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Buyers without Boundaries

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By Tim Denbo

RISMEDIA, April 28, 2011—One in every 13 people on this earth is a Facebook user. Google is the No.1 search site with YouTube immediately following in the No. 2 position and Facebook is not far behind at No. 3. But did you know that 70 percent of those Facebook users are outside the U.S.?

To further this global picture, according to a recent National Association of REALTORS® survey, 35 percent of sales in March 2011 were cash buyers, up from 27 percent in March 2010. Investors made up 22 percent of sales, up from 19 percent in March 2010. So, how does this affect you and your marketing strategy?

It used to be that a local newspaper ad, postcards to the neighborhood and adding the listing on the MLS was all that was needed to market a property. With the buyer profile changing and investors with cash coming from all over the world, real estate listings and marketing strategies have also changed. It’s been said, real estate is local, but around our office, we say: “List locally—expose globally.”

Five ways to break the buyer boundaries:

1. Include Pictures: This should go without saying, but needless to say, there are still listings without pictures. And with potential buyers coming from all over the world, pictures are even more important. Include a minimum of nine pictures and no more than 25-30 without risking viewer boredom.

2. Create a Virtual Tour: Use virtual tours on all your listings with links to your website. Add personal narration to the virtual tour to create a personal touch. Add panoramas and floor plans if possible with “hot spots” to show the buyer the layout of the property since they may not be able to visit until they have their search narrowed down. Add all your virtual tours to your website by using a Tour Widget with links to all your virtual tours. This will also help create fresh content and activity on your website.

3. Add a YouTube Video: YouTube is now the second most searched website, second only to Google, who owns YouTube. Not only will you get more exposure for your property, but you will also impress the sellers with your techno-marketing expertise.

4. Distribution: Your listing, virtual tour and YouTube video need to be distributed to the broadest network available. Look for virtual tour and listing providers that have strong global syndication and distribution networks.

5. Get Social: Use your social network to market your listing, but do it in a unique way the sets you apart from the others. Add your virtual tour to Facebook, but mention something unique about the neighborhood or the listing they may find while watching the virtual tour. Send the YouTube video link to your email sphere of influence. Use QR Codes on your property sign rider that leads buyers directly to your virtual tour.

Real estate (pricing) is local, but real estate buying is global. Create a marketing strategy that goes beyond your local boundaries and maybe even your own personal comfort zone. Partner with service providers that have the technology and the support to assist you, and you will soon become known as the local—and global—techno-marketing expert!

VirtualTourCafe, LLC is based in Dublin, California and was co-founded by Timothy Denbo and Hannele Rinta-Tuuri. The business is operated as a limited liability company and has an advisory board made up of professionals in the real estate, technology, and marketing fields. VirtualTourCafe donates 10 percent of all net proceeds to charity.

For more information visit www.VirtualTourCafe.com.

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