You never know who in your network may be “in the market” or looking to live in your neighborhood. Your real estate agent is an expert at marketing the home to the general public, but you are the best (and only!) person who can let your personal connections know that you are selling your home. Social networks can be a great way to tell friends, colleagues and other acquaintances about your great home. Let’s get started.
First off, you will need some marketing content to tell the story of your home.
Seller Statement – This is more than just a marketing description. A seller statement brings your home to life and can add an important emotional component to the marketing. Write a couple of paragraphs describing what you love about the home and what you will miss. What are some finer points of the neighborhood? Where is your favorite nearby coffee shop and supermarket? Are there any neighborhood gatherings or events that make the location special? Any fun stories about the property? This written statement can be a powerful tool to transform the “house” into a “home” in the eyes of a buyer.
Photos – Your agent will have your home photographed for the listing (insist that they pay for a professional!) but consider supplementing these with other photos you may have of the property. Show photos of the spring flowers, the lushness in the summer or how beautiful the trees are in the autumn. A snapshot or two of your home during the holidays can help a buyer imagine living there. Another good idea … take close-up shots of some of your home’s features – the Whirlpool bathtub or a new lighting fixture, for instance.
Connect the Listing with Your Friends & Social Networks
Now that you have some snazzy content, here is a checklist of where to put it:
Facebook – Your Facebook page is a great way to let your friends and colleagues know that your home is on the market. Maybe you have a friend considering a move or a “friend of a friend” who has been thinking of moving to your neighborhood. Word of mouth can be a very powerful tool.
Flickr – Put together an online photo album of your home. Send out the album to friends or link to it on your Facebook site. Add tags to the photos or join one of the interest groups to put your photos in front of potential buyers.
Twitter – Set up an account for your home and give your home a voice. Have your house tweet its top 10 selling points or what it’s doing right now. You may attract attention of buyers who are hard-core Twitter users.
Blog Site – Some sellers put up a blog-site to post photos or describe features of the house. You can continually update the blog as the home is on the market, including news about what is going on in the neighborhood that day, or what flowers are blooming.
Online Junkie Friends – Who do you frequently see tweeting or blogging? Ask them to link to your house listing. Chances are they have a large readership and will draw some good attention.
Online Groups and Distributions – Do you belong to any Google or Yahoo groups and would those groups be appropriate to market to? Examples might be groups for parents, new moms, architecture enthusiasts, neighborhood residents, etc.
Kickin It Old School – Don’t discount old school methods of marketing either. Be creative – Church bulletin? Flyer in the lunch room? A purse full of flyers?
Your agent can work with you to review the information that you post, provide feedback, and leverage any of the information that you provide into the public listing.
What NOT to do:
Social media is great, but sometimes too much info is not a good thing. Some words of caution:
· Over-personalization of a home can actually turn buyers off. Show personality but allow a buyer to visualize living in the home.
· Watch what you share on Facebook or Twitter. Assume that the buyer is going to search your name online (the names of property owners can be found in public tax records) and may run across your Facebook page. We have seen unlocked Facebook pages describing anything from the number of showings they’ve had, to their future plans (“We just bought a house!”), to offers they are expecting. All of this information can negatively affect your negotiations.
· Don’t solely rely on social media to sell your home. Remember that the best way to get in front of a buyer is to be in your local MLS (multiple listing service) which is the mechanism to get your listing in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Use social media as a way to add extra spark to your listing.