If you’re listing houses, now’s the time to get some inspiration from dating apps — you only have about 7 seconds to land a lead, so you better put your best foot forward. Here’s how to maximize your ad’s potential and capture more online views.
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One of the biggest problems facing agents today is the reality that the Internet allows buyers to view homes without the agents on either side of the sale knowing.
More than ever, it’s essential that officers learn a thing or two from online dating. The world of online dating has made it possible for prospects, in this case dating prospects, to simply glance at a photo and decide if that person is a possible life mate, then swipe left or right accordingly. (Sounds a lot like shoppers browsing Zillow for a game, right?)
It’s a competitive and crazy world, and those looking for relationships on these apps have learned to master their online profile. By putting their best foot forward and maximizing their online presence, they can hopefully find their soul mate. (Or ideal buyer, when we apply that to our purposes.)
Whether you’re dating online or selling real estate, to find “the one” you need to attract several. As the market cools, it’s essential that we learn to “follow the eyeballs” as well, with our listings to stay on top of the heap.
It’s equally important to learn how to direct a potential buyer’s point of view where you want it to maximize a listing’s potential.
Following clues to the explosive growth of dating portals, listing agents have discovered that the following steps are now essential if they want to maximize their listing and capture the most online views:
An effective preparation
Historically, new carpeting and paint were all that was usually needed to prepare a home for the market and the expectations of potential buyers.
However, today’s shoppers, fueled by preferences they’ve honed by watching HGTV, are looking for more. Agents have found that the better prepared a listing is, the more views they will get, improving their chances of getting the best price.
Using the online dating analogy again, on average, a buyer will give an ad profile between 7 and 10 seconds before “swiping left” and continuing.
If buyers like what they see on a given property profile, they will stay longer and dive deeper. Today’s property readiness has become more extensive, especially in higher priced markets. The prep list now includes kitchens, bathrooms, high-end flooring, new windows and more.
Professional staging has also become essential for capturing views in those crucial first seconds: if physical home staging isn’t in the budget, many virtual staging options are also available.
Not satisfied with the standard still photos, buyers made it clear they wanted more. Although drone videos and footage are widely accepted, today’s buyers want even more interactive media.
3D tours, such as Matterport, made it possible to virtually visit homes and took the viewing process to a new level.
COVID-19 has made it impossible to distribute brochures in many markets, so some agents have opted for virtual brochures instead of companies, such as Studio.
With COVID restrictions lifted, rather than going back to printed brochures, some agents are placing a QR code in the house that links visitors directly to the virtual brochure. This simple step is not only “green”, but it also provides a better customer experience and allows anyone who wants more information to click directly on the listing agent.
Maximized customer experience
Like it or not, if you follow the eyeballs of buyers, they are looking at major web portals, such as Zillow or realtor.com. Although the industry has invested a lot of money in brokerage websites or apps, ultimately the majority of buyers tend to head to the top few sites to begin the home viewing process and get applicable data.
In addition to buyers accessing these sites on their mobile devices, listing agents need to optimize their offers to maximize the buyer’s experience on these sites and implement effective click-through when possible.
Not only has the internet changed everything about real estate, but the evolution of technology is also improving the buyer experience as agents embrace new platforms. Consequently, agents who don’t learn to “follow the eyeballs” and embrace new technologies to stay ahead of aspiring homeowners could find themselves unwittingly left behind as buyers start looking elsewhere.
Carl Medford is the CEO of Team Medford.