If you’ve ever read Our Story, then you know that Linda and I got our start in real estate by flipping homes. That was a lot of fun for us and when the market is ripe again one day, we’ll be sure to dive back in and resume where we left off prior to opening our brokerage, Green Fin Realty, Inc. The unique experience of rehabbing homes taught us a lot. Specifically, the art of making an emotional connection with a buyer. That is the sweet spot where all the magic happens.
When you create just the right environment, you can have buyers competing for your home and obtain over asking offers, which most people would agree, is a good thing. I’m writing about this very thing in The Value-Optimized Approach to Selling Your home. Maximum Profit Doesn’t Just Happen, It has to be Engineered! This should be available on Amazon sometime soon, so keep an eye out for this exciting roller coaster of a read.
One of the services we offer through our brokerage is the complete project management of our client’s rehabs to prepare their home for the market. We build the schedules, coordinate the resources, and even pick all the colors and fixtures out. We are keenly aware of how and where to obtain the lowest costs while creating maximum value. We also know what resonates with prospective buyers and achieves full-price offers. This is a full-service turnkey solution that is separate from that of our Value-Optimized Approach that we use with the vast majority of our clients.
In early February, Linda and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Velda and her niece Maria. Velda had been referred to us and would be soon moving into an assisted living home here in Fresno where she would meet new friends and have more of a sense of community. It was bittersweet for her as she’s lived in her home on Los Altos Avenue since 1994.
We sat and talked with Velda and Maria for the better part of 2 hours. Velda had a storied past and it was fascinating to learn about all of her adventures throughout life. She was a chief airline stewardess for TWA back in the glory days of the airlines and had traveled all over the world. She told me stories of trips to Italy and Rome and pointed to paintings on her wall and explained their origins. Since living on Los Altos Avenue, Velda had been a professor at Fresno City College and several other local colleges where she taught nutrition. It truly was a wonderful time to sit and visit with Velda as she took us on the journey of her life.
When we eventually got around to discussing the specific objectives for selling Velda’s home, it became clear that maximum profit was the needed outcome as the proceeds from the sale of Velda’s home would be contributing towards her new future. After discussing our process and workflow, a preliminary budget was established for a complete update of the house. Velda would be moving out in 3 weeks and our crew would need to be ready to descend upon her Los Altos Avenue home and begin the process of creating the best house on the street.
Immediately, I got to work creating the project schedule, coordinating contractors, picking out flooring, carpet, granite, lighting, bathroom fixtures and the list went on.
After 3 weeks, many problems solved and a flurry of activity, the finishing touches were added through scientific staging. Velda’s home was now complete. Maria and her husband Kevin flew out from the East coast to visit Velda and brought her by one day to see the home. Unfortunately, Linda and I were not able to be there as I would have loved to have seen the look on Velda’s face when she saw her home again for the first time. Maria said she was absolutely overjoyed though and could not believe it was the home she had lived in for so many years.
After pictures, drone videography and our full suite of marketing preparedness, we were ready to go live.
Let’s face it, prospective buyers have a lot of options to house hunt outside of a realtor. They’re looking online at Zillow, Trulia, Redfin and Realtor.com long before they ever reach out to a Realtor. If your home doesn’t make an overwhelming first impression that burns into their conscience, you may just slip into the average DOM (Days On Market) here in Fresno. For April 2017, that average was 31 days. To make matters worse, in this market, if your home hasn’t sold in just a couple of weeks, it’s considered stale. That means buyers typically smell blood and have no intention of making a full price offer. To contrast that, Linda and I are averaging 4 days and 103.96% of list price. You see, through the fine-tuning of our Value-Optimized Approach the last 3 years, we’ve learned how to make our client’s homes stand out and distance themselves from that of the competition.
Anyway, as we concluded part 1 of the story, we had just finished up with photography and videography and were getting ready to launch our coming soon campaign, which is highly targeted paid advertising. You see, there is a specific psychology to running an effective coming soon campaign, and it ties back to how the human brain is wired to think. In our “I want it now” society, when you generate a BUZZ for something that people can’t have (yet), it sets the stage for a successful public launch once they can have it.
We’re making a lasting emotional connection prior to them seeing the home in person and this t’s up competition and often, multiple over-asking offers. I adopted this technique after reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. If you’re in sales of any kind, I highly encourage you to read this incredible book.
Los Altos Ave was a highly successful coming soon campaign for us too. After one week, we were able to generate 7,864 views of the property listing video, 10,316 online impressions made which lead to 448 clicks to our featured property web page at www.5193LosAltos.com.
When we finally got to launch day, circumstances were not ideal. It stormed and rained all weekend long. That didn’t deter people though. We had 35+ showings, 4 offers and sold for $240,500, 102.5% of list price in just 4 days.
Check out the before & after pictures below for a direct comparison.
When I first met Velda and Maria in early February, I would have listed Velda’s home for $195,000. The total rehab expense was right at $15,000 but moved the overall sales price up by $45,500 which equated to an extra $30,000 that Velda now had to contribute towards the cost of the assisted living facility she is now living in.
This was the outcome that was needed and Linda and I are truly blessed to have been able to help Velda accomplish this goal and to have been part of her story.
Thank you, Velda, Maria, and Kevin for putting your faith in us and trusting in our process. We appreciate you so very much.