So we decided to use a multi-pronged approach, which employed a lot of social media. Here's what we did:
1 - Built on the community that we'd already started with the Blog and Facebook business page. And it took some work! Given Facebook's algorithms to appear in their newsfeed, we needed to be posting every day - ideally 2-3 times per day. It's a challenge to come up with something clever multiple times a day (okay, so I failed on that one....not so clever...and only once a day)
2 - Put up a professional style sign in front of the property, directing them to our social media for more information. My Facebook reach almost doubled within 24 hours of the sign going up in the front yard. And interestingly, even though we also posted our phone number, we got very few calls. The vast majority of the traffic was online.
3 - Posted a 'Coming Soon' banner on the Facebook page as we got close to putting it on the market. We put this up about 2 weeks before our Open House. We made sure we did a 'pin to top' - that put it at the top of our FB page for a full week.
4 - Kept the blog up with 2-3 posts per week. The blog had more in-depth information and lots of photos of the house.
4 - We always do an Open House as a kick off to listing a house. Word of mouth (virtual or live) is powerful, and the more people you can get in the door is better - if they like it, they'll be letting their friends and family know. We posted an 'Open House' banner on our Facebook page with a link to our Open House blog and photos, 4-5 days before the big day. Also, ask your friends that are well networked if they'll 'share' your posting. We got lots of additional Open House traffic from that!
6 - Post on the free sites like Zillow and include your blog address. We also used Zillow's link to do a one time MLS (multiple listing service) post, which helped generate additional traffic and got us wider exposure.
So how did all our marketing strategy pay off? We had so much traffic come through the doors of the Open House, we don't really have an accurate count. And while I tried to get people to sign in, I failed at that, it was just too busy. Our guesstimate is we had 50-70 people each day - plus a lot of children. And because people had read our blog and the work we were doing, they already knew the house when they walked in the door! It was so funny to hear them say 'Oh look, here are the Martha Stewart kitchen cabinets' or 'look at the Pottery Barn light fixtures'. Richard said they knew more than he did, because he rarely reads the blog!
We had people want to make offers immediately, but we asked everyone to hold off until Tuesday. That way, they had time to work with their bank and have all the necessary paperwork in place. By Tuesday evening, we had multiple offers in hand, from some wonderful people who really loved the house. The hard part was having to call the folks that didn't get it and deliver the bad news.
Would we use this approach again? Absolutely. It was a lot of fun and we got to meet a lot of interesting people, both online and in person. We'll be continuing the blog and the Facebook page. But I'd really like to have the additional support of a real estate license for the next transaction!