By: Paul Eastwood
Buyers Love the Convenience of On-line House Hunting
The real estate industry has moved on-line with good reason - that's where the buyers have gone. Real estate sales methods are being redefined, as people increasingly rely on search engines to locate precisely the house they want. More than 53% of house hunters use the Internet in their home search, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Their surveys also show, seventy-five percent of buyers locate their agent online. And seventy percent of real estate firms have a website - many of them searchable. Searchable websites allow a person to enter their specific preferences (3-bedroom, price range, etc.) and see that firm's available listings matching those criteria.
Expect Internet reliance for real estate to increase further, because computer- and Internet-savvy buyers find answers that way (no matter what they're buying). Studies show web searchers tend to have higher education and incomes, and are more likely to buy. To gain credibility with Internet-oriented buyers, agents must demonstrate they understand what's wanted - not just homes, but HOW they prefer to buy them.
Web searchers prefer to take an active role in their home search, rather than waiting to see what their agent suggests. Now, the pressing challenge among real-estate firms is to find even better ways to serve buyers and sellers online. Simply sticking a listing on-line doesn't make it easy to find. It's too easy to get lost in the pack.
Impress with Technology - Without Needing High-tech Skills
Firms employing online methods effectively out-perform the rest, by delivering answers in the way buyers prefer-ample pictures, simple and direct facts, and easily found online.
Visualize this - a website entirely devoted to one particular property. The domain name? It's location, of course http://www.1122MainStreet.com
Take a peek. No question about where it's located. The home stands out in a high-impact way. And its front yard signs send passers-by to the unique website for all the particulars.
Any property offered from its very own website rates extra attention - and gets it. Realtors are pleased to learn they don't need to know any technical stuff at all, to produce a well-designed, one-of-a-kind website. Following the easy steps lets them create a unique site within minutes. Each property appears its own domain name (the address) until the sale is made.
Single Property Sites, http://www.singlepropertysites.com has pioneered property-specific websites. Their package provides everything from templates, to hosting, to tech support. No technical know-how is needed. Yet a customized website costs only a few dollars a month per listing. It's so cheap an agency can provide websites for every one its listings - without it costing sellers anything.
Deliver Convenience in a Way that Appeals to both Sellers and Buyers
To the oft-quoted real estate phrase, "location, location, location," add "convenience, convenience, convenience." Nowadays, that's what everyone looks for. As improbably as it would seem, individualized sites are convenient and simple.
The unique marketing strategy gives any property a competitive advantage. But it also provides the agent a valuable advantage during the listing interview. One no other sales agent can match.
1. Convenience for Sellers
Sellers want their property to sell quickly and easily. They expect their agent to make their property stand out from similar homes. Providing maximum Internet exposure guides buyers directly to their property. And it's so fast it's not dependent on customary printing or newspaper schedules.
2. Convenience for Buyers
The address takes them to the website, with numerous pictures and all the property specs. No need to click through numerous listings that don't interest them. It's much easier to find the home that "rings their bell," without needing to visit the property initially.
3. Convenience for the Listing Real Estate Agent
Individual websites expedite the whole sales cycle. Since properties sell faster, it's easier to focus their energies on getting them closed. When courting sellers, it's a powerful distinction. Also, it maximizes open-house activity.
Sellers Claim Ownership of their Property's Website
Cindie Day, an agent with Piele Realtors, http://www.pielerealtors.com of Denver, claims it's much easier to sell a property with its own website. "Sellers share the site information with friends and co-workers. It looks so deluxe and impressive, people assume it's expensive. But it's much cheaper than newspaper ads. I'm putting all my listings on their own site since they sell faster that way."
When it comes time for a seller to choose which agent brings "something extra," offering sellers their own buyer-oriented website (for no cost to them) counts as a noteworthy listing tool.
©2005, Paul Eastwood
About the author:
Paul Eastwood, Single Property Sites Inc., Tomorrows listing tools for today's Agents
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