We're about to be coming out of quite possibly the craziest time in World History. Never before have we seen an entire planet shut down and in essence, halt the world economy. Many arguments are being made as to when and how long it will take to get things back to normal. I personally don't like to live in the world of speculation, I prefer live in the here and now.
We are definitely heading into uncharted territory and while I'd love to give advice on how all businesses will survive and thrive, I simply cannot speak on such a broad level. I can tell you, that the Real Estate Market is about to change, and change rapidly. Are we heading for another Real Estate collapse? I personally don't believe so. What I do know however, is that Marketing will Matter more than Ever to help get your home sold!
Why? Simple. Supply & Demand is about to show exactly how the law works. If we look at the Grand Strand Real Estate Market before the shutdown, we see we have a Balanced Market. From March 1, 2019 to March 1, 2020 we saw an Average Days on Market of 149 days. So basically it takes on average, Five Months to sell a home along the Grand Strand. We had a List to Sales ratio of 96%, which means buyers were paying 96% of the asking price of homes. All this signifies a "Balanced" Market.
Now take into effect what we're about to see happen. Over 500 Homes came off the market since March 1, 2020 via a "Withdraw" and over 150 changed their status to "Hold, Don't show". Now, not all of these properties did so due to the COVID19 pandemic, but we can assume a large majority of them did. That number represents almost 6% of our total "Active" Market.
So 6% doesn't seem like a huge number, right? However, we also have to account for all the listings that Never Came to the Market that are going to be looking to list their homes once all the craziness is over and the honest truth is, we don't know what that number is. I can tell you I personally had two clients take their home off the market with the hopes of re-listing April 1st and also have three other clients that wanted to wait to list their home when things calm down. So that's one realtor, with five homes coming on the market shortly. Now consider we have over 3,000 active agents in the marketplace, and you can see where we're going here.
So why will Marketing Matter more than Ever? Simple, we're about to be inundated with inventory. While we've maintained a "Sellers" Market for some time along the Grand Strand, we will have to accept the fact that we will be transitioning into a "Buyers" Market very shortly. The more inventory there is, the more choice buyers have. The more choice they have, the more they are in the drivers seat.
It's vital to understand that your home will be Competing, with more homes on the market and while most agents will likely tell you you have to drop your price to be competitive, I would argue that Price is only one part of the Marketing equation. If you go all the way back to learning the four P's of Marketing (Product, Price, Placement, Promotion) you see it's only 25% of the equation and it will be vital to not ignore the other 75% going forward. Let's examine the other three and see why they are so vital:
Product: The product is your home itself. This is where our role as Lifestyle Advisors comes into play. We help determine how your product (Your Home) will Compete in the marketplace in it's current state, and what we can do to enhance the product so that it shines above the rest when it goes to market.
Placement: Where does your home stand within it's own community? Then within it's zip code? What time of year are you marketing it? How close to the Ocean is it? These are all Placement factors.
Promotion: This will be the most vital aspect of selling homes going forward. It's imperative that you ask your prospective Marketing Agent what they will be doing to Promote your home. If the only answer they can give you is that they will put it on the MLS which then in turn puts it on Zillow, Realtor.com, etc, then you should run for the hills. This is not Promoting a home, this is simply "Listing" a home. NEWSFLASH!! You don't need a Realtor to "List" your home. You can do that yourself with today's technology. You need a Realtor to Market & Promote your home so that it beats out the competition.
So what should you be asking your prospective agent about Promoting your home? I'll lay out how I market homes (I have to plug myself here somehow, otherwise why write a blog?) and then turn them into questions you should be asking.
1. Professional Photography: This is so crucial on so many levels yet we still see the majority of agents using Iphone photos. The realty is that the consumer today is online (FB, Instagram, etc) and they are "Scroll Happy". So what that means is, if your home is not professionally shot, and the first photo doesn't "POP" then your getting scrolled over as they move on to the first "Shiny" photo they see. I use professional photography on ALL listings, no matter how big or small. This costs an agent $150 to $250 on average. With the commissions agents make, this is a small expense that shouldn't be ignored.
Question to ask: Who will be doing your photography and can I see some of their work?
2. 3D Virtual Tours: This was never #2 on my list but given the current crisis we face, this is more important than ever! Luckily, we've been ahead of the curve on this as we've been doing these on EVERY Listing for over a year now. This feature allows the buyers to walk through your home without ever leaving theirs! This feature is not to be confused with what some agents call a virtual tour but is merely a slideshow with some lovely music behind it. These 3D Tours typically cost $250-$350 (Agent Cost) depending on the size of your home.
Question to ask: Given the current climate, how will you help to market my home virtually to buyers that might not want to travel at the moment?
3. Invest in Marketing: I personally invest half a percent of my expected commission back into promoting my clients property. So on a $300,000 home, this would equate to roughly $1,500 in marketing expense. So take away the photography and 3D Tour I'm left with $1,100 to do some powerful marketing for your home. What do I spend this on? Always depends on the home, but I can invest it into Facebook/Instagram targeted ads, postcards, flyers, Mega Open Houses, email campaigns, Home Warranties, etc. Seem excessive? Consider how much more effective "targeted" marketing is to simply putting a home on the MLS and then hope and pray a buyers agent brings me a buyer. No thank you, I prefer to take control of my properties destiny.
Question to ask: How much of your fee will you invest in marketing my home? (Get ready for a "Deer in the Headlight" reaction)
4. Geo-fencing: Do you understand how Geo-Fencing works? Great, me neither. I just know it's pretty cool when my clients property shows up on major websites like Amazon, Fox News, ESPN, etc and then follows them all over the web. It's also a bit creepy, but hey, these are the times we live in. We have a partnership with Adwerx, which specializes in this very thing and also gives us reports on how many times your home was viewed as well as how many people clicked on it.
Question to ask: What other forms of online promotion will you be using to market my home?
5. Digital & Print Community Publication: Want your home to be seen by over 100,000 local Grand Strand Residents every month? Real Living Home Realty Group owns The Coastal Insider, a community publication that reaches that many local residents per month. Our Real Estate Section focuses on our Clients properties and exposes them to the entire Grand Strand area. Why is this important? Although we do have many people buying from out of the area, studies suggest that almost 50% of homes bought are from people already in the area. So let's get your home in front of those local buyers!
Question to ask: How will you be promoting my home to local buyers?
Marketing a home is more serious than ever. Be sure you have a Marketing Specialist on your side.
Want more info or a Home Marketing Consultation? You can call or text me at