10 Must Have Tech Tools To Sell Your Home in Today's Market
Over the last years the marketing of homes for sale has dramatically changed. Gone are the days when real estate agents primarily marketed to other agents to find buyers for listed properties. While a good marketing plan still includes an agents network, we now have a wide range of additional options to market directly to consumers. New technologies, apps and online services provide a direct connection to find ready buyers. Including these tools in a marketing plan can increase your chances of a quicker sale and a premium price.
Here are some data points from the National Association of Realtors Report 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends that show how important technology tools and online presence has become in real estate marketing1:
- 93 percent of home buyers use online websites and 87 percent use real estate agents as information sources in their home search, yet
- a staggering 52 percent of buyers found their home they purchased online and 29 percent thru a real estate agent.
- Website features most valued by buyers are photos (87%), detailed information about property (85%), floor plans (52%), real estate agent contact information (44%), virtual tours (42%) and information about recently sold properties and neighborhood (41%).
- 89 percent of homes are purchased through a real estate agent.
What do all these number mean?
With most buyers searching online, online marketing is the most important aspect of finding a buyer these days and it is critical to provide high quality online information in various media and outlets. Yet real estate agents are still highly thought after to create and execute a seller’s marketing plan to provide quality online presence and guide buyers through the home finding and buying process.
First impressions are huge, especially online. That means the bar is high for real estate listings photos, videos and other material to make that first impression last, especially with younger home buyers1. The days of just market a home with a couple of smart phone photo are over.
Real estate is such a visual and emotional product. Any method of marketing a home that allows people to create an emotional connection and way to see the home, works best.
Among the tools that future home buyers are using to scan their options before leaving the comfort of their home are professional photos, floor plans, 3-D walk-throughs and video.
Before choosing your listing agent it is important to find out what the agent provides in their marketing plan and what specific marketing tools they will use – professional photos, 3D model, floor plans, guided virtual walk throughs, video, property specific website, major real estate portals, social media? Have this discussion before you settle on a listing agent!
Also check out this listing agent’s website and online presence. How does their own marketing material come across and what tools do they provide online?
Here are 9 tech tools that make your listing stand out:
1. Featured Property Landing Page
Landscaping improvements can increase a home’s value by 10-12%.1 But which outdoor features do buyers care about most? According to a survey of Realtors, a healthy lawn is at the top of their list. If your lawn is lacking, overseeding or laying new sod can be a worthwhile investment—with an expected return of 417% and 143% respectively.1 When you choose the grass seeds or sod make sure to pick a drought tolerant and low water version. They are as beautiful and lush. They lower your water bill and are more forgiving when your summer hits a dry spell. In addition, a lower water bill in addition to a nicely landscaped yard is a great selling point!
Planting flowers is another great way to enhance your home’s curb appeal. And if you choose a perennial variety, your blooms should return year after year. For an even longer-term impact, consider planting a tree. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can add up to $10,000 to the value of your home.2
2. Professional Photography
Buyers are searching online with phones, tablets and computers and expect to see high resolution professional photos of every room of a listed property. Although you can still find plenty of poorly taken cellphone snapshots, more and more listings include professional photography. This raises the bar for everybody to compete and even more to stand out.
3. Drone Arial Photography
Arial photos that show how the listed property is nested within the neighborhood and vicinity is often used for large properties and luxury homes with views. Using aerial drone photography for any other homes for sale make these listings stand out on a high note.
4. 2D and 3D Floor Plans of Your House
Buyers like to know how the room layout of a house and how these rooms are connected. It is a great addition to professional photos, especially when the photos and rooms in the floor plan are labeled the same. The buyer gets a sense of the flow and layout of the house and can connect on an emotional level more easily – how the house fits their own lifestyle.
5. Full Virtual Property Tour
It is now possible to virtually walk through a home, using virtual 3D tours and experience a 360 degree look at every room in the house and even the surroundings. These tours can be set up for a buyer to walk through the house on their own and learn about the home’s features on their own schedule, set up to schedule real-time guided home tours with an agent and also have a family member or friend join then virtual tour, no matter where they are located.
6. Social Media Posts
By now we have established that the real estate market is happening online and social media platforms like facebook, Instagram and youtube are a big part of reaching potential buyers for your property. There are two ways to leverage social media. The first way is to leverage your agents reach thru their real estate social media platforms with relevant images and information that connects interested buyers with the detailed property information and the agent. More and more homes are being sold through social media engagement.
7. Online Advertising
The second way to include social media into your listing marketing plan is to run online ads, providing a far reach to potential buyers. There are different ways to reach buyers through advertisement. An experienced agent knows and will use different advertising strategies.
8. Digital & Printed Property Flyers
Flyers are still a great way to market a listed property. It can be used as a quick overview of property features online with an option for the viewer to download and print themselves. It can also be distributed in the neighborhood to encourage people to find their own new neighbor
9. Local Maps
Interactive local maps that show nearby schools, coffee shops, grocery stores and other services. These maps enable buyers to see how convenient a listed property is located to support their priorities and lifestyle.
10. Electronic Documents
How much of the listing and actual sales transaction can be done electronically? It is a great question to ask a potential listing agent how much of the listing and actual sales documents can be viewed and signed online or on a phone app. Different agents are set up differently and it makes your transaction experience much easier if most if not all of the documents can be viewed and signed electronically in an easy manner for you. This should also not preclude you from going over the documents together with your agent if you have any questions. Document sharing and viewing them together is an important part of the electronic transaction experience as well.