Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are you getting the most out of the Internet?

There's no question the Internet is an important part of any real estate business. I can't imagine there's any active real estate agent who doesn't have a website or a least a web page on their company's site.

After all, with over 84% of buyers searching for homes online, you'll struggle to compete without one.

However, it's not just having a website, it's what you do with your website to provide value. Some real estate agents are reaching out by using social media, virtual tours, SEO strategies and blogging which are all great strategies, but there's still something missing.

I believe the real opportunity is being able to engage and negotiate with buyers in real-time. One way to do this is by accepting offers/bids online for your listings. When you allow buyers to bid online, you leverage technology to create urgency, negotiate with multiple buyers at once and get your client the highest and best offer.

Using online bidding (a.k.a. an online auction) takes your listing to the next level. Now, not only can buyers see pictures and videos and all the details about a property, they can submit an offer (bid) from anywhere with an Internet connection.

The Internet is truly a powerful medium, make sure you are leveraging it, the best you can!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Online real estate auctions ... exciting to watch!

Last Friday we captured the end of one our customers listings on video. This 2 minute video is a great example of the bidding frenzy that can occur as an auction winds down.

What's especially interesting in this example is that the listing agent didn't do any of the things we teach to market it. There were no auction signs in the yard, there were no open house previews and there was no effort in marketing it. This was a sort of "test" for them.

I strongly believe that any listing agent who embraces this strategy and works the "whole" process will dominate in their market.

Click here to watch the video


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What can you learn from "live" auctions?

I've attended several "live" real estate auctions in the past to observe and learn. Most of them I've attended were successful, but I've also attended a few that haven't been.

There was even one I attended that didn't receive a bid. I really felt bad for the auctioneer and the seller. All the time and money they spent and only about 20 people showed up. Unfortunately, that's just part of the business.

There is a lot to learn by observing a live auction and the most important thing I've learned is marketing. If the auctioneer can't get people to show up, it doesn't matter how well he can work the crowd, the chance for success is minimal. For each "live" auction, thousands of dollars are usually spent on direct mail, newspaper ads, etc with no guaranteed results.

That's why I've been so drawn to using online auctions. The success is still greatly effected by the marketing, but it is much easier to get people to show up online than on site. I've seen it over and over again. If you do a good job marketing your online auction by using signs, holding open house previews, using craigslist and other Internet marketing, you will attract attention and you will receive bids.

Unfortunately, most people I see using online auctions aren't doing the marketing. Instead they throw it up on a site like Ebay, RealtyBid, or our site REIAuctions and expect it to sell. They are depending on the traffic to the site alone and that usually isn't enough.

The real key to successful online auctions is a strong marketing effort combined with the existing traffic on the auction site you are using.

It really isn't that hard, the cost of time and money is minimal, and the results are usually impressive.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Online real estate auctions take effort!

Putting a property up for auction online is only half the job. Yes, it's possible buyers may stumble across it and place bids, but the chances for success are greatly reduced if that is all you do.

There is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, be different and be responsible for the success. If you list a property for auction and then use open house previews, yard and neighborhood signs, internet marketing and local marketing, your chance for success greatly increases.

An auction naturally draws interest, whatever you can do to let people know about it increases your chance for success. Don't sit back and wait, be a maverick marketer and see your success soar.