Friends, family, prospective clients, and even Tim's new hair stylist, have asked us, ‘What area of town do you specialize in?' ... as if that's what realtors do.
It’s what we did. But this is 2015, it’s no longer what we need to do.
Drive through every neighborhood in Calgary and you'll see bus benches that say ‘#1 Area Specialist’ or ‘Area Specialist for 30 years’. We can’t believe that marketing still works. We thought consumers were smarter than that.
(This is where we were going to insert hilarious pictures of the Foat Team sitting on Calgary’s cheesiest bus benches, but our terms of service don’t permit us to. Bummer.)
Everything was done on paper back in the olden days of real estate. Agents would get a weekly ‘Hot Sheet’ of the new properties that came on the market. They’d put the Hot Sheet in a folder, next to the folder of homes they have sold. Then they locked the drawer, put their feet on the desk, adjusted their tweed suit, and drank straight rye for the rest of the morning.
Knowledge was scarce. Realtors guarded their knowledge.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 20 years, your life has been changed by something called the Internet. The web-tubes have turned the real estate industry on it’s head in the past few years. With my new Market Snapshots you instantly know the sold price of homes near you. You don’t need to call your ‘area specalist’. They don’t need to look through their folder. But their suit is probably still tweed.
Real estate marketing, strangely, has not changed at all.
From your phone, at 4 am, you can watch a YouTube open house of a Vegas apartment in your underwear, win an E-Bay auction for a sword from Japan, and watch every episode of a TV show that was justifiably canceled 20 years ago. Then in the morning, you’ll call the guy who’s only sold homes in your neighbourhood for 30 years. What sense does that make?
Last month, we spoke to a perspective client about listing his house. He had called a few days later to say that he was blown away by Foat & Associates, but he would be using the local area specialist. I found is house on mls.ca yesterday. There are 8 grainy pictures, none of his spectacular view. No unique url. Nothing on YouTube. He’s paying that guy the same amount he’d pay me, but he’s not getting a unique website, professional photos, Facebook ads, Google Ad Words, Circlepix, or YouTube Open House. He got a sign in his yard with the area specialist’s name on it. Whoop-di-freakin’-do.
Check out the photo below of a Facebook add we ran. More then 15,000 people saw this home right on their newsfeed. Over 2000 people clicked on it and checked out the pictures.
Best part: we ran that add twice in one weekend. Almost 30,000 people saw it. How many people drove passed it that weekend... maybe 100.
It’s 2015. The whole world is connected online. Realtors should at least be capable of crossing the street into another community.
So no, we don’t specialize in one physical area. We specialize in leveraging advanced online tools to sell your home smoothly and at a great price. That takes effort and intelligence.
Here's a quick map of the homes we've sold in a last two years.
We’ve sold a home in every quadrant of Calgary, plus Cochrane, Chestermere, Strathmore, and Okotoks (the map cut it off). Our big secret: we use the internet. We have access to the same information that your area specialist does, and we know where to find more. We can tell you the features of a typical house in every neighbourhood, and the market value of that house.
The short answer to Tim's barber's question is: we don't specialize in one area, we specialize in helping great people sell their home and find the perfect home to make lasting memories. We love what we do, almost as much as Tim loves his haircut.