Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Why don’t I just sell my house on Facebook?

There is no denying that social media is a massive vehicle for networking and marketing.  With over 70.9% of Adelaide’s population (over the age of 14) having a Facebook account, it would be naive for businesses to ignore this powerful giant. Facebook and other social networking sites have changed our lives and our businesses forever….but what is its place in real estate? Does it threaten the way the industry will operate in the future?

I have been asked increasingly more often by friends, “Why can’t I just sell my house on Facebook?” The attraction of no marketing or agent fees is enticing people without them necessarily considering the downside. I guess this is a case of what you don’t know can’t hurt you…but in the end, it could end up costing you a lot of money.

The problem with listing your home for sale privately and advertising it via social media networks is that you are limiting your pool of buyers exclusively to your friends/followers – or at best, your friends’ friends. You would need to rely on your post to go viral to have any sort of exposure or traction.

One of my friends recently sold his property through Facebook and while he had four enquires on it from a mixture of friends and friends of friends; at Toop&Toop we would average 40-50 serious enquiries on a similar property in the same area as his.
To get the maximum price for your property, you need to expose it to the maximum number of buyers. While my friend has over 2,504 friends in his Facebook network that he could broadcast to, at Toop&Toop we have our own “network” of over 10,000 people who have registered with us, because they want to buy property. Not only that, but through our patented VirtualAgent system, we can filter these contacts and in my friend’s case, could have directly targeted 802 buyers who were looking for the exact same type of property, in the same suburb, in the exact same price range. That’s 802 serious buyers vs. four Facebook enquiries.

Selling privately also means that you miss out on accessing the two biggest marketing vehicles in real estate – the prominent positioning in The Advertiser Real Estate lift out and Without marketing your property to these two key audiences…how do you know you really got the best possible price for your property?

And this is just the marketing side of the sale process, without taking into consideration all the other aspects that agents are highly skilled and specialised in. Skills such as negotiation, the ability to plan and execute a campaign that creates competition for your property and legal knowledge, just to name a few. But that’s a story for another day...

Facebook and other social media do have a role in real estate and I believe this will continue and evolve into the future. You need to make sure your agent has a strong social media strategy because these networks can definitely enhance your sale. With the right strategy, it can expose your property to your own social networks, your sales person’s networks and the agency’s social media networks… However, it is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. To rely solely on this platform to sell your home, could be a costly mistake.

Genevieve Toop

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