Selling homes from afar has come a long way, thanks in part to sites like Zillow.com and Trulia.com. But how else can you get your prospects excited to see homes before they ever set foot in your state?
The best way is to leverage both tried-and-true selling tools as well as newer, cutting-edge ones. Here are 6 tips for Realtors:
1. Photos with a little something extra - you can narrate photos with an app from SpeakingPhoto to tell a story that will get your prospective buyers excited. For the added personal touch, customize the narration to your specific buyers, then send a private link with their own photos and unique story.
2. Content marketing - today’s savvy buyers like to discover things on their own, without being sold to. Create your own media outlet (typically in the form of a blog) that delivers helpful and informative content on the topics that would appeal to your out-of-state buyers. A recent study by McMurry/TMG found that 90 percent of consumers find custom content useful and 78 percent believe the organizations behind it are committed to building good relationships with them.
For example, Nocatee regularly publishes blog posts on things to see and do in the region to help orient out-of-towners, as well as curious locals. The easy-to-access blog posts give prospects an objective view on what it’s like to live in the area, not just the Nocatee community.
3. Online video - nothing can simulate a walk-through quite like a video, but only if it’s done well. According to the National Association of REALTORS, even something as trivial as a toilet seat being left up in a video can turn prospects off. Be sure your home is camera-ready and avoid fisheye and other strange lenses that can distort the size of a room.
4. Drones - often a controversial topic, drones are becoming more and more popular in creating unique videos that effectively showcase a property’s aesthetic features, like lakes and breathtaking views. Be sure to check the regulations in your area prior to attempting to create your own video. You can stay current with legislation on the use of drones with this helpful guide from the National Association of REALTORS.
5. Earned media - selling is one thing, but actual earned media (articles or interviews that you haven’t paid for) have a much higher track record when it comes to trust. According to Nielsen, 84 percent of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations and a form of earned media (news coverage that isn’t paid for) over all other sources of advertising. Sign up for Google Alerts on the properties and neighborhoods you sell to ensure you don’t miss a single news story, then forward the articles to your out-of-state buyers.
6. Developer’s resources - the communities in which you sell should have invested in some marketing materials of their own. From iPhone and smartphone apps to amenity videos, floor-plan virtual tours and interactive maps, some developers provide countless resources to help you sell.