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Tap Into Neighbor Interest In New Listings

August 25th, 2009

Whenever a new listing comes on the market in a neighborhood the neighbors are always very interested in every aspect of the listing. What is the list price? Who’s the agent? What kind of marketing job is the agent doing? etc. They are interested because next week or next month when they want to sell their home they will go with the agent that they think does the best job. Time and again we’ve gotten listings just because the neighbors were wowed by, my flyers, my brochures or my twilight shot of a home we recently sold in the neighborhood.

It never occurred to me that real estate photographers can tap into this neighborhood interest in new listings until Eric Chase of Open2view told me that part of the the Open2view marketing formula is to put door hangers around the neighborhood every time they shoot a listing. The door hanger not only says something like ” Hi, my name is Patty Photographer  (phone number: bla bla bla) and I just shot marketing photos for your neighbor at 123 Pleasant Pl”, but it also has a URL of a tour that shows off the results of the shoot. You can have a line where you write it in the URL. I’m sure O2V franchisees reading this can attest to the effectiveness of this approach.

How does this work if it’s up to the agent to hire a photographer? Well, it insures that when Harry home-owner is in the process of signing a listing agreement with Angela Agent, that Harry says “I think we should have Patty Photographer do the marketing photography”. Believe me these kind of discussions go on. Agents do whatever it takes to get the listing. Consider the door hangers an investment in indirectly educating agents via their home owner clients.

Oh ya, I almost forgot one place you can get door hangers printed is expresscopy.com. To find others just google “door hangers”. What got me going on this subject is that since I frequently use expresscopy.com I got an e-mail this morning promoting door hanger marketing. As the expresscopy.com warning says, “Be aware that some areas have restrictions on door-to-door marketing. Check local regulations before beginning a door hanger campaign”. I’m suggesting you just hang the door hangers on 20 to 30 or so of the surrounding homes where you’ve done a shoot, not personally necessarily talk to all the neighbors. We’re talking a marketing investment of about $10 and 30 minutes of your time for each shoot where you do this. I guarantee it will eventually payoff.

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15 Responses to “Tap Into Neighbor Interest In New Listings”

  • We almost did this, but it necessitates a return trip as well, unless you don’t mind gambling that neighbors won’t look until the photos are finished & online. I guess you could have a “coming soon” notice, but that will lose a lot of interest reallllly quickly.

    It gets your name out there, sure. This simply wasn’t worth our time, especially for properties 15-30-45min away. Some HOAs frown on soliciting as well (ultimately this is what it is, even if defined in a gray area).

    The cons outweighed the pros for us.

  • For those of us still building our businesses, this is a great idea. I do think you should make sure the agent is aware of what you are doing. They might even help.

  • @Scott- Ya, no way does it make sense to make return trips to do this… it must be done while you’re there for the shoot. This requires that you have a system of assigning tour URLs so you know what the URL is and even have the URL set up ahead of time with a “just listed” or “coming soon” page until the tour is finished in the mean time wow them with some of your other work.

    @Brian- Agents will love this and if they are on the ball marketing wise they will be mailing 300 to 1000 post cards to the neighborhood so make sure they understand the should put the specific URL of the tour on their mailing and mention that they use a professional photographer… it will get them more listings in the neighborhood. Guaranteed!

  • what about putting them on the doors that have for sale/lease signs in front of them? maybe they are not happy with the images (or don’t have any).

    I think its a great idea.

  • There are so many listings in my town with really bad real estate photos. Like Jeff said, you can adapt this idea and use the hangers for houses that are on the market—specifically the ones with bad mls photos. Of course, this is only if you have the time to drive around town to all the listings. If you’re just starting out, it’s a great idea.

  • @Beth, I wouldn’t do this unless you’ve done a shoot in the neighborhood. Marketing directly to home sellers is tricky. In the long run you want to build a great relationships with agents since they are the ones that have repeat business. Some agents sell 20 to 50 homes a year. I few of these people will fill your schedule. You want to be careful not to get crosswise with the agent community.

  • Good idea to rip off.
    Thanks Open2View.

  • I dunno…whenever I find something hanging on my door, I toss it out without looking at it.

    Maybe that’s just me?

    Jon

  • The different responses in this blog brought to mind one of my favorite poems:

    The heights of great men reached and kept,
    Were not obtained by sudden flight,
    But they, while their companions slept
    Were toiling upward in the night.
    –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Hope you guys can see where I am coming from on this subject….

  • If you can get the agents to agree, a sign in the yard does even better. More people will see it and it will stay around longer. We have been doing this for about 5 years and have received alot of business directly and indirectly from the signs.

  • @Neil- I’ll have to say, a yard sign or sign rider is one of the best idea’s I’ve heard yet! Takes less of your time, last longer, seen by more people and doesn’t offend those who don’t like the door to door aspect.

  • We’ve been doing both for nearly ten years!

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  • Only a registered real estate agents name can be on the sign in our area (Toronto). One agent wanted to use our (my wife and I) pictures on his sign but was told it was not allowed. So, check with your local real estate board.

  • I have noticed agents having property specific website addresses posted on the yard sign. Could you have the agent to post a blurb on the website “Photos by YAYA Photography.com” That would be a sure way to get it out there without conflicting MLS yard sign rules. In my area everyone is so nosy they look at the websites posted on the sign. Or if it’s okay to put in on a yard sign, have it on the property specific website as well. Agents are used to networking and the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mode of operation. Or cross advertising as it can be called.

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