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toronto real estate specialists

How to make a great first impression in the Toronto condo market

Okay, we have done our research, gone to websites, talked to different Realtors, and established the right price. The critical part is now getting your home ready to sell. I cannot stress enough how important this phase of the process is so please pay particular attention.

Number one, most decisions to buy your home are made in less than three seconds. What I mean by that is that somebody is literally going to drive up in front of your home, look at your home from their car for approximately three seconds, and determine if they have fallen in love with your home or not.

At that point, after just three seconds, they are going to decide to continue driving or they are going to stop, write down the phone number, get the flyer and make inquiries. That first initial impression is absolutely critical. Nothing is more important.

So how do we do make a great first impression? The first thing is landscaping. Landscaping could be as simple as cutting your grass. It could be as simple as planting a few more flowers.

If you think about Disney there are always two things that are very memorable. The first thing is that there are always lots of flowers, lots of color. The second thing you notice about Disney, no matter where you are in the Disney Park, is that there is always music in the background.

You can literally create this resort type feel just by having lots of colors, lots of different plants, lots of flowers and having some outdoor music. These things are very inexpensive but really take your property to the next level. This completely differentiates you from everybody else not only in your neighborhood but anyone else selling.

So these are some of the tips youll find when you go visit model homes at some of these big real estate offices or big developers - youll always see some incredible landscaping. They say that landscaping adds more value to your home than anything else. So the first tip in getting your house ready to sell is the outside appearance, get that landscaping perfect. This concept of landscaping however changes when dealing with downtown Toronto condos. The condos in downtown Toronto already have perfect landscaping so they do not need to worry about this issue. These owners need to concentrate on remodeling their homes or at least making it look presentable.

Identifying your buyer in the toronto condo market

IDENTIFYING YOUR BUYER IN THE TORONTO CONDO MARKET

So lets talk about the kind of person thats going to buy your home. Most of us think that the person thats going to buy your home looks just like you. Perhaps you are married with kids so the assumption is that the person who will buy your home will be married with a few kids.

You may be right, however there is an 80% chance that you might be wrong. What I would really challenge you to think about are the possible buyers for your home not hundreds of different buyer profiles but say five different types of people that could be a good fit.

For example, it may be a couple that is relocating to your city or to your neighborhood. Maybe they have different wants and needs. So if you think about that person, they are going to come with a very different perception of your home.

Ill give you an example. They might come from a very expensive real estate market and maybe your market is less expensive. So theyre not so concerned about the price of your home, they might be more concerned about safety or security or how good the schools are.

Let me give you another example. Lets say you have another prospective family and perhaps they have young children. Well, people with young children have an entirely different set of criteria when looking for a home.

One last one I want you to think about. Think about an elderly couple that may be downsizing. Perhaps they currently have a much larger home and want to move into something smaller, but stay in the same neighbourhood.

So when you think about your sales and marketing, you need to keep the needs of various possible buyers in mind the couple thats relocating, the young family or perhaps the empty nesters.

Remember not to be too narrow minded when determining your potential buyers - keep an open mind so you can understand and deal with each of these different circumstances.

The emotional approach to selling Toronto condos

TAKE AN EMOTIONAL APPROACH

If you look at the old ways of selling real estate, the outdated methods that worked in the past, none of those things will work now. So it is very important that you pay attention as we go through the step-by-step approaches that you can act on today.

First I want to explain the difference between selling in a boom real estate similar to what we have experienced in the past and selling your home today. In those days your agent could list your home, fill the place for an open house, then sift through the offers.

In most cases you could sell your home on logic and reason you could tell your prospective buyers about square footage, price point, granite counters, stainless steel appliances and people got excited.

Today those things are just a given granite counters and stainless steel appliances are now commonplace, along with things like hardwood floors.

In todays real estate market those kind of functional details are simply not going to get people excited or motivate them to buy. As well there is often a great deal of inventory, so people have many homes for sale that they are able to choose from.

Therefore the only way to make the sale is to make sure your sales and marketing approach is based on emotion.

Of course people want to have a bigger or nicer home with more luxury features. But what we have found is that if you focus on the emotional benefits of buying your particular home the results are truly amazing.

Suddenly the conversation is focused on how happy your home is, and how incredible the neighbours are. When you start talking about experiences and the lifestyle that your home can offer the dynamic takes an amazing shift. So my advice to you is that if anything looks like logic or reason in any of your marketing approaches, get it out of your vocabulary.

When youre talking to a homeowner, and Im hoping that youre focusing on the woman, because shes really the decision maker, focus on the memories, on how happy this place is, on the incredible neighbors and friendships that youve developed in the neighborhood. These are the important selling features you need to employ today.

Lets just do a quick review. The first thing we talked about was the fact that the world has changed dramatically. In the past 10 years weve gone from analog to digital - most of the information we access is now found on the Internet. So when we talk about marketing your home, were going to spend most of our time talking about digital techniques.

The second thing we covered was the difference between selling your home in a boom market when you could use logic and reason you know, things like price per square foot, number of bathrooms and the size of your back yard. These days you absolutely have to focus on the emotional benefits prospective buyers will experience if they own your home.

Lets take a closer look at these important fundamentals and how you can use these proven techniques to sell your home effectively in any market conditions!

The Internet - an integral part of the Toronto condo sale plan

THE INTERNET AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE TORONTO CONDO SALE PLAN

The first thing we all need to realize is how radically the world has changed in the past ten years. Think about it for just a second ten years ago we were not using Google, Facebook or YouTube. There were no Blackberrys, iPhones or iPads, no digital cameras, high speed internet at home or USB memory sticks none of these things even existed.

As a direct result of these massive changes, consumer behavior has also undergone some radical changes specifically the Internet is now at the very core of most consumer decisions. What that means for you is that if you are trying to market or sell your home running a small print ad in a local or even national publication it is not going to work.

Consumers research almost all large purchase decisions online and are not reading newspapers the way they used to when they need specific products or services and definitely not when they are looking to buy a new home.

The reality is that most consumers are making real estate purchase decisions at home using a computer and are not sitting in a real estate office at this point in our history. In fact online marketing has now overtaken traditional marketing as the most cost effective way to sell any product or service.

The consumer is now in control so you have to cater to their needs and where your most qualified buyers can consistently be found. So if you are not generating most of your leads online your plan is not going to work. Well discuss this further when we get to the marketing your home section.

So here is the great news the process of selling your home using proven online strategies is simpler and easier than you think. And no one is going to work harder to sell your home than you.

Right now you can set your home apart, take some unconventional steps and leverage the awesome power of the Internet to get your home sold fast and save a serious amount of money on real estate commissions.

Condooutlet Marketing hub

In the past, your customers experience was segmented. Your direct mail campaign was separate from your PR, which was separate from the telemarketers and television. Today, everything will be integrated and your website will be the hub of everything that you do.

People used to talk about how many eyeballs were seeing your messaging. If you have a newsletter that goes out to forty thousand people but the message is irrelevant. How much does this matter? Think about relevancy in every message you give. I would rather have 200 people following my blog, than on some message board that 40,000 random people will see. When you come across opportunities, look for relevancy.

We were asked to consult on a project in Mississauga. Mississauga is a very competitive condominium market. The project underway was called the Onyx and it was beautiful and stunning. They were doing a lot of marketing in GTA. The marketing spend was enormous and were talking advertising that wasnt track able or measureable. We started to analyze where the buyers were coming from. If I am advertising in Markham my leads will be coming from that city. But where exactly are the buyers coming from? What we found is, if you look at the Onyx on a map, it's near Square One. We literally found out that all of the buyers came from the three postal codes right next door Square One. What does that mean? It means that any marketing that you're not doing literally within one to two miles of the property is a complete a waste of money. A lot of your buyers will be coming from walking distance to your project. If you look at this neighborhood, you will see one grocery store and one Movie Theater. There is only one point where all these people can connect with your offer. Put all of your money into this and hit the local area. You will be successful.

Another great tracking tool that costs you less than ten U.S. dollars is through the creation of unique URLs. Often people ask, "But Roman, you know, are we going to screw up our brand by having different domains?" Here's why I don't think so. First of all, you're not Nike. You're not Pepsi. You're not Apple. So to me, your brand is important, but its more important that you measure results than establish a long term brand. This is how you do it. Take your project name and put a word in front of it. If your project is called Veranda, write "Own Veranda," "Live Veranda," "Dream Veranda. These are all dot coms of course. Dont ever buy anything but .com. If you advertised Live Veranda in a magazine and that website is recording hits, visitors and registrations, then you know that magazine ad is working for you.

So, between my unique URL and my 800 number, I can pretty accurately, and in real time, see what's working, what's not. The unique URLs can go into an Excel spreadsheet and your webmaster can keep track of it. If you have the financing to have someone do this for you, N5R has inexpensive solutions that do all this for you, but you can do this stuff yourself.

Toronto Condo Sale Followup

I want you to picture this in your mind. Lets say youre a man and you have just gone on an amazing first date. The date was better than you could have imagined. But then, you have to go on the road and you forget to call her for several days.

By day one, she is telling her girlfriends that youre kind of a jerk. By day two, shes already called her mom and told her that you are a jerk. By day three, if I dont follow up, I will never see this girl again. This is what happens when you let time slip between you and your prospect and your Toronto Condos may never get sold this way. Let me tell you about your prospects. They've registered on your website on a Friday night at 5:30p.m. The problem is you probably haven't assigned a Lead Manager to follow up over the weekend. The weekend passes you by and someone might get back to them on Monday or Tuesday. I assure you they wont be pleased with you by then. They will never do business with you and theyll tell their friends why not to do business with you.

Lets face it this is the reality of real-time customer service. If you don't have a process for this situation, you will not be in business in five years. People's expectations have been transformed forever because of the internet. People will never go back to lowering their expectations. It's just like anything else in humans. Once you have had a certain quality of clothes, car or home, you wont happily downgrade. Human expectation is for things to get better and better. Our expectations will always keep rising. The follow up cycle of days or weeks is completely obsolete.

The typical sales office operates between 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Have you thought about what time all of the leads are being generated? It will always be over the weekend and in the evenings. I dont suggest that you keep your business open and running 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. I do suggest that you hire an Internet Lead Manager who can get back to people in the evenings until 9:00 p.m. This is a critical necessity. It doesnt matter if you are selling commercial or residential real estate or if you are selling ice-cream. Youd better be ready when customers are ready. The feedback cycle has changed from days, into hours.

How to sell your Toronto Condos

People buy, rent and lease real estate when they see others buying, renting and leasing. Here is a real world example I had with this. I bought my first triplex nine years ago in Danforth & Donlands. Then, it was not the greatest area but it was cheap.

My vision was to live upstairs, rent the downstairs. So, I would be living there for free. My plan worked until the basement tenant moved out. It was winter and I now have a not so great place in a not so great area and its cold. There had to be a way to get it rented again.

I ran the ads and did the traditional stuff. This is before Google, before pay-per-click, before Craigslist, before any online stuff. I got a number of calls, and why I decided to do this, I dont even recall. But all of the callers were asking Can I see it tonight? I replied, No, come by to see it this Saturday at 9:00 PM." Maybe I did this for the convenience of doing one showing for everyone rather than one every night for one person. I told every caller the same thing.

I had arranged for 15 or 16 people to come. I thought this was a good start. Being a marketing enthusiast, I got on my computer and I printed off all of the cool restaurants in town, theaters and places to go. When people arrived, I gave them my handout and I said, "Look, you're going to have to just wait a few minutes. I am only doing one personal tour at a time to be fair to everybody. You have to wait." And people were like, "What are you talking about?"
So people are showing up and they are lining up to see my basement apartment. I am giving them a handout, and they are standing outside in the cold.

Here I am giving one tour at a time, and I'm taking five to ten minutes with each person. I show them the fireplace and the little benefits and features of every nook.
I went through two or three tours and the crowd was getting restless. One guy yelled out Ill take it! I said, "No, you can't take it, sir, because you haven't seen it yet. I was asking for eight or nine hundred dollars for the place and he says "I'll give you a thousand dollars for it." I said, "Sir, you can't take it,
because you haven't seen it. I will only be a few minutes. Read the handout I gave you."

A bidding war broke out in line that night.
Let's just pretend for a minute that you had a great salesperson and you had a great sales office. Lets also pretend that you have a great prospect that is qualified and ready to buy. You think that you have all the ingredients to succeed, right? Well, here's why you don't.

The great prospect walks in and gets blown away by how beautiful your sales center is. Your salesperson is building a relationship by bringing him the fancy coffee and bottled water. They are sitting and doing everything right. An hour your prospect walks out, saying "Thank you very much. I'm going to review the information and think about it; I'll get back to you."

The problem is there wasnt a sense of urgency. Youd better show your prospects action when selling you Toronto condominiums. Keep the phones ringing and make sure others are hanging around. If there isnt any action, there wont be an urgency to buy. You are better off with a crummy sales person in a crummy sales office that is jam-packed with people. Try to create momentum.

Utilize new tools to sell Your Toronto Condos

Id like to tell you about my wifes use of the internet. My wife reads all of her news online. She knows everything I find out a day before I do. I still read newspapers and I'm always a day behind. All of her banking and bill paying is done online. I have to wait to get my
statements in the mail. She has statements in real time.

She is more connected with her friends and her family than anybody. She's on Facebook and all these social-networking sites. I am lucky to connect with my friends every couple of months. She is in constant contact with her social sphere on a minute by minute
play.

She talks to her mom with video Skype every single day. Grandparents and grandkids are connecting online with video every day. It doesnt matter that they are 65 years old. They know how to use video Skype. If you don't know how to use video Skype and you're trying to sell, youre in trouble and this is why. Video
Skype is one of the most powerful sales tools that no one's using in selling their Toronto Condos.

I'm not implying that hand-written letters are out. As a matter of fact, there are some tools that you can still use. Did you know that a handwritten thankyou card will really draw someones attention? When I'm in a sales environment and I send someone a thank-you card, I will come back to that person three years later and find my card on their desk three years later.

Its not because it was from me. It is because they had not received a thank-you card in the mail in three years, so they keep it on their desk. Center your advertising in online initiatives. Tie all of your advertising to a unique phone number and URL. Dont discriminate based on age. Youd be surprised to see how many empty nesters are online now. I have these statistics and they are astounding. Each year, the boomers become more internet savvy.

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