IT'S ALL ABOUT EXPOSURE While the tech savvy seller can get a home listed on several internet sites, it is still not possible to reach the same number of buyers an agent can through listing the house with a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). I am a member of FOUR MLSs: FMLS (First Multiple Listing Service), Georgia MLS, CTI-Habersham/White/Stephens MLS and CTI-Northeast Georgia, which covers most all of northern most Georgia into Tennessee and North Carolina. Less that 1% of real estate agents belong to that many MLS services. Why am I am member of four MLS services? If I was working only Gainesville to Dahlonega and south, I would only need Georgia MLS and FMLS. (Many smaller independent companies only belong to Georgia MLS). Since I enjoy the mountains and Lake Chatuge, I work in that area as well. In order to effectively market listings in the mountain areas, I belong to those REALTOR boards and their corresponding MLSs. The seller gets an added bonus of not only being in the local MLS, but FMLS as well, which allows Metro Atlanta agents access to the listing. Since Atlanta buyers are often prospects for mountain property, it makes logical sense to promote the listings to Metro Atlanta agents.

These MLSs feed into a plethora of sites that buyers use to search for a home online. According to a recent National Association of Realtor (NAR) Buyer and Seller Profile, ninety percent of recent buyers search online; of buyers under 44 years old, the figure was 96%. With nearly 1 million real estate websites to choose from, buyers typically visit multiple sites and are attracted to those with the most listings, like REALTOR.com and Yahoo Real Estate. Unrepresented sellers have no access to major online marketing avenues such as these. With my enhanced presence at REALTOR.com, I am able to add additional copy to my listings, directing users to my individual property website for that listing. I am able to track how many REALTOR.com page views that my individual listings get on a weekly basis and share that with the seller. Buyers decide whether or not to visit a property based upon what they find online. Therefore, photos must be incredible and memorable. I use a professional photographer who prepares a virtual tour; I also take photos myself. As a shutterbug, this justified my want/need for a camera with a wide angle lens (a must for nice interior shots).

Individual property domains are a big part of marketing my listings. A domain name such as  HabershamMountainView.com is then used in print advertising and social media. I even add the website to the front yard sign and a QR code to easily direct mobile users to the site. I can then track on a daily basis the number of mobile users and traditional desktop computer users the domain has had as well as how they arrived at the site. The website also has links for area information, school info, and documents pertaining to the property like an aerial view, plat, and covenants and restrictions.

There are so many other facets of exposure; I can't get it all in this week.  I'll continue this
discussion next week.  Probably the most obvious part of exposure is the sign.  The Norton Agency, in business since 1928, is the most visible real estate sign in North Georgia.


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