Friday, October 16, 2009

How to find out if a real estate agent is really a secret agent!

How do you find out if a real estate agent you are considering to help you with your real estate needs is actually doing something? I have an answer… “Google” them. That’s right… use Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to do a search for their name. What pops up may just surprise you.
If an agent is doing any kind of marketing for themselves, or preferably, for the homes they are selling, they will show up. In fact, if they are doing anything at all they will show up multiple times. Why is this important? If they aren’t out there on the internet, they might just be a secret agent. Face it, if they haven’t done anything to promote other properties, or even themselves, why would they do anything to sell your property?
Selling real estate in today’s market is hard. You have to compete with thousands of homes out there. In fact, just being on the local mls service isn’t even close to being enough.
In the statistics that I keep, my local mls service only provides 7-8% of the total traffic to the property, while internet traffic supports virtually everything else, or the remaining 90+%.
The internet sells homes! People go there to look for homes because they want to see virtual tours, movies of the property, lots of pictures, and any websites for the property that have been created. All of that content is reachable just by searching. That’s why searching the agent’s name is so very important. Every time an agent puts a property, their website, marketing videos, blog articles, or newspaper interviews on the internet, a trail has been created. You will be able to see if they are actually doing anything out there. If you don’t find very much content on them, chances are that they are not doing any kind of marketing. So, search their name, and then search mine.
If you do a search of my name “Fauna MacKillip”, you will see over a dozen pages of websites and other content show up on any of the main search engines. My blogs will be there, my personal websites, and all of the listings that are available for sale, and even some homes that have been sold. In addition, you will see my videos, and all of my home value and home search sites. You might say that I take an active approach to selling your home.
Hey… I do all this marketing, because I want to be where the buyers are! Trust me, buyers are out there looking, and if the agent you are considering to sell your home isn’t where the buyers are, they might just be one of those secret agents that I referred to.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I believe in a full marketing approach to selling real estate

It always amazes me that real estate agents don’t, or won’t, put up really great photography to help sell their listings. Face it, most people may not ask their agent what they are going to provide to help sell their listing. Even worse, those sellers will allow these agents to get away with little, or no marketing what-so-ever!
Then there is the agent that goes out and buys a crummy consumer grade camera to take the pictures of the home themselves, don’t do any virtual tours or movies, and then use the excuse that virtual tours, movies, and good photography don’t help the sale process. Wrong!
I don’t care what their excuse’s are, professional photography, virtual tours, movies and a professional presentation have helped me maintain a very strong sales record. After all, I’m sure you want your property to stand out from all the others when you are trying to sell. With the pictures I use… there is no question that you will look beautiful.
I know the photographers at Digital Magic Productions, Inc. are the experts I need to bring your property to “life”. They have the experience, and take the time to make sure the shots are as perfect as possible. They also developed the platform at to finish out the presentation. After all, once you have the great pictures, you need a great website to post them on.
Every home I list gets the full treatment. I don’t skimp on anything that is going to make your home be seen by every possible buyer that I can find. I even syndicate your home to literally thousands of websites, not just the few large sites out there. Sites like, Zillow, Truilia, and such only have so much of the market. Believe it or not, I’ve been averaging over 30% of the traffic to my homes from just marketing the address of the property on a domain name. It works!
Whatever, their reasoning, agents that don’t do everything possible to market your home are not doing you a service. Just having a listing in mls isn’t enough anymore.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Video from Fauna MacKillip

Here is my latest offering in the world of real estate. I produced this video as a marketing piece to tell people about me and how I can handle their next real estate transaction.

This was really fun to produce. I hope you like it. - Fauna MacKillip

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ok.. I Guess I Don't Get It...

This social networking thing is just for the birds. I’ve tried the Facebook thing and I’ve watched my husband Tweet… but I just don’t get it. I guess blogging is better for me. I can tell my story and not get interrupted by somebody doing Mafia Wars, or having a Food Fight.

I’m just a failure there. I never know what to post, so I do listings and other stuff, but just going there to chat something up seems un-natural to me. I want to be in the thick of things, negotiating the details of a hard fought contract are more my style….. not writing about my vacation. Who has time for vacation when there is business to be done? Hey the first time homebuyer incentives will be going away soon and I still have two couples that are on the fence about homes they are interested in. I’ve got to get them into something!

Not only that, but the next 45 days will be the busiest of the year for me and that takes some preparation. Now that’s more my style! So, you can tell me about your vacation, and I’ll be envious, but my breaks are more of what I do between contracts. - Fauna

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Your Home Inventory may be Very Important!

The idea is to have plenty of insurance to make up for any loss that you may occur from a fire, burglary, or just being careless. The problem here is that we all take the idea of having a complete home inventory to back up those claims very casually. Hey… that just means we can be lazy, but if you are ever faced with having a loss, there is no tool more valuable than having a complete, up-to-date, well documented inventory to validate your claim.

The best way to handle an inventory is to have it broken down on a room by room basis. Start by writing down every item that has any value for each room. You want to make sure you record the price you paid for each item, and the item’s current approximate value. You want to be able to compare these prices and to shop your insurance to find out who will give you the best replacement cost should a loss occur.

The main focus needs to be on the items that have some real value. Items that don’t have much value can be recorded, but may not make much of a difference unless a catastrophic loss, such as a fire, occurs. Focusing on the more expensive items makes more sense so you can be fairly thorough in recording serial numbers, make and model of the item listed, and making sure you have the sales receipt copied and kept in a notebook. If you don’t have a receipt, you can use pictures of the items and their price taken at the store, or even on internet sites that sell the items. You may even find the sale on an old credit card statement that you can use as proof.

Another good idea is to have pictures of each item showing the item and the serial number and another general picture of the room showing the items that you inventoried in the room. Still pictures or video will suffice, but most people will do both using the stills for the detail on the items and the video to place them.

Jewelry should always be photographed as a close up still picture. Try to use as much natural light as possible because different types of lighting give off different colors. Incandescent bulbs give off an orange glow, and florescent lights give off more of a green hue, so having as much natural light will enhance the picture. Another idea is to use a camera that can correct for different lighting conditions and will enhance the pictures that you take automatically.

The final goal of the inventory is to make sure that you have enough insurance coverage, but not to be carrying too much, and to have as many of your items covered at replacement value. You might also want to make sure that “replacement value” means replacement with new, like kind, items and not refurbished, or worse yet, used.

One other note… Make sure that you put some sort of personal mark on things like TVs, stereos, and other items where that is possible. These marks can help law enforcement agencies identify your belongings if they are recovered after a theft.

Ok… that’s all I can think of for this topic right now. I’m sure I’ve missed something here, so let me know if I have so I can get your ideas into the next installment on this topic. It is an easy process, and I know that you will feel much better after you get your inventory done. I know I did… Have a Great Day, and let me know if I can help you in any way. - Fauna MacKillip

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm going Green & I didn't know it!

I’ve been going “Green” and I didn’t even realize it. I use a property website for every listing that I take and I always add an address specific domain name ( ) to the presentation. That allows me to replace the brochure box brochures with a sign rider with the domain name so every buyer can go directly to the property for viewing.

I use for the property home sites because they have the best presentation, and largest picture displays available, but most importantly, they are 100% mobile web enabled which means that the prospective buyer can view the entire ProHomeSite from their mobile device right from their car as they view the property. Because the presentation is so complete, a buyer doesn’t need a brochure they can see everything right from the presentation. Now I have to admit, I still use brochures in the house. Maybe I’ll get serious this year and start using a DVD presentation inside the home to replace the remaining brochures.

Either way, It’s a win-win situation all around. The buyer gets more and better information right there at the property. I don’t have to put brochures on the sign, so I save some advertising dollars, and by using a sign rider helps save a tree, and the sign riders are recyclable. This being “Green” thing is fun. - Fauna MacKillip

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Real Estate Snob Report

Why Real Estate Snob? Well, it happens I’ve been selling real estate for over 20 years and with this job you get to see “reality” at its finest. I’ve seen every kind of home, in every kind of condition, and I have learned that once you find the right home for your buyer, it is an amazing experience going through the negotiation process to closing.

On the other side of the coin, selling the home as the listing agent, keeps me grounded in the basics of marketing and reaching a never ending string of potential buyers that are harder and harder to find. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is far easier to produce an extremely high quality marketing program for each property, and then let the buyers find you through creative targeted marketing.

So, what this boils down to is the thrill of the hunt. I’ve become very skilled in producing movies, virtual tours, Blogging and mailing campaigns for my listings, and with these materials I’ve been able to sell almost 100% of the listings I’ve taken over the years. Not bad, considering when I started in the business everything was based on the “cut and paste” method of building pages. Not cutting a picture from one file and pasting it into another, but actually cutting out a picture with scissors and literally pasting it onto the presentation. Now that is very old technology. But, in those days, prior to the advanced computer systems we have we had to do things manually.

Today I have 3 internet servers and 11 pc based computers (yes… I’m a PC) connected to the internet right in my home. I build and serve all of my own presentations, email, movies and tours from my basement with a very high speed connection. In other words, I’ve made a very big commitment to my business.

My marketing program is very high tech. With domain names, Google rankings, YouTube videos, IDX marketing, movie production, video production, and of course paper brochures. As a side note, most agents only do a paper brochure and some of them don’t even do color. I’d be embarrassed. After all, Mr. & Mrs. Seller are hiring me to do a professional job in selling their home, why wouldn’t I try and do everything possible to sell their home quickly and use every tool available to me.

Mr. & Mrs. Buyer love it too. Today I can connect them to every home that is brought to market almost immediately. I keep them connected to the latest homes via email and automatic property searches that are done several times a day. Trust me, there is no home that will sneak by un-noticed. Once found, I handle all of my contracts through the latest advances in technology, so the negotiations go much faster. I can write a contract, have it emailed for signatures and on to the other agent in minutes. In the old days, that process could take days. I am committed to making sure that you get the property. But I’m also going to make sure you get that home at a fair price. A price that is based on recent sales data that I provide for the home that you have chosen. It takes time to make sure that those numbers are accurate, and then and only when we’ve determined the right price will we begin the process.

I love the business of real estate. The thrill of finding that perfect home for the buyer, or the creativity of making sure we find the right buyer for a listing… I just love it, so much that I actually am reachable almost 24/7 and I do this without an assistant to get in the way. When you call me… I’m the one that answers the phone. I’m the one that builds the strategy, and I’m the one that makes sure you are #1.

Now as a small disclaimer, I do have some pretty skilled helpers to make all this happen. My family. My husband makes sure the technology works. My daughter helps with photography and editing, and post production, and my son… well he pretty much helps by staying glued to his Wii. Keep in mind that we work together as a unit and that makes all this possible.

Yes, I am a snob… I’ve earned the right because I’ve taken the time to build and support a comprehensive marketing program, learned, and mastered the art of negotiation, and built a flawless track record and reputation in real estate. My job has evolved over the years, but my personal commitment has just gotten stronger. I love this business! – Fauna MacKillip

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