Today I received a call from a sweet man looking to buy a home of his own after 60+ years of marriage to his wife. A real do-it-yourselfer who was unwilling to give me his name, quickly opened up to me and asked me if I'd be the one getting paid if he bought a particular property. I explained about the choices buyers have for representation and he went on to inform me he'd sold his own home recently without an agent. I congratulated him and agreed to answer questions if he had any, after he asked for some help.
Again he asked about my getting paid and immediately told me over the phone that he wanted to work with me. It warmed my heart because I know the do-it-yourselfer type and I also know that he was in over his head, and to be told he wanted to work with me without first meeting assured me I'd taken that conversation in the right direction. We spoke a bit more and closed with an appointment for the next day. I actually can't wait to meet him and know we'll already have an interesting, rich conversation in the car.
When people call in during my floortime it's always a question of "how can I best help them." Most people want quick information and expect a quick answer. It's very infrequent anymore that someone calls in on a paper advertisement, which he did. This person did not use the internet. He did not have access to an agent because he hadn't bought or sold through an agent in several decades. He also wanted quick answers but the type of questions he asked were no longer the types of questions one receives while working at the front desk of a real estate office.
"Can you mail me the property disclosures? How much are the taxes? Is it near a grocery store?"
Today's buyers who have access to the internet know how to do an internet search for anything from zip codes to maps and directions to MLS listing information to town/city data on properties. I think it's important to use the paper ads to advertise the types of property generally being sought after by those still reading the paper.
Do a demographic study!
We had this conversation in my office the other day, and the other week, and the other month...it tends to repeat itself, as it should. What should we put in the papers now? I still believe we should advertise those mobile homes in coops and parks as well as the downsizer retirement homes. It may not look like your company lists the "big stuff" but are those readers really looking for that anyway? My observation is, maybe not the majority.