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Diverse People in a Seminar About Digital MarketingIf you want to survive as a real estate agent in today’s Internet savvy world, you need to go digital with your marketing. This was the important message delivered by Garry Wise and Chris Scott in the recent webinar, “Never Lose a Listing Again! Tips On Going Digital!

A 20-year real estate vet, Wise is co-founder and luxury sales specialist of Austin, Texas-based GoodLife Realty as well as co-founder of The Paperless Agent. Scott manages the marketing for GoodLife Realty and serves as president of The Paperless Agent.

In the webinar, the two shared slides from the brokerage’s listing presentation and explained the importance of going digital when finding new listings and marketing a home. Wise stressed, “It’s not the slides that get sales, it’s the conversation. It’s important to show who you are and what you’re doing.”

Differentiate Yourself from the Competition
According to Scott, there’s never been an industry disruptor like the Internet, so using it correctly isn’t about just surviving, but thriving. “Consumers want something different,” Wise says. “Being a gatekeeper of information is no longer a viable offer because everything is out there on the Internet. You need to tell them what you can offer that sets you apart from the competition.” In fact, a recent study by the National Association of REALTORS® revealed that only 22 percent of home sellers work with the agent they worked with previously. This is due to clients feeling that the agent isn’t competent to market to buyers or find a buyer for their home.

While you may not think you’ve lost a listing, Wise says you probably don’t know the listings you’ve lost due to a lack of communication. “In the old way of doing business, they would come back for more,” he says. “Now, it’s much more about a specific knowledge base and an expertise to sell a home. The whole ‘do you care about me?’ comes second as a home seller wants someone good at what they do, which will lead to more money for them and a faster sale.”

In examining what sellers want most from an agent, Wise and Scott revealed the following data:
23 percent: Help seller market home to potential buyers
20 percent: Help sell the home within a specific time frame
19 percent: Help price competitively
14 percent: Help find a buyer for a home
13 percent: Help seller find ways to fix up home to sell it for more
5 percent: Help with negotiating
3 percent: Help with paperwork

The Three Ps
Scott explained the old three Ps of marketing as being, “put a sign in the yard, put listing on the MLS and pray that it sells.” The new three Ps are much more practical for today’s age—preparation, promotion and price.

“You must prepare whatever it is you’re selling by repairing, staging and cleaning,” Wise says. “Engage the seller to talk about repairs without being confrontational. For example, if you see a stain on the ceiling that clearly came from a leak, when you walk around with them, say, ‘Huh’ and they will ask, ‘Do you think I should fix that?’ and I’d say, ‘I would.’ It’s non-confrontational and gets done what needs to get done.”

It’s also important to explain the necessity of staging to the client and show them pictures of the difference it can make. Wise says to show before-and-after pictures of a room and ask the seller, “Which would you rather see?” Explain to the client that they will pay for staging and then you will bring in a professional photographer to create a look that will attract house hunters searching online.

When it comes to promotion, it’s always a smart idea to get the customers engaged in the process, not only to utilize their own network, but to create a positive impression of how they feel about you. “It’s easier if your client posts on social media about their home. It gets greater exposure to the property because of the viral affect,” Wise says. “The worst is a completely absentee seller. They have no insight and will question what you’re doing.”

Pricing is the next step and is critical to the process. People have unrealistic expectations, so Scott says you need to show sellers what the market is and how your home fits in with what’s out there now. Never tell sellers the price is what you think the house is worth, but that it’s what the market is showing now.

According to NAR, 92 percent of those thinking of buying a home use the Internet for their first glances, which is why it’s so vital for a REALTOR® to have a strong Internet marketing presence. The numbers also show that 76 percent of people who see listing photos online drive by or view the home—which Wise says again comes down to the three Ps. If the listing is properly prepared, promoted and priced, online viewers are more likely to visit the home in person.

To learn the rest of Wise and Scott’s digital marketing tips, watch the full webinar. For more free real estate education including best practices, visit Secrets of Top Selling Agents. Be sure to sign up for the upcoming webinar, “The Secrets of Successful Negotiation,” featuring Jackie Leavenworth on Wednesday, July 22nd 1:00 PM/ET.