So you have land for sale. Either one tract or a hundred. Are you advertising your property on the Internet? Surely you know that at least 90% of all land buyers start their search on the Internet these days…at least those that start without prodding from a persistent agent. So, if you are reading this, and not marketing your land on the Net, please take this as your wake-up call. It’s time to move on to the new-fangled Internet gizmo to help sell your property. But maybe that’s not you. Maybe you are “listing” your property for sale through sites like LANDFLIP.com. Are you marketing land on the Net or just “listing” it? Ahh HA! What’s the difference? Maybe that’s why it’s not working for you? Assuming that your goal is to use your online advertising to help sell the property, let’s take a brief look at the bare-bones of marketing land on the Internet.
The first step in Internet marketing your property does not start on the Internet. It starts with buying a decent digital camera.
Camera. You can buy a perfectly functional camera for $100. Learn how to use it. When you go to a property that you will be selling, take lots and lots of photos. It costs you nothing to take more photos than you need. Think about it. What does a professional photographer do to sell you a few photos?…thats right, lots of photos. You want to take 5-10 pictures for every photo you think you need to use. Try to get all aspects of the property. You may not post all of these photos to the listing, but you will get inquiries asking for more photos at times. It helps to have them available. That makes you look like a professional marketer.
Scanner. On the assumption you have a computer and are at least semi-proficient in it’s use, the next thing you need is a scanner. You need to be able to scan documents, maps, and plats into an electronic format that can easily be posted to websites, or emailed to prospective buyers. Your land listing on the Net needs to have a clear map indicating the boundaries. Topographical and Aerial Maps are also very helpful in helping a buyer understand the property…which is the product you are marketing. Today’s buyer wants to understand these things prior to making a buying decision. The easier it is for them to get that info, the better. Good marketing helps them accomplish this. If the land listing website does not provide a way to mark the property on a Google or Bing map, you need a location map scanned in and available as well…and you need to be on the lookout for a different land listing portal.
Descriptions. You need an accurate and thorough description. This is not a thorough description, however accurate it might be: “84 Acres of Land For Sale on Smith Drive”.
A description like that shows the potential buyer that you did not care enough about the property to spend any time there. Why should they? Describing a livestock watering tank as a fishing pond runs out of the lines on the other side. You loose credibility with the potential buyer very quickly. Thorough and accurate. Does it have road frontage? Timber? Pasture? A Stream? A Lake? Utilities?…all the aspects that you know that people want to know about it. It’s OK to sell the good aspects of a property. Any good marketer and salesman will certainly do so. However, do not overfluff the goods and create an unreal expectation. Different properties require different information in the description. Make sure yours is up to the task of helping the prospective buyer have a good understanding of the property. Make sure you are marketing it.
Directions. What is the most important aspect in real estate? Location, Location, Location. You need directions on the online land listing. People like to know where something is before they actually buy it. Again, on the assumption your goal is to sell the property, put directions on the listing.
Email. You need an email address that you check on a daily basis. More often would be preferable. You need to respond either by email or telephone to those people that have expressed interest in the property, and you need to do it QUICK! There are many properties out there competing for that buyer. The quicker you respond, the less properties you are competing with.
You are a marketer. Know your product. The better you know your product, the more professional you come across to potential purchasers. The more professional they perceive you, the more likely they are to trust you. The more they trust you, the more likely they are to negotiate a transaction with you.
Qualify. It’s very easy for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to respond to your online ad. You have to take a little of the bad with the good. You must become proficient at figuring out who to spend your time with, and who not to. Sometimes you will miss. I know I have. Nevertheless, you need to pay attention to this step if you are going to leverage Internet technology in your marketing efforts.
The above are the minimum requirements for marketing your property on the Internet. Anything less is a shot in the dark. It might hit, and it might not. Take these steps to make sure you are in line with your target. You can do much more that will increase your professionalism and your property’s exposure on the Net. An example would be a property video posted on YouTube. Most land sites now offer a way to either host that video itself or enable you to embed a video from a site like YouTube. Another good suggestion is making sure your on-site property sign has a web address where prospects can find out more about the property. You don’t want to miss those people because they did not have the info they crave readily available.
You are in control of how the property is presented, not the customer and their reaction to it. Make sure you do your best to present the property thoroughly and accurately. That consistently gets the best reaction from a public that is accustomed to ultra-professional marketing.
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