Back in the year 2000, the world was at the beginning stages of a major transition brought on by the development of the internet and the many website startups that followed. The new internet-based MLS system promised to dramatically change the way homes were sold, giving more information and power into the hands of the consumers. Websites like zillow.com and realtor.com became popular in 2013 as a resource hub for buyers and exploded in user count. At that point, we had truly entered a paradigm shift in the way buyers search for homes.
While there were many startups from 2013 to 2017 that offered new internet marketing tools to agents, the way buyers searched for homes remained relatively the same. Few listings had high-quality professional photos, and even fewer had any sort of a useful virtual tour. 2017 marked the beginning of a new era for the industry, starting a paradigm shift in the way buyers search for homes. Matterport released its Pro2 3-D camera, a true game changer. The 3-D camera provided an immersive online experience that gave buyers a true sense for the feel and layout of the property without seeing it in person. The camera and software effectively scanned and mapped an entire home, creating a rudimentary 3-D digital twin.
We are in a unique second home market here in the Lakes Region, where many buyers are traveling from out of state and often can’t come up on a moment’s notice to view properties. For some buyers, canceling plans to come look at a home based solely on photos that may be misleading is not a risk they are willing to take. At Roche Realty Group, we were the first agency in New Hampshire to recognize the power and importance of this tool and offered it on every single one of our listings. No other agency of our size offered this service in-house the same way.
It is no secret that as an industry, our services to sell homes are done at a significant expense. But a high-quality agent/agency with next-level marketing will help you recap that expense on the other end when your home sells for more at a maximum value. A top-notch agent will also be indispensable in handling the many unpredictable events and negotiations that accompany home sales today. As more and more tools become available to the public to help find their next home, we as an industry need to recognize that proving our worth goes beyond providing excellent customer service to our clients, salesmanship, and basic print and internet marketing.
In the past few years, the strong seller’s market has made it relatively easy to sell a home online. Just taking good photos seemed to be enough to get a home sold. But it’s important to recognize that just because a home will sell quickly does not mean that it is selling for the highest value or with the fewest issues on the way to closing. Even though you may have multiple offers on a home, what seller would reject the idea of potentially receiving more, increasing their odds of getting a higher and or less problematic offer? Our focus as a real estate company is to achieve the highest price and maximum exposure for our sellers while protecting them from the many liabilities that come with selling a home. Especially on the internet, the first impression is the most lasting. Most buyers are visual learners. When a home is first listed on the MLS, there is a small window to garner the most attention. That’s why professional photography and new technology platforms are so critical. It’s also extremely important that the pricing strategy accurately reflects the current market.
Fast forward to today, Roche Realty Group has leveled up to ensure that every single one of our listings gets the highest level of marketing and representation it deserves. Regardless of price point and for every listing, we provide the same level of marketing and digital media for entry-level listings that many agencies only reserve for high-end listings.
We recognized early on that our clients have different needs when looking for properties. While many of our customers loved the 3-D virtual tours, we found that some simply had a hard time navigating the system. Starting in 2022 and alongside 3D tours, we introduced high-end video walkthroughs with a cinematic-grade camera on every single listing to accommodate those clients. We have found this to be incredibly successful in promoting awareness of our listings, as the number of views on both Matterport and YouTube and other real estate portals has been through the roof. Alongside this, every listing also receives high-end flash ambient photography, and drone photos/video, all of which are produced professionally in-house, with a quick turnaround. These tools are just the beginning and are the foundation through which our marketing is built. Social media, print, internet marketing, etc., all have their own unique need for each one of these forms of media. While we remain among the small few in the industry to go to this level for every listing due to its high cost, we feel that we owe it to our customers in every possible way.
As information technology continues to evolve, we have committed ourselves to always being early adopters of whatever may benefit our customers the most. Where many agencies and photography companies are scaling back costs to inferior 3-D tour solutions, in 2022, we upgraded to the latest Matterport Pro-3 camera, which is the best in the industry, offering outdoor scans as an added feature with additional tools. Taking care of our customers both before and after the sale is our #1 goal. It is how we hope to continue to build a brand that lasts for generations.
This article was written by Chris Roche, Managing Broker of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.