The Three P’s of Selling a Listing

Special Announcement! – Bright MLS Meeting –

We’ll be holding an Bright MLS meeting here at SCAOR on November 9th at 1:30 PM for members and brokers to hear from the CEO of TREND MLS.  Feel free to catch up on all the info regarding Bright MLS here.

Blog Post: The Three P’s of Selling a Listing

A study conducted recently by the National Association of REALTORS® revealed that the most important thing sellers wanted from their real estate agents is to “help them market their home to potential buyers.”  Obvious, huh?

 But apparently, enough agents around the country are not performing well enough in this area, and that’s a concern for sellers.  Sure, you list the home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), put a sign in the yard and start spreading the word about this great new listing that you have – certainly, these are all things you should be doing.

But there’s so much more that you can (and should!) do for your clients when marketing and promoting their homes. These include social media marketing, online referrals and many more.

Today, we want to focus on the “Three Ps” that you should always keep in mind when marketing your clients’ properties.

And they are:

  • Preparation.  The two most important aspects in this area are staging and photography. Be sure that the home is staged properly and is inviting for potential buyers who are coming to pay a visit. Additionally (and we can’t stress this enough!), take the time and spend a few bucks on getting professional photos taken of the property. Nice looking photos can make all the difference.
  • Price.  This should go without saying, but pricing the home *correctly* is one of the most important aspects to consider. Correct pricing attracts buyers and offers, which then leads to negotiating the final sale price of the home. Know the market – and price the home accordingly. If not, you run the risk of the home remaining on the market for an extended period of time.
  • Promotion.  Going back to the NAR study above, this is the most important thing sellers look to agents for. Without promotion, not much is going to happen – Who’s going to find your clients’ homes if you don’t get the word out? Use social media, online marketing, your website – whatever it takes.

Remember – Our clients put a lot of faith in us to get their homes sold, so let’s go the extra mile and show them 1) that we care and 2) we can get the job done.

Disrupt or be disrupted

Technology: Disrupt or Be Disrupted (and a special Bright MLS Announcement)

Special Announcement! – Bright MLS Meeting –

We’ll be holding an Bright MLS meeting here at SCAOR on November 9th at 1:30 PM for members and brokers to hear from the CEO of TREND MLS.  Feel free to catch up on all the info regarding Bright MLS here.

Blog Post – Technology: Disrupt or Be Disrupted

The implications of big data, drones, and augmented reality for real estate agents and brokers cannot be ignored. In fact, real estate can even profit from these potentially disruptive innovations if they have the right tools.
drone flying over house

In the wake of rapidly evolving technologies, many industries are at risk. Carl Frey and Michael Osborn, two researchers from the University of Oxford, have published a paper about the future of employment that states with 97 percent certainty that real estate brokers will vanish during the next decades.

As a researcher and founder of the Future Real Estate Institute, I think this is pretty unlikely, since the real estate transaction process is very emotional and buyers and sellers still crave human interaction. However, I do believe the industry will be cleansed of many competitors that don’t believe in technological innovation. Based on the fact that you are reading this article, I’m willing to guess you don’t belong to this group.

Historically, real estate brokers and creative entrepreneurs in related fields have been at the forefront of real estate innovation, while many large corporate players in the commercial sphere have lagged behind. In fact, the combined impact of social media, mobile applications, and digitalization on the industry is nothing compared to the potential disruptions of today.

Disruptive Technologies of Our Age

Artificial intelligence, sensors, synthetic biology, and robotics are all major sources of disruption in our age. These innovations are bringing us technologies like the Internet of Things, smart applications, blockchain databases that make digital economies and “cryptocurrencies” such as Bitcoin possible, and much more that will impact how we research, work, and live.

Adaptive and creative real estate brokerages don’t have to invent a new disruption in order to remain relevant; they just need to make use of them. Apple didn’t invent the smartphone and Amazon didn’t invent the internet; they just created a disruptive business case on top of those existing innovations.

In the first article of this series, I wanted to show you how you can profit from the more basic innovations, such as big data, drones, and augmented and virtual reality.

Real Estate Open Data

According to IBM, we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, which means 90 percent of the entire global stock of data has been produced during the last two years. Perhaps more exciting than the quantity is the fact that much of this data is open source and available to anyone.

To capitalize on this, agents and brokers should form data alliances, preferably under the supervision of the National Association of REALTORS® and other trusted industry partners. Though it’s not an NAR initiative, Project Upstream is a great early example of a platform that could one day automatically sync a wealth of data beyond the listing (among them: macroeconomic, social, and environmental, along with tracking consumer and business sentiment). And MLS platforms with enhanced data aggregation and usability could fulfill the same purpose on a regional or state level.

The challenge is to aggregate adequate data points, store them in a distributed and resilient network, construct user-friendly interfaces, and create precoded analytical models to draw reasonable inferences from the data using standard queries.

Another way the industry can profit from the data is by reducing market research and marketing costs, increasing the efficiency of personalized targeting and making trend forecasts on a regional as well as national level. We might see new real estate data brokerages, specializing in marketing and big data in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) package, as well as new jobs opening up for real estate data scientists.

In order to stay on top of this trend, solo entrepreneurs and small brokerages should be especially focused on forming strategic alliances to share the costs for big data workshops and seminars. Larger players should hire CTOs and data scientists to help foster open innovation with cross-functional teams.

As a local example, Ed Smith from the Sussex Today & Tomorrow conference shared a wealth of statistical job data in Delaware that can help you make better workplace decisions.  Take a look at the accompanying video! 

Video Marketing & Image Database

In June, the Federal Aviation Administration finally announced its legal stance on small unmanned aircraft systems. This means that from August 29 on, real estate brokers can use small drones that weigh less than 55 pounds for aerial photo shoots, if they hold the necessary certificate and comply with the operational and safety requirements of the Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule.

Drones, actually belonging to the innovation category of robotics, are a great tool for video marketing, providing high-resolution images of properties and their surroundings.

On the individual level, this is a rather simple example of technological innovation that can be used without a very steep investment. But an exciting new business case could be the creation of a free stock aerial image and video platform, accessible to members of the National Association of REALTORS®, which could have greater use cases as artificial intelligence programs learn to label and analyze imagery and video data.


Next-Level Marketing

Augmented reality is one of those buzzwords that didn’t mean much to most, yet with the success of the mobile app Pokémon Go, we have seen how the combination of offline and online worlds can transform everything. Agents can profit from this technology by providing augmented reality services during open houses.

Learn More

CRT White Paper – The Holy Trinity: Big Data, Analytics & Real Estate (Part 1 of 2)
6 Ways Tech Will Change How You List Homes
Apps for Designing a Home Virtually

By creating an app that can be downloaded during or before an open house, brokers can include digital maps of the listing’s surroundings. Data could consist of detailed geo-information regarding schools, doctors’ offices, hospitals, supermarkets, and restaurants, along with weather information, macroeconomic data for the region, and much more. In-depth information about the house itself could also be displayed, such as floor plans, building materials, and HVAC systems.

Potential buyers could obtain the information via their smartphone, tablet, or other device linked to natural language processing software. Potential buyers could then walk through a property and use the system to get more detailed descriptions. This could make open houses more private and intimate. The data dissemination could be triggered by beacons, near-field communication, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi.

Virtual Reality — One Step Further

Real estate professionals who want to take it beyond augmentation can do so by using virtual reality. It can be used for virtual staging or to add value for buyers if they can design the interior as well as exterior of the property. This technology could be integrated with the 3D Home Designer package for AutoDesk’s Homestyler or other alternatives, or associations might consider creating a SaaS tool for members.

One further advantage would be the offering of remote open houses, which could accelerate transactions and enhance services for those who cannot visit listings in person. The agent could accompany the VR tour through the property within the VR session or via the internet or phone. Potential buyers from other states or countries could thus assess a property before they come or even buy it based on a VR tour.

If you really want to get your head around these and other technologies, I suggest taking advantage of free courses on CourseraEdX, or Future Learn.  Text from this article reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine.  Article written by  VIKTOR FRANZ PAUL WEBER


The code of ethics cycle

The Code of Ethics Cycle

As members of the National Association of REALTORS®, we all understand and commit to a strict code of ethics. It’s one of the foundations of NAR membership, as it has been for more than a century now.

We know, of course, that a strict adherence to this code is required in order to retain membership in good standing. It’s not debatable or negotiable – it’s one of the long-time tenets of NAR membership.

But it’s also time for a gentle reminder, as the current Code of Ethics Training Cycle is about to come to a close.

The current four-year cycle ends on Dec. 31 this year, so if you haven’t yet completed your training, now is certainly the time to do so.

NAR recently reminded all of its members that failure to complete training ON TIME will lead to suspension of your membership for January and February of next year, with termination of your membership beginning on March 1.

Please don’t cut this too close to the deadline, should something come up at the last minute. Continued membership and good standing in NAR is an essential element of your business, so please take this very seriously.

National bylaws require that all REALTORS® complete ethics training of not less than two-and-a-half hours of instructional time within four-year cycles. The training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Training may be completed through SCAOR or through other methods, such as home study, correspondence, classroom courses or online courses.

We must all abide by these requirements and commit to these time-honored principles, a few of which include:

  • Be honest with all parties in the transaction. This is not just with the client, but also with the other REALTOR® and his or her clients.
  • Put the client’s interests ahead of your own, at all times. This service is provided regardless of the compensation available.
  • Disclose all pertinent facts regarding the property and the transaction to both buyer and seller. If a REALTOR® believes information provided by a seller is questionable, he or she is obligated to investigate. For example, if a home seller asks his or her REALTOR® to conceal the fact that the roof leaks, the REALTOR® is not permitted to comply.
  • Be truthful in all communications with the public. This ensures that members of the public understand the REALTOR’S® experience and can make an informed decision when choosing real estate representation.

To learn more about the NAR’s Code of Ethics, visit

Upcoming Festivals in Delaware

How do you market yourself and your real estate services? You probably have a website, maybe put something in the newspaper from time to time and, if you’ve been around long enough, likely get some referrals and worth of mouth advertising.

But what about some of the non-traditional options like giveaways and attending local events and festivals?

Having a presence at some of southern Delaware’s fall festivals, particularly the ones that are in communities where you do business, is a great chance for you to get your name and what you do out in front of the public.

And, the best part is, you can do it for a VERY low cost!

This is fall festival season in southern Delaware, so there are literally events and happenings every weekend between now and the middle of November. Some are smaller and some are bigger – but all are opportunities for you to get some face time with the public and maybe even capture a new client or two.

The Southern Delaware Tourism website is a great option for keeping up to date on what’s coming up in the area, as are local chamber of commerce sites. Do a Google search for festivals in your town and see what you come up with.

But, we’ll save you a little bit of time here today by telling you about a few of the bigger festivals that are coming up in the next few weeks. If you want to get out and mingle with the community, these are good opportunities for you to do so.

Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival (Oct. 13-16). Now this is not the kind of festival where you can set up a booth and market your services, but this is held at several locations around the resort and you can certainly get out there and meet your adoring public. Make sure you have some business cards at the ready and prepare for some fantastic jazz music.

Apple-Scrapple Festival (Oct. 14-15). This is the perfect festival for renting a booth and handing out your promotional materials, while shaking hands with as many people as you possibly can. This event in Bridgeville is very well attended, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to meet a lot of new people. Get them on your mailing list and worry about converting them later on.

Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler’s Festival (Oct. 28-30). Another great event for setting up shop and talking with people who are out and about at one of the area’s final semi-warm weather events. This event has grown every year and is a great place for you to meet lots of people.

World Championship Punkin Chunkin (Nov. 4-6). This huge southern Delaware event returns this year after a two-year hiatus and is one of the area’s largest and most well known festivals.

Sussex County’s Return Day (Nov. 9-10). This is one you should definitely consider attending, both as a REALTOR® and as a local businessperson. Thousands of people come out for this event from all throughout the state, so it’s a chance for you to meet people you might not meet at other festivals. Set up a table, or just roam around with your business cards and meet as many people as you can. And it’s a great event to boot!

SCAORCast – 09/26/16 – A Special Message from Marc Cunningham

Welcome to SCAORCast, your ultra-fast download of everything Sussex County Association of REALTORS®.  Here’s what’s happening for this week.  (Check our show notes at the bottom of this page for easy access to all of these links.)

This Week’s Show Notes & Links:

  • Join Marc Cunningham on September 27th for “Systematizing for Success” and “Success is not an Accident” classes.
  • Questions?  Comments?  Talk back to us and let us know.  We’d love to hear from you.  (And be sure to subscribe in iTunes, and never miss an episode again!)
Five Bonus Tips for REALTOR® Safety

Five *Bonus* Tips for REALTOR® Safety Month

As we continue with 2016 REALTOR® Safety Month, we have a few more tips to keep you safe when on the job.

We’ve talked before about many of the basics, like using a “buddy” when hosting open houses, taking extra precautions when showing properties and always having your cell phone accessible at all times.

Today, we’re going to give you a few tips that will help keep you safe when out in the community.

  • Develop a code word or phrase. Actually, you might consider coming up with a couple of these, one to indicate a possibly dangerous situation and another to signal for immediate help. Make sure everyone in the office knows these phrases.  When you call in, they will immediately recognize the situation and act accordingly.
  • Use technology. There are many smartphone applications today that can help REALTORS®. Some of the more popular ones include bSafe and Real Alert. When you feel uneasy for any reason, keep your hands on your phone and you can make it ring with the push of a button. You can then call for help using your secret distress code.
  • Proper identification. Before taking someone to see properties, make sure they visit your office and fill out an ID form. Also make a copy of their driver’s license for your files.
  • Carry pepper spray. Better to be safe than sorry, and a can of pepper spray can go a long way in a dangerous situation. Just be sure to practice using it first so you know the correct way of doing so.
  • Trust your instinct. We all have what we call “gut feelings” from time to time, and we should listen to them. If something doesn’t seem right to you, then make sure you either proceed with extreme caution or remove yourself from the situation entirely.


As always, we welcome your comments on this or any of our other online material.

Have a great day everyone!

Systematizing for Success with Marc Cunningham

SCAORCast – 09/19/16 – Systematizing for Success with Marc Cunningham

Welcome to SCAORCast, your ultra-fast download of everything Sussex County Association of REALTORS®.  Here’s what’s happening for this week.  (Check our show notes at the bottom of this page for easy access to all of these links.)

This Week’s Show Notes & Links:

  • Join Marc Cunningham on September 27th for “Systematizing for Success” class.  Sign up here!
  • Questions?  Comments?  Talk back to us and let us know.  We’d love to hear from you.  (And be sure to subscribe in iTunes, and never miss an episode again!)
Open House Safety Tips

Open House Safety Tips

In our continuing look at REALTOR® safety this September, today we’re going to focus on one of the most common situations for real estate agents – hosting an open house.

While it’s true that open houses are not utilized as much today as in decades past, they are still an effective tool for marketing your available properties. There are many considerations associated with hosting this type of event – some you know about….and perhaps some that you don’t.

As always, personal safety should be your top priority when out on the job. Let’s look at ways to stay safe during publicized open house events.

  • When possible, use the buddy system. If someone from your office is available, bring them along for the day. Be sure to return the favor the next time your co-worker is having an open house event of their own.
  • Check for a signal. Be sure to check for a signal on your cell phone before starting your open house. If the signal is weak or intermittent, make sure you’re close to a land line at all times – or use your buddy’s phone, if possible.
  • Avoid rooms you can’t easily exit. These include attics, basements and small interior rooms that have a single way in and out – anywhere you can’t easily exit if need be.
  • Let someone know before you go. Ask them to check up on you after a predetermined time, or to call the authorities if something in particular alarms them. It’s always good to let at least one other person know your location at all times.
  • Always walk behind the guest. Never turn your back to someone at an open house, particularly if it’s someone you don’t know. Show him or her the home, but always walk behind the potential homebuyer to avoid any dangerous situations.
  • Do a sweep before leaving. Don’t assume everyone has left the property at the end of the event. Check the rooms and yard before locking up.

By taking a few precautions, you can greatly reduce any risk to your personal safety while hosting an open house.  Remember: Safety starts by being prepared in advance.

SCAORCast – 09/12/16 – Interview with New SCAOR CEO, Merritt Burke

Welcome to SCAORCast, your ultra-fast download of everything Sussex County Association of REALTORS®.  Here’s what’s happening for this week.  (Check our show notes at the bottom of this page for easy access to all of these links.) Our thanks to Royal Pest for sponsoring this episode.

This Week’s Show Notes & Links:

  • SCAOR’S Board of Directors voting is on!  Be sure to vote today if you haven’t already.

  • Questions?  Comments?  Talk back to us and let us know.  We’d love to hear from you.  (And be sure to subscribe in iTunes, and never miss an episode again!)
Sussex County Association of Realtors

Phone: 302-855-2300 | Fax: 302-855-2319

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