Category Archives: Realtors

The art of selling homes for less #1

A new segment for Eating Real Estate, is to highlight for sellers the many ways that most realtors market homes homes so they sell for less than they should sell for.  The Art Of Selling Homes For Less will show you how typical real estate marketing works to decrease the value of homes, rather than to increase it.

It’s mediocrity at it’s best.  And it costs sellers a fortune.

If your listing description is anything less than what you would read in Architectural Digest, then your home will take longer to sell and it will sell for less than it should.  And if your photos are anything less than the staged rooms and professional quality that you would see in any home magazine (locally 201 Magazine), then your home won’t stand out from the crowd like it needs to….and WOW someone, then your home will sell for less than it should.

Great marketing creates better results than mediocre marketing.  Guaranteed!

Would you rather see your Tenafly, Cresskill or Englewood New Jersey home marketed to look like something from Sears or Kmart.  Or would you rather have a Neiman’s look?

Which one do you think will help to increase your homes value?

The Art Of Selling Homes For Less #1

What are they trying to tell us in these photos?  From the midget low angle, to the the lack of flash lighting, this room looks yuck!  Looks like the photos were taken using a disposable CVS camera. This makes Kmart furnishings look good.

Would this make you want to rush out and see this home? If not, then what good is it.

Make no mistake about it…this is one of the main reasons why homes sell for less than they should, and why it takes so long to sell them.

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Another reason why your home takes so long to sell, and why it sells for less

When someone reads the listing description about your home, does it make them say…

  • WOW I can see myself living here!
  • or scream out…honey, I just found our dream home!
  • or…we need to see this home now!

I doubt it!

Make your home stand out from the crowd

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 12.44.09 PMSince listing agents will never talk to 99.9% of the people who see your home online, doesn’t it make sense to create an amazing listing description, that entices viewers to want to see it…and to make the home stand out from the crowd?

It’s common sense, and rarely ever happens.

Your listing is the first thing someone will see when they’re searching online for “homes for sale in Tenafly”.  And if your description doesn’t create interest, some excitement, and leave viewers with a memorable impression, then  you blew your best shot at attracting buyers and selling your home faster and for it’s highest value.

Your home needs to stand out from the crowd…but it’s not happening.

Here’s a few examples of listing descriptions that hurt your sales efforts…and decrease the value of your home.
CUSTOM DESIGNED MASTERPIECE LOCATED ON A BEAUTIFUL FLAT ACRE IN A PREMIER LOCATION; DESIGNED AND BUILT TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS; HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HOUSE INCLUDE A GRAND 2 STORY ENTRY FOYER, LARGE ROOMS, EXTENSIVE MILLWORK THROUGHOUT, CUSTOM KITCHEN WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART APPLIANCES, FINISHED LOWER LEVEL WITH MEDIA ROOM, GYM, BEDROOM AND BATH. A MUST SEE!  This basically describes almost every home for sale. How many people will be attracted to this ultra luxury home via this description?  Maybe it’s why the home has been for sale for 2+ years ,and has a $600k price cut.  And what are state of the art appliances?

If you have nothing amazing to say about your home…then you’re better off not saying anything, and just let people look at the photos

THIS IMPRESSIVE CONTEMPORARY HOME IS SET ON ONE PLUS ACRE OF LUSH LANDSCAPED GROUNDS. THE FRONT DOOR OPENS TO A SPACIOUS ATRIUM, WHERE CATHEDRAL CEILINGS AND ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS INVOKE AN OPEN, AIRY FEELING AND SKYLIGHTS BRIGHTEN EACH ROOM. SPACE IS ALLOCATED JUDICIOUSLY WITH A SEPARATE CHILDREN’S WING AND OVERSIZED GREAT ROOM ALLOWING PARENTS PRIVACY SIMULTANEOUSLY PROVIDING COMMON AREAS FOR THE FAMILY TO GATHER. DESIGNED BOTH, FOR INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING AND ENTERTAINING, THE WALK OUT LOWER LEVEL GRANTS ACCESS TO THE SPRAWLING BACK YARD AND IN GROUND POOL. A WALK-OUT DECK SPANS THE DESIGNER KITCHEN, LARGE DINING ROOM AND OVERSIZED GREAT ROOM, TRULY INVITING THE OUTDOORS IN. MANY UPDATES TO THIS HOME.  Sounds like a lawyer wrote this description…allocates, simultaneously, grants access etc.  Sorry, but home buyers don’t think this way when looking for a home. Oh…and designed for indoor/outdoor living and entertaining…what are they talking about?

Selling your home is all about marketing…or waiting to get lucky.

Common sense…Marketing 101, day #1 in college.  Great marketing increases awareness and value, and crappy marketing kills it.

The right kind of marketing gives you the opportunity to maximize your price.  But waiting to get lucky only gives you the opportunity to accept whatever price someone offers you, because that’s what they want to offer

Will your home be the one that sells?

Realtor can use Instagram and other apps to energize listings, but will they?

For those of you Realtors who are incredibly bored of looking at the same uneventful yawn provoking Realtor listing pictures over and over again, until you just want to puke, then read on.

If you’re like me and you’ve been looking at real estate listing pictures for the past 40 years, then you’ll cheer when agents start “getting with it” and start posting cool pictures, rather than the garbage we’re used to seeing.

The people at Socialnomics.com came up with a list of photography apps that will put Realtors into the 21st Century, and make your listing photos shine like never before.  Now you can take even the crappiest listing pictures (which most are) and zap it with some modern day energy that will grab the attention of today’s buyers…who happen to be light years ahead of Realtors when it comes to creating WOW moments with photos.

Just imagine trying to sell your home in Tenafly and someone seeing cool Instagram like pictures, and actually getting excited about it.

Suddenly you can go from really boring to WOW!  Realtors may not like artistic, but the millions of Instagram uses do

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, there is one problem…nothing will help put leaves on trees when a picture was taken last season and never updated.  Maybe that’s why this home still hasn’t sold!

Another problem is that Bergen County Realtors don’t like spending money on marketing, and the $1.99 price tag for most of these apps will be a deal killer for using them.

Check out the post…5 alternatives to Instagram and add-ons to the photo sharing app

More venting…photos this time

While I’m on the marketing kick and pictures, it also bothers me to no end, how someone can leave outdated pictures on a site and expect to sell the home for it’s best price…even in Tenafly.  A case in point is when Realtors get a listing in the fall when there are no leaves on the trees, but keep the same pictures on the site through the summer. 

Does anyone believe that this goes unnoticed by viewers, and that it doesn’t give a negative impression of the home and the price?

This is just another reason why homes sell for less than they should and why they take longer to sell.

There is something good that comes from this…in a few months the leaves will start falling again and the agent won’t have to spend the money on new pictures…until next spring, when the home is still for sale!

Owner of multimillion dollar estate, for sale by owner

For Sale by Owner, a Multimillion-Dollar Mountain Estate…New York Times

This is a wonderful article  article in the New York Times by Paul Sullivan, that describes the efforts being taken by a successful businessman to sell his wonderfully designed 10,000+sf ultra luxury home (Sagee Manor) Highlands NC. without using a broker.

Sagee Manor is a full-blown estate — a 10,000-square-foot mansion with a 2,500-square-foot guesthouse sitting on a mountain top in Highlands, N.C., a resort town. It is surrounded by professionally designed gardens. The asking price was $18 million to $25 million, depending on how many acres the buyer wanted.

As Paul Sullivan points out, this is no ordinary home.  It’s a true masterpiece.

Visit Sagee Manor

The article points out the lengths to which Mr Bob Fisher (owner) has gone to market his home without a listing agent, is quite amazing. Brokers will surely say that without using them this magnificent home won’t sell, or it will take longer to sell…but I don’t agree with that assessment especially with this home.

The only thing that a broker could do that Mr Fisher hasn’t done, is to list the home on their site and the local mls.  If it’s a local brokerage then their reach is local and maybe regional at best…and who’s to say how many hits a local brokerage gets for a home in this price range.  And even if the brokerage is part of a national or “global” franchise, how many people can they reach in this price range around the world. The idea that millions of buyers all around the world can see your home is more hype than reality.
Millions of buyers will never see this listing, and never talk to an agent about it.

A listing, is a listing.  But a listing is not marketing

Mr. Fisher built a web site for the home, that has amazing pictures and videos, and he’s “worked” his network, and has also worked hard to create new networks to spread the word…and to appeal to a Realtors weak spot…money!  What firm will go this far top market a home, even knowing that if they sell the home their potential commissions are enormous ($$750,000 @ $15,000,000)? None of them will go this far and further.

The reality is, this home could take 3-5 years to sell…even in good times.

Here in Alpine New Jersey which has been touted by Forbes to being one of the most expensive zip codes in the country…some home in the 8 figure range have been on the market for up to 5 years.  And we have one mega ultra luxury home that was listed at $56 million…but was just taken off the market.  And this home has been on the market for about 3 years, but was only completed about a year ago.  How many years will this home take to sell…and it’s not even the most expensive home in Alpine.

Ask Donald Trump how long it took him to sell the $100+ million home he built in Florida…I think it took almost 5 years to sell.
The buyer pool is incredibly  small for $18-25million homes in their local region.  And when you extend your marketing nationally and internationally, which you need to do for these mega expensive luxury homes, your ability to attract a buyer becomes a daunting task. Mr. Fisher has obviously learned that paying a sales commission isn’t worth his cost if all he’s getting is  the same basic sales tools that everyone else gets (lawn sign, free web listing and a brochure).  This is just isn’t enough to warrant such a large fee.

They need to do more, but typical brokerage isn’t set up to do more.

Though it hasn’t worked as of yet, Mr. Fisher has done more marketing than any Realtor would consider doing … he has spent a tremendous amount of money on print advertising, personal networking and to build a high quality website that shows a tremendous number of HD photos and some of the finest videos ever produced for a home sale. The brokerage business model isn’t set up for this type of work…they simply gravitate towards the easier sale, as most companies do. The hard sell homes remain on the higher branches and become tough sales.

Real estate is local and brokerages have been able to get away in the past, with classified ad listings and free web listing because most buyers are already living within the general vicinity of the homes for sale.  Such is not the case in a market where there are very few buyers in this price range, and those who are in the market probably live hundreds or thousands of miles away, and possibly in another country.

It’s extremely hard to grab a buyers attention

I had done some strategic consulting work for a builder who was building a project of some very ultra expensive custom homes ranging up to $50+ million.  And when I came on board with them, they had the same exact problem that Mr Fisher is facing at Sagee Manor.  How can we target our marketing so that we get in front of a potential buyer.

It’s all about marketing.

At the time this developer was listing their homes with a local brokerage firm that has an international presence. But this approach wasn’t working, so the developer turned to me to develop a way to reach out to a specific niche market…to those who could afford to purchase such an expensive  home. He asked me how to find a needle in a humongous haystack.

The first thing I did was to talk to the head of marketing for the national franchise.  I asked him a simple but important question…”what are you specifically going to do for us in the way of marketing, (beyond listing this home on your website),  so it gets the exposure that will be needed to sell this home”.

All he said was that they would list it on the web, and it would be seen by all of their affiliate across the globe. That was all he would offer.

To get a better feel for how this was going to work, or if it was going to work,  I called numerous affiliates in London, several in Russia and Singapore, Japan, Argentina, Palm Beach, and Beverly Hills.  And by the third call, I saw just how hard this sale was going to be. But in all fairness, this is an industry wide problem for every ultra luxury homeowner. The system doesn’t work in their favor…thus, there’s a need to do more than the basics,  And that’s where everything becomes extremely complicated,

Mr Fisher obviously realized that he needed much more than anyone could offer him…so he’s doing just that. And he’s is the perfect spokesman for his marketing.  He a soft spoken and seemingly nice person.

Watching his videos made me feel like I’ve known him my entire life, and he personalizes his home like no one else could ever do.

Go for it Mr Fisher!  You’re headed in the right direction, and with a few adjustments to your approach, your home will sell.  When I don’t know, but no one else does either.  However, at some point though you should consider working out a deal to use one of the large brokerages., who will hopefully come through for you. You’ll know when the time is right.

Cedar Grove home hits the market at $17.9M

Northjersey.com reports that a $17.5 million home in Cedar Grove was recently listed (relisted) by Halstead Properties

Article…The other side of Cedar Grove: Home hits the market at $17.9M

Just you basic run of the mill 24,000sf mega ultra luxury home, in a town not noted for such grand structures

Don’t own one? No problem.

That is, if you can afford the $17.9 million asking price for Elita Kane’s chateau at 50 Laura Drive.

Northjersey.com takes a snide swipe at the asking price because the town assessed the value much lower than the asking price

According to the Cedar Grove Tax Assessor’s Office, the property is assessed at $2,778,700 – over $15 million less than Kane’s asking price. (The land is assessed at $462,900; the improvements, $2,315,800.) The annual property tax bill for 2011 was just over $54,000.

One has nothing to do with the other.  Just the mere fact that a 24,000sf home can’t possibly be replaced for this cost, should make you wonder why the town assessed it for such a low number.  But regardless, where can you find a home those size with property taxes at $54,000.  MAybe the tax assessor will have another look at this figure since northjersey.com pointed it out.

Wish there were more pictures to see, and why isn’t one of the pictures of the exterior?  Ahhhh, it’s because they want you to see more pictures on their facebook page, which makes you become a follower (a lead)…and they even have the nerve to put the pictures up for sale.  So how many photo T-shirts will they sell with a picture of this terrace on it.  My guess is zero.

Who would seek these homes in a town not known for such commodities?

“A high profile client,” Laurita answered, adding that the Laura Drive home could be on the market for up to a year. One famous actress-singer has shown interest in it, as have international investors from Beijing, Brazil and especially – California. Most of the interested clients are married couples sans children, he said. In order to make an appointment to see the chateau, one has to provide supporting documents of the requisite income.

The broker mentioned that it’s not unusual for a home in this price range to remain on the market for one year. Sorry, but 4+ years is more like it.

Many interested shoppers are also looking at properties in the affluent suburb of Alpine, Laurita said, noting that Kane’s asking price is ballpark to the prices of similar real estate in Alpine.

The commute to New York City is better from Cedar Grove than from Alpine, though, Kane’s nephew chimed in. He also noted that while Alpine homes boost mountain views, the Kane chateau offers views of both the mountains and city. He watches the famous Macy’s fireworks from the chateau terraces annually

Just a hint about the Alpine market, which has been on a respirator for the past 4 years.  If they want to compare this home to the homes for sale in Alpine, New Jersey, then they’ll need a large bottle of anti-depressants, because there’s nothing happening in Alpine.

And since when is it easier to get from Cedar Grove to Manhattan, than it is from Alpine to Manhattan?  Now they’re really dreaming

Let us know what you think

 

 

Tenafly home sales data point to a strong market. It’s time for price increases

If your house is currently for sale in Tenafly, or if you are considering selling your home, then this blog post will give you valuable information that you can’t get anywhere else (hey, no one else will put in the effort that it takes to analyze the market for your benefit).

Run from everyone who tells you that it’s all about price, because they’re wrong.

It’s time for Tenafly to take the lead, and stop lowering the sales prices when trying to sell your home

Sales figures show that Tenafly is overwhelming in demand compared to its neighboring towns

High demand has created a sellers market in Tenafly.

Selling your home is not all about price. And it’s not all about being the lowest price (but you can’t be a pig and over price it by a whopping amount, just because you want/need to sell it for more).

And contrary to the Realtors mantra, your house doesn’t need to be priced right for it to sell or to sell faster (I still haven’t figured it out what they mean by price it right).

The following charts breakdown the yearly home sales in Tenafly starting in 2001:

The following charts detail a yearly breakdown of home sales for Tenafly starting 2001 and ending in mid 2012…by price range

What these charts show us is that the yearly home sales have been fairly consistent since around 2006…in every price range other than for the ultra luxury niche (that segment got slammed).

Fact: home sales in Bergen County really crashed in 2006…2 years before the national market collapsed…see chart____ .  And home sales have pretty much bounced around the same sales volume (# of homes sold) since that time.  However, home prices did fall by a large percentage.

The consistent number of home sales in each price category shows us that as long as your home is within a general price range, then you’re fine.

Lower sales prices and lower interest rates do not create more sales.

Sales people like to believe that the lower the price is, more homes will sell…but the evidence shows us that this mindset is wrong.  It’s an outdated wives-tale, that doesn’t hold water.

  • a supposed 30% price decrease hasn’t created more home sales
  • and 3+ years of historically low interest rates has not created more homes sales in our area

In fact, Tenafly is for the most part the most expensive town in the area…given the volume of home sales

If it’s all about lowering your price, or being the cheapest home on the market, then the towns surrounding Tenafly should be bursting with home sales…because in those towns you can get a newer larger home, or a smaller home for considerably less money than you can buy in Tenafly.  And the property taxes are less expensive as well.

Home sales year to date:

  • Alpine…8 homes sold
  • Closter…47 homes sold
  • Cresskill…36 sales
  • Demarest…27 sales
  • Englewood…60 sales
  • Englewood Cliffs…29 sales
  • Haworth…24 sales ytd, which is 2 more sales that Haworth had in all of 2011.  Why are home sales on fire in Haworth?
  • Norwood…16 sales
  • Tenafly…92 homes sold ytd

Even though homes in Tenafly are more expensive and have higher property taxes…Tenafly sales outpace each one of these towns by a range of 30%-90%

The only market segment in Tenafly that has been whacked (compared to 2011) or has it been,  is the luxury home sector.  For some reason that I can’t explain, sales of homes priced over $2 million skyrocketed in 2011 to 16 sales. between 2008 and 2010 luxury home sales averaged around 6 homes per year.  And at this point in time in 2012 were sold in this price range, 6 homes.

What these figures don’t show for Tenafly is the new construction activity that has taken place in Tenafly over the past 2 years.  People bought properties, knocked down the houses, and built new homes, either to live in or to sell as spec homes. there were 12 new, very large and expensive homes built in the past 2 years in Tenafly…so even though the luxury market took a hit on paper, the real market condition is quite different.

Why haven’t the Realtors pointed this out to everyone.  They just don’t get it.

Reason behind breaking the numbers down to specific price ranges:

I didn’t just break them down by volume, which would be very misleading to buyers and sellers…I broke down the numbers by a defined set of price categories that I have consistently used throughout this blog.  By breaking down the numbers, you can see how the market is performing at every price category.  This is the only way for consumers to get an honest and clear understanding of what is really happening in our marketplace. Knowledge will save you a fortune in the longrun.

It’s one thing to see the stats for homes sold up to $1 million, but the numbers become more meaningful and honest when you break them down do a more defined price point 

I wish I had been smart enough to analyze the market in such detail while I was building homes, because if I had done so I would not have built the last 2 homes that I built.  The agents told me one thing, while the numbers pointed to something entirely different.

Important note: just because one price niche is down in sales, doesn’t necessarily mean that-that niche is in trouble.  You really have to take a look at the price points surrounding your target price…and this will give you a more realistic view of the market

For those of you who are hungry for real in depth information, this should be enough to sink your teeth into. So analyze away and let me know what you think.

Home sales in Tenafly are are incredibly stable.  And stability is key to a recovery. Now is the time for Realtors and the brokerage firms to get on the ball and start pricing homes where they should be…not just where they think they should be. And the data backs this up.  The sales prices in Tenafly have been stable for quite some time, so now is the time to push them back up to where they need to be.  A healthy and thriving Tenafly, will help lift all of the neighboring town…and it has to start in Tenafly.

Let the recovery begin!

The return of the $300k home sale in Bergen County? Not in the eastern part of the county

I added another post to my series about the State of the Housing Market in Bergen County, because of an article that was just released in The Record and on northjersey.com…The return of the under $300k house in Bergen, Passaic counties…by Kathleen Lynn, that focuses on the lower price range of the market (in specific towns), and once again on affordability.

  • is this really a return of lower priced homes?
  • is it a temporary return?
  • will this hurt sales of higher priced homes?
  • or is this article all about nothing…because the sales figures for homes priced under $1 million hasn’t really changed all that much going back to 2009?

And to dig even deeper, is this the future for Bergen County home sales, because the lower price range is all that today’s buyers can afford?

In fact, it’s pretty easy to find a home for less than $250,000

but not in the eastern part of the county!

This article seems more like a marketing piece for Realtors.  And again, they make it all about price.  But as the facts bare out, price doesn’t create more sales…it just makes it less expensive for people who are already in the market who probably would have bought a home at a higher price.

Sales of homes priced below $300k decreased in Tenafly by 88% in 2012…and that’s taking into consideration, all types of housing…not just single family homes…(8 houses sold in 2011 and only 1 house sold thus far in 2012).  And there was a 17% decrease in this price range from 2010-2011.

Real estate is local!

As I’ve stated in previous posts, it’s impossible to properly assess the market at any price point unless you use comparison from a multiple of past years and price ranges. The shift to something is be more important than the shift to something.  And this is the case for the articles in the above referenced publications.

The Record’s look at property records found that under-$300,000 homes were a majority of sales in many towns that have traditionally drawn first-time home buyers, such as Bogota, Bergenfield, Elmwood Park, Garfield, Hackensack, Lodi, Clifton, Wanaque, West Milford and Pompton Lakes. But properties under $300,000 also made up 42 percent of the sales in Fair Lawn, 27 percent of the sales in Mahwah and 23 percent of the sales in Waldwick.

I’m going out on a limb to say that a majority of the homes sold in Tenafly are also to first time buyer…but at higher prices than the towns mentioned above. Which means that the $300k price range is irrelevant, but for talking about an incredibly narrow price point.

Yes it’s true that the sales of homes priced below $500k (they use the weird figure of $300k…whereas I use more simplified figures in $500k-$1.0m increments, so it’s easier to understand) has increased by a whopping 31% in 2012…from 40% of all homes sold in Bergen County to 62% of home sales.

But what the articles failed to point out is that in 2011 the sales of homes priced below $500k, actually fell by an equally whopping 27% from 2010.  So the return to the $300k home may not be such a radical move after all (or could it be incredibly radical).

And also not mentioned were the sales figures for homes priced from $500k- $1 million:

  • sales of homes in this price ranged decreased by 36%…from 47% to 30% of all homes sold in Bergen County
  • however, sales in the same price range increased in 2011 by 28%

What this really tells us about the market is something that we all need to be concerned about…and that is the trend that this portrays.  Which is that if this is in fact the trend that the publications believe that it is, is that the market in Bergen County is going to be predominately positive only for lower priced homes.  Because as they point out, most of today’s buyers are first time buyers…not move up buyers.

And if this is in fact the case, which it could be, then the trend for homes priced well above these figures will suffer, because there isn’t enough of a supply of these homes for sale.  Which will then cause the price of the lower priced homes to increase in value.  Which will then cause less homes to sell…and push more people to rentals.

Another problem that isn’t addressed in the articles is…what does this mean for towns like Tenafly, Cresskill, Closter and others in the more expensive eastern part of the County where the prices are considerably more expensive than in other areas of the County.  Will the eastern towns get hurt if this remains the trend?

If there’s one thing to learn from this…it’s that real estate is very local.  And if facts aren’t compared to other towns a price ranges, then it has no baring on anything other than to create distracting noise.  But worse it misleads consumers into believing something that is broadly true, but locally not correct.

If I only read the headline…The return of the under $300k house in Bergen, Passaic counties…then I would believe that the $300k home sale was a trend everywhere in Bergen County.  But it’s not.

But I do think that this highlights a serious problem that will affect us in the future…throughout Bergen County.  If this is the price range that buyers can afford for the next few years, it creates a problem for sales and values everywhere in the county.

The article was great in that it brings to attention some potential future problems with our housing market, and by pointing out that some people are looking in specific areas for lower priced homes, but that has pretty much always been the case in Bergen County. But you didn’t know that.

It’s time for real estate marketing to add some WOW. Quit being boring!

From time to time, in order to add a little excitement to the site, I’m going to post some things that catch my eye.  

The reason for this is really simple…marketing!

Not marketing to boost my viewership, but to show, sellers, agents and real estate developers, just how horrible they are at marketing their products. I’ve never seen an industry that is soooo pathetic at marketing homes, office buildings and everything else real estate.

Check out the houses for sale in Tenafly on the njmls, and tell me if there’s any WOW to it.

I’m looking for some WOW stuff!

After being in the biz for my entire life, real estate marketing has become a real turnoff (it’s always been a turn off for me).  And everyone suffers because of it.  Things take longer to sell or lease than they should, and mostly everything sells for less than it should.

All because of horrible marketing!

So I’m going to start posting things that scream out WOW when I see it.

And then I’m going to talk about how we can use it to sell more houses in Tenafly…and sell them faster and for higher prices.

I know all the Realtors will say it won’t work.  But that’s coming from people who have been doing it the same way for decades, and they’re not creating any more sales, or faster sales, or adding value via their marketing.  Run from anyone who tells you that marketing homes doesn’t work.

Some of it will be feminine and sexy, and some will be macho and powerful…and sexy as well.

Sorry but I’m tired of looking at boring, ugly sleep inducing real estate marketing.

It’s the most uneventful crap out there!

Let me know what you think!

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First up is some kick ass jewelry that I came across on a really cool site that I follow called… le zoe musings

The post is called…More arm swag please!

I find the photography interesting and sexy…and their use of filters gives the photos a great look.

Great stuff even for a guy to check out.

Guess you could say that I’m in touch with my feminine side

If they can make jewelry look sexy and WOW, then why can brokers make it happen with real estate?

Agents need to open their eyes, trash their disposable cameras, and use an iphone, Instagram, and iphoto enhancements and start creating some interesting shots.

Be different or be invisible!

And if you haven’t noticed on this site, I’m into BIG photos.  It’s all about grabbing a viewers attention, and big makes a powerful statement

Crappy pictures lower the vaue of your house and make it harder to sell

I have a real simple question…if you’re trying to sell your house in Tenafly or Alpine, or anywhere else in Bergen County for that matter does it matter how good the quality of the pictures are?  Is a dull, crappy, low resolution picture just as good as a high resolution with vivid colors?

And can pictures shown with Instagram type filters be even more effective than any other types of pictures?

Does a plain boring photo of a room, have the same effect on viewers as one that has been digitally enhanced to make it stand out?

Something is horribly wrong “” in the burbs of Bergen County…Realtors suck at marketing homes.

Pictures are a big part of marketing, but to suburban Realtors and the njmls, the concept seems to go unnoticed. But it doesn’t go unnoticed by consumers who are looking for a WOW MOMENT when they’re looking to purchase a home.

Creating a memorable impression via stunning pictures has never been easier, but you would never know that by looking at pictures of homes for sale in Bergen County

Most pictures look like they were taken using a disposable camera that anyone can get from your local cvs.  And is there a law in Realtorland where the exterior of each home house has to be shot from the same angle.  And where a shot of each room has to be taken from the back of the room looking out…and taken from the same height, which is just a bit taller than a munchkin?  The “photographers” who take pictures for all of the Realtors must have gone to the same 10 minute photography course…because all the pictures look the same!

They like to say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  But I ask…if the picture sucks, then is the picture worth a thousand bad words (or worse…none)? And does a great shot add more value to the home than horrible shots?

When you look at pictures of homes on some of the New York City brokerage sites like Corcoran, Douglass Elliman, and Town, these sites blow away every site in our suburbia.  Why do you think that is?  They get it and suburban Realtors don’t.  And they understand the meaning of competition, and what it takes to sell consumers.  Though these big companies only recently started showing full screen, high resolution pictures…they’re doing it.

As a builder and real estate developer, I argued about this point with every agent and brokerage firm I ever hired to sell my homes or lease my buildings.  But they always fall back on the idea that what they do is good enough, and that they’re doing what everyone else is doing. That’s a horrible business model

Check out these pictures:

#1 and 2 show a boring picture directly from the njmls, and one that I enhanced…and it took me less than 30 seconds to enhance the photo using Apple’s iphoto software

#3 and 4…I did the same.  And btw, the snow that is visible out the window is still showing even though we’re entering August. How funny is that

#5 and 6…5 came from the njmls and 6 I added color depth and faded the edges.  It’s a cool look that grabs your attention

#7, 8 and 9…again the original boring one from the njmls, then the righ color enhancements and #9 I threw in the Instagram effect  and came up with something that millions of Instagram users just love!

Remember…marketing is the art of grabbing a buyers attention, creating a WOW factor and getting some really excited about wanting to know more about your home.

It’s the start of a love connection…and a sale.

Make it look sexy!

Click the first picture and it turns into a slide show…and you can jog back and forth to compare the differences.

I push photography to the limits when I present homes online, because ” I get it”.  I know that it makes a world of difference when viewers see a spectacular photo, rather than something ordinary.

Who else will do this for you?  No one!

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why my homes always sold faster and for more money than the agents ever expected.

Next post…size matters!

Be different, or be invisible!