On behalf of its clients, Taylor & Associates prides itself on staying on top of the ever changing real estate landscape. A big part of today's marketplace is the emergence of Zillow and Trulia, where we spend over $2000/month to be Premier Agents in the zip codes in which we work. We not only understand how to leverage these new outlets on behalf of our clients, but also how to best manage the leads that these aggregators present.
Our investments in both Zillow and Trulia not only ensure top placing for our listings within the websites, but it ensures our branding--and our branding alone--on our listings, rather than the branding of other “paying” agents. This means that queries on our listings go directly to us, rather than to agents who know nothing about the properties. This is confusing to buyers, who think that they are speaking directly with the listing agent. Receiving the queries directly allows us to control the flow of proper information, increasing the chance the buyer will request an appointment rather than being directed to another listing the other agent may have a greater investment in selling.
Case in point was a beautiful Arts & Crafts home on the East Side of Providence that we sold in the summer of 2014. The sellers were a referral to our Team Leader, Nelson Taylor, from other clients for whom we had successfully listed and sold their property in less than a week for the asking price. Once our stager had refined the interior and our professional photographer shot the property, we launched the listing at $539,000.
A buyer query quickly came through Zillow. Robin Lake, our licensed Client Care Coordinator, who manages all of our aggregator leads, responded immediately. She answered questions about the property, referred the buyer to a local lender to make sure he was prequalified, scheduled an appointment with our sellers and then passed the lead to our Sales Director, JC Standish. He built rapport with the buyer, showed him the property and provided the comparables that we had used to price the property. The result was a full price offer, and after just 3 days the property was safely under contract and ended in a successful closing 60 days later.
Taylor & Associates works with many developers - both large and small. And therfor, we always have our eyes open for opportunities that fit their individual interests. For one small developer that we have been working with for many years, we brought to his attention a foreclosure in the Mt. Hope neighborhood on the East Side of Providence. This property was in deplorable condition--burst water pipes, buckling floors and mold infested walls. But it was on a double lot and provided the bonus possibility of subdividing the lot for further development.
The property was listed for $60,000--a bargain by any standard. Knowing the competition would be stiff, we decided to allow the sellers’ agent to keep both ends of the commission. While still advising our client, this would ensure the best chance of securing the property. The strategy worked, which resulted in a win-win for all. The buyer contracted the property; the sellers’ agent maximized his commission; and we secured future sales business.
But that’s not where our creative, client-centric, hands-on approach ended. We worked closely with our client on what he would need to do to the single family house to maximize his return. From layout to finishes to budget to pricing--we were there every step of the way. We also advised our client of the highest and best use of the subdivided lot--two townhouse style condominiums. After the redevelopement and sale of the existing home and the construction and sale of two new townhouse condominiums, our client grossed $645,000 with a total net profit of $150,000.
We were contacted just after the New Year by a couple who had occupied a large Victorian home in Edgewood for almost 20 years. They had decided to downsize and move out of state. Having already purchased their home on the Cape, they wanted to take several months to make the transition out of their home and into the new one. However, they were concerned not only about the timing, but also how they would manage everything from a distance. Taylor & Associates provided market analysis and kept them abreast of new listings as well as other real estate activity while they made their initial move out of the home.
Once out of the home, Taylor & Associates advised them on what repairs and improvements would help make the home more marketable and eliminate some issues that would clearly arrise at the home inspection. We also advised them that much of their furnishings and belongings that had not made the move to their smaller home should be sold or given away as well as introduced them to a professional stager. As they were out of state most of the time, Taylor & Associates worked with them to make sure their contractors and estate agents had supervised access to the house.
At the first open house, it was clear that all of this preparation had paid off. We had 10 different parties come through and a second showing the following day. It wasn't long before the property was under contract. We pride ourselves in the investment we make prior to listing a home. Days on market can be significantly reduced by preparing a home to be marketed to a new buyer. Whether it's just light painting or addressing larger structural issues, sellers often make much more in the sale price than the money they spent on these improvements. In this case in Edgewood, the home felt lighter, more spacious and it paid off.