13 seconds. That’s the average time a potential buyers spends looking at a potential home for sale online. If the online listing doesn’t capture their attention they’ll move on to the next house.
That’s why is behooves real estate agents to invest in presentation strategies that attract online buyers. There are plenty of promotional activities the realtor should invest in next, but without the right home presentation, the rest falls flat. Here’s a quick overview of online real estate marketing essentials to start with.
1. Staging for online and in-person buyers. We’ve all heard about the merits of home staging, but these advantages are even more crucial for online buyers. If the furniture placement looks askew or the wall colors are too bright, this is amplified when the buyer view the home online. Alternatively, skillful staging builds anticipation among buyers considering touring the home.
Case in point: A new client of ours is relocating to the Boston suburbs this summer, and has absolutely fallen in love with a home she saw in the MLS. The home is very attractive, but really what made it stand out among the hundreds of houses she’s viewed online is the exquisite décor. The stager has a knack for making homes look irresistible, and the results were astonishing. Our client’s eyes lit up as she talked with us about the lavish master suite and big welcoming farmer’s porch. It was a reminder of how the best staging spurs genuine excitement from home buyers.
Of course not all stagers are the same. The best ones have a wonderful knack for capturing the imagination. If you’re hiring a realtor, ask them about the home stagers they work with and ask to see some “before” and “after” pictures of their work.
2. Professional home photography. Home buyers use online photos to decide which homes to visit in person, so having captivating images is critical for getting on the buyer’s “short list” of homes to see.
The relative small expense of hiring a professional real estate photographer is well worth it. It’s easy to take a decent picture, but far tougher to create stunning home photography. Homes are tough to photograph. You don’t just need the right photography equipment, but an artistic eye for catching just the right light, angle, and scene to show each room at its best.
After the photo shoot, professional photographers can also use software to optimize each image of the home so it looks perfect when posted online.
3. Home videos. Attracting relocation buyers is an important aspect of selling homes across the Boston suburbs. The Boston area is the eighth most popular destination for relocating professionals, and one of the top three most desirable U.S. cities for foreign real estate investors. Real estate videos give your realtor an opportunity to paint a vivid picture of your home and community. It’s a great introduction to what makes your home and neighborhood special.
In addition, creating property videos increases the chances that buyers will find your home online. Many relocating buyers check out YouTube when they’re exploring what communities to focus on. Additionally, websites with video are 50 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results than those that don’t.
4. Optimized websites. More than two thirds of prospective buyers use a mobile device in their home search. That’s why realtors need to optimize their home listings to display across a wide array of browsers and devices. For example, mobile-optimized real estate sites focus on speed and simplicity, without sacrificing image quality.
5. Targeted marketing. Realtors now have an abundance of demographic information at their fingertips to personalize home marketing campaigns. This is good news for realtors, homeowners, and home buyers. Instead of blinding marketing home listings to the public at large, realtors can create highly targeted campaigns to connect with those people most likely to be interested in that particular home. Whether they’re looking to reach homeowners who are likely to downsize to a condo in Boston or those qualified to purchase a luxury home in the Boston suburbs, they can quickly reach those households to find the right buyer.
Do you have a real estate question? Contact Kyle Mann to learn more about selling your home in the Boston suburbs. Mann is a Realtor with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.
[Images courtesy of Fred Light]