All Advertising Starts with a Target Audience
You’ve decided to list your home. You and your realtor have decided on an amount to be dedicated toward advertising your home. You are then be faced with hundreds of advertising options. Newspapers, magazines, mailers and a host of online sites will all be anxious to get their hands on some of your advertising dollars. Which medium will get you the biggest bang for your buck? First, you need to understand your target audience.
What’s Working Well
Buyers looking in San Carlos are smart, educated and tech savvy. Any advertising should be structured accordingly. Start online. Hit the sites that San Carlos buyers use most. Many prospective San Carlos home buyers get properties emailed to them via their real estate agent’s site. Their next step: Most will double-check the homes’ values on Zillow. While it is true that these “Zestimates” are more reliable in newer communities with more homogeneous homes – and less accurate in San Carlos – people will look, and they will care. Zillow should be viewed as your first real chance to showcase your property.
(1) Zillow Should Be Used as a Gateway
Understand that all properties eventually get picked up and put on Zillow. However, don’t miss this crucial point….you need to pay the extra money to be a showcased listing on Zillow. With so many active and inactive listings floating around Zillow, you need to stand out. Being a showcased listing on Zillow also allows you to edit how your listing is being viewed by users. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you can insert your own links to take the prospective buyers to any specific site you set up that shows off your property in exactly the light you want it to be seen, such as the site we created for 164 Normandy Court.
(2) Other Online Sites
Operate on the assumption that having a dominating online presence is a safe bet with marketing dollars. You would be hard-pressed to find a more tech savvy group of buyers than what we have on the mid-peninsula. It therefore stands to reason that you want to focus a majority of your marketing dollars online. If your realtor is really tied into the more distinguished online real estate sites for the mid-peninsula, they should be able to point toward deals of reciprocity between sites. In other words, if you pay to a showcase listing on one site, it automatically gets showcase treatment on three other sites.
(3) Social Media
Piggybacking on the thoughts mentioned above, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google, Flickr, Technorati and many others can all be used. Facebook and Twitter are especially appealing. Twitter is free, and Facebook offers pay-per-click rates that are an excellent return on your investment.
What May Not Be Working as Well as it Once Was
If I were to sum this up in a nutshell, I would tell you to be careful with putting money toward print advertising. Print advertising is very expensive, and I believe it is becoming more and more difficult to get a positive return on investment. There are a few exceptions to this. First, spare no expense on the brochures for your home. The brochure is the one item which buyers who visit your home will take away with them. Also, do not put up with your realtor putting black and white copies of the brochures in the box on the sign outside the home. For the price homes sell for in San Carlos, there need to be full color, high-end brochures available for anyone who visits the property.
Also, if you are considering advertising in magazines or newspapers, be sure that the ad is showcasing your home, not your realtor. Many of these types of ads are used by realtors to advertise to the general public the fact that they have good market traction, but often the advertising of the actual home is secondary in the theme of the advertisement. My personal belief is that the return on investment in these type of ads is very minimal for sellers. The one exception is if you obtain a premium space, such as the front or back cover.
In the end, have a well thought out budget and plan with your realtor as to how you are going to market your home. If there is anything that the last few years have taught us, it is that using your advertising dollars smartly and investing in a strong online presence can truly drive more interest in your home – which will have an impact on your bottom line.