Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by Country

We knew online advertising changes were coming.  Facebook, under increasing pressure from the government, changed its targeting of consumers to avoid discrimination claims for things like housing and other industries.  Let’s talk about big online advertising changes affecting Realtors marketing results.

The funny thing is, many of the things we were targeting were not discriminatory at all.  For instance, we used to target a group in Facebook “Likely to Move” or renters.  Renters are always a good group of people to target as eventually many of them would love to own a home.  Many Realtors would send out mail pieces to apartment complexes specifically targeting renters.  I don’t see how targeting renters on Facebook is any different, but whatever it takes to satisfy the government, I guess.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results

We believe going forward realtors will give up on Facebook advertising when they no longer get the results they’re used to, but they shouldn’t.  This past week we had 4 open houses which we advertised in the newspaper as well as several online sites.  Additionally, we selected 4 Facebook target groups.  2 groups were accepted.  Facebook denied 2 groups even though I made the appropriate changes they suggested.  Their system just wasn’t equipped to allow the ad.

So, I spent most of the day yesterday studying their system.  I was able to crack the code and I’ve identified several new targeted audiences I think will produce good results for our sellers.  With every obstacle an opportunity is presented.  Not only will these new audiences present opportunities, so will the failure of other online ads.  When other Realtor’s ads are rejected, and they surely will be because Facebook doesn’t know any better, Realtors will give up.  Their ads will either be less effective or won’t run at all.

By spending a whole day studying the system, we’re betting this will pay off big for our clients.  The other thing I think is important is we don’t put all our online eggs in one basket.  The Ellis Team are huge advertisers on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many other effective sites.  We advertise where they online eyeballs are.  If they shift, we shift.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by Country

Facebook made these changes in August, and yet I just pulled up our online numbers.  We have many websites, so I just picked LeeCountyOnline.com for a look.  In the past 30 days we had almost 5,000 unique visitors.  We’re able to track which country they come from, and even what state.  We can track which pages they like, if they’re on desktop or mobile, and lots more.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by State

Top Countries

It’s interesting to note that Germany and Brazil are generating lots of visitors followed by Canada and France.  Inside the United States we note that New York and Wisconsin are the most popular outside of Florida.  One of our buyer agents commented on how many people they are working with recently from Wisconsin.  The online numbers bear that out.

New York and New Jersey both made the top 10 list.  It’s no surprise as taxes are high in those two states because they limit out on the SALT deduction, more are moving to Florida from those states.

If you wish to attract foreign buyers, or buyers from other states you must have an effective online advertising strategy.  As you can see from the stats, The Ellis Team has figured it out.  Much of what we do is effective organic content, and much is paid search advertising.  One without the other is only half a strategy.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, please contact Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll show you how we can put our print and online advertising to work for you, so you too can reach these buyers.  If you’re a buyer and you’ve found us, you can call us too, as we enjoy helping people buy their dream home in paradise.  Remember, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!

Visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a FREE online valuation of your home.  It’s a great place to get started before you’re ready to meet with a Realtor.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral Pool Home

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

San Carlos Park New Construction

A question we get from time to time is what are the common pitfalls of selling by owner?  It’s a great question, so let’s dive in.

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

The first pitfall is legal.  Most sellers don’t realize the regulatory pressures they are under, whether they sell by owner or with an agent.  The state has jurisdiction over property, homeowner, and condo disclosures.  The federal government has jurisdiction over issues like lead-based paint disclosures, waterways, docks, etc.  We’re lumping the Army Corps of Engineers in with the federal government.  Missing any one of these important disclosures could cost you a sale, or worse, a lawsuit or fine.

Security is another issue that concerns sellers.  They want to know who is coming into their home.  Sellers are concerned if the prospect is an actual buyer, or someone who is looking over the contents of the home only to come back later and rob the place.

The Buyer’s ability to pay for the home might be one of the largest concerns sellers have.  When selling by owner, asking this question can be tenuous.  The buyer feels like it’s none of your business and their finances are their business.  But it is the seller’s business.  As a Realtor, we can ask those tough questions and demand proof.  It’s what we do, and if a buyer is skittish about answering, it bears more questions.  Realtors with experience can read more into what’s being said and uncover more facts.  Red flags should never be ignored.  Newer agents, and For Sale By Owners don’t always see the red flags, and when they do, they don’t know how to handle them.  Security might be the biggest of the common pitfalls of selling by owner.

Marketing is critical to getting top dollar.  It doesn’t do much good to save a commission and lose money at the same time.  I’ve seen 3 studies that show For Sale By Owners sell for 6%-16% less than using a real estate agent.  Essentially it costs you nothing to use an agent but could cost you thousands not to.  Placing your home online in a few places isn’t marketing.  It’s simply listing it in a directory.  A few buyers might notice it, but you’re not getting it out to the masses.

Sure, you’ll get some calls from people looking to flip homes and unqualified buyers, but nothing that is going to close or gain you top dollar.  If you doubt us, just try it and see how you fare.  Then call us after a few weeks and we can change that for you.

Are All Realtors the Same?

All Realtors are not the same.  If some Realtors have a hard time marketing a home, imagine how hard it is for a For Sale By Owner.  Again, just placing it in MLS and putting a sign up is not marketing.  You need much more than that to get the word out.  If all you attract are unqualified buyers and just a small percent of the market, you’re not attracting top dollar.

Imagine putting an item for sale in an online auction.  If you had one bidder, you might sell it.  If you had 10 bidders, it’d probably go for more money.  If you had 1,000 bidders, it would sell for more than if you had just one bidder.  Full market exposure equals Top Dollar.  Less than that equals less than Top Dollar.

The Agent You Hire Matters.  The Ellis Team markets your home for all it’s worth.  We shoot for Top Dollar.  Why be satisfied with one buyer when you could have several to choose from? Our marketing generates lots of buyers.  We can bring all the buyers you’ll ever need, but if the home is not priced correctly, they’ll just go buy something else. We’ll help you avoid the common pitfalls of selling by owner.  See also 3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell.

Check out www.swflhomevalues.com to get an idea of what your home may be worth.  Our computer is very good.  In fact, it’s the best we’ve ever seen by an automated valuation service.  However, it it not perfect and there is no substitute for having Sande or Brett come out to your property and doing a comparative market analysis.

Or you can Search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

If you have a home to sell Always Call the Ellis Team, your Top Dollar Realtor!  239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  We’re here to help.  Sande Ellis and Brett Ellis are a mother-son team and have over 30 years experience selling homes in Southwest Florida.  Brett and Sande personally visit each property and do an in-depth analysis of the price as well as strengths of the property.  This is important because if we’re going to reach the best target buyer for the home, it pays to know every detail that may attract that best buyer.

Of course, many times our marketing attracts multiple buyers.  This is good news for sellers when we’re able to do this as it typically brings a better price for our sellers.  Imagine an online auction.  If you had  an item to sell and had 10 buyers, you’d fetch a certain price.  But if you had 1,000 buyers, the price your item would fetch might be much more, wouldn’t it?

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM

San Carlos Park

18449 Phlox Dr

San Carlos Park Home Ellis Team Featured Property
San Carlos Park Open House Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral

2709 SW 12th Ave Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Open House

Back in February we posted real estate inventory levels for SW Florida and reported a fairly stable inventory market.  Back in January the market was strong, but since then agents have complained about a shift in the market.  Properties are selling.  We’ve got a great market, however there have been some changes the last few months so we’ll bring you up to speed.

SW Florida Post Season Real Estate Inventory Levels April 2016

SW Florida Post Season Real Estate Inventory Levels April 2016

Almost all categories have increased in the past few months with 2 exceptions.  The below $50,000 range and the $400,000-$600,000 range.  The change below $50,000 is so small and there are so few properties involved it’s not worth talking about.  The $400-600k range is a bright spot.  Active listings went down in this range and closed sales have increased.

SW Florida Post Season Real Estate Inventory Levels April 2016 February

In the past year we’ve had 1,254 sales in the $400-600k range.  Back in February we only had 1,093, so that’s helped lead to a decrease in supply of inventory. There were 1,271 on the market back in February and 1,206 now, so most of the change has to do with increased sales.

Overall the market has increased to a 5.84 months supply, up from 5.03.  The change in sales won’t look as dramatic as month over month sales data from last year because it’s average over the last 365 days, but this is a fairly significant swing given the 2 month window.

At close to 6 month supply I’d say we have a pretty balanced market.  If your home is on the market over $400,000 you’re looking at a year plus to sell your home on average, unless you take steps to win the selling game.

Remember, your home is in competition with all the other homes for sale.  You’re not really in competition with the buyer.  The buyers will look at all options and decide on what is best for them.  The goal is to make your home valuable in the marketplace.  Obviously your home has value.  The question is, does it have as much value to the buyer as it does to you?

When the sellers set the price equal to its value, it will sell.  If a home has a value to the seller at $1 Million dollars but has value to buyers at $500,000, it will not sell.  This is one reason you see so many professional athletes retire.  Perhaps they see their value at $5/million/yr.  Ball teams see value in them too, but the athlete is getting older, susceptible to injury, and not the team’s future.  They may be willing to pay $1.8 million for one year and the athlete is holding to $10 million over 2 years.  When the value is not equal to the price, there is no market for the athlete and they retire.

Some star athletes are trouble makers and have issues.  Perhaps they’re a $10 million/yr player, but because they have baggage and potential to affect other players, teams won’t take a chance on them.  At a lower price, somebody will take a chance no matter how many issues you have.

Right now there isn’t a high market for Johnny Football.  Even his agents have dropped him.  He has baggage and needs to deal with his issues.  If he had no issues he’d be worth a lot more.

The same is true in real estate.  The market changes monthly, and just because you feel your home is worth X doesn’t mean the buyers will.  I can assure you though, when your price equals the value in the market, it will sell, even if your home has issues.  The more you deal with the issues upfront the more value your home will have.

If you’d like to search the market, or your home’s value, feel free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com If you’d like to talk to a professional agent about how to maximize your value, call the super agents on the Ellis Team 239-489-4042.  If you’re a Star athlete, we can’t represent you with ball teams, but we can help you find the perfect home.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Featured Property of the Week

2110 SW 13th St Cape Coral FL– 2,256 Sq Ft pool home built on 4 lots with stainless steel appliances, engineered wood floors throughout the home, and wood cabinets.  Also view virtual tour.