Scanning through one of those ubiquitous, glossy real estate guides can cause dizzying effects when all you see is agency after agency jockeying for your attention with hundreds, possibly thousands, of residential properties for sale. For you the homebuyer, the challenge is to find the ideal home among so many choices that fit your lifestyle. For you the seller, you want to make your home stand out in the sea of competition and of course, get top dollar for the eventual sale. What was once the path to sell a home—listing with an agent, putting up a “For Sale” sign, getting on the MLS, and listing your home in a real estate guide—is no longer the optimal strategy. In today’s competitive marketplace, it takes two things to sell your home: 1) finding an agency that has a proven track record and is a trustworthy expert in the field and 2) finding an agency that uses advanced marketing practices to attract buyers across the country to your listing, giving you the best opportunity to sell your home.
Welcome to the age of digital marketing
On the Cashiers-Highlands Plateau here in Western North Carolina, there is one real estate agency that stands apart from its competition, a name recognized nationally and internationally since 2008, Silver Creek Real Estate Group. Winning awards and topping the performance charts in home sales in this predominantly second home market, Silver Creek believes in “building relationships and delivering dreams.” Part of the prestigious Luxury Portfolio International and respected member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of The World, Silver Creek, with its staff of ten brokers and a highly skilled marketing team, has a solid reputation that checks all of the important boxes: name-brand recognition, integrity, broad network, track record, level of service, quick response time, and powerfully effective marketing tools.
Silver Creek recently won the coveted award for Best Real Estate Website in the Country by International Property Awards. This is no small feat considering there are over 86,000 agencies in the U.S. according to a 2012 census. Their website is not only enticingly beautiful but smart, too. Adding 3D, or three dimensional, digital home tours to their site, it is now an influential marketing tool that goes far beyond other brokerage agency sites in this area. 3D virtual reality offers a high-performance and convenient online platform for buyers and sellers to view the inside of a home and digital floor plans, empowering them to navigate homes from the comfort of their own living room or while traveling, make immediate inquiries, and quickly share content with friends, family, and designers.
In addition, with the growth of shopping for homes via smartphones, websites like Silver Creek’s must be mobile-friendly. “Our website, which now showcases our listings using aerial drone footage, high-quality photography, and interior video has significantly ramped up our online presence by 17.25% in six months,” says Zena Lynch, Silver Creek’s Marketing Director. Further marketing with their own lifestyle magazine NC Living, printed collateral, newsletters, and targeted print advertising in local, regional, and national magazines such as The Laurel, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Architectural Digest, and Vanity Fair, Silver Creek corners the buying market.
“I do believe that name recognition of a broker organization is extremely important,” says happy Silver Creek client Jim Philip. “Repeatedly we see the name Silver Creek Real Estate Group on all kinds of platforms … social media, digital, print.” Lynch concurs by saying that no other local brokerage has their level of name recognition and overwhelming presence on all digital, social, and print channels. “We know people don’t just buy property, they buy lifestyles. Silver Creek creates an emotionally savvy digital landscape to peak buyer curiosity using three mediums of striking visual promotion–world-class photography to spark interest, vibrant video to capture the mood and feel of the property, and 3D virtual home tours to fully engage the buyer.”
> The National Association of Realtors claims 42% of recent buyers looked online at properties for sale as their first step in the home buying process.
> Statistics show 3D virtual walk-throughs produce 95% more phone inquiries and 49% more qualified leads.
> Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in print.
> Homes with aerial footage sold 68 percent faster than homes with standard images.
According to Lynch, “Decorators love being able to use our digital floor plans to map out furniture, and clients who are unable to travel to the Plateau frequently can view a home instantly using our 3D 'walk-throughs.' After seeing a property in person, clients also find it extremely helpful to later look at our videos to refresh their memories.”
Tracking buyer research closely, Lynch cites recent statistics, “With the average user spending 88% more time on a website with video and knowing that listings with high-quality video receive 4 times more inquiries, we can not afford to miss exposing our clients’ homes to buyers from around the world.” Speaking of around the world, their membership with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World connects their clients’ properties with real estate professionals in 70 countries across 6 continents. “You never know who might be looking to relocate to the area or buy a second home,” says Lynch.
A visit to Silver Creek’s client testimonials page on NCliving.com exhibits rave reviews about their unparalleled service, amazing brokers, speedy turnaround time, high-tech marketing capabilities, and the ability to get the job done expeditiously. Because of Silver Creek’s adept team of photographers using HDR photography, enrichments to the property’s images can easily be made, like adding fires to fireplaces and enhancing the views out the window. Their talents along with the brokers exceed expectations and are key to getting the home listed and sold quickly. “Experience had told me that only a firm truly committed to the total process, each piece, would be the correct partner to sell our higher-priced home,” says Silver Creek client Andrew Angle. “Silver Creek’s marketing package is by far the ‘best in class’ on the plateau” … as well as “their attention to detail on all other aspects of the process. We made the correct choice in hiring them.”
Why wouldn’t you call Silver Creek Real Estate Group to sell your home or buy your next one? •