Monday, August 27, 2018

No Stinkin Photos

What's up with the million dollar plus luxury Cocoa Beach condo listing with only one photo that's been listed for 37 days? The listing says "easy to show" and "more photos coming soon". We're still waiting.

How about the fourth floor unit listed as being on floor 0? My search for units above the 2nd floor won't find that one. Or the several condo listings without the condo name entered in the appropriate listing field? I often have buyers looking for a unit in a specific building. My search for listings in that particular building will not find a listing with that omission.

Marketing residential properties has changed quite a bit since the old days when the MLS was a  booklet that was printed and distributed every few weeks. Consumers had no way of knowing everything that was for sale without the help of an agent other than driving around in their target area looking for signs. Since many condos don't allow signs, that wasn't effective for prospective condo buyers. Print advertising was the primary and most effective marketing strategy. There were a half dozen specialty real estate booklets in our area that were distributed to area stores and motels and were free for the consumer. The Sunday real estate section of Florida Today was as big as the entire paper is today. Hopeful buyers would grab the paper and a pen and sit down to sift through all the listings hoping to find something that sounded like it might work. Busy agents had contracts with the paper agreeing to spend big dollars every month. The Sunday section had full color pages with photos in addition to the several pages of classifieds. Listing agents were compelled to spend on print advertising as sellers expected and, rightfully, demanded it. The internet turned that model on its head.

By the mid-2000s the MLS was online and consumers had the ability to search for exactly the property type they were interested in. They could see photos, read descriptions and find details such as rental restrictions and taxes for every listing. Print advertising outside the MLS became more effective at landing a listing than for actually attracting a buyer. With a listing on the MLS, listing syndicators scraped the listings and redistributed to dozens of online sites. Listing agents shifted their advertising dollars to Google, Zillow and other online real estate sites. By 2018 all any listing really needed was a reasonably fair listing price, good photos and an MLS listing and the rest would take care of itself. That is unless the listing agent failed to enter the correct information or was cheap and lazy and took fuzzy cell phone photos or none at all. The number of listings with incorrect or missing info and/or bad photos seems to tell me that many sellers aren't checking their listings or vetting their agent. There are zero excuses for a poor listing yet quite a few agents are getting away with it. I would encourage all sellers to carefully check their listings right now for accuracy and appeal. The market is strong but you don't need a listing agent adding friction to the selling process. Just saying.

I was reading back through some of my older posts and thought this one was worth a read for those who may have missed it the first time around in 2015.   Don't. Say. That.  

"Personally, I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms." - Dale Carnegie