The real estate market has been anxious to bring the market back to the levels seen prior to the 2007 crisis, and real estate professionals are doing their best to put some wind back in its sails. In the world of high-end real estate, agents have been trying harder and harder to stand out. Some schedule topless photo shoots on-site while potential buyers come looking around the house to help them with a feel of the kind of action they could have if they bought the place, and some do open house events with celebrities from film and music in attendance. It isn't unheard of for high-class prostitutes to come around to break down any resistance that an agent may sense in the buyer.
Of course, one isn't likely to encounter such moves with mainstream real estate. According to real estate major PalmerSnell.co.uk, though, real estate agents have been going into creative overdrive in many ways that may be less dramatic but are nevertheless interesting.
It's no longer just a staged open house -- it's an Airbnb open house
If you were to see a listing for a home that had a nice conventional open house event, and another next-door that allowed you to actually live in the house for a couple of days before you decided whether you wanted to buy it, which would you pick?
Some creative real estate agents know that the answer always goes in favor of the house that lets people stay. This is why they are turning the homes that they sell into quick Airbnb experiences. Potential buyers can stay in a couple of days to try things out. The idea is a big hit.
It takes a village
Sometimes, you don't get a feel for a neighborhood until you've actually seen the neighbors, and talked to them to see how nice they are. How is a prospective buyer supposed to test the house for friendly neighbors? Some real estate agents on top of it. They organize MeetUp meetings for the entire street on some pretext such as a debate for ways to keep improve the neighborhood. On the day of the meeting, the agent calls all his potential buyers to come in as well. Everyone can meet one another, and get a feeling for what kind of people they are. In some cases, one of the neighbors ends up buying the house.
Use drones for a good purpose
Many real estate agents do spectacular drone video footage of the homes that they have on the market to attract clients. It can be hard to resist a property that has high-tech low-level flybys on display.
While various drone rental companies give people access to the technology, prices have fallen so drastically lately that anyone could spend a few hundred dollars for one. If you know how to film impressive video footage with a drone, you could easily do it yourself for each house that you put on the market. If not, you could hire film school students to film with a drone for a modest fee.
Turning homes into pop-up stores
Pop-up stores are trendy little short-term store locations for fashionable products. Startups often have trouble finding good locations for their pop-up stores at shopping malls, where space can cost as much as £50,000 a week. Real estate agents often step in to offer the homes that they have on sale as free pop-up store locations. They invite homebuyers to stop by, as well. The excitement generated by the high-quality pop-up stores in these homes tends to be great for business.
Wine and Beer Tasting
Finally, when all else fails, there is always the possibility of bribing clients into signing. Some agents offer fully stocked wine cellars, while others go for a much smaller, yet equally effective bribe -- hundreds of pounds' worth of craft beer stocked in the refrigerator. It really is known to work.
Lead generation and marketing may be the greatest magnets for real estate innovation
Some of the greatest innovations in the tech savvy real estate agent’s tech toolbox are ones that help put out listings in powerful ways. Here are examples:
EstateVantage: This tool helps agents post properties to Facebook, Twitter and other social media, and also helps monitor those ads for effectiveness.
Nimble: One of the hottest sales intelligence tools for real estate agents, Nimble is a social CRM (or customer relationship management) tool. It helps real estate agents keep track of information available about customers on social media, and to use any information gathered to keep up a conversation.
LeadPages: LeadPages helps agents find new leads by encouraging agents to create targeted landing pages.
Real estate agents face tough competition today from online listings, which clients often use to find themselves a new home to buy. It takes technology to compete with technology.
About the Author: Georgia Lawson is a property consultant and has witnessed some big changes in marketing techniques. She is always prepared to share her insights with an online audience and is a regular writer for a number of websites.