Stupid, lazy, or just a butt ugly listing?

They say, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” and most of us accept this as true. It’s certainly the case in marketing homes. Your listing is really only “new” once for a very brief time. It is the time during which you have the greatest opportunity to attract the largest amount of attention from Realtors® and prospective buyers. It’s also the time during which you have the best chance of getting the highest offers on your home. When that new listing period passes your home becomes part of the listing stock, one of many active listings waiting to be bought.

When an agent submits a new listing to the Saskatoon multiple listing service® (MLS®) there are a few wonderful opportunities that can be effortlessly captured or just as easily squandered. The MLS® data server is a busy little computer that spends its day accepting data on Saskatoon homes for sale. There’s a special place in its digital heart for brand new listings.  It believes that one of its most important jobs is to notify people about great new listings that may be of interest to them. Several times each day, it packages the new data and sends it places. The first day your home is added to the MLS® database it could be seen by hundreds of potential buyers either in the form of an email update (“there’s a new listing that matches your requirements”) or displayed on one of many websites that accepts this data including Realtor.ca.

As a home owner, if you can have any say in the matter whatsoever you’ll want to ensure that your home’s listing isn’t sent out looking like the one pictured on the left. I won’t bother explaining why, because that would be condescending to people like you who have common sense. You already know why this listing is a perfect example of a massive fail. So, why does it happen nearly every single day? Why do we so commonly see brand new listings being marketed with no photos and with very limited listing detail?

As a prospective home buyer or a home seller under contract you might come to one of a few conclusions.

  • The listing agent doesn’t care about the quality of his or her work or how it impacts on you.
  • The listing agent is too lazy to gather three megabytes of data in one place and complete a twenty-minute task in a single session.
  • The listing agent lacks the common sense to understand why images and information are important.
  • The house being marketed is so butt ugly that it’s best that people don’t actually see it.

In most cases, none of these things are actually true. It’s far more likely that the agent is simply busy with a million and one other things competing for his or her attention. This important marketing task isn’t insisting that it should be immediately attended to and therefore, it becomes one of those little tasks that we can get back to later when time permits. But, this is not cool. It’s not cool at all.

This terrible fail is the result of a lack of planning and every home seller deserves better. While I rarely speak directly to other real estate agents on this blog I’d like to share some very simple thoughts on rolling out a new listing to help sellers capture the “once in a new listing” opportunities that exist.

Dear real estate agent,

Here are just a few things that you might want to be thinking about when you take your next listing.

  1. Your listings are your inventory. They are presented with your name attached to them and they are a reflection of your professionalism, your organizational skill, the level of care that you apply to your work, and your ability to manage details. If you can’t effectively handle this simple part of the process, how can a seller have confidence that you’re capable of handling a contract?
  2. Your new listings deserve a rollout plan. If you’re too busy to roll it out properly, don’t take the listing.
  3. Timeliness is important, but the quality of your presentation should never be sacrificed for speed. Any seller is best served by having their listing rolled-out properly tomorrow, instead of poorly today.
  4. Most of the tasks associated with a new listing can be performed by another competent individual who trades their time for money (assistant or virtual assistant), so don’t be afraid to delegate, but it’s your job to ensure that the tasks are completed correctly and once started, without delay.
  5. Decide with your seller on a launch date for the listing.
  6. Gather all of the important data about the property including a full compliment of photos (interior and exterior) prior to the rollout date.
  7. Write an attractive description, post-process images and prepare virtual tours in advance of the rollout date.
  8. Share your photos and your description with your seller to reduce errors and to improve the quality of your work.
  9. On the rollout date submit your listing using broker load and include all of the information you’ve gathered in a single session. Do it early in the morning. Nothing else will be competing for your attention at 6:00 am so you’ll have plenty of time to see the task through to completion, and to proofread and correct errors before the system starts to send data out around 10:00 am. Your listing will also show up on the “new listings” page of the MLS® all day, instead of just a few hours.
  10. Continue on with your other electronic marketing tasks while you’re in front of the computer with all of the data handy.

It really is that simple.

Home sellers; don’t be afraid to set the bar high in terms of your expectations in the rollout of your listing. Ask your agent for a rollout plan and some assurances that the presentation of your home will be handled with the great care it deserves.

Related posts

A compelling case for more photos on your home listing
If a picture is worth a thousand words…

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS® listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Discriminatory real estate ad attracts media attention

This post makes the “just for fun” category for the featured video’s surprise ending. If you start the video, please see it through to the end.

By way of Brendan King’s Twitter stream.

As a licensed Asian, I found this particular misunderstanding quite amusing and so did the other Asians in my office, but discriminatory practices are no laughing matter and fair treatment for all human beings is a cornerstone of a civilized society.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code was written to protect people from discriminatory practices. The following are “prohibited grounds” for discrimination under the Code;

(i) religion;
(ii) creed;
(iii) marital status;
(iv) family status;
(v) sex;
(vi) sexual orientation;
(vii) disability;
(viii) age;
(ix) colour;
(x) ancestry;
(xi) nationality;
(xii) place of origin;
(xiii) race or perceived race; and
(xiv) receipt of public assistance.

Section 10 and section 11 of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code deal specifically with discriminatory practices in the sale or leasing of real estate.

Discrimination in the purchase of property prohibited

10(1) No person shall, on the basis of a prohibited ground:

(a) deny to any person or class of persons the opportunity to purchase any commercial unit or any place of dwelling that is advertised or in any way represented as being available for sale;

(b) deny to any person or class of persons the opportunity to purchase or otherwise acquire land or an interest in land; or

(c) discriminate against any person or class of persons with respect to any term of the purchase or other acquisition of any commercial unit or any place of dwelling, land or any interest in land.

(2) Repealed. 2007, c.39, s.4.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) prohibits the sale, the offering for sale or the advertising for sale of a place of dwelling for occupancy by persons over 55 years of age exclusively.

Discrimination in occupancy of commercial unit or housing accommodation is prohibited

11(1) No person, directly or indirectly, alone or with another, or by the interposition of another shall, on the basis of a prohibited ground:

(a) deny to any person or class of persons occupancy of any commercial unit or any housing accommodation; or

(b) discriminate against any person or class of persons with respect to any term of occupancy of any commercial unit or any housing accommodation.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to discrimination on the basis of the sex of a person with respect to housing accommodation, where the occupancy of all the housing accommodation in a building, except that of the owner or the owner’s family, is restricted to individuals who are of the same sex.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to discrimination on the basis of the sex or sexual orientation of a person with respect to the renting or leasing of any dwelling unit in any housing accommodation that is composed of not more than two dwelling units, where the owner of the housing accommodation or the owner’s family resides in one of the two dwelling units.

(4) Nothing in subsection (1) prohibits the renting or leasing, the offering for rent or lease or the advertising for rent or lease, of any housing accommodation for occupancy by persons over 55 years of age exclusively.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code is here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

You could actually know more about Saskatoon real estate, faster.

Maybe I’m getting old, but I’m not sure I get the “Twitter” thing.

I first signed up to use this “social media” tool a little more than a year ago. I think I gave it a fair shot (96 tweets and a lot of listening) but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. I’m not that comfortable sharing the minor details of my life with others.

On the other hand, I am kinda crazy about sharing real estate stuff with those who are into it. If you’re into that, and you’re into Twitter, well, you might want to check out my Twitter stream here.

You probably won’t find out where I am, or what I had for dinner, but if you were checkin’ it out you’d know how many Saskatoon homes sold today, and what the average selling price was. You’d know that a property sold above a million bucks yesterday, and that another one picked up a sold sign today at just shy of a million. Heck, you’d even already know the average selling price of a Saskatoon home for March 2009.

So, hit me up on Twitter, won’t ya?

I’m over here, by myself, at the moment. ☺

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon home seller has one strange pricing strategy

This image is a screenshot taken from the Saskatoon MLS system that displays the price history of a listed property. The home seller is clearly confused. He has adjusted his price 16 times including 9 reductions and 7 increases. That’s right. 7 increases. Oddly, the asking price is still higher than it was the day the home was introduced to the Saskatoon real estate market nearly 5 months ago.

Like almost everything else these days, this MLS history report reminded me of the volatility of stock market. I only wish that my investments were still priced higher than they were five months ago. 🙂

Saskatoon home seller has strange pricing strategy

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate