BakerB Solutions, LLC is one of the preeminent Virtual Tour Providers in the Washington DC Metro region. One of the elements that makes our virtual tour business so successful is the technology we license from Real Tour Vision. The other is our understanding of real estate marketing in our area and in general. By becoming and hiring licensed real estate agents (non-practicing), we have been able to build an understanding of the local market like no other company around. In fact I myself have been in over 500 homes in just the past year alone. Most agents will not have seen that many homes in 5 years. While this helps us to understand the market, it also gives us insight as to which homes will sell fast and for what price point, and which agents control them. So you could say we are equally educated on the market conditions and can provide our clients (real estate agents) with a strong backing to their pricing strategy in general.
As a result of this market experience on an annual basis, several elements in our experience have surfaced that illustrate what makes an agent a TOP AGENT in our market. Here are the top (in no particular order):
* Charisma with Understanding and Intelligence
* Taking Command of the Listing
* Preparing the Home for the Market
* A firm Grasp of Marketing
Let’s examine each of these briefly. First, you will notice that all agents that are in the Top 1% nationwide are charismatic, intelligent and knowledgeable. These are people with a welcoming smile, a friendly dimeanor and an ability of making you feel comfortable with them from the first hand shake. In addition, they know enough about their profession to have answers to most difficult questions, and have the integrity to tell you if they don’t. These are people that are not run-of-the-mill agents, but rather people that others admire for their success.
Being charismatic is great, but alone is not a quality that pays the bills. In order to win business top agents must take control of the listing from the very first phone call or face-to-face meeting. These people are in command with what will transpire in the transaction and guide the timing of each phase. This does not mean they do not listen to their clients, it just means they take their clients (sellers) down the road they want to take.
One of these roads is the condition of the property. There are two strategies in play here: 1) as-is, and 2) fix it to sell. With the As-Is model (which works well for older couples or a widowed spouse), the idea is to be more generous with the starting sales price, making it lower to attract more buyers, knowing they will have to spend money to fix the home up to their personal standards. The second is to get the property into as close to “move-in” condition as possible. This means new Carpet, Refinishing floors, installing granite counters, painting the interior, replacing out dated light fixtures and faucets (especially in bathrooms). Not all of these are always done, but they are common in the homes of successful sales for top agents.
Finally is a firm grasp on marketing. It is our belief that the real estate market is at least 50% marketing. That is, half of the work of the agent and winning business depends on the marketing they do to secure business and promote their listings. The agents that understand this and don’t necessarily “pinch-pennies” with regard to their marketing are typically MUCH MORE successful in the business. The catch here is that you have to have money to make money. Marketing is not cheap, but it IS THE source of the bulk of business for the Top agents.
One of the elements that ties several of the characteristics of the Top Agents together is the Virtual Tour! Charismatic agents have no problem selling the benefits of a strong Virtual Tour for their listings. And with their command of the listing they always secure the tour. Making sure that the home is ready for the market pays off not only in showing the property in person, but even more so in the virtual tour. Homes that are ready when we go in to do photographs SELL THEMSELVES!!! In fact we even had a situation where an out of town buyer put an offer on a well prepared home STRICTLY based on the Virtual Tour BakerB Solutions provided. Finally, a strong grasp on marketing is essential. The Interactive Virtual Tour we provide our agents surpasses the competition in spades. In fact one broker told me on several occasions, “I would hate to be your competition, because your tours blow them away.” Why? Because of the RTV technology and the way we deliver the service. But for the agent that same technology is exactly their own selling tool. Instead of getting a “slide show” that is glorified as a virtual tour, we deliver a fully interactive experience allowing the user to navigate through the property by way of hot spots, next and back buttons or just through an auto play option. No other virtual tour system offers this level of navigation with such ease as a full service offering to Realtors.
To see what I am talking about, just visit one of my client’s galleries:
You will see the condition of the properties and the volume he does on an annual basis. He exhibits all the qualities discussed and is a strong competitor at listing appointments. Just see for yourself.
Baker B Solutions