How to sell an Investment Property in St Louis through Story Telling

In this blog post, aka Case Study, I’m going to share what I do besides a Comparative Market Aanalysis, and put a property on the MLS. I actually research and learn about the property, and tell it’s story. But before we go into that! Lets go back….over a year ago when I first reached out to the owner of this property. We will call him……Ron. I called Ron on his For Sale By Owner ad and regurgitated the same boring script that homeowners hear from agents all of the time when they try to sell by owner. Then, mid conversation I decided to change my approach…..I asked him what I could do to help, could I answer any questions for him about the process, could I send him a “Do It Yourself” guide to selling a property by yourself. To which, he said “Yes”. Now, the problem was that I DIDN’T have the guide! So, I started work on the FSBO E-Book that you can now get here. It is EVERYTHING I know about selling homes. No fluff, No B.S., just a proven plan for getting properties “SOLD”. I sent it to him, and then answered any questions that came along for about nine months.

Then, one day, Ron called me and said…..I need your help!

Now, my process for listing properties you can read all about here. I don’t just guess on the list price, I also don’t just take any number an owner throws at me. It may sound harsh, but I don’t want to list it if the numbers don’t work. You’ll end up not liking me, and I wont like you. Once I knew I was going to be marketing this property, I immediately went to work on a “Coming Soon” property website on www.justinlindseyre.com so that interested parties can get information easily such as price and location. You will see that I use data, research and proven strategies in order to drive web traffic to the property listing page I created! One if the ways that we do this is via Facebook ads and through my own, very large Facebook reach. While every property is unique, they are all presented in the exact same way on listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com (The metrics and methods for using these search sites will cover later in this study). The same layout with the same information in the same places, boring boring boring! One of the really cool things about a unique property site you have no restrictions at all  on how you can present your listing! Do you want to start with a full screen video or a closeup of a historic detail while music plays? No problem. You can have complete creative control over your own site. Something that I believe is an absolute must is the use of a Single Property Website. So many people are online, and homeowners and their friends and family want to promote the property they have for sale. (Reach out to me for more information about custom sites)

Now to my Favorite Part. Story Telling

One of the things I’ve learned over my last eight years in business is that all buildings, properties, and homes have a story. One of my favorite stories to tell is that of the Corner Grocery Store. This case study / blog post is about the corner grocery store at 229 East Marceau in St Louis. This building was built in 1908, and it was once the corner store of the community off of South Broadway. During the time of it’s operation, the store was on the ground floor, and it had mostly dry goods available to it’s patrons. The second floor had five rooms available to be rented out to travelers or people needing lodging, yes it was exactly like AirBnB. The third floor apartment was where the shop keeper lived.

The reason why the shop keeper lived AT THE STORE, was because during 1908, 24 hour convenience stores didn’t exist during that time. So in the event of an emergency, members of the community could go to the shop after hours, contact the shop keeper, and he would come down to the store and get them what they needed. This information is a must when you tour this property. Because it gives CONTEXT as to why the building is laid out the way it is.
Telling that story is important, and believe it or not, A LOT of older properties have a remarkable history that often go untold. The reason WHY you or your agent should tell this story is because the normal marketing notes in older properties that are perfect for investors often go something along the lines of this:

“Investor special, perfect for someone who wants to come in and make it their own”

Now, I’m not saying that this is what all Real Estate Agents do. But as I look at properties online, you don’t really see much more than a couple of lines of marketing text. I personally think that ALL of the listings I take on deserve much more than what I call the 3xPs, which stands for Placing a Sign in the Yard, Putting it on the MLS, and Praying for an Offer. All of these things should be done, and all are important, especially prayer! But as the Bible says in Colossians 3:23 “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” I interpret that as a directive to do MORE than just “pray”. So while I do pray for my owners and the properties I list, I understand that once you finish, there’s still A LOT of work to do.

 

Property Video

You’ve heard of YouTube right? Well, did you know that YouTube is the biggest search engine on the Web? Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram have started to put a lot of effort into getting video front and center on their platforms. When it comes to Real Estate, according to the National Association of Realtors as well as Google, in 2017, 86% of home shoppers used video to learn more about a specific community, and new home buyers placed an emphasis on virtual tours and videos showcasing properties they were interested in! So, with the property photos I created a video. Better yet, with understanding of how video search engines work, I was actually able to get your video on the front of a YouTube Search page when you search for Investment property in St Louis.

E-Mail Marketing

So believe it or not, email marketing is not dead. What is dead is auto emails. You know what I’m talking about! The standard email that floods your inbox every single day. That you don’t read, and you have no intentions of reading. Unlike the people who send those types of emails, or better yet sign up for a service that sends it for them. I actually sit down and write emails to people I have actual professional and personal relationships with. That second part is important because anyone can buy an email list. But I invest time in those relationships and because of that, when I send something for the most part people open it. So I sent an email out to 150 real estate investors all around the country, and told them about this corner grocery store. We had an 80% open rate! That’s awesome! Especially considering that a 20% open rate is considered FANTASTIC in most marketing circles! While a lot of agents will talk about the size of their buyer database, I like to showcase the quality of mine.

Social Media Marketing

Remember the video we posted on YouTube? Well I didnt just park it on YouTube and forget about it. I used the raw video file and uploaded it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram on Twitter with Facebook Paid ads running through Facebook and Instagram. I also shared it on my personal Facebook page, which if you haven’t liked yet, I highly recommend…..I’m hilarious! But I didn’t just throw it out to as many people as possible. I hyper targeted everyone on Facebook who lived within 5 geographical miles around the property. I did this for a couple of reasons. I did this because I believe that the people living in that area are the biggest advocates of the neighborhood. So a property like this would be extremely interested to them.

Search Sites

According to the Report titled the “2017 Real Estate in a Digital Age“, that is put out every year by the National Association of Realtors, 99% of millennials, 89% of Baby Boomers, and 77% of the Silent Generation all search on real estate websites. While your property will certainly get to thousands of websites around the web, we make sure that we focus on the top three Real Estate Search sites that account for nearly 90% of all real estate related activity to ensure that your home is put in the best possible light, for the most amount of people. This may sound impressive. But if a listing agent LEADS with saying that they put all of their properties on those and thousands of other sites around the internet……politely stand up and show them to your front door. Because the truth is, ALMOST every single brokerage in North America does this in some capacity. That said, here’s what you need to know about these sites!

Realtor.com recives about 39.7 Million regular users! Check out 229 East Marceau here

I put 229 East Marceau on Zillow and Trulia which is known as the Zillow Group, and has 73.5 million unique users across desktop and mobile devices. Which accounts for 64% of all online related real estate searches. Check it out Here

Check it out on Trulia here

Let’s talk about the Elephant in the room before we close. You’ll notice that I don’t mention interior photography at all in this blog. If you check out any of the links, you wont find the interior. That was not an accident and entirely intentional. The reason for that is because this building needed A LOT of work. The interior was dark in the photos, it was missing walls and interior photos wouldnt help people come to visit it. I knew this when I toured it, and I knew it when I began promoting it. The photos where always available upon request, and I never lead anyone to believe that it didn’t need a lot of work. But as a listing agent, my job is to get people to go and visit the building. That starts with telling a story on-line that leaves them wanting more. The story that was told with this building resulted in my seller recieving an acceptable cash offer in 14 days!

          👇🏼Want me to work for you? Contact me here👇🏼

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