Friday, August 1, 2014

An Open Bar At An Open House: Real Estate Marketing 102


Earlier this week, I shared with you a video that I used to promote my house when I listed it for well above "market value".
But having a video isn't enough - it needs to be a part of a larger marketing strategy.
It's like a poisonous spider that doesn't have fangs to with which to bite.  The venom is no good without the delivery method.
Once the video was done, I knew I needed to drive traffic to it.  So I took a page out of Joe Petrowski's book and included it in a blog on AOL's Patch.com.
The traffic to the video was incredible - bringing in tens of thousands of hits.  Boom - the carrot was dangled.  As you can imagine, my realtor wanted to have an open house.
"People saw your 'man cave' in the video," she said.  "They're going to want to see it in person."
I'm going to be honest - I've always been sketchy about open houses.  I know I might ruffle some feathers here - but I'm going to say it: for many agents, open houses serve the agents better than they serve the sellers - they are a lead generator.  I respect that...but with thousands of dollars of single-malt scotches hanging out in the man-cave, I was hesitant.
It was time for a little outrageous marketing.
I made a deal with my agent - I made her give me a shirt and a hat with her real estate agency branding on it and told her that I was going to play the role of "bartender" downstairs - and not let anyone know that I was the homeowner.
As you can imagine, she wasn't crazy about the idea.
She finally relented...and the open house began.
Enter: prospective buyers. 
Prospect: "My GOD who owns this place?  This bar is AMAZING!".
Me: "From what I hear, the guy is pretty freaking cool.  You should meet him.  And I hear he dumped about $75k into this pad before he decided to get married.  Personally, I think he's a fool for selling it at this price."
BINGO.  I got to hear some incredibly candid feedback that I was able to turn into some wonderful and simple changes that made the house even more appealing to prospects.  
In the spirit of full disclosure, although I wasn't supposed to actually serve cocktails...I sort of ignored that little "rule" and offered an open bar.  As you can imagine, it contributed GREATLY to the candid feedback.
And then...it happened.
A couple came in after seeing the video...and fell in love with the house.
It sold at asking price - $25k more than the "experts" said it would ever sell for.
Even though my wife and I are now settled into our new money pit....errr....we still look at listings.
Every house looks the same.  Every header and description read the same.  Videos?  Ha.  Every agency seems to think photos stitched together with music count as a video.  
It's time we stopped marketing in 1997.
Outrageous marketing - which is what our firm specializes in - doesn't have to mean ridiculous and over the top.  It just means doing something a little differently.
How are YOU changing the game?



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Kyle Reyes is the President and Creative Director of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology.  You can find him on Google+Facebook and Twitter.  He's the Chuck Norris of marketing.  It's outrageous - we know.  That's kind of the point.