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2007-03-24 17:10:00

Are Listing Expenses Suffocating You?


With many areas seeing a change from a seller's market to a buyer's market, real estate agents have seen an increase in their marketing and advertising budgets tied to the additional days on market' that many of their listings are currently experiencing.

In the recent past many listings would sell in a matter of days or a few short weeks. Marketing time for many listings now is six months or more before selling; or even worse, expiring.

When one of your listings expires, it is a drain on you emotionally and financially. Think about all of the time you spent marketing the listing, the dollars that came out of your wallet/purse, all of the communications with your sellers, all of the follow-up calls to prospects and showing agents.

It's time to start looking at which types of marketing and advertising are the most effective in today's market ... not what your sellers want, because of what's worked in the past. Times have changed.

Some 80% of all prospective home buyers today are going online to search for properties. How many prospects are still searching for properties in local newspapers and real estate magazines?

You have to ask yourself, "Am I receiving quality calls from my magazine and newspaper ads, or is it money down the drain each month? "

Are you advertising in certain publications because your sellers want you to and not because it brings any prospect calls to that property?

I am not saying to stop all newspaper and magazine advertising, but you need to track your numbers and see if you are getting adequate results from these forms of advertising.

You also can make your advertising more effective by testing different things in your ad, i.e. put a personal web site address in your ad, put only one phone number in your ad (best number to reach you), or writing a direct-response ad that gets prospects to WANT to contact you.

If you have a fax number in your ad, but not an e-mail address, you're making a BIG mistake.
IF there's room for an e-mail address, use that before using a fax number.

Have you ever had a prospect (someone, who doesn't know you) fax you something? I haven't. Strangers are either going to call or e-mail you, not fax you.

Do you follow the exact same marketing and advertising strategies for every listing you take?
It's time to look at everything you do and spend money on when you list a property. 

Sometimes you may need to promise something extra to get the listing when you are in competition with other companies. 

Devise a marketing plan timeline. You don't need to do everything in your marketing plan in the first 10 - 14 days. Spread your marketing activities over the entire listing period. Some strategies are better in the initial stages of marketing while others work fine at any point of the listing time frame.

Are you wasting your hard-earned money and precious time doing certain marketing and advertising strategies that are not effective in today's market place and only doing them because you think the sellers expect them?

Sellers only want their property sold as quickly as possible for the best price possible and with the least amount of hassle through the process. You need to educate them about what works and what doesn't work in today's market. That's part of being a real estate professional.

When you give a polished listing presentation, educating your sellers needs to be part of it.

(Dan Weis, Real Estate Agent Success Coach.)

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