oday let’s talk about some creative real estate marketing strategies for homeowners you might not think of. These strategies may sound counterintuitive, but they work.

Creative Real Estate Marketing Strategies for Homeowners


Less is Better

I remember years ago marketing experts would say white space is your friend. Back then agents would use display ads in the paper.  Some agents would cram as many words as possible into that space trying to sell the home. The truth is the ad is more likely to be read if there is white space, or blank space. It makes the ad stand out and compels the reader to check it out.

Back in the days when Realtors used property flyers the same concept applied. The more you put on the flyer, the more likely a buyer will find one item that eliminates the home. That’s a shame, because if they ever made it inside, the home could have wowed them. Today agents use open house flyers. At least with an open house flyer, the buyer has been in the home, so we design that so they remember the home against all others they might see that day.

Fewer Better Photos

It only takes one photo to turn off a buyer. This is why we use better photos, but not necessarily more. We accentuate a few key features. In doing so, we entice a buyer to want to see more, or call and ask about something they couldn’t see online. You must remember, there are over 4,000 single family homes on the market in Lee County. Buyers do not want to see 4,000 homes. They must eliminate homes to get it down to a manageable number. Buyers are not experts. They do not know the market like a full-time Realtor even though they think they might by having access to all the listings. Instinctively they seek to narrow and eliminate. We do not want your home to be eliminated.

Creative Ad Copy

We write our ads and captions such that a buyer would want to call or click to find out more. When you just blurt out features, you look and sound like every other ad. We want your home to stand out. This is why our ads receive more calls or clicks than other agents.

Targeted Marketing. We can target buyers looking to buy homes rather than shot gun marketing to the world. Your advertising dollar doesn’t go as far you advertise to the world rather than people looking to buy right here, right now. Call us to find out how we’re able to do this.

Hidden Features

Each home has some hidden features the buyer wouldn’t know about unless they lived in the home. These are different than home features like counter tops and pools. We sell the hidden features a different way, and it helps our sellers get more money for their home with our trademarked home showing process.

Showing Process

The Ellis Team has a showing process that maximizes your home’s value and separates you from the competition. There are 7 steps to this process, and when you see the 7 steps, you’ll know why they are critical to getting your home sold faster and for more money.

Of course we have several more tips for our sellers to get top dollar, and not enough room to share them all here. We have a brochure that explains the entire system we use to sell your home. We can go over the system when we meet.  Identifying the two price depressing problems that plague most sellers and how to overcome them to achieve top dollar is critical.  Simply call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-310-6500 or visit www.MyHomeSoldin8days.com for a short video that explains part of the program.


Sande and Brett look forward to hearing from you and answering your real estate questions.

Listing inventory keeps rising in SW Florida. Both single family homes and condo inventory have been rising steadily since February 2022.

Listing Inventory Keeps Rising in SW Florida

Listing Inventory Keeps Rising in SW Florida

It’s simple math. More homes are coming on the market than going off.  Supply is outpacing demand. When you sit down and really think about it, it hits you. When you read the headlines, you would think the real estate market is on fire and everything is rosy. By and large, we have a good real estate market.

Many sellers get it. Some came out with aggressive pricing to test the market, almost not believing that the market has changed from what it once was.  Then reality sets in. This past week alone 428 single family homes reduced their price. Of the 428 price reductions, 17 went pending.

Wouldn’t it be better to set a price where you know the home will sell?  You don’t have to price it below the market to do this. Pricing above the market ensures the property will sit, and when it does buyers begin to wonder why other buyers have rejected it. Overpricing a home can cost you. If listing inventory keeps rising you would want to get ahead of that.

New Pricing Method

 The problem with looking at comparable home sales is everything is in the past. Sold pricing doesn’t always give you an accurate picture of what is going on in the market today. Sure, appraisers can issue a time value adjustment when they see a changing market, but that doesn’t help home sellers as that is always calculated after the fact.

How should home sellers look at pricing their home for today’s market? There is a new market methodology that better identifies where a home should be priced. The advantage to getting the price correct upfront is you end up with a better price on the back end.

Have you ever watched a neighbor’s home go on the market? One that you know is overpriced. Back in 2021, that overpriced listing might have sold. But this isn’t 2021 anymore. Today that listing sits, and sits, collecting dust and cobwebs because nobody wants it at that price. Your neighbor needs to sell, they just haven’t come to the realization yet that they aren’t going to get their price. They feel like they need a certain price to not lose money. Possibly they need a certain amount for their next venture.

Market is Option Based

In the end, the market doesn’t care what your neighbor needs. The market only cares about what the home is worth, and how it compares to other alternatives. Buyers today are hit with higher interest rates, higher insurance costs, and higher cost of living. Their money is stretched thin, and they for darned sure don’t want to overpay for a home in today’s economy. Buyers will select their best option.

I don’t want to say buyers are adversarial towards sellers. They just don’t care about the seller’s problems because they have their own. Remember a few short years ago. Sellers didn’t care about the buyer’s circumstances or how they might become homeless a few years ago. Buyers today do not care how much a seller needs from their home sale.

This is how it should be. Buyers and sellers should focus on what the home is worth today, not what it used to be worth, or why this deal should be different than the market.

When you focus on the data, you tend to get a better outcome. The data will win the day anyway, unless the home sits on the market getting tired and worn in the buyer’s eyes. In this case, the home might eventually sell for less than it should.

Aggressive Marketing

Thinking of selling? You need a Realtor with aggressive marketing, and one with experience in a changing market. The market is still good, but for the best results use an experienced pro who’s been there before. This is why the Ellis Team at Keller Williams has been voted Best in Real Estate by News Press Readers for 10 straight years. Put our knowledge and marketing to work for you! 239-310-6500

 Good luck, and Happy Home Selling!

New FEMA risk ratings impact on future flood insurance rates is being felt, and some home buyers are astounded. We’ve been pouring through the numbers looking at the areas most impacted.

FEMA Risk Ratings Impact on Future Flood Insurance Rates

Most Impacted Zip Codes

New FEMA risk ratings impact will depend on which zip code you live in. Of the zips listed in this chart, 33901 will see most impact at an average rise of 365.58% Next in line looks to be 33921 which is in the Boca Grande area with a 361.99% rise. The third highest is 33920 which is in the Alva area coming in at 318.05%

We have a complete database of each zip code in the United States that shows the average risk rating versus the current average cost of flood insurance.

This does not mean that every policy in the zip code will cost the amount stated. This is an average for the entire zip code. It does, however, give us an across-the-board estimate of how much some policies will rise.  What we fear is that some policies in a zip may be more extreme than others. The extreme policies might be the policies raising the average versus an across-the-board rise.

33919 will rise on average 259.63% and 33907 will rise an average of 235.68%  Zip 33908 which saw heavy flooding will go up 270.10%

Don’t Give Up That Policy

If you have an existing NFIP policy it can only go up 18% per year, so it would take 15 plus years or so to reach some of these levels. If you did not have flood insurance, you cannot go back and get it at the grandfathered rates.

We also tell people when shopping around to be careful about selecting private flood insurance. When you give up the national policy, you give up that protected rate. The danger is a private policy might not renew your policy any given year. Or zones could be reclassified. You might be in flood zone X today and not be required to get flood insurance. Future maps could change that, and you might be required.

If you are required to purchase flood insurance for your mortgage when you previously didn’t have to, you do not get the old rate. Worse yet, you also lose the 18% protection. New policy holders who do not renew or assume an existing policy pay the 100% full rate for the property. We do not see a way around this.

We are not insurance agents, so we cannot give insurance advice. As consumers, we are watching what is happening. As real estate professionals, we always ask home sellers if they have current flood insurance and a copy of the policy. Having an affordable policy that can be assumed can increase their property value compared to a neighbor who has nothing to offer.

Cost Versus Benefit

Many buyers have begun to shy away from high insurance properties unless they can absolutely afford it and are willing to pay the price for paradise.

Any time you add a high cost to something over and above the purchase price, buyers must decide if the amenity is worth it. For instance, some golf communities have high fees, but they offer golf. Other communities offer a marina, etc. The amenity benefit has to exceed the cost in the buyer’s mind. While flood insurance isn’t exactly an amenity, it is a cost associated with living in a particular area and will be evaluated on a cost-reward basis by buyers.

Have Questions?

If you are thinking of selling your SW Florida home, always call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500. We can walk you through all the intricacies of a home sale, because we know what to look for upfront.

Many agents list a property without studying all the factors only to be surprised by a cancelled sale later. There is nothing more discouraging than thinking your home is sold only to find out the buyer is backing out over something that could have been known upfront. Flood insurance is one of many factors.

Good luck, and happy home selling. For questions, give us a call.

Single family home inventory in Lee County is rising. This past week we crossed 4,000 single family homes, and number we haven’t seen since May of 2020.

Single Family Home Inventory Rising

We expect there to be several expired listings at the end of May which will bring current single family home inventory down.  This has happened each month in 2023. Inevitably inventory rose as more listings came on the market than expired. Perhaps many of the expired listings relisted as well. Each day we are watching new listings exceed pending sales, so we know inventory should keep rising.

Is 2020 the New 2023?

In past articles we’ve mentioned that closed home sales are mirroring 2020. If there is a correlation between the number of closed home sales and the 2020 single family home inventory counts, it could be a clue as to where inventory will head. Back in 2020 we had about 5,500 homes on the market, which was less than the 2019 highs of 7,195. The market was getting good in 2020 as was the economy, just before Covid hit.

Inventory levels took a hit as few wanted to sell during Covid, and builders had a hard time keeping up with demand. Interest rates were low. Now that Covid is in the rear-view mirror mostly, and so are low interest rates, we are returning to normal levels of inventory.

Why is SW Florida Different?

Nationwide there is a shortage of homes on the market because many people with low rates on their home do not want to sell and buy another at a higher rate. Why is the SW Florida market gaining inventory when the rest of the country seems to be losing inventory?

Perhaps it’s the hurricane.  Some people are done with storms and rising insurance costs. It could be that less workers are moving to Florida as employers call them back to work.  This doesn’t make sense because people are still moving to Florida in droves. The last report I saw was that 958 people move to Florida every day. In fact, Florida is the #1 net migration state. More people are moving to Florida than leaving versus any other state in America.

I noticed SW Florida International Airport saw a 23% drop in traffic in March. This makes sense because our beaches were barely open, and we lost so much tourism. There simply weren’t the homes, condos, and hotels to rent in many places like Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach. Many Airbnb’s have been damaged as well.

Single Family Home Inventory Rising

This doesn’t exactly explain why inventory is growing in SW Florida while it appears to be dwindling in other areas. SW Florida single family home inventory has almost quadrupled since February 15, 2022. Back then it was 1,071 homes on the market versus almost 4,000 now.

Over the summer we are going to track listing inventory against closed sales to see if 2020 numbers are the standard our market should be judged by, or if this is a blip. Markets rarely stay the same for long, and this could just be a coincidence until our market decides what it wants to do.

2020 wasn’t a bad year before Covid hit. Prices were rising slightly, and inventory was coming down from 2019 levels.

2nd Half of 2023

Some say the Fed will raise rates again in June, while others are convinced they are done. Many predict mortgage rates may come down by the end of the year. We believe a lot will be decided in the next two months. By then we may have a better handle on how the second half of 2023 will go for the economy and the housing market.

If you have a home to sell, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-310-6500. We have the best stats and can advise you as to how the market is doing long before others figure it out.

Good luck and Happy Selling!