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How we Use Technology to Sell your Home

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Once upon a time Realtors would come to your house, you would sign contracts for them to sell your home and then they’d proudly go to the front of your lawn and place a “FOR SALE” sign in front.

They would go back to the office and place it on the MLS (Multi Listing Service) for all the other Realtors and agents out there to know there was a new place available.

Then you would wait until either the right agent pulled the listing up for their buyer or someone would drive by and instantly fall in love with your home.

Thank goodness those are days gone by. Today’s technology has brought marketing your home to a whole new level giving you a much better chance to sell. There are possibilities, both old and new, that can be used to market your home and if your Realtor isn’t utilizing some of these, ask them why or if they could possibly do so. To be honest, if your agent is worth their weight they’re either already using at least most of these techniques or beginning to implement them into their marketing techniques. This is the marketing of today’s Real Estate world.

Online Techniques

The TNT (Tried ‘n True) Techniques – this is the typical marketing techniques we’ve grown up with. Putting your sign in your yard, listing on the MLS, putting ads in newspapers or local Home Catalogs are all the “old fashioned” way that Realtors listed homes. There’s nothing wrong with using the old ways because they can and do still work; but you have to make sure you utilize them along with the new age technique.

Social Media Marketing – Your agent should utilize their own business versions of each of the different Social Medias. These medias include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and any other of the up and coming medias you see out there on the internet. How do they utilize these medias to sell your home?

Facebook – is the largest by far and should be the first place the marketing campaign starts! First by listing pictures of your house; begin with Facebook where your home gets tagged with your names so your friends and connections see that your home is for sale and their friends, etc. By listing on Facebook their own business friends, other agents, customers, potential buyers, etc. will see the listing also.

Next is Twitter – Posting a short Tweet with a link to their “newest listing” (your home) with a few quick comments. They can also post often with a link to their site which should list all of the homes they are currently listing, including yours.

On YouTube – they can post everything from a PowerPoint type of presentation to a virtual walk-through tour of your house or an introduction to their own website telling about the many homes they have.

On LinkedIn – the Realtor is generally linked with other agents and this will allow those who are connected outside of their own Brokerage Firm to know they have a new listing. There are others listed as their connections also that will see the listing.

The Agency or Realtor’s website – should be very professional and specialize in showing all of their listings in a highly professional way. A virtual tour, not a click as you walk through style of tour, which gives you a 3-dimensional view of the homes they’re listing.

Google+ – is the new kid on the block and many agents won’t be listed here yet. It’s growing in size and hoping to take over as “the new Facebook” but isn’t even close yet. The G+ site should allow not only for pictures but they have a system where other people on Google can give it a “plus” and rate it so everyone can see the higher rated items.

Other Technologies

QR Codes are not all that new as marketing techniques and if you’ve owned a Smart Phone you know what they are. There are special apps that you can download and when you scan the QR Code, which looks like a block of black & white boxes, information about that product comes up. Realtors are now utilizing these QR Codes directly on the signs of homes, on any articles or print information about homes they’re listing and anywhere they can place them. An interested consumer clicks their phone and takes a picture using the QR Code app which will then automatically take them to the mobile designed web page and can even give you a pop up which allows you to hit “Call Now” and reach the listing agent or their agency.

Email newsletters are another way many agencies and Realtors will keep in contact with their current and former clients. In these newsletters they can list their newest listings along with some interesting articles about real estate itself; whether it be trends or do-it-yourself articles. Delivering a note to potential buyers with pictures and links automatically allows the buyer to not only look at the information themselves but also perhaps share it with a friend that they know is looking for a home in your particular area or price range.

Marketing Is Continuously Changing

The marketing industry is continuously changing for every product line out there and real estate is a product line. Your agent should always be on top of the ever changing marketing techniques out there and even ahead of the crowd when it comes to developing their own techniques to showcase your house. Open houses do work but there are so many other ways to get the word out there that your home is for sale and on the market. Showcasing it in different ways that grab the attention of the buyer is always a plus. What it comes down to is making sure your agent not only knows and uses these techniques but keeps up on the newest techniques or discovers their own techniques as time goes on. In the end you want your home to sell and sell quickly!

Should I BUY or RENT A HOME

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

There are many advantages to purchasing a home, especially in light of the historic low rates that have become available.

Regardless of the fact that these rates dropped considerably as a result of the recent housing and financial crash, more and more people are driven to the path of home ownership versus renting.

There are a number of pros and cons associated with the recent industry crash. Scores of Americans are finally able to purchase a part of the American dream, as desired by so many. And the best part of all? Your money isn’t going straight into the can! This is just one of several benefits of purchasing a home instead of renting.

When you are considering your next move, it would be wise to consider your options carefully. One thing you should consider is the length of time you plan to live in your new home. If you are relocating for a few years for a job it would be wise to consider both purchasing a home as well as other options such as renting.

A number of studies indicate benefits of home ownership for not only the owners, but also for their family, neighbors, and community at large. Below is a brief list of other benefits to owning a home.

  1. Locked In Cost – When you are dealing with a lease, you often have to worry about future rate changes. However when you buy a home with a fixed rate mortgage, your payments will not change, at least for the duration of your loan period. There is a chance you can see your taxes go up, but many homeowners don’t fret about their tax dollars going toward education or other core government tax-based essentials.
  2. Tax Benefits – Another benefit homeowners have over renters is the ability to cash in on savings on their taxes. Homeowners are usually eligible for a significant tax reduction because they can deduct their mortgage payments and any paid property tax when they file their yearly income taxes. Though some may think they may not see a good return on their taxes from their mortgage, you’d be surprised by the savings that can be accrued just by interest rates and property taxes alone.
  3. Debt Consolidation – If necessary, you have the ability to refinance your home’s mortgage in order to merge, or consolidate, other outstanding debt. This is also something you can deduct from you taxes and an opportunity that simply doesn’t exist for renters.
  4. Build Equity – When you are paying rent every month, you are simply handing your money over for the roof over your head, and nothing else in return. However, when you are paying for a mortgage, your payments are going toward your principal [and any added interest]. Every year that you pay toward your home, you are paying toward the principal and are eligible to get the money back when you put your house on the market, later on. It’s basically a long term investment in the form of real property.
  5. Peace of Mind – When you purchase a home, you can make your own decisions on everything from window trim and bathroom paint, to future plans for renovating that upstairs attic. You will be able to call all the shots without being worried that your land lord will be upset. You will have peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to depend on somebody else.

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions someone will make in their life. However, it is important to understand that owning a home comes with added responsibilities. For example, if you are used to renting a home, you probably never think about the landscaping work. You may not realize that your rental fees are helping pay a contractor to mow your lawn.

It is important that you evaluate all the facets of real estate before jumping in head first and buying property. Buying a home is a life-long decision. If you think you are prepared to buy a home or are simply sick of throwing away your hard earned money on rent, contact a real estate professional to help answer any questions you may have and to get you on the right track of home ownership.

March Real Estate News

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

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Quote for the Day

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

– Father James Keller (1900-1977)

GOT A LIGHT?

We all love a compliment.  Your manager says to you, “I noticed that your last sale was handled very smoothly.  Thanks for offering your customer such excellent service!”  Your wife or husband tells you, “I’m so proud of the way you encourage our children!”  Your grown child returns home for a visit and says, “Thanks for making it possible for me to get my degree!”  Those are “feel good” times, aren’t they?

If you live a more or less normal day-to-day sort of life, compliments are always welcome, but aren’t absolutely critical to your sense of well-being.  You don’t have to get them to make it through the day.  If you are fortunate enough to enjoy high self-esteem, why not consider becoming a “candle” to others?

There are many around us each day, both children and adults,

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