How would you like to DOUBLE YOUR LISTING VIEWS by including a certain “best friend” in your property pictures? You’ll never believe what one Australian real estate agent is doing to promote her listings and sell faster than ever. I’m Carole Ellis, and I’ll tell you all about this CRAZY tactic today, in Episode 17.
We’ve all heard the stories about crazy listing photo shoots and over-the-top models, parties, and staging that ultra-high-end agents use regularly to attract attention to their properties. According to the National Association of Realtors, (the NAR), however, one Australian agent is actually get far better results simply by putting her best friend in her listing pictures. We’ll get to exactly who this listing star is in just a minute, but before we do, I want to mention something that if you have high school aged kids, will make YOU a star for them. Wait for it…how about a FULL RIDE TO COLLEGE? A good friend of mine who teaches real estate investors how to fund their deals recently told me that most of the investors who work with him actually use his information to fund their kids’ college tuition in addition to their deals. You can see a GREAT EXAMPLE of how a Georgia guy named Glenn sent his son to his dream college on a FULL RIDE by visiting www.rei.today/fullride as soon as possible. I’ve got an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old myself, and you better believe I’m hot on the heels of what Glenn did before those girls hit graduation!
Now that I’ve shared that priceless tidbit with you, however, let’s get back to doubling those listing views. Here’s the story:
A real estate agent named Tracey who lives in Queensland, Australia, recently started including her “best friend” in her listing photos. This best friend, by the way, is actually a certain individual that most conventional wisdom says you should NEVER, EVER, let anywhere near your listing photos! This lady’s BFF is her shih tzu, Tiffany, and Tracey started including her in photos of pet-friendly listings several years ago in order to indicate that homes were pet-friendly or had special pet amenities. She realized in short order that those listings were raking in the views, and buyers and sellers alike are now requesting Tiffany to appear at showings and in their listing photos.
Tracey, not one to delay when she spots a good thing, immediately created a Facebook page for Tiffany and started marketing her as “The Pink Property Pooch.” Tiffany appears in images sitting happily near a pet-bathing sink – a BIG DRAW in homes these days – frolicking in lush backyards, reclining on balconies, and even snatching a burger off a countertop. Interestingly enough, the pink property pooch is not pink.
Tiffany and Tracey are an interesting team because conventional wisdom and LOTS of marketing experts tell us that we should NOT include pets in listing photos because they can scare off potential buyers who might not want to deal with left-behind allergens from a former four-legged inhabitant. However, these real-world results seem to indicate that this particular maxim may be a bit outdated.
According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent nearly $61 billion on their pets in 2015, and that number has been climbing for more than a decade. Builders report (via the National Association of Home Builders or NAHB) that more and more buyers are adding on pet-friendly options all the time, with a particular favorite in new homes being the “Pet Suite,” which actually is a sort of “mud room” with a bathing area, play area, and sleeping accommodations for your furry friend. A lot of these suites are equipped with feeding stations and cameras for canine or feline viewing while the owner is on vacation.
Such “suites” just demonstrate how much we’re willing to spend on our furry friends these days. Not only do they add several hundred square feet to a new home in some cases, but they can add as much as $10,000 (or more, if Fluffy is high-maintenance) to the price tag.
Tracey is likely benefitting from the global version of this American trend, and there are plenty of other experts out there who support the concept behind what she’s doing. For example, award-winning architect Daniel Swift recently addressed the NAHB’s International Builder’s Show on the topic, noting that any indication to buyers, however small, that you understand “how they live” and are running your business with their preferences and lifestyles in mind can help sell homes. Real estate professionals can leverage this not just by putting “man’s best friend” in their listings, but also by, Swift said, considering pet-friendly upgrades to existing properties, such as doggie doors or off-bedroom nooks staged to accommodate pet lovers with a fluffy pet bed and soft lighting.
If you want more hard numbers on this intriguing furry friend trend, then head on over the REI Today Vault to check out our exclusive report on how a dog, cat, or even a goldfish could help (or hurt) your property listings. Not yet a member? Get access now by texting REITODAY no spaces, no periods, to 33444, and I’ll provide fast, free access to that information as well as a lot more seriously insightful stuff that will make your real estate investing safer, faster, and more profitable. So just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault to get access now…
When you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country! Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.today/vault right now for your free membership.
REI Nation, if you’re thinking about real estate then the odds are good that you’re also thinking about FUNDING for that real estate. In the next episode, we’re going to talk about some specific words that you can say to some SPECIFIC GOVERNMENT ENTITIES that are basically a government-speak version of “open sesame” when it comes to funding your deals and never having to pay back that money. As is always the case when we bring in our government funding experts to teach us how to make the system support our deals in an interest-free, debt-free way, you literally can’t afford to miss this. Until then,
REI Nation, thanks for listening in, and always remember this:
Your best investment is your OWN education.
Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.