Modern Real Estate Marketing: 3D and Drones are Essential

Bainbridge Island’s reputation is saturated with images of luxury- country clubs, yachts in Eagle Harbor, restaurants with a $$$ rating- and lavish real estate. But if you live here you know not everyone lives that way.

Yet in the world of real estate sales, agents who specialize in luxury properties may reserve certain tactics for their high-end sellers. They suggest their marketing efforts have a good chance of reaching the buyer through placement of an advertisement in their network’s advertising medium, read by the wealthy. While print advertising may have been crucial before everyone had a favorite search site such as Zillow, it is arguably an archaic manner of advertising in the modern world.

The national research shows that a mere 1% of home buyers find their next home in a printed format and that 92% of buyers start their search online. Clearly, the best way for every seller to reach their next buyer is to have the right advertising campaign- one that tells the home’s story- come alive on a screen. Once the campaign is on the Internet, it can go to everyone on the world wide web, such as my sister in Australia who consumes everything on my website (thanks Jen!).

If you’ve spent any time searching homes online, you’ve noticed that some listings publish magazine-quality images while others seem to have been shot with the first phone camera. And the virtual tour link usually goes to a slideshow of still photos.

In his recent commentary in REALTOR© Mag, Putting a Lens on Listing Photos, Art Moreno Jr. calls “picking and choosing when to use professional photos based on the price of a listing is a form of… ‘financial profiling.’ It suggests that [an agent] might work harder for clients of a certain income level. While such disparate treatment may not constitute discrimination under the law or the Code of Ethics, I believe it’s unfair.”

And I agree. But let’s take it one step further, since most agents here pay for high-quality photos, and including staging is not uncommon. There is a high bar set by the quality of Bainbridge agents.

Can 21st Century tools available to modern agents help tell the story of each and every home who needs to attract a buyer? Absolutely! Without the need for virtual reality headgear, a virtual tour is a video hosted on YouTube composed of video and images and supported by text, music and even voiceover.

And YouTube videos can put shared EVERYWHERE online- Multiple Listing Services data feeds, Facebook to targeted demographics, embedded in emails, listed on Redfin and the hundreds of other home shopping sites and apps. And most importantly, it reaches active local agents who have their thumb on the pulse of serious buyers, especially the ones that live out of town. When a new property is of high interest, they have to decide whether to get on a boat or a plane. Maybe a train?

As a buyer’s agent, I take low quality walk through videos of properties and send them to out-of-town clients to help with that decision. I even had one submit an offer same day after the family, spread around the country, agreed it was the perfect fit. They bought it.

But as a seller’s agent, why not produce that video and make it effortless for every buyer’s agent in the world to send it to their clients? Why not truly market each property to make it live in the hands of buyers, no matter where they are?

Case in point- my first listing of 2016 had a 3D virtual interior tour by Matterport and neighborhood flyover shots filmed by an FAA-approved commercial drone operator produced into a 3 minute 25 second virtual tour, highlighted atop its own webpage. The sales price: $487,500.

Through local channels on Facebook and portals sharing MLS data, the video generated 118 views in the five days between being posted and when we sat down to review multiple offers. That is a lot of eyeballs.

One of the parties to submit an offer was a couple, of which the husband was in Minnesota for a two-week fishing trip. He was able to agree with his wife without stepping foot in it, because he could feel what it was like from 1,500 miles away (or maybe he’s just a smart husband, but that deflates the case I’m making).

My point is this- one of the top questions you should ask a Realtor you’re interviewing should be about their marketing plan. If you believe your home has a story to tell and it’s important to you for it to be told to every potential buyer in the world, then ask every agent how they plan to do just that. No matter what the value of your home, it deserves to have its story told in a modern way.

After doing a few videos and seeking to always improve my craft, I am inspired to make videos like this one, this one, and this one. Impressive work and worth every penny.

To discuss how I can tell your home’s story, contact me at 206.399.3641 or [email protected]. Copyright 2016