Why me? Why hire Keith Marshall (real estate agent) to sell your home?
Selling real estate, as the expression goes, ‘is not rocket science’. You need only, the right price, an MLS listing, great photography, a knowledgeable realtor, the power of the internet, descriptive text, timely and effective communications, and patience. That’s it. That’s all. It is not rocket science.
Interestingly, the expression, ‘it’s not rocket science’ has only been around since the early 1980s. I actually remember one of the first times I heard it. It was spoken by a slick salesman, selling home alarm systems. He said it and my mind wandered away thinking about the complexities of monitored home alarm systems and then of rocket science. The expression hadn’t become part of our lexicon yet.
Prior to the 1980s, ‘brain surgery’ had been the occupation that simple tasks were said not to be. ‘It’s not brain surgery’ dates from the 1960s. Before that, straightforward tasks were simply said to be ‘as easy as pie’ or ‘as easy as falling off a log’.
I only mention this because many people have bought and/or sold a home before and they think they know how to do it. It’s not rocket science. It’s not brain surgery. But like the expression, the process has changed. It has changed, like many things, because of the internet.
The internet – Google
The next time you see a home for sale on your street, Google the address.
What comes up?
The house listing comes up on: realtor.ca, many brokerage websites including but not limited to the brokerage with the sign on the front lawn, other real estate portals, kijiji advertisements, directories, online real estate publications, blog posts, Google+ posts, youtube videos, virtual tours…
After the MLS, Google is the most important tool you have to sell a home.
The internet – MLS
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is an extensive on-line database that includes all listings from the participating real estate boards and local brokerages.
The MLS is the single most important tool that brokerages have to advertise the listing and that agents use when searching for properties for their clients.
As soon as a home is listed for sale, agents and their clients, as well as the general public have access to all of the relevant information about it.
More than 75% of all real estate sales originate with the MLS.
The MLS is the marketplace. It is here where buyers first meet sellers.
Automatic email notifications
Most potential buyers are already working with local Realtors. As such, they have been set up to receive, directly out of the MLS database, automatic updates. Whenever a new listing matching their requirements is listed for sale, they receive an email with the details of that listing. Many buyers still surf real estate websites online, but serious buyers are set up with personalized access to the MLS.
So if most sales originate online, besides having the right price, what is the most important thing to creating a successful listing?
I’ve said for a long time that buying property is a process of elimination, followed usually by a final compromise. If a listing does not have great photos or worse, bad photos or no photos, it gets eliminated right away. In the modern world, you are one click away from oblivion.
Great photos, professionally taken including room measurements, floor plans, and virtual tours will keep your listing from being eliminated at the first stage of your buyer’s search.
It is surprising how many homes are listed with minimal and poorly thought out descriptions or descriptions full of acronyms and industry jargon.
The text should be written with the buyer in mind and should point out the home’s best selling features. The text should convey the full value of the home to the potential buyers.
Great text emotionally connects the buyer to the home. Great text also contains the details important to the buyer.
Prompt response time
In the internet age we have become accustomed to instantaneous results. When people have questions, they want answers fast.
I often say that being a real estate agent is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. Unless I am with a client, I respond immediately to all phone calls, texts and emails.
My brokerage is unique as we have ‘in-house’ agents and a concierge service answering incoming inquiries 7-days a week (9am-9pm Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday).
It’s not rocket science
Selling real estate is not about rockets. And it is not about brands or brokerages either. It’s about the agent.
I started my career in advertising and marketing. Back then, back in the 1980s, advertising was all about brands.
What are the characteristics of the brand?
Who is the brand?
What does the brand stand for?
What do the characteristics of the brand convey to the consumer?
We used to brainstorm that sort of thing. Brands were, we thought, important and messaging had to be on target.
The same was true with real estate. Back in the 1980s after Remax rolled through and changed the structure of real estate brokerages, real estate became all about branding. Brokerages built brands on the ideas of trust, professionalism, and capability.
Brands and brokerages still exist of course, but their importance is fading. Brokerages are, for most real estate agents, a place to hang their licenses. And for homebuyers, they don’t care if it’s a Century 21 sign on the front lawn, or a Coldwell Banker or a Royal LePage. It is difficult to tell most real estate brokerages and their agents apart from each other.
My brokerage is relatively new. We started as a real estate information site and quickly evolved into a cutting edge real estate brokerage. Because we are essentially a tech startup, we do not follow the traditional ideas of the established real estate industry. We answer to our clients, and ourselves.
We connect people, data and technology.
We are a challenger brand with a unique business model that streamlines the real estate journey. (I took that from our marketing material).
Our approach is uncomplicated, uncluttered and sincere.
Our commission rates
Because we don’t waste your money advertising ourselves on buses and benches, in newspapers and magazines, our commission rates are lower than the big box brokerages.
Because we haven’t got the overhead and franchise fees that big traditional brokerages have our commission rates are lower.
We do not sell on price. We are just as good or better than big brokerages, we just charge less because we can and philosophically, we should. We think that commission rates are too high!
We are not a discount brokerage. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
So why hire Keith Marshall?
Do you ever see those benches along the side of the road? The one’s that say, ‘you just proved that bench advertising works’?
I hate those.
But the fact is, just like I am noticing those signs, you found me on an internet search. I just proved that the internet is the place where people go when searching for information about real estate. There are approximately 1,600 real estate agents in Waterloo Region.
The destination is the same, but the journey has changed.
You should hire Keith Marshall. I sell my listings. I don’t have a staff to keep busy with open houses and old fashioned marketing activities. I don’t have magazine advertising space to fill. I don’t have any reason to carry your listing any longer than it takes to sell it. I am a busy working agent with great internet presence and lots of incoming clients. I have a solid work ethic and world class back office support.
You should hire me to sell your home because it is not rocket science.
Further reading: Closing techniques that salespeople use