A funny thing happened at an open house the other day. During the week agents tour homes before the weekend open house – these are brokers opens you may or may not have heard of. At one ocean view townhouse in Manhattan Beach, I had my phone out to take a video of the ocean view from inside the living room to send to a client. Before I could finish filming, the listing agent came up and asked that I don’t take a video, and suggested that there are over 50 pictures on the MLS. She also implied she didn’t want me to share it on Facebook. Of course I acquiesced, but it made me propose this question in my head: “If you are trying to sell your home, wouldn’t you want as many people as possible to know it’s for sale?”
Social Sharing World
Let’s briefly look at how information is shared in 2017. You see something you like or are inspired by – in this case, I saw a home that I thought would be a good fit for a client looking for a second home near the beach. You like it, so you tell your friend about it. Today, that could be take many forms – in person after the event, a text or call while you are there at the event, or via social media on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Then, your friend sees what you shared, likes it, or even better, re-shares it with their friends. In the case of sharing about a particular car, a piece of furniture, clothing, or a home, this sharing social media world generally helps spread the word and can help drive more sales.
In the book Contagious, Jonah Berger explains the phenomenon of how ideas and things go viral and have sticking power. The basic concept from the book is that word of mouth advertising is 10 times as effective as traditional advertising. “The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it.” Let’s apply this concept to real estate.
If you are trying to sell your home, wouldn’t you want to encourage anyone and everyone to share it and tell their friends about it? Of course! You want people to talk about it. Buzz is fleeting, so take your moment while people are interested. Even if someone tries to claim it as their own listing, what harm is there in that (as long as you have an exclusive listing agreement with your agent, no one can “claim” the listing)? Aside from a bruised ego from giving up a little control, having helpers multiply your efforts leaves you with just about everything to gain and little to lose. Besides, as a seller you are paying both the listing agent’s and the selling agent’s (agent representing the buyer) sales commissions, so is it all that bad that they are helping you sell your home by selling it to the buyers?
My advice to anyone selling a home – encourage word of mouth marketing. Share it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Tell your neighbors; tell your friends; tell everyone. Invite them to the open house, and then tell them to tell everyone they know – it’s in your best interest.
And if you are in marketing or run a small business, I encourage you to read Contagious by Jonah Berger, it’s an easy but fascinating read.