About Ricardo Medeiros

Sales Representative



Ricardo Medeiros, experienced real estate agent who specialises in homes and Condos for sale in Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto and the Surrounding GTA. Ricardo is all about helping with all your real estate needs should it be buying, selling, investment properties, residential, commercial or businesses. Ricardo Medeiros is also a member of the institute for luxury home marketing. With his extensive marketing experience and knowledge, Ricardo is the best choice when listing your property for sale.
              
 


 

Recent Blog Posts

If you have decided to put your home for sale on the market, you will have to consider all types of buyers; those who love pets and those who don’t. There can be many reasons behind that thinking so there is no need to be judgmental.

Before putting a house for sale in which pets have lived with the owners, you are going to need to do a lot of retouching and cleaning. You should move your pets temporarily to some other home, until till you get a new home for yourself.

Animal or Children Damage and Solutions

Children and animals damage things, there’s no denying that. There has to be a way to fix up the damages, remove the pets from site temporarily, and make the house look as if it had never been lived in by animals or small children. Here are some solutions to help you clean up the “mess” and make your visitors comfortable with the place.

  • Stains on the Floor – If you have carpeted floors, the stains might be difficult to remove. You can seek professional help when it comes to cleaning or washing the carpets, not just to remove stains but also to make them appear clean.

Wooden floors are susceptible to pet scratches and scratches made with toys by children. Consider refinishing if that’s the case in order to make the floor look new and almost unused.

  • Pet Odors and Smells – This is one thing most home buyers would definitely not want in their new home. Living in a house with pets makes you immune to the smell, but when an outsider pays a visit, they can instantly whiff pet smells in the house.

Use some professional solution to make these odors go away but don’t use air fresheners. These only provide a temporary solution.

  • Signs of a Pet – You don’t want your visitors to sense that a pet has been living in the house. Remove serving bowls, pet toys, pet beds, litter boxes and other things that belong to your pets to give a good first impression. Make sure you remove all pet things from all rooms. Don’t put up photos of your pets.

When it comes to kids, decluttering is one thing that helps achieve a big part of their clean-up. It is recommended to start at least a week earlier than the date you want to put the house on the market. Some sellers with kids allow at least a two-hour notice period for showing. This is to clean the house, clear the clutter, and remove or hide any freshly-made stains or scratches.

If there aren’t any hidden cabinets in your home where you can dump the entire clutter if somebody wants to see your home in ten minutes, be prepared to use the car trunk to throw the debris and clean up the place quickly.

Pay special attention to kids’ bedroom when decluttering your entire house. Organize the cupboards, pack away off-the-season clothes, put away some unused or broken toys, and get rid of gear that is no longer needed.

When you are done staging, take excellent photos of the kids’ bedroom as well as the lawn or front yard, to put them with an ad. Repainting is another important step when you decide to sell off your home that has been lived in by small children. If the walls are dirty, nobody would be interested in buying your home.

If you have older kids at home, get them involved with the staging process and tell them just how great it would be to move into a new home. Ask them to clean up their own room, and provide them with boxes or cartons to store away things they don’t need.

While kids at home can pose serious threat to your staging efforts, they can also become an inspiration for some people. For example, if you have a children’s playroom or toys room in the house, you can de-clutter it and make it neat and clean to show it off to the visitors.

Similarly, children’s study area can be an attractive thing for some buyers who have kids of their own and who would like to buy a place that is child-friendly.

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Way back in chapter one of this book, we spent some time talking about how to market your listings online, giving you an overview of how to use websites, video and social media to drive people from their couches to the driveway of a seller’s home.

Especially as this is the most effective way to get people to visit your listings in the real world (remember, NAR says 90% of buyers reported using the internet at least once during their search), we will now spend more time focusing on the online side of home marketing, going in depth on how to not only display the home but engage with your sellers and potential buyers.

Online ads

MLS listings are still the go-to source of information for a home.  They create a central hub for everything such as basic stats (how many bedrooms, square footage, yard size) to features such as underground sprinkling systems, out buildings, and workshops.

You can (and should) add a number of photos and even videos to your listing, making sure to effectively use as many different kinds of media as possible on a given site.

However, it is not simply enough to put the information on the site and hope that people will be interested based on mere data.

There is simply too much competition out there, especially these days where third-party aggregators like Zillow and Homes.com draw from all of the MLS data available, regardless of which realty agency they are from.  So you not only have to compete directly with your co-workers for attention, you are literally competing with every realtor in your area.  So, how do you get your listing to stand out?

Customize - First and foremost, if your agency website or local MLS sites allow you the ability to customize your listing page, take advantage of that to choose colors, themes and fonts that will give the page a warm and inviting appearance.

Using those choices consistently across your listings will also contribute to building a recognizable brand for your business. This can be used to highlight the basic data like bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage that buyers will very much be looking for.

These aren’t necessarily the things that will sell the home, but they will get it looked at in the first place.

Features – If the home has a feature that people may be interested in it should be included in the description. So make sure to talk about the smooth-top range, double ovens and sprinkler system.

Even seemingly mundane items like central air conditioning and French doors can be important.

Copywriting – Once upon a time, you could get away with simply putting all that information in a single paragraph description without hardly a single adjective.

Now, because of that competition I mentioned earlier, competition that was really tough a few years ago during the housing crisis, it is important that even the descriptions be warm and engaging. So no descriptions like this:

Three bedroom ranch for sale with two bathrooms. Two car garage. Nice lot in a quiet neighborhood. Home features central air, spa tub, and lots of shade.

Sure, there is a lot of information in a small space, but it doesn’t really say “Here is your new home! The search is over!” now does it?  Use your imagination a bit and try something more along the lines of this:

This three bed, two bath ranch has plenty to offer the first-time home buyer. With a well-appointed kitchen and an open concept design, you’ll be able to prepare meals while still interacting with friends and family. 

The garage is roomy, giving you plenty of space for both vehicles and room to walk around them and store bikes for leisurely rides on the nearby bike paths.

Tired at the end of the day? Retreat to the master bathroom and relax with a class of wine in the spa tub or sit outside in the private backyard or the inviting open front porch to talk to the neighbors.  Either way, you will find plenty of shade from the hot sun.

On days that are just too hot and humid to be outside at all, you can stay indoors where the central air system will keep you cool all year round.

Now that sounds a bit more inviting doesn’t it?

The example doesn’t contain much more actual information but it is presented in a way that treats the reader like a person, aiming to draw them in not only to the description but the home itself.

If you don’t have the necessary skill for this, consider hiring a freelance copy writer to craft your listings. There are many out there and are usually fairly low-cost.

Photos – If you don’t have any photos for your listing, it will be a red flag and most buyers will not even look at it.

The same if there are only one or two photos of the outside of the home. It tells buyers that there is either nothing worth seeing on the inside or that the realtor is trying to hide something.

Before you take your photos, make sure that your seller has done the necessary prep work of clearing out clutter and that any remodeling work done to support the sale has already been completed.

Those photos form the first impression for buyers and they will not be happy if what they see when they walk through the front door is different from what they saw on the listing.

Make sure you are taking good photos as well. Have a quality digital camera with a decent flash so you can take good pictures of a poorly-lit basement.

Try for a day with little cloud cover so you can take advantage of as much natural light as possible. Use wide angles for the most part so you can show context to the room.

Nothing is worse for a buyer than to be browsing a listing and find a bunch of close-ups of random corners and closets. Unless that closet is one of the best designed on the planet, don’t post a picture of it.

Focus on the features everyone talks about – the kitchen and the bathroom. If there is a well-done fireplace, capture that as well.  Give some shots from outside to show off the home’s curb appeal.

And don’t be afraid to work with the seller to improve that as well if necessary. It is amazing what a few plants near the front door and stake lights along a walk way can do to improve the look of a home.

Also, in the same slide show that you will create for the photos, include a floor plan of the home.

This will allow the buyer to really envision what the home looks like buy combining that plan with the photos.

Video – Video (or virtual) tours of homes have become a growing trend recently. And why shouldn’t they?

Realtors, like everyone else, are constantly working to improve their game and once most had gotten a handle on how to do photos the right way, video was the next logical step.

They have also never been easier to produce in terms of software for editing and processing and the equipment needed to shoot the video.

You’ll want to take the prospective buyer on a tour through the home, showing off the best features and highlighting how they can help make the house a home.

Feel free to get into the details a bit, talking about things like the mechanicals of the home (if they are newer and well-serviced) as well as extra touches like designer handles and pulls.

There are a couple of different ways to approach video production. One is to simply make it a slideshow with artful transitions set to music or a voiceover.

This is definitely the easiest to do but also adds the least amount of value to the listing. After all, if all you are doing is repackaging the existing photos and reciting the description there is nothing new there and the buyer will likely notice the lack of effort.

By taking a video camera around and talking through the tour, pointing out things as you go, you invite the buyer into the home and allow them to hear your voice.

If you also get in front of the camera and allow them to see your face, it will go a long way to building a rapport with the buyer and they will feel like they know you and the home before even meeting.

To facilitate that bond, add in some personal touches. How do the home’s features relate to your own hobbies and interests?

Obviously, if you love cooking, then talking about that in the kitchen is a good way to build that connection. Or if the backyard is clear of trees and the home is in the country, why not talk about how that is perfect for stargazing?

Get the buyer thinking out of the box about the home’s possibilities.

Finally, concerning those third-party aggregators we mentioned earlier, they aren’t going away. So you might as well accept the fact and learn to work with them.

You can do this by actively promoting your listings through those sites. Naturally, this isn’t free but given how often buyers are going to sites like Trulia before contacting an agent, it will be worth it to help get your listing to the top of the search pile.

Facebook

Social media makes up a significant portion of the time people spend on the internet, especially for mobile devices. In fact, if you factor social media and video streaming sites into things, then mobile devices actually account for most of the time we spend on the internet.

As a realtor, you can make use of that fact and get your listings moving faster than ever.

Listings – Naturally, you will be posting your listings here.   But be creative with it.  Just posting a link back to your MLS listing is far too cold and business-like for the personal nature of Facebook.

Post a picture of the sun room, mentioning how great it would be to relax there on a Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and a book.  Or in the evening with a beer.

You can also change your cover photo to reflect your latest listing, or even the latest sale.

By posting your listing here, your Facebook friends will see it and possibly view and share it, extending your market penetration into areas where it might not reach otherwise.

Photos – Just as with the MLS listing, you should be making use of lots of photos here.

Personal touch – Share little bits about yourself. You can let people know that you are going on vacation or offer your view of the current housing market.

Tips – This is a great way to offer advice to all of your clients.  Give tips on what sort of remodeling projects a seller should consider and how to get them done. Include links to helpful articles and even local businesses that can help do the work.

Give thanks – When it comes to those businesses that you regularly do business with, or would like to, offering a “thank you” for a job well done and a link back to their website can go a long way to building a rapport that you and your clients will benefit from.

The neighborhood – While you should certainly extol the virtues of the area you work in the listing, especially the specific neighborhood a giving listing is in, Facebook is a great way to help your prospective buyers learn more about where they might be living in the near future.

Include posts about local attractions and events, both entertainment and charity centered. Include links to the relevant websites to help people get more information.

Share when a school is being built or a new restaurant is open or when any local institution or business receives an award or appears in the local paper.

Local customs – What makes your area unique? Is there a quirky holiday tradition that only happens where you live?  Share it and draw people in with the unique charm and character of your region.  This is also a good way to share local history, making it easier for a buyer to see himself putting down roots there.

Contests – Put up a picture of an amazing looking home, or maybe one that isn’t the best and ask your followers to come up with a caption.

The best one gets a gift card to the local hardware store or carpet cleaning service. This provides a service to your clients buy pointing them to reputable local businesses and helps ensure quality service when your clients go there mentioning your name.

Happy clients – Always post pictures (with consent of course) of your happy clients getting ready to move into their new homes or of clients starting the next chapter of their lives next to a “SOLD” sign.

Interact – Don’t just post and run!

Pay attention to the comments people are making and respond where appropriate, showing that you actually care about what your customers think and are willing to treat them like people, not just a commission.

You can also post questions. “What is your favorite exterior color?” “How many are going to the blueberry festival?”

Questions like these allow your followers to offer constructive input. You can even ask what sort of tips they would like you to post next. And always, always respond to comments.

Email

After all that talk about social media and crafting virtual tours, it may seem a little anachronistic to suddenly move into talking about email. However, this is still a very good marketing tool and can result in many an unexpected sale.

Email is a simple way to share listings with people who are either current clients or past clients who for whatever reason did not in the end buy a home at that time.

You can even reach people who have never been clients by having a sign-up sheet at open houses. Many people who go to an open house are only there casually, checking out what is available on the market, while not necessarily intending to enter it anytime soon.

By sending out listings via email, you keep these clients and potential clients engaged and thinking about buying a home, and buying it through you.

While this technique may not convert to many sales, it can provide an unexpected surprise when you are contacted by a buyer you haven’t heard from in years in response to a listing you sent them the day before.

Things to think about when sending listings via email:

  • Keep the copy personal and engaging.
  • Use the best photos for each listing.
  • You’ll only be able to use one or two.
  • Include the basic stats.
  • Link to the listing site.
  • Include links to your site and Facebook page in the signature.

Other Online Methods

There are many other ways that you can engage your clients online.

Social Media: Twitter, Pinterest, Periscope, and Instagram are all different ways that you can expand your market reach and interact with clients.

Use the same principles as for Facebook but adapt them to the individual format. For example, Twitter’s 140-character limit is perfect for asking your clients questions or thanking someone for a job well done.

Blogs: With a blog, you can write more extensively about your listing and also events in your neighborhood, allowing you to really get into the history and character of your region.

Link your posts to your social accounts so that more people will be able to find them.

YouTube: There is no reason not to set up a YouTube channel for your business. It is completely free and has the potential to place your listings in front of millions of potential clients.

Use it to host all of your virtual tours, as well as videos in which you offer insights and tips, trips to the local fair and whatever else will both relate to your business and allow you to engage people.

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As a realtor, you know that for a potential buyer to find a seller’s property to purchase, marketing is a crucial part of the process to close.

It sounds downright obvious, but let’s explore this topic a little further.

More than making sure the home is properly staged, in saleable condition, and other preliminary preparations for sale, a realtor’s ultimate responsibility to their client(s) looking to sell their property is to ensure that the home is marketed in the best way as possible.

Marketing makes the difference between a fast, no-nonsense closing, or a seller’s home stuck in “listing limbo.” Again, pretty obvious.

What is not obvious is how many realtors don’t make use of the most current and effective tools available to them, relying on the tried-and-true sure-bets of yesteryear without updating their methodology.

The outcome is that the entire selling process takes longer than it should, with lower commissions at the closing. Sellers eventually are forced to drop their asking price to make it more attractive.

Have you guessed what realtors are missing out on yet? One of the most effective but overlooked tools is creating a single-property website.

Let’s take a look at this how realtors can get up to date and start raising their commissions.

What’s a Single-Property Website?

Basically, a single-property website is as exactly as it sounds: a website exclusively dedicated to advertising your client’s property. Unlike MLS, or “multiple listing services,” there are no links and advertisements to other properties held by competing realtors.

Single-property websites can include multiple listings at the same location (i.e. a condominium, apartment complex, etc.)

The effect is still the same: you exclude other listings while creating an impressive professional web presence that can go beyond an MLS listing (which is still perfectly valid as one facet of an online marketing strategy).

Let’s take a look at more specific ways that a single-property website can benefit realtors. You’d be surprised what a website can do!

Why Do I Need a Single-Property Website?

While some realtors out there may still be thinking that creating a website from scratch is unnecessary or simply isn’t worth the investment, here are some reasons that might make you think otherwise:

Staying Competitive

Want a significant competitive advantage from the get-go?

Most real estate agents don’t feature this service for their clients. Instead, they rely on the outdated online methods (i.e. only listing on MLS) that may have worked like a charm in the past, but are no match for the instant-access world we now live in.

Offering this perk for sellers and buyers shows that your business is aware of the best currently-available tools and web-trends to sell property faster than other less web-savvy realtors.

Outsmarting the competition has more its rewards.

As you’ll have more instances of the property and the pertinent information available online, which drives leads, higher search engine rankings, potential buyers, and traffic to your other related websites (i.e. other single-property websites, your business’ homepage, related social media) that other’s miss out on.

Plus, a single-property website shows you’re worth your commission by going the extra mile.

Thinking Outside the Box

The flexibility of the web allows you to have unlimited customization for websites, whether it’s on a smartphone or home computer. Every website can be tailored specifically to showcase the best features of the property.

For instance, creating a section of the website dedicated to the history of a historic home adds to the value and stokes the curiosity of buyers. The only limitation is how creative the realtor can be!

Price Negotiation

From a seller’s point of view, it is never wise to place similar properties side-by-side. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what multiple listing services do.

The property may be overlooked among price comparisons and already gives buyers leverage for negotiating the price down significantly.

Cost-Effectiveness

Worried about the cost of building a single-property website and how it affects your ROI? Creating a website has never been cheaper and the formerly time-consuming barriers-to-entry have been reduced dramatically.

With cheap hosting services and domain registration costing less than your last business lunch, it makes no sense why the majority of realtors shy away from creating an effective website.

There are a number of tools, tutorials, and templates available online (see below) that can have a new listing up and running in a few hours, even starting as a complete beginner.

If you’re time-strapped, there’s an ever-growing number of freelance web designers that specialize in creating real estate listings at affordable rates.

Lack of Distractions

There’s nothing more off-putting to your clients than seeing advertisements on the web page, especially if they’re unrelated to the task at hand, which is learning information about the home.

Worse, pop-ups can subconsciously frustrate or fatigue the buyer before they even get a chance to decide if the house is attractive. Having a dedicated website to the property ensures that only you get to.

Exclusivity

This might be the hidden X factor that wins over clients: how many people can say they had a bespoke website built for their property? Purchasing a new dream home and selling a treasured house are both significant milestones that people love to share with friends and loved ones. But then again, who doesn’t like to show off a little?

Having a website completely dedicated to the property in a sleek-looking website (without the clunky and generic look of most MLS websites) will have them oohing and ahhing when they imagine the prestige of living in such a nice home. Plus, who doesn’t take a peek at the price tag?

Don’t write off how important this fringe benefit to can be when it comes to closing the sale.

What Should Be on the Single-Property Website

So, what exactly should be included on a single-property website? While there’s no one answer that fits all budgets and properties, there are various types of content that can increase the value of the property and expand the audience that views the property.

Walk-Through Videos

Creating a video of listed properties works as a great supplement to the pictures, bringing to life the content you’ve provided on the website. House hunters want to take in as many details as possible about the property.

A walk-through video provides a physical sense of the location before they even set foot at an open house.

There are a number of options out there for including video on your website, and you’d be surprised about some of the options available to realtors.

Anything from interactive videos to flying drone-based tours is fair game, as is creating video content for your realtor profile to attach to the website. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular options available.

DIY VIDEO

For realtors working with a limited budget, making inexpensive videos for your single-property website can give potential buyers a sense of the property that doesn’t necessarily need a full-fledged production.

For instance, creating a video introducing yourself as an experienced local realtor can be created in minutes and can be made informally. Similarly, videos that include neighborhood features accompanying each listing may need to be produced often, with very little overlap between similar properties.

Even including testimonials by local homeowners that you’ve helped buy or sell their property is valid. DIY video fits these purposes and more.

The DIY approach also includes video-editing software. Most computers nowadays have free pre-installed programs that are surprisingly versatile, including Windows Movie Maker and iMovie.

However, don’t forget to factor in the time-investment for creating DIY videos. Editing and learning how to use the software can be time-consuming, so you may want to delegate the task or consider other methods.

As for the type of camera that works best with DIY methods, most smartphones can produce remarkable-quality videos in an instant.

The advantage of using a smartphone is that it not only showcases the properties, but it also builds your brand with a familiar, informal approach.

If you’re worried that the low-budget aesthetic might make you less professional, don’t be.

The key is to convey authenticity; full-fledged productions might seem TOO flashy and worry cost-conscious buyers about how much negotiating room they’ll have when it comes to the closing. And if it’ll be billed along with the commission!

(Remember that you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to this approach, but blend it in with some of your more “evergreen” content featured on each single-property website to cover all of your buyer’s questions.)

Professionally-Produced Video

Smart realtors typically realize the limitations of their skills and wisely outsource their walk-through videos to professional production companies.

Not only do you save time versus the aforementioned DIY approach, but you also have access to a wider variety of types of video and editing styles.

With a professional production crew on hand, you can create home tours that blend in top-notch editing, appropriate lighting, and state-of-the-art drone videos.

In addition, with video technology rapidly evolving, the options of creating interactive videos has exploded. Some companies offer 3D visualization.

The catch is that these videos are pricey, with some running as high as several thousand dollars. It’s up to you to determine if the cost is worth selling a property quicker or featuring them on every single-property website.

For high-ticket properties, a professionally-produced video is mandatory.

(QUICK TIP: If you’re looking for a professional-quality video but don’t have deep pockets, there is a workaround: consider hiring film students or cinematographers looking to build their reels/portfolios. It’s a win-win decision, and you may end up getting a high-performing video at a fraction of the cost.)

Maps

Consider creating a map on the single-property website that indicates the home’s location in relation to the local neighborhood. It’s important to show how close schools are, county lines, hospitals, fire departments, parks, and so forth. This is also appropriate for when buyers are trying to estimate how much their other costs of living, like homeowner’s insurance, will really be.

Simple maps can be made via Google Maps or any other online software.

The advantage to these sites is that users can also create a satellite and terrain map, answering some of their question of just how close the neighbors really are!

Copywriting

Don’t forget that it’s not only the pictures and videos that make or break a sale on a single-property listing.

Having up-to-date information on each listing is crucially important, as well as an appropriate description of the property.

Try aim for the right tone: if it’s a luxurious property, by all means include how the backyard makes for a great place to sip pina coladas while the sun sets.

Vice versa, not using a drier tone for an unassuming property might make the realtor come off as deceptive.

Also, beware accidentally including any typos or grammatical errors; while this may just be a small oversight, buyers might assume that the realtor may overlook other details, as well.

Pictures

Having a sleek and modern-designed website helps to display pictures on your website. Include a large number of photos of the property; in fact, there may be no such thing as too many pictures. Be sure to include every angle and various lighting situations (i.e. noon vs. dusk) that highlight the property’s best features.

Don’t forget to add captions, as well, to give the viewer a sense of just where the picture was taken and what the particular features are indicated in the photo.

As a general rule, use the highest-quality photos that you can.

There should be no excuse for poor image quality, as pictures are the most important element to your single-property listing. If you cannot afford a high-performance camera, consider hiring a professional photographer to ensure that the photos are captured in the best light, as well as edited appropriately for the web.

Social Media and Beyond

Want to multiply your results and get far-reaching traffic with a single-property website?

The answer is social media. By crafting a well-organized marketing plan that includes popular social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and so forth, you maximize how your single-property website (and related links) is disseminated.

Most of these websites offer a built-in advertising platform that resembles traditional pay-per-click advertising, but the secret is the ability to share information through social networks. Word-of-mouth is especially effective, as all of your friends, family, and other social media contacts pass the links around to their contacts.

This process repeats itself, with your website’s reach growing exponentially in a viral fashion.

The advantage to this process is that the realtor becomes a part of this growth, as s/he is responsible for facilitating the sale of the property through this effective marketing strategy.

When the property eventually sells, new buyers send their network of contacts the news and details of the transaction, with the realtor’s information right along with it. This introduces you to new leads and prospects based on the verifiable social proof of your success at no additional cost and effort—it happens organically.

Virtual Tours

Buyers that are looking for a way to view property that they’re interested in can be both taxing on their gas tank and a drain on their free time.

Instead of driving from listing to listing, or narrowing down the field of potential properties to a select few, technology comes again to make the process more efficient with virtual tours.

Instead of being physically present in the home in order to view some of the finer details and dimension from photos, a virtual tour creates an immersive experience from the convenience of your computer. Allowing for a complete 360° view that the user can pan and zoom to their preference, virtual tours go one step further than pictures and video can do alone.

Panoramic virtual tours aren’t necessarily new technology, but their user-friendliness has certainly made it easier for realtors to create virtual tours for each listing.

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