I had an interesting discussion with a potential home seller this week. As the market in Edmonton has started to slow down, they felt that they wanted to list with one of the big branded real estate companies, in order to have any real chance of selling. I found this curious and would have to disagree for a number of reasons.
1. I call it the ‘brand trap’.
The big company brand is a facade. I understand why people would find comfort in it. They see the same brand everywhere and I imagine they conclude that there must be an army of professionals all marching in lockstep to sell people’s homes. The truth is that each office is independently owned and each Realtor® is an independent business person running their own micro-business within the brokerage. In the larger offices, most Realtors® don’t even know each other and will often compete for the same client. Does this make sense?
2. There is no secret corporate marketing program.
All Realtors® use the same basic tools to advertise homes and condos for sale: the MLS® System, a for sale sign, www.Realtor.ca and sometimes an individual website. Some Realtors® (but not many) will also use social media, ie Facebook advertising, Instagram and email marketing to get the word out. We also offer a fantastic website that captures contact details of countless family home buyers every month. Newspaper advertising and open houses do NOT work anymore. Some Realtors® still do them to keep their clients happy, promote themselves and to defend high traditional commissions.
It’s a sad fact that about 40% to 50% of listings put onto the MLS® System here in Edmonton each year do NOT sell. Most of these failures are being handled by the big branded companies discussed above.
So how will you stand out?
Find a real estate company that uses all of the above tools in a smart way, a company that can demonstrate success in the market and one that uses distinctive branding and colour schemes.
A company that operates as a team would also be a bonus, as this gives you a higher degree of support. Want to know the 10 Questions to ask any Realtor you are thinking of hiring? We produced a pre-hire checklist for your use.
When buyers drive around your neighborhood, do you want one of those generic red white and blue signs like many other sellers that fell into the ‘brand trap’
Or will your sign be distinctive and stand out ‘above the crowd’.
Want more information about our discount and flat fee home selling programs? Please feel free to call our broker-owner Stuart Neal at: 780-760-2014 or visit LowestRealtyFees.com