Listing Your Home Online
Tech-savvy Generation X and Yers are leading the 87 percent of buyers who use the Internet to search for homes. The Internet is the fastest-growing venue for consumers to learn and gain information about the real estate industry. With 87 percent of the market surfing the Web for a new home – you'll want your listing on there, so ask your real estate agent which marketing tools he or she will use to list your home, and make sure the Internet is at the top of the list. The following tools and strategies addressed in this column are essential in marketing a home, so make sure your agent is using all of these necessary tools.
Let's start with digital marketing and the concepts associated with it: online marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and permission-based e-mail marketing. Agents who use online marketing strategies will typically post your listing on the brokerage's Web site and on his or her personal site. Look for agents who update their sites often. There are several advantages to Web listings. For example, they offer quality color photos of your home, detailed property information, virtual tours, floor plans and school and community data.
SEO is the process of increasing quality web traffic to a site by way of search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. Agents that frequently update their Web sites with pertinent content and listings will have better SEO, which increases the number of views of your listing. This important component of digital marketing is worth asking your agent about.
E-mail marketing is another player in the digital marketing game. Qualified agents today stay connected with clients, family and friends by sending them e-newsletters and e-cards. A friendly holiday wish accompanied with your home listing is a great way to attract more potential buyers to your home.
Another growing industry trend is the use of podcasts, which are media files distributed over the Internet. Agents are now able to post podcasts of your home that can be downloaded free from Web sites and viewed on computers and portable devices. This new way of connecting with consumers helps provide more exposure for your home.
With the emergence of the Internet, podcasting and even wireless mobile Internet, the sky is the limit as to how many potential buyers can view your listing. So now, as an informed home seller, talk with your real estate agent about how he or she plans to market your home and get it ready to sell!