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Want More Showings and Quicker Offers? The “Secret” Source of Buyers.

In a recent comment on his own post: Are you closing on the wrong objectives? The most insidious form of sales call reluctance is proudly racking up empty “accomplishments.”  Greg Swann, the author, said this:  “we devote a lot of effort … to closing on the buyer and on the buyer’s agent. Salespeople need something to say, so we go to great lengths to get them to say what we want said.”  That’s a very good point, as far as it goes – which is not far enough.

A couple of days ago, in a post by Glenn Kelman comparing days on market to listing activity level the discussion led, as it should, to actual offers in comparison to days on market.  I wrote a comment that in our local market, “If you go more than two weeks without an offer, you’ve done something wrong… which, generally speaking, means you’ve priced it poorly.”  Again, true as far as it goes – which is not far enough.

Agents don’t realize who their target market is or, if they do, agents don’t act on that knowledge.  Who sells a home?  The buyer?  No.  The buyers’ agent.  According to the latest statistics from NAR, when asked where they found the home they eventually purchased, the number one answer is: agent.  Think about that for a second: the primary referral source for the actual buyer who purchases your listing is the buyers’ agent.  Do you think maybe they merit a little of our marketing focus? Duh…

I co-host our weekly Brokers’ Open Caravan.  I have a few minor responsibilities: inject a little humor, keep the energy in the room up, and a weekly “Marketing Minute” presentation.  But my primary job as MC is to keep the highlight on the Listing Agents who are there to pitch their property.  Most agents, God bless ‘em, get up to the front of the room, drop their head down into their notes and, in their best impression of a sleep aid, recite the Agents’ Manifesto of Facts: “This beautiful home has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and 1400 square feet.  It’s offered at…”  Shoot me now!  Good Grief Myrtle, I already have that info right here in fr0nt of me!  I can read…  What the agent should have have done is realized the golden marketing opportunity facing them.  What they should have done is remember to answer these two simple questions:

  1. What’s Something Interesting About This Property?  Tell the other agents something about the property that we don’t already know:  sellers’ motivation, unique aspect of the property, a humerous anecdote, something to remember!  I’m an agent in your audience and I hear about ten homes a day.  Give me a hook.  Give me a reason to remember your home when I meet with my client tomorrow.
  2. Who is the Perfect Buyer for This Home?  Describe the buyer in enough detail that even I, a donut stuffed, coffee dependent, escrow-in-trouble distracted agent, might recognize them.  Force me to run through my mental rolodex.

I know this will come as a surprise to many of you… but some real estate agents are lazy.  If you do their work for them, your listing will see more showings.  What do you think Greg means when he says: “…salespeople need something to say…”  He means you’ve got to put the words in their mouth and give them a reason – hell, even tell ‘em which buyer – to show your listing.

There are only a few true channels for marketing your listing: Signs, Flyers, Single Sites, the MLS and Brokers’ Opens.  The sign?  It has only two purposes: sell the home and sell people on you as a listing agent.  (Vast majority fail at both! Want to know more?  You’re reading the #1 source – just search Custom Signs).  Flyers and Single Sites?  Designed toward the buyer; designed to make the house “sticky” and create an emotional response in the buyer.  This is important because the internet ranks #2 in finding the actual home a buyer eventually purchases; yard sign is (a distant) #3.  But what about the #1 source?  What about the buyers’ agent?  The MLS and the Brokers’ Open are your venues, but are you using them?  Are you creating a memorable image of a home and a buyer that will stick inside of an agent’s mind?

Good marketing makes use of more than one tool to reach an audience.  Great marketing realizes that there may be more than one audience and dedicates marketing channels to each of them.  Next time you put together a marketing campaign for a listing, realize that your biggest and most influential target audience is other real estate agents!  Act accordingly.

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