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02/05 - Design, Trends

Seller’s Playbook 2024: Finding the Ideal Property Buyer Beyond MLS

Real Estate Marketing is On the “Move” Big Time:

In an era where digital mediums dominate almost every aspect of our lives, 2024 real estate marketing has not been left behind. This article explores the intricate relationship of selling properties in a world where technology rules but traditional methodologies still hold significant sway. As we navigate the nuanced landscape of real estate in 2024, we uncover the strategies, tools, and innovations shaping how properties are marketed and sold. From the power of social media to the stamina of printed materials, we explore how the real estate industry has adapted to meet buyers’ evolving needs and behaviours in the digital age.

Today, the landscape of real estate has undergone a seismic shift, fundamentally altering the way sellers and buyers interact in the marketplace. In this digital landscape, the role of a seller’s agent is no longer confined to traditional methods of property listing and showcasing. Instead, it has evolved into a complex, multifaceted strategy that integrates technology at its core.

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In 2024, finding the ideal buyer for a property is akin to creating a compelling narrative that resonates with potential buyers on an emotional level. This requires an innovative marketing approach that leverages the latest technological tools and platforms. The key lies in understanding buyers’ changed behaviours and preferences, who now have access to a plethora of information at their fingertips.

The transformation in buyer behaviour is stark compared to the past. Gone are the days when the search for a new home was a passive activity, often limited to weekend open house visits or perusing newspaper listings. Today’s buyers are active participants in the property hunting process. They wield powerful tools like House Sigma, Listed and various real estate apps, which provide them with a wealth of information, from property histories to neighbourhood trends.

This change necessitates a radical shift in how properties are marketed. Sellers’ agents must now craft a digital presence for each property that is both captivating and informative. The focus is creating an immediate impact on potential buyers constantly inundated with digital content. High-quality visuals, including professional photography and engaging video tours, have become more crucial. These elements must be strategically designed to capture the essence of the property and instantly connect with the buyer’s aspirations and desires.

Moreover, the emergence of platforms like House Sigma and the decline of traditional MLS listings underscore a broader trend: the democratization of real estate information. Buyers are no longer dependent on agents for access to property details. This newfound empowerment means sellers must offer more than just basic information. They must present a compelling, all-encompassing view of the property beyond the physical dimensions, including insights into the neighbourhood, lifestyle possibilities, and future upside opportunities. The role of technology in this new real estate landscape extends beyond just marketing. Tools like Google Maps and various city websites allow buyers to conduct in-depth research on neighbourhoods and local developments. They can assess the potential of a property not just as a home but as an investment in their future. This level of scrutiny means that the seller and their agents must be prepared to provide comprehensive, transparent, and accurate information about their property.

In this context, storytelling becomes vital for any successful seller’s agent. It’s about weaving a narrative around the property that engages the buyer’s imagination and emotions. This storytelling is through words and a combination of visuals, virtual experiences, and data-driven insights. The art of selling a property in 2024 is a far cry from the traditional methods of the past. It demands creativity, technological savvy, and a deep understanding of the contemporary buyer’s psyche. As the real estate industry continues to evolve, those who adapt to these changes and embrace the power of technology and storytelling will find success in connecting sellers with the perfect buyers for their properties.

Mobile technology has revolutionized the real estate market, creating a paradigm shift in how properties are listed and marketed. In a world where 90% of property searches occur on mobile devices, the imperative for responsive design in real estate marketing is undeniable. This shift has profoundly impacted how realtors approach the presentation of properties, ensuring that every digital asset, from newsletters to custom websites and social media ads, is optimized for mobile viewing. The challenge lies in maintaining aesthetic appeal and functionality across various platforms, particularly given the vertical stacking inherent in mobile displays.
This mobile-first approach is a technical requirement and a strategic marketing move. A property’s digital representation must be visually appealing but also intuitive and user-friendly. The goal is to create a seamless, undistracted experience that leads potential buyers to take action. This approach is crucial in an industry where first impressions are made in seconds and can significantly influence a buyer’s decision-making process.

Furthermore, the role of syndication in this digital landscape is pivotal. While MLS and Realtor.ca remain the foundational platforms for property listings, the influence of third-party apps like House Sigma and Listed has grown exponentially. These platforms offer unique features, such as detailed property histories and predictive pricing algorithms, although they sometimes lack accuracy. The immediacy with which these apps update makes them indispensable tools for the new school buyer, offering real-time alerts and a more dynamic browsing experience than traditional methods.

Social media’s role in real estate marketing has become a cornerstone strategy. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook allow for targeted, real-time marketing that speaks directly to the mobile-savvy audience. High-quality visuals, short-form videos, and engaging copywriting make social media ideal for showcasing properties. This approach increases visibility and engagement and taps into the aspirational aspect of real estate, presenting properties as living spaces and lifestyle choices.

For sellers, the choice of a real estate agent must now consider their proficiency in these digital realms. An agent’s online presence, including social media activity, website quality, and overall digital footprint, reflects their capability to market a property effectively. Attention to detail in their online presentation indicates their property-selling approach. From responsive design to syndication across diverse platforms and strategic use of social media, the modern real estate market demands a multifaceted, tech-savvy approach. For sellers, navigating this new landscape requires not only an understanding of these changes but also choosing agents who are adept at leveraging these digital tools to maximize property exposure and appeal.

The importance of social media in today’s real estate landscape cannot be overstated. For instance, sponsored ads on platforms like Instagram and Facebook often draw potential buyers to open houses, sometimes even through secondary connections like friends or family. While tracking precise conversion rates from social media can be challenging, there’s a clear indication that our broad and specific audience is significantly sourced through these platforms, both broad and specific to sellers’ properties. This insight shapes our marketing strategies, tailoring them to the preferences of different social media audiences.

Moreover, the impact of social media marketing extends beyond mere visibility. We’ve observed a trend where properties receive more engagement on custom property websites created for specific addresses than on traditional listing platforms like Realtor.ca. This higher activity level is primarily driven by social media marketing, suggesting that our efforts are effectively doubling, sometimes even tripling, the number of eyeballs on a property. This phenomenon underlines the shift in buyer behaviour, where potential buyers often engage with their agents after being drawn in by our online marketing efforts.

The critical aspect of real estate selling is storytelling, where social media and custom websites are pivotal. While essential, platforms like MLS and Realtor.ca often fall short of conveying the full narrative of a property. They are limited in how much they can showcase in terms of content and aesthetic appeal. In contrast, a custom website allows for a richer, more detailed presentation. It includes comprehensive information about the property, neighbourhood, and additional features that can’t be fully expressed within the constraints of traditional listing platforms. The effectiveness of this approach is evident when potential buyers are redirected from basic inquiries on platforms like Realtor.ca to more comprehensive custom websites. These sites provide all the information a buyer might need, increasing the chances of booking a showing.

In any real estate market, the importance of agent networks cannot be understated, especially regarding reputation and professional relationships. When representing a buyer, the experience is significantly enhanced if the listing agent is known for professionalism and thoroughness. A good reputation among peers in the industry often translates into smoother transactions and more enjoyable experiences for all parties involved. The reality of the real estate industry today is that a small percentage of agents handle the bulk of transactions. This concentration underscores the importance of working within a competent team rather than as a lone agent. The complexities and nuances of today’s real estate market require expertise and service best delivered through a team effort.

Open houses, too, play a crucial role in the selling process, although their importance has evolved over time. While open houses may not always directly lead to a sale, they are an effective tool for exposure. Extended open house hours and evening open houses cater to the busy schedules of potential buyers, providing more opportunities for interaction and engagement. The goal of an open house is not just to showcase the property but to create a connection, making potential buyers feel more confident about their decision to offer.

The allure of printed marketing collateral lies in its ability to evoke a sense of luxury and attention to detail. For instance, a well-crafted feature sheet, made from high-quality paper and showcasing stunning photography, conveys more than just information – it creates an experience. It’s about making the potential buyer feel a connection to the property, a connection that is often lost in the digital noise. This tactile aspect of marketing is especially significant in an era where digital overload is common. A beautifully designed, physical piece of collateral can stand out, offering a unique, memorable touchpoint in the buyer’s journey.

This approach is particularly effective when considering the involvement of various stakeholders in the property-buying process. In many cases, especially with younger buyers, parents play a pivotal role in decision-making, often contributing financially. Providing these stakeholders with a tangible representation of the property that exudes quality and care can build trust and persuade them of its value. The experience of buyers encountering different levels of marketing collateral varies widely. From the disappointment of a mere QR code directing to a downloadable feature sheet to the uninspiring black-and-white printouts of an MLS listing, the quality of these materials can significantly impact the perception of a property. In contrast, high-quality, well-designed print materials can delight potential buyers and be a powerful tool for buyer agents. These materials keep the property top of mind, encouraging further consideration and potentially leading to an offer.

The role of print in real estate marketing is not just about creating attractive materials; it’s about differentiation and adding value to the buyer’s experience. It’s an opportunity for sellers to showcase their property uniquely and memorably. Therefore, when sellers select a listing agent, evaluating their approach to printed marketing collateral should be a key consideration. This evaluation is about the aesthetic quality and the strategic use of these materials in creating a compelling narrative around the property.

As we come to the end of our exploration of real estate marketing in 2024, it’s clear that the industry has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years. The convergence of digital innovation and traditional marketing techniques has created a rich selection of strategies catering to diverse buyers. The successful marketing and selling of properties hinge on a blend of cutting-edge technology and the timeless appeal of tangible experiences. By embracing this integrated approach, sellers and agents can confidently navigate the complexities of the current real estate market, ensuring that every property is showcased in its best light and connects with potential buyers. Remember, it only takes one!

Contact Fox Marin, Toronto’s downtown luxury real estate brokerage, today to learn more about the advantages of hiring a quality team!

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Kori Marin is a Toronto Broker & Managing Partner at Fox Marin Associates. For high-energy real estate aficionado Kori Marin, a well-lived life is achieved by maintaining an “all-in” attitude that realizes every last ounce of one’s full potential. This mindset has driven successful results in every aspect of her life – from her corporate sales and account management experience to her international travels to her years of fitness training and leadership – and is the hallmark of the exceptional work that she does on behalf of her clients in the residential real estate sector in downtown Toronto.