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Three Common Pitfalls when Marketing your Property Online

1.  Listing your property online before advertising to relatives, friends or neighbors.

Most agents get a listing, snap photos and upload it online as quickly as possible.  This is a mistake and there is a lesson we can all learn from For Sale By Owners (FSBOs). According to the National Association of Realtors one in three FSBO’s sold their property to a relative, friend or neighbor and in these instances where the seller knew the buyer, the number jumps to sixty percent. Not only this, the average time on the market is one week vs. four weeks and the price the apartment sold for was generally for 100% of the asking price.

Solution: Create a flyer with your property’s information and send it out using USPS Every Door Direct Mail.  This service allows you to mail every single home in a neighborhood for an extremely cheap price. Chances are if someone already lives in the neighborhood of your listing they may not want to look far for their next home or investment.

2.  Publishing floor plans is the easiest way to lose clients.

Floor plans are the most sought after item on any real estate listing page. They should not be published. Instead they should be used to capture a buyer’s contact information.

Solution: Redesign your website so that it requires the user to “sign up” before they can download the floor plan or create a call to action in your ads that says “Please Email me at: xxx@youremailaddress.com for floor plans of this apartment”.  If you do not have floor plans for your apartment you can draw them out on a piece of paper and hire someone on odesk.com to digitally render them for as little as $5.

3.  Real Estate photos are worth more than a thousand words.

80% of home buyers start their search online, and you only have three seconds to make a good first impression as the competition is only one click away.  Below you can see two photos I took of the same room in a New York townhouse.  One was done with a point and shoot, the other with an SLR camera and a wide angle lens.  If you are using a point and shoot you are doing your apartment an injustice.  I tripled the number of leads I generate when I spent $1,000 on a camera and a lens.

point and shoot wide angle lens 

Solution: You have two options:

(1) Spend a $1,000+ buying an SLR camera & a wide angle lens.

(2) Hire a professional photographer to photograph your properties for you.

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About Ariel

Ariel Dagan is a Licensed Salesperson at Keller Williams NYC. Over the last few years, he has developed numerous niche websites revolving around Upper East Side apartments in Manhattan. Through this he has become an expert in Upper East Side condos, coops and rentals.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/FredLight Fred Light

    Great article… except…. Big misconception. CAMERAS don’t take photos. People do. A $1000 SLR camera and an $800 lens in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand light and general photography principles and doesn’t know how to use their camera is a complete waste. If I buy the same oven as Martha Stewart has, it still doesn’t mean I can cook… at all… or that my food will be even remotely similar to something she could produce. And… she could probably produce that amazing dish in a $500 oven from Sears as well. Because she knows HOW to cook.

  • Norm Fisher

    “Listing your property online before advertising to relatives, friends or neighbors.”

    I understand your point about advertising to “relatives, friends & neighbors” but why is a “pitfall” to advertise online first?

  • Ariel Dagan

    Fred, I agree with you… However, I’m shocked at the number of Agents who purchase a point and shoot camera and take photos of houses and apartments with them. When it comes to taking photos of an apartment a wide-angle lens with and SLR camera will out perform any point-and-shoot even if the person using it doesn’t know how to use lighting etc… with the camera. When I first purchased the SLR camera – I had no idea how to use it. I just clicked away, some of the photos looked good and others terrible. However, I could tell you that for the most part they were all WAY better than the point and shoot I had and those photos resulted in more leads.

    Norm, if you post a house or apartment on any of the major websites the date you “listed” it is bound to get recorded. With time a listing can go “stale” and your friends, neighbors and relatives can potentially use that as negotiating leverage against you. In my opinion you can market the listing as “off-market” making it more coveted and increasing the likelihood that you’ll get the price you want. Also, when you market it to this group of people before you list it online you can test pricing. In my market, the apartments that come onto the market get the most foot traffic / offers in the first four weeks. Pricing too high can deter offers and in many cases ultimately get you a lower price. By marketing off-line first you might learn more about what the market will pay.
    This will allow you to price right from the start.

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