We belong to and strongly believe in Realtor.com and the Multiple Listing Service, but we don’t depend on them exclusively to find the buyers for our homes. Buyers today are searching on a multitude of search engines including Google. We’ve built our entire company around our own Internet marketing.
We realized in the early days of Internet that once the best domain names were taken, the owners of those names would have a marketing advantage in capturing Internet traffic. We started buying the best domain names in early 2000 and were able to purchase most of the names we wanted.
Sometimes we had to buy a domain name we felt would be critical to our success. We paid about $8,000 for realestatelubbock.com alone knowing that was going to be key to helping people find us. Anyone, from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection can easily find our homes just by typing in any of the following domain names into their URL locator…
Buyers today are typically very Internet savvy. They use high speed Internet from home and work to search for their new home. They may pull in a Realtor to represent them once they’ve found a home, but in virtually every instance, they (or their Realtor) find our homes through Realtor.com, the multiple listing service, our website, or other Internet real estate sites.
Once people find our site, we want them to keep coming back. We make sure our site is fresh, updated daily, and full of good information. The only thing worse than not having a website is having a stale or inaccurate website! We are continually updating and replacing older sales with new sales. Hardly a day goes by when we are not adding a listing, announcing the sale of a listing, changing a price on a listing, or posting pertinent area information to our site. We often make 3-4 changes a day to our site during the busy season.
We turn over every stone to make sure we are continually capturing Internet traffic. Once people find us, we keep them coming back. Hopefully, they will buy a home from us some day.
Nothing happens on its own, whether it is selling a home or keeping a website current and accurate. We have to make it happen. We are continually updating information on our homes, on the cities in which we specialize, on the schools, the marketing statistics, etc. I cannot remember the last day we did not make at least one addition to our site, and most days we are on 4-5 times keeping everything fresh and updated. We never know how or when the next buyer or seller is going to find us, so we always want our site and our homes to be at their best.
You have probably seen hundreds of real estate websites by now. With the exception of new listings, those websites might not have changed in a year. The home presentations all look exactly the same … maybe 9 or 10 tiny pictures, a virtual tour, a brief description of the home, and the room sizes. That’s it. It might take their webmaster 10 minutes to pop all of that information into their stamped out template. Sellers deserve more than that.
On the other side of the spectrum, it takes us about 25 HOURS to put together one complete marketing presentation for a home on our website. And keep this in mind … regardless of the price, we market all of our homes with the same amount of pride and effort. We don’t have different levels of service based on the price of the home.
We like to think everything we do is big and bold. That includes our signs. We carry a listing inventory of from $10 million during the winter months to as much as $35 million in the summer months. We have a lot of signs out on the streets all directing potential buyers to our site.
Selling a home always starts with pictures. You have to entice people to get in their car and visit a listing. If they don’t like what they see online, they won’t take the time to go see it in person. That’s why we are so conscious of the photographs we use.
You will never find a bad picture of any home on our site, inside or out! Guaranteed! You will also never see an exterior picture of a home taken on a cloudy day! We have gone to homes three, four, and even five times over a one or two week period to get the right shot with the sun at the right angle. Is this overkill? Look at our site, then compare it with the competition.
We never use a harsh flash inside the home. The kind you see on the MLS all the time. Bright flashes cast stark shadows and reflections, hot spots, and can really make a room unattractive (if not scary). Our photographer has special equipment and software that allows him to shoot difficult areas without the harsh flash.
Every single picture that goes onto our site is edited for color balance, brightness, or tonal correction. In adverse lighting, the camera often doesn’t see what the eye sees, so we have to compensate for the differences. We are very, very particular about our pictures because they are a reflection of our company as much as they are a portrayal of your home.
We give a lot of thought to our pictures. We don’t just walk in and start clicking and shooting. What do we want to be shown? What do we want to de-emphasize? Which is the best angle for every area of the home? Sometimes moving a camera just several degrees in one direction can result in a much more attractive picture. Taking pictures is an art, not a science.
Although you will never see flyers in front of our listed homes (dinosaur marketing), we always place flyers inside the home for both the agent and their client to pick up. We want to encourage both the buyer and the agent to visit our website and see the home in detail. They can also learn about the area, the schools, taxes, etc.
All of our listings receive a free YouTube video within several days of when the home is presented to the Multiple Listing Service.
We Pay Attention to the Details
We are extremely organized and detail oriented so things don’t fall through the cracks. When we take on a new listing, we have a 50 point checklist of things which have to be done. That checklist remains in front of us every day until every single item is checked off.
Once you sign a listing agreement with an agent, you are tied to the hip with them. If they make a mistake, the buyer is going to go after them as well as you. We are extremely diligent to make sure that never happens. In 31 years of commercial and residential real estate sales, none of the agents within W REALTORS has ever been involved in any kind of arbitration, mediation, or litigation. That’s because we sweat the details.
We Always Assign a Co-Listing Agent on all of Our Listings
We believe we offer the best customer service in the business, however as we continue to grow as a company, it’s become apparent we simply have to assign a second Realtor to provide the BEST service to our clientele. When our clients need an answer, they need it right away, so either your REALTOR or their co-listing Realtor will always be available. All of our Realtors are very knowledgeable about this market and in fact, they represent many of the buyers on our company listings every year.
The end result is, our sellers are getting two highly experienced and motivated Realtors for the price of one and it doesn’t cost them a bit more. The co-listing Realtor is included in our standard fees. This is just another of the many ways our company is different than our competitors.
We are the company, ready to meet your real estate needs.