Going Viral!

I’ve mentioned before, the mansion Christy and I listed last week.  The response to the virtual tour has been amazing, our tour has been accessed nearly 4,000 times in just 1 week and it was shared on www.OldHouseDreams.com where the listing has had OVER 6,000 facebook interactions!  This was all done with ORGANIC (aka FREE) social media exposure.  We simply shared it on facebook on both our sphero page, our personal page and pinned it on pinterest.  This isn’t typical but it was a perfect storm of excellence that got these results.  1.  First of all, this home is interesting.  Locals (who saw our initial social shares) have always been aware of the large home and loved the opportunity to look inside.  2.  We took special care to build a tour that represented the home thoroughly and magnified the stature and charm of the mansion.  3.  The visual representation of the home prompted the “locals” to share the home with their circle of influence and so on until it’s had an international impact.  4.  Once we noticed the listing had been shared on public facebook pages and sites, I took the time to interact with those dreaming about the potential of the home which gave us, the listing agents, “nice guy” credit and lead to even more shares.

Obviously, these results are not always typical but it was neat to see how it worked.  One the www.OldHomeDreams.com website, several people commented about the representation of the home and so I wanted to share one of those posts here:  This morning, a user on the site that goes by the name, “MW” wrote:

“Man, I love those interactive floor plans too. Besides just being awesome, just having any floor plans is a HUGE bonus, and actually having realistic plans is over the top. Throw in the photo links with locations and it is super cool. I have seen that before, but not done nearly quite this well.

I like that the photos are next to the plans so you can see both at the same time. Not pop up windows or on the page kind of thing.

You should sell your services! Most agents could definitely use the help. The houses where I live (San Francisco Bay Area) basically sell themselves, so a lot of sellers and agents here are basically lazy, and quite frankly not always the sharpest sticks around. When just about any piece of complete garage around here can sell for $500K+ you figure they would put some effort into it for the fees they get. But they don’t even bother for the most part. A couple of crappy photos and a broken map link and they call it good enough.

Speaking from the perspective of an architect, it is surprising how poor most real estate agents are at visual marketing skills considering their job is to sell a house. You would think on average they would be a lot better at it. But as you and your listing demonstrates, clearly there is a lot of room for improvement from your typical fellow agents, even on listings with not huge asking prices.

This is a special kind of house that will eventually sell itself to the right buyer, not just any average buyer who might be in the local market and happen to come across the listing or know if it anyway. But, it will only sell if those right buyers can come across the information. And having a listing like this is a great way to get that info. out in an appealing way to as many people across the net as possible. This kind of house, like many on this site, need a wide net to find the right buyer. The old sign out on the street just isn’t likely to solve the problem like it use to be able to.

My only suggestion (and this is not a criticism of your listing by any means), but for a unique old house like this, if I were the seller or agent, I would also try to clearly list and show all of the major faults of the house up front and with photos as much as possible. Being into old homes, like old cars, it is understood that many come with age related issues. No one really expects an old house to be perfect. One first thought when seeing a listing is what is wrong with a house that needs fixing or attention. Knowing that up front for a house like this probably will give a potential buyer a lot more confidence to go for it. I know it would for me. And that kind of information is going to be revealed at some point. I think it is better to reveal it right up front. It could also serve to weed out buyers that might otherwise waste a lot of an agent’s time getting to that. As I am sure you know, you can always provide the negative disclosure information, but have a buyer sign an agreement that they are responsible for their own inspections and your information is only provided for courtesy and not implied to be complete or 100% accurate. That way a buyer can’t come back later and say you missed or misrepresented something if they find something else after a sale.

But again, seriously, very nice work on the listing overall. Good to see you pushing new tech. for a good and proper use, both the nice website listing and drone too. Best of luck on this sale, and others as well.”

Here is a link to that posting:

I know that’s a long comment but I didn’t want to leave out the criticism.  I’m not one that apologizes for making listings look better than they are in real life.  I don’t photoshop any of our photos, rather we focus on the positive aspects of any home.  Think of it like a dating site, would you fault someone for using a good photo of themselves rather than a photo of when they were up all night and had the flu.

Breaking into our second market (Columbia, MO) has been a challenge but I am very excited about how it is progressing.  We’ve done 3 homes for www.BeaconStreetProperties.com and I’m working toward doing a listing for Linda Lou Brown from House of Brokers in Columbia as well as a large listing for an agent at Century 21 Advantage in Columbia.  Compared to what we’ve accomplished in Moberly’s market, we believe there is a capacity in Boone county for 15 tours a week.  My goal is to be at an average of 5 tours a week by May of 2015.  I appreciate your continued support.

Happy Selling!
Shawn Ames