Realtors don’t go south for the winter

Many agents are getting creative with their listings in the market right now.

Since winter is often considered low season for real estate, you imagine real estate agents now spending their hours with leisurely lunches and scrolling through Facebook. In a way, you would be right. But it’s all business.

“I have two clients I’ve wanted to take on for ages,” Joshua Baris, an agent for Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty told Tenafly. “I finally have free nights so I can take them out. It’s personal, but it’s also a chance to say thank you and network.

While many real estate agents say they are still busy now, the winter months certainly have fewer closings and active listings. According to the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, in 2016 there were nearly 18% fewer active listings in the residential area of ​​Bergen County, from a “busy” period (April) to a slower period (January ). There were 8% less sales comparing these two months. And that means a lot of agents are getting creative with their listings in the market right now.

In addition to social dinners that could turn into leads, Baris said he spends his free time during months like these fine-tuning his social media strategies. For example, he can send an SMS to his contact list, informing them of a new list video he has uploaded. Thanks to the internet, the more clicks and views a video gets, the more boost it gets in search engine results.

This helps boost not just an individual listing, but Baris’ own web profile, putting him at the top of general real estate searches, and it helps all of his active listings. In early January, Baris did so for the listing of a $3.9 million Upper Saddle River home; page views soared by 900 in one day.

“I have ads with over 20,000 views,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about bringing more exposure to my ads.”

In Ridgewood, Angel Ekert, an agent for Keller Williams Village Square Realty in Ridgewood, said inventory was the lowest she had seen in 14 years. Ekert said she saw this happen around the end of November, also usually a dead time in real estate when the week before Thanksgiving she saw a house on the market for 10 days receiving multiple offers and closing its asking price.

“Not too long ago I hosted an open house in Waldwick at a 55+ townhouse community one weekend and hosted about 12 groups,” he said. she stated. It was much busier than expected, but still less than peak season when she could see over 30 bands.

“In our case now, the lack of snow and fairly mild temperatures have helped keep the level of activity going,” she said.

Like many agents, Ekert said she plans to market properties in February, taking pictures in the fall or spring, so the listing doesn’t look so drab.

She also knows that marketing now needs something more. For example, she plans to put together a new listing soon, and when she promotes the open house for the three-bedroom, 1½-bathroom Colonial (“with a huge backyard”), she plans to market it as a “Buy Your Own Honey a House” Valentine’s Day theme.

“You want to do anything and everything you can to stand out a little bit,” she said.

Maryanne Elsaesser, an agent at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Wyckoff, dismissed the idea that agents should change their strategy depending on the season.

“Your marketing plan should be set up the same whether the season is slower or not – in other words, full throttle,” she said. “The difference is whether or not you execute the entire plan – ie the brochures, the print ads, the algorithmic ads, the web presence. There is no shortcut.”

In fact, Elsaesser said, there are times when trading in so-called slow periods has an advantage. In the case of a home on a busy street in Wyckoff, Elsaesser said, owners were ready to put it on the market in October, but waited until winter because there’s less inventory to bring out. the property.

In another example, Elsaesser noticed something interesting about high-end homes this time of year.

“Over the past few years, higher-end homes seemed to sell more in the first quarter,” Elsaesser said. “I thought, ‘Who is my buyer?’ In most cases, it’s probably someone who works in town, maybe in finance, and then they buy because that’s where they get their bonus.

Given that, she put a property on the market in January, and it sold for an asking price of over $1 million.

“The person came an hour before our brokerage round and that night I had an offer in my hands,” she said.

Kristan F. Talley