Real Estate Marketing…Selling The Experience

July 15, 2007

While doing some research for a new real esate marketing project, we were referred to a website for 20pine.com, a new development by Michael Shvo. The website is extremely well thought out and makes use of well optmized high resolution 3D Renderings and 3D Floor Plans. It also illustrates a new philisophy in real estate marketing described in an excerpt from Fast Company magazine:

Shvo’s strategy–to turn each building he markets into a luxury brand of its own–is calculated to insulate his developers from such turbulence. His basic contention is that real estate should be marketed in the mode of Cartier, Gucci, or Rolex: massive market research; devotion to demographic and psychographic analysis; extreme attention to customer experience and service; integrated marketing across every touch point, every function, every channel.

That’s not news in the consumer-products realm, but it represents fresh thinking in an industry that, until recently, worried less about seducing customers than about simply feeding their insatiable demand.

“The real-estate industry is accustomed to being very conservative,” says Anna Klingmann, author of the upcoming Brandscapes: Architecture in the Experience Economy (MIT Press, fall 2007). “They have, by and large, relied on tried-and-true formulas.” In the urban condo market, that meant selling based on location, square footage, and predictable amenities (“Working fireplace! Park view!”). But as consumers have become more design savvy, demand has escalated for more upscale, sophisticated dwellings that serve, essentially, as a residential shorthand for a buyer’s style, aesthetic, and weltanschauung.

And that niche is where Shvo sees his opening. If the product is extraordinary, he says, it’s insulated from the dreaded competition that invariably afflicts commodity properties when the market softens. He raises a bottle of branded Shvo water– Shvo2O–to make his case. “If you’re buying this water from me for $1, and somebody else says she’ll sell it to you for 99 cents, you’re in a race to the lowest price,” he says. “But if I bring you a bottle of water from the Holy Land, you’ll pay $2 for it because you can’t get it anywhere else.”

We encourage you to read the full article and also take a peek at the 20pine.com website.


How To Run A Real Estate Brokerage: Marketing Tactics

July 12, 2007

An article in today’s Forbes.com discusses some technology “must haves” for a real estate brokerage to stay competitive in today’s tough environment.

According to the article, the most important tool for property marketing is the internet. By 2010, online real estate advertising will likely hit $3 billion, or 32% of the real estate ad market.

There are many advantages to using the internet to market real estate including:
– The ability to reach the largest audience for the least amount of money
– The ability to include multiple media formats such as photos, virtual tours, 2D Floor Plans, 3D Floor Plans, 3D Walkthroughs, Video, etc.
– The ability To Create a Brand for your Company
– The ability to drive traffic to property listings by utilizing pay per click advertising and blogs.

Unless you live under a rock, 3DWalkthroughs.com believes the use of the internet to market real estate will continue to increase and evolve in ways we probably can’t even imagine.

The full article is below.

How To Run A Real Estate Brokerage: Marketing Tactics
Lisa LaMotta, 07.11.07, 12:00 PM ET

Every new business owner needs to know the fundamentals. Forbes.com is breaking down those building blocks by answering eight core questions related to a given industry. Taken together, the information will give budding entrepreneurs a head start on making those first critical steps.

What are the most effective marketing tactics?

Brokerages have to appeal to buyers and sellers–but the techniques for snagging both groups are not the same.

Attracting buyers: Roughly four out of five people looking for a house now use the Internet to do their research. By 2010, online real estate advertising will likely hit $3 billion, or 32% of the real estate ad market–more than any other media, including newspapers, estimates Borrell Associates, a national research and consulting firm that tracks advertising.

Pay-per-click advertising on Google works wonders if you have deep pockets, but smaller shops need to be more creative. Blogs do a nice job of attracting search engines and connecting with customers. According to Bernice Ross, licensed agent and chief executive of RealEstateCoach.com, blogs should feature specific information on the neighborhoods buyers are considering. This could include everything from a digital map of local “haunted” houses to tips on how to cut the water bill during a heat wave. (For more on blogging, check out Go Blogging For Customers.)

Despite all that activity in cyberspace, nothing beats a decent yard sign. Traditional 24-inch-by-36-inch signage might run you $80 for a batch of five, depending on quality and design. (There are vendors galore online.) Each sign should be placed front and center and display the name of your firm, the telephone number and your Web address. Some signs have convenient cavities for brochures.

Note: Before you slap signs up on every telephone pole in the neighborhood, check the rules. At a minimum, you’ll need a permit to post signs, but there can be a tangle of other restrictions. Some jurisdictions allow signs only on the property for sale; others impose size constraints. Check with your local city council.

Attracting sellers: Sellers hang out online too, but brokers maintain the best way to attract them is still by advertising in the good old Yellow Pages. (For better or worse, most sellers tend to pick the first agent they come across.) Expect to pay around $1,200 a month for one ad.


Save by selling your home online

July 10, 2007

An article in todays’s Market Watch confirms what many of us have know for a long time…a lot of money can be saved by selling your home online. Based on the average price of a home in the US, sellers are paying close to $19,000 in broker fees.

Item #2 in the article below specifically relates to 3DWalkthroughs.com. Using tools such as 3D Walkthroughs can 3D Floor Plans can be an inexpensive way of effectively showcasing a home online. This is advantageous for both the buyer and seller in terms of the time saved by not having to visit the property in person. In addition, both of these tools can easily added to many existing websites that are visited frequently by potential buyers.

Please read the article below.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Despite the recent slump in the housing market, many Americans are still paying a walloping 6% commission to real estate brokers.
At first blush, 6% may not sound like much, but consider: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average price of a home is $313,000, which means the average seller has to pony up nearly $19,000 in broker fees. This is a hefty penalty for selling your own home, one that more and more Americans are unwilling to pay.
Many homeowners are now opting to market their property directly to the consumer using online services such as Yahoo Real Estate and Craig’s List. There’s good reason for going to the Web: One recent survey, conducted by the National Association of Realtors, found that 80% used the Internet when searching for a new home.
Selling your home online is simpler then you might think, says Colby Sambrotto, chief operating officer of For Sale By Owner.Com, a leading online home marketplace. Here are the three key steps you need to take:

1. Find out what your home is worth. If you’re working without an agent, the first and most important step is to get an accurate home appraisal, says Sambrotto. To find a licensed home appraiser in your area, visit Appraisal Institute.org, an association of professional appraisers. There is also a group of free services on the Web, such as Zillow.com, that allow you to estimate the value of your home by comparing it with neighboring properties.

2. Market your property. The goal when marketing your home, says Sambrotto, is to “drive as many buyers as possible to your ad,” so make sure you choose a site with a lot of traffic, and augment your listing with high-quality color photos and a compelling description. You might even try a “virtual tour” if you’re willing to pay a little extra.

3. Transfer the title. Once your home is sold, you need to call in the professionals. East of the Mississippi, title transfers are generally handled by real estate attorneys, whereas in the West, the job typically falls to title companies. Regardless of who handles yours, you shouldn’t pay more than about $500, says Sambrotto.

So, how much do you stand to gain by leaving out the realty broker? According to Sambrotto, selling your home online is likely to net you between $12,000 and $15,000.