April 2008

With the popularity of discount real estate brokerage firms on the rise and the nation’s economy on the decline, your commissions have likely dropped way off in the past several months.

It seems that everyone is suffering from a cash crunch right now, and both buyers and sellers are looking to save money on their transactions any way they can, whether that means going through a discount joint for a flat fee or trying to handle the entire process themselves. They figure the extra hassle is worth it if they can save 6% on the commission.

So how can you use real estate blog marketing to overcome this mindset? By justifying your commission to prospective clients.

You do this by telling them exactly what kind of service they can expect from you when you’re on the job. Talk about the steps you’ll take to list, market, and show a home for the seller, or the lengths you’ll go to in order to secure the perfect property for the buyer. Talk about all the paperwork, inspections, and price negotiations that you’ll handle. Talk about how you’ll use your years of experience in the local real estate market to get your clients the best possible deal. Then, use your past sales figures and customer testimonials to back up what you say.

When you’re upfront about your services like this, it puts people at ease and helps forge a trusting relationship right from the beginning, as you remove any doubts that the clients might have about whether or not using a Realtor® is worth the extra money, so give it a try!

If you’re like most agents, then the number one reason you got into real estate blog marketing was to try to increase visibility and sales. Blogs are a very cost-effective way to showcase properties to a wider audience than you’d get from your local newspaper, and this extra exposure often leads to a higher percentage of completed transactions.

But in order for your blog to perform well as a marketing tool, you’ve got to pay attention to important details — such as the quality of the photos you use in your listings. You’d think that using high-quality images to exhibit the properties you’re trying to sell would be a given, but that’s definitely not the case. Just take a look at this Bad MLS Photo of the Day page that shows some of the truly terrible pictures that homeowners and/or their Realtors┬« have used in listings. Unbelievable!

That’s not to say you have to be Ansel Adams with the camera in order to take good listing photos. All you have to do is use common sense to get the job done.

Go after clear, unobstructed views of the property that shows off its best features while downplaying any flaws. Take exterior photos only when lighting conditions are optimal (neither too dark nor too bright) and after any necessary yard work (mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges) has been performed. Make sure interior rooms are well-lit and tidy before snapping off any shots, and only go for closeups when there’s a feature worth displaying.

The bottom line here is that pictures really are worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to real estate listings. The photos you use to showcase your properties have the power to attract or repel prospective buyers, so take some extra time to get those perfect shots!