higher. Okay. And if you want us to consider offer this below full price, wait until Monday, maybe it will. Maybe it will be available. Well cited them to increase the offer. Let's talk about open houses for a minute. Isabel, how do you, I just see guys know Isabel has a ton of good listings coming up in 78704 that are luxury listings. These houses are beautiful by the way. I saw, I think it was our Meta was like a one, a three or one point five. Is that, is that the right street

Isabel: No, we don't have anything. I'll, I'm trying to think which one we have something on second.

Ryan: This was when it's sold. I was looking at concentration space for client anyways

Isabel: Ask her if I were to track of all of the houses that he's building and has built. That's my husband who one of the reasons I have so many great listings coming up.

Ryan: Yeah. Well what I notice is, is when I was going for a client that one came up and it was like three days on market. Right So this is why you're on this broadcast because you know, you're doing. So talk about open analysis and how you drive traffic there and what you do with that.

Isabel: Sure. So open houses I love. I think they're very valuable. I've gotten a lot of clients from open houses and I have sold houses from open houses that surprises people because people say nobody ever buys it from the open house. That's not true. I've had it happen before. There's a couple of things with open houses that are important. Some of the stuff like when it comes to real estate marketing is so basic that like there's a ton of stuff that we can get fancy about, but there's some stuff that you just have to do the basics. And one thing is make sure that your open houses published online. You know, I've talked to sellers who are not having their health, their house won't sell and they're asking me for advice about why it's not sold yet. And it's like they've had one open house and it wasn't on Zillow or the MLS. They just in the neighborhood. I mean, there are people who come in from the science and while we're talking about science, put out a lot of, I think you need 15 or 20 open house signs and they probably should go out at least a day beforehand.

Isabel: I mean people only come if they know about it and if it's not online and you don't have sinus and they're not gonna know about it. So, um, in terms of, you know, making sure it's published online early enough in advance that it will syndicate to zillow and everything else so people can see it. Um, number two is making sure you have enough signage. And number three, I'm actually interested in your opinion about this. Ryan. This is something that I learned along the way and I'm wondering if you agree I'm holding shorter. Open houses is better. So in my. Okay, good. So in my experience, if you hold an open house that's an hour or an hour and a half long, maybe two, that's enough urgency for people to commit to a time that they're going to show up. If you have a five hour open house and people are way more likely to go, oh, it's all day. Like we'll go to brunch and then we'll go after it. Guess what They're not showing up. So you make the time windows smaller for multiple reasons so that people commit to showing up on time and so that when people do show up, the house is full of people. You don't want an open house where there's nobody there.

Ryan: Right And so we typically do it to our open house, but like when we're listing a home and I have, you know, I try to tell my sellers always be busy, right Like you go of town, go out of town even better. Right So I want to talk a little bit about multiple offers for a second because this is a big part of our multiple offers. My favorite. Yeah. Just real one, one little comment about signs before the home is listed. We get branded coming soon. Signs that say coming soon, not on last because that's big. People are looking at, we have an inventory problem here in Austin and looking for stuff that they, that is not readily available to the public. So we have those signs that drive traffic, a directional signs that we put, you know, anywhere from five to 10 leading from the big intersections to the home.

Ryan: And then once it's listed, we change those out with a home for sale. Okay. So you know, we talked about a little bit about this yesterday, but I want to go through what I consider to be the perfect scenario that is going to create the variables that lead to a multiple offer situation. This is not being that this is going to happen every single time. Even if it doesn't happen, it creates a better drive. So the age, what happened on that first weekend, right We've talked about a bottleneck. The bottleneck of interest coming in because we put a lot of time, energy, money into marketing. Okay. We always list on a Thursday after Thursday instead of Friday is because the default search is set up for if an agent does not change it. In other words, if I'm setting you up on a search and I don't change it from the deep ball time to asap, then you won't get that listing till the next day.

Ryan: We know agents are lazy, so if I were to list it on a Friday, the lazy agents that are out there, their clients won't get noted, notified about it until Saturday at 5:00 AM, so we listen a Thursday night. I don't even care if the seller allows showings on Thursday. We can just not even show it on Thursday. We don't list on a Monday because the likelihood of getting multiple buyers, which leads to multiple offers, is much lower on a Monday, that Thursday to get my clients to be busy, go out of town, do whatever they're doing. If I happen to get an offer on Friday, which we want right then what I'm gonna do is I'm going to try and install that for as long as possible and I say as long as possible. If it's a great offer, it's really, really good. It has all the terms that we need, then we might take it right, but most of the time when you have a solo offer is not good. Okay. But it doesn't have the perfect terms. So what we do is we tell, uh, the buyer's agent. Thank you for your offer. We will consider what happened in open house tomorrow and my clients are really busy, so, uh, stay tuned. Okay. Then in the meantime, if I can get two offers on that list and that puts us in a position to negotiate the best for our clients.

Ryan: We say multiple offers a highest and best bid either Sunday or Monday at 10. Here are a list of preferred terms that my seller wants to see. When you submit your highest and best, it's, it's a beautiful thing, right? Tell me about your experience with multiple offers. I know you've worked with a few of these and any stories you want to share or?

Isabel: I love multiple offers and I try to make them happen as often as I can for my sellers. But then on a lot of and a lot of multiple offer negotiations on both sides for both buyers and sellers and a couple of things that I have seen other agents view that always surprised me. Number one, I've heard other agents on the listing side, like when I'm representing buyers tell me that they don't like multiple offers and that they will not be engaging in multiple offer situations. I'm like, it's not really up to you, it's kind of up the market and the buyers who's the mit offers to you. But they'll tell me things like, yeah, we're, we're not going to call for a best and final because that just stresses out too much. And I'm like, okay, great, that's fine for my buyers. But if it was my seller, I would be calling for a best and final

Ryan: crazy.

Isabel: It's crazy to me. And I'm like, wow, I wonder if the seller knows that their agent is completely undercutting their negotiation power right now. Do anyway, I'm always trying to first of all, make the conditions happen that make multiple offers. Likely like having great photos like building a bottleneck of interest, like having, coming soon, like making sure that the first weekend is really powerful, you know, all of those things can create conditions like you said, where it becomes more likely that we'll get them. The second thing is I want to be ready for them if we do get them right. So I want to prepare myself mentally for that process to happen and also make sure that I have put together clear instructions about what kinds of offers we want to see. So just like you said, sending out suggestions for the buyer's agents about what you want to see in the offer.

Isabel: My assistant, Emma and I put together like a suggested offer terms that we put into the MLS that says here's what we want to see in the offer because it's also amazing how many buyer's agents submit sloppy offers that don't have all the stuff filled out or they have things in them that are just inaccurate. And at that point, you know, I'm often telling my sellers, even if this is the highest offer, it's not a clean offer. So you might not want to take this one because they can back out because they have they've put something in here that allows them to get out of the contract. So, you know, there's really three things that go into it. One is creating the conditions that make it possible to, is being ready for it to happen and I'm giving clear instructions to people and then number three is managing the stress of everybody involved. Like I've found that one of my biggest jobs as an agent is to keep my clients calm during the process and also help them not get too greedy because that can certainly happen. And the second thing is keep the buyers of the buyer's agents, call them by communicating clearly about what's going to happen when it's gonna happen, when we're picking an offer and try to keep everybody happy that way so that people don't start flipping out.

Ryan: Yeah, you got to let the agents know that you're in control, right I mean, you're driving a bus when you're, when you're listening, when you're the listing agent, and if you want to get on the bus, he got here to the rules. So, Jason Talk says I read a study that said houses that hit on Saturday and get 20 percent more views. I've been doing that lately and it seems to work well, not that I care about Zillow, but I figured that maybe universal across platforms, that's not my experience. Space. And I gotta tell you.

Isabel: Austin market or do you know where Jason is located?

Ryan: He's a friend of mine from, from Curaytor, but that's not my experience in Austin and no offense, but I kind of questioned anything that's good advertising that they put out a lot of misinformation. So, and then, you know, I think the last thing that I wanted to cover is a transaction process. And we talked about putting these terms out for multiple offers. This is going to make your transaction my spatter. When was that We don't have to talk about this now, but I just want to throw it out there. Pre inspections. Yeah, we've done those in the past. We kinda got away from them when the market started getting hotter, but now as it's starting to cool off a little bit, it's getting a little bit slower, but I want to talk about the, uh, the appraisal contingency, right

Ryan: Because that's a big deal in our list of terms that we want to ask for when we're listing at home. If the home is going way above list price for contract price, then we want to ensure that we're gonna have a smooth process during the appraisal. So one of the things we'll say is that if you are not paying cash, I mean these are always going to get in layman's terms here guys. Okay So what happens if you're a seller and you listed your home, let's say $400, okay? And you get 10 offers, okay It happens. Believe me. And one of those offers is born or 20,000, whatever sport or 10,000, okay? We're going to put a notice to the buyer's agent that if you're not paying cash and you have submitted an offer that is above list price, please submit an addendum that tells us how much over your buyer is willing to cover the difference between appraisal price and contract price because people don't know this, but when you are submitting an offer for 400, $20,000 and the bank is only gonna, give you 400 and you're approved with that down payment and you don't have any extra money, then you're gonna have to come up with that extra money or for things are gonna happen, right?

Ryan: When the appraisal comes out shorter, there are four things that are going to happen. One, the buyer's going to bring in the money. Two the seller's gonna drop the price. Three, they're going to meet in the middle are for, they're going to terminate the contract. So we want to prevent this from happening. And the way we do that is we tell them upfront, look, I had one one time that I think this is like six years ago, and it was like $165,000. We got 10 offers on this place. The highest offer was $200,000. We didn't take it. Okay. Because there was no way this property was going to appraise for 200,000. We ended up taking one. I think it was 178 was the next highest offer. But they agreed that the gap. Right. And what's so important about what we're talking about, what this marketing here, it's. You can't do that unless you negotiate that upfront. And the only way you can be able to negotiate the right terms is through marketing. Right

Isabel: Right. Because if you don't have a bottleneck of interested people than what leverage are you using as a seller to ask for what you want. I mean, if, if you've been on the market for four months and you've got somebody coming in with a low offer and you've got nobody else interested, it's kind of hard to be like, well, you know, we don't have to negotiate off asking price and we want you to cover any appraisal difference. It's like what leverage do you have The buyer is going to be like, you've been on the market for four months. Nobody else is buying this house, you know, you just sent

Ryan: and this is really important why you want to choose your agent that actually does these things that not only has the the tricks and techniques and the marketing advice to market your property, but it's subsequently uses that to the advantage not just in price and negotiating the terms

Isabel: instead of just picking the agent who tells you the highest unreasonable price and tells you that they'll charge a discounted commission. That's not a good way to make all your money. Is that what you're saying

Ryan: It's surprising. You get what you pay for. It's amazing. Yeah. Yeah, so this has been a great topic. We went a little bit longer because it's just, I think it's so important and I'm Isabel, it's so good to have you on board with Spyglass realty. You're a real asset to our team. Where can people find you, Isabel?

Isabel: So I'm very active on Facebook and Instagram on Facebook. My personal profile is probably the best place to find me. Isabelle Tinker Affinito and Facebook, right And then on Instagram I'm @funkyhomesofAustin is my Instagram handle and that's a good place to find me. 

Ryan: Yeah. And, and Isabel's producing great content on both of those platforms. So we're going to wrap it up. Don't forget to like this video if you're watching on Facebook, if you found this helpful, be sure to comment home in the comments below that's ascribed to future broadcast. If you're catching this on youtube, subscribe to our channel as always, and if you have any topics you want to discuss this know Isabel. Thank you so much. And looking forward to doing some deals with you in the office here.

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