— We take our content seriously. This article was written by a real person at BREL.

With 44,000+ real estate agents in Toronto, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when choosing one to help you sell your home. The good news: real estate agents are in the marketing and sales business – so how they market and sell themselves gives you a pretty good idea about the kind of marketing and results you can expect. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Their Personal Brand and Marketing
    • What do their personal marketing materials look like? The quality of their business cards, brochures and leave-behinds matter. Is it professionally designed? Is the copy effective? Is it printed on quality paper? If they don’t recognize the importance of copy and design to market themselves, chances are they’ll use Word to put together your feature sheets and print them on cheap paper.
    • Have they gone beyond glam pictures of themselves everywhere and calling themselves the #1 Realtor with a bunch of disclaimers? How are they differentiating themselves from everyone else?
    • Do they look like their photo or was it taken 10 years and 30 pounds ago? Authenticity matters.
    • What’s their email address? If an agent is still using an @hotmail or @gmail account in 2016, they’ve missed some pretty basic branding techniques. What else have they missed?
    • Typos – a shocking number of agents have typos in their marketing – that doesn’t exactly scream ‘detail-oriented.’
  • Their Website
    • Everybody knows that most Buyers first fall in love with the home they eventually buy online, so if you want your home exposed to the most Buyers, your agent needs to have a killer online presence – well beyond MLS, realtor.ca, and their brokerage’s website.
    • Beware:
      • Templated websites with canned content
      • No ‘About Me’ section
      • No original content
      • Low website traffic – that means minimal exposure for your home (You can check how much traffic a REALTOR’s website receives at www.semrush.com – make sure to select Canada from the drop-down menu)
  • Are They a Secret Agent?
    • Real estate in Toronto moves fast and getting hold of your agent at a moment’s notice is critical. Do they have their cell phone on their website and business card or are they a secret agent? Don’t think it matters? Check out our blog Does Your Realtor Even Care?
    • Another pet peeve of mine: only having a contact form on a website instead of an email address.
  • Their Previous Listings
    • Make sure to ask to see samples of their previous listings. Are they taking photos themselves or bringing in a professional?
    • What’s the focus of their listing marketing? The home they are selling or themselves? I never understand the Just Listed postcards that are 80% about the agent and 20% about the home.
    • How were their previous listings marketed outside of MLS? Ask to see samples of past feature sheets.

If you believe marketing helps bring in top dollar for a home (please tell me you do), then please do your due diligence when selecting your real estate agent. Your pocketbook will thank you.

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