Saturday, August 25, 2018

Using Drones in Real Estate Marketing | Sarasota FL | sarasotadavid.com

Drones have been around in real estate marketing for a while now, but like everything else in the real estate business, they way they are (or should be) used is constantly evolving.

Back when drones first made headlines, they were touted as a camera platform to get unique photo shots, mostly of luxury homes.  They had limited range, flying time, and photo options.  At first, the public thought drones were a huge invasion of privacy.  From my own experience, I can tell you that public acceptance of drones has increased tremendously, and I'm no longer excoriated by a passerby or threatened with a call to the police.

I got my first drone, an Autel X-Star Premium, back in November of 2016.  I flew it hundreds of times, capturing video and learning along the way.  I now have a total of 4 drones, partly for back up and partly for different uses, such as client video or creating photos and video for social media.  Flying a drone is one thing, knowing what to capture is another thing, and editing the footage into an exciting and informative video is yet another important aspect in the use of drones in real estate.




This brings me to an important point for you as a home owner to consider when putting your Sarasota, Venice, or Lakewood Ranch property on the market.  Most Realtors have to hire subcontractors for practically every aspect of marketing your home.  Drone video is one of the better examples of this.

So many times I see a video for a luxury home with drone footage that is obviously taken by someone who can fly the equipment, but does not have a real estate background.  A Realtor flying their own drone knows what footage to capture that will highlight aspects of your property a prospective buyer will be looking for.  Since I don't have the expense of hiring a pilot, I can direct resources to other advertising platforms to increase your home's exposure to potential buyers.


David Barr's Sarasota drone air force for real estate marketing


The use of drone footage and video, as I mentioned earlier, is evolving.  I rely on it not just for amazing videos, but also to rank at the top of Google search for your property's keywords in ways that most Realtors can't.  Google owns YouTube, and uses high quality video in searches. Buyers driving your neighborhood will type in your neighborhood name or property address when looking on their smart phones for more information. 

My custom video of your property, plus a dedicated, optimized page for it on my website, will attract buyers who can get instant information about your property from me, rather than contacting a Zillow agent who has never seen it.  Please ask me for recent case studies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lakewood Ranch Update | David Barr, Broker Associate | lakewoodranchdavid.com

Today I’ll be talking about Lakewood Ranch.  As I’m sitting down to create this blog post,
I’ve just finished a major project, which is my stand alone website for Lakewood Ranch
(with an easy to remember URL, lakewoodranchdavid.com)  and a comprehensive video of the area:
attractions, lifestyles, new construction, business, and health care.


It was also just announced that Lakewood Ranch has moved up to the 2nd best
selling master planned community in the country.  
I may be one of only a handful of local Realtors who serve two of the top 5 best
selling master planned communities, when you include The West Villages in Venice.
There is a combined 21 new home communities between Lakewood Ranch and The West Villages.
That’s a lot of options for you as a home buyer.
New homes cost the same when you’re working with your own Realtor,
so let me help you narrow your choices to find what’s right for you.




Lakewood Ranch has something for everyone.  
It’s home to luxury golf courses such as The Lake Club, the Country Club at Lakewood Ranch,
and Royal Lakes Club in Country Club East. It has A-rated schools and top rated health care at
Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.  Main Street always has events and activities.
You can buy a brand new town home or condo for just over $200,000 or build your
dream estate home with top local architects and builders.


Among the newest of the new construction in Lakewood Ranch, Polo Run is
offering affordable solar power as part of your new build package.  Del Webb,
known for active adult lifestyles, has a gorgeous resort level club house and lagoon pool,
and Arbor Grande is offering both town homes and single family homes with a coastal
theme that connects to Lakewood Ranch’s 150 mile hiking and biking trail system.

Lakewood Ranch and Main Street
View of Lakewood Ranch and Main St. with Lake Uihlien.



This trail system connects several community parks.  Watch my video at
lakewoodranchdavid.com and you’ll see how much green space has been set aside.


You may be surprised to know that Lakewood Ranch is attracting buyers from
Tampa and Orlando, and from affluent areas in Sarasota such as Longboat Key and downtown.  
I’m also seeing snowbirds buying here from the typical northeast states, and others looking to
escape high tax states such as Maryland and California.


Sales in Lakewood Ranch are up 33% for the first six months of this year compared
to the same time last year.  Contact me with any questions, and to schedule a tour.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Authenticity in Real Estate Marketing | Sarasota FL | blog.davidbarrhomes.com


I get the “Think with Google” newsletters and updates, and it’s the one email I look forward to. Google, like it or leave it, has access to the immediate data and trends of today’s consumers. And let’s face it: being a Realtor means you’ll be spending most of your time marketing to attract new clients, and to market your current client’s property listings.

So, today’s Think with Google topic was about authenticity. Millenials are changing the way all of us look at marketing and advertising. For example, is that diamond ethically mined? Is that coffee ecologically sourced and farmed? Does that spaghetti sauce have all natural ingredients? Is that product actually depicted in a way we would use it ourselves?

Everything about this trend translates directly to real estate.

Is that home description telling me what I need to know about the home, or is it filled with useless adjectives (like charming, cozy, sweet)? Are the photographs realistically depicting the home? I’ve seen many waterfront homes for sale and the photographer made the bay look like the color of Tidy Bowl. Are the photographs showing how we would actually use the home? Is there a video showing how the home flows, and how it’s situated in the neighborhood?

These may be some of the reasons your home won’t sell, or ended up as an expired listing in the MLS.


Listen to my podcast about authenticity and marketing.


Ponder this: Was your home for sale being marketed using the same unauthentic, unoriginal marketing plan that every other home listed with that broker is using? How would it stand out?

Believe it or not, we have real estate agents in our market who hire out every single facet of what it takes to market and sell your home. Yes! Assistants input data into the MLS, photographers and videographers are hired, professional stagers are enlisted, assistants or coaches are brought in to describe the home in the MLS, and assistants attend inspections and sometimes even closings.

If you’re hiring a Realtor to sell your home, how authentic are they, and how authentic will your property listing appear to buyers looking at a long list?

When you’re ready to sell your Sarasota or Venice home, remember the word “authenticity” and remember, me, David Barr, when you’re interviewing Realtors.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Expired Listing Specialist | Configuring Your Listing in the MLS | blog.davidbarrhomes.com

We're seeing a lot of expired listings in Sarasota and Venice.  That should be disconcerting to you as a home owner, since you were probably expecting that your home would sell in a hot market.

Your Sarasota home may have expired in the MLS because of other issues besides price and condition.

Technology and real estate marketing are moving quickly beyond the aptitude of low tech Realtors.  One example of this is the ability to understand why and how to make sure your Sarasota property for sale shows up on other Realtor's websites.

We have something called IDX, which means internet data exchange.  Brokers who belong to our MLS can agree to allow their listings to be shown on other broker's websites.  It's been a boon to consumers, as you can go to highly ranked and visited real estate websites like mine, davidbarrhomes.com and sarasotadavid.com, and view all the available homes and condos, based on your search parameters.

Did your Sarasota home expire in the MLS?
Your Sarasota home for sale may have expired in the MLS because of your low tech agent

However, some brokers (seemingly, most of the smaller ones) are not opting in to IDX, and some low tech agents don't understand IDX and why it's important that your property listing display on other Realtor's websites.

Anything that limits potential home buyers to view your Sarasota property for sale is a major mistake, and could be one of the reasons your home is now expired in the MLS.

May I suggest that if your former agent didn't understand this concept, they certainly didn't understand how to market your property online with a strategy beyond the cookie cutter plans most major brokers provide?

As your #Sarasota and #VeniceFL #expiredlisting specialist, I can identify the problems with the previous efforts to market your property, improve and add to them, so we can find the right buyer for your home or condo.  Contact me when you're ready to put your Sarasota property back on the market.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Expired Listing Specialist | Venice FL | blog.davidbarrhomes.com


Today’s topic is especially for you, if your Venice FL home was listed for sale but expired in the MLS. This is one of the reasons why I named this podcast Get Real. The topic of real estate marketing I think is a fuzzy one for many home sellers. You interview real estate agents to tell you how they will market your home for sale and attract a buyer. The flashy graphics showing you the 950 real estate related websites your home will appear on look great, but lets get real. Every major broker does this. I’m here to tell you the straight up truth that the next level of real estate marketing is upon us, and is probably one of the reasons your expired listing didn’t sell.

So, let’s get real.

I’m a bit of a different Realtor. I sometimes feel like a Martian in my real estate office. I devour anything I can get my hands or eyes on when it comes to online marketing, whether it’s real estate or any other business. I am obsessed with keeping ahead of how consumers are acting online, and what devices they are using. I study web design and apply it to my own business. Attracting clients through marketing my business online is about 99% of my bread and butter. If I don’t succeed in that space, I’m going to be a broke agent.




Thankfully, I’m not a broke agent. I walk the walk of what I’m about to tell you. My online strategies are working for me, and they’ll work for you in selling your home or condo, especially if it became an expired listing.

Let’s cover some of the basics in my strategic outlook. 1) I am not mass marketing for keywords such as “venice fl real estate”. Why? Consumers doing that are learning about the market. They are probably in the comparison stage: Venice, or Sarasota, or Naples, or Bonita Springs? 2) The best buyers for your expired listing are those buyers looking now for your specific neighborhood, or even your address. Guess what? They’re driving around right now looking for information on their phones. 3) A real estate agent who says your home for sale will show up on Realtor.com and Zillow and the broker site is a dime a dozen. How is a buyer going to differentiate your home in a sea of red dots on a Zillow map?

They can’t. Remember, your home for sale listing was already in all these places, and it didn’t sell.

So what makes me different from the typical 70 year old real estate agent who lets their broker “list them online?”

Video is king and audio is queen when it comes to online marketing. Do you think an HD video tour of your home for sale, watchable on a cell phone, might attract a buyer interested in your neigbhorhood while they’re driving through it, and get them to visit in person? Did you know that Google can rank relevant, high quality video on the first page of Google search results? That’s one way to make your home stand out in the crowd.



Audio is queen: Listen to my podcast: http://bit.ly/2KjV30m


Some agents talk about producing single property websites. The majority of those don’t work because those agents don’t know how to optimize it to rank in a search. My solution is to provide a landing page on my website for your property, with photos and video tour, that WILL rank on the first page of Google.

Here’s two case studies:

1) I listed a beach condo in Venice. The two previous sales before mine took more than twice as long to go under contract. Why? The buyers found the video and the views this unit had of the beach and Gulf of Mexico.

2) I have a current listing (as of this production date) of a home in South Venice that has received an offer in just under 2 weeks on the market. The home is small but gorgeous. It doesn’t compare that well based on a price per square footage basis to others in the area, but the HD video tour I produced for it ranked on the first page of a Google search for the property address, along with my website page for the property on my website. Video connects with a potential buyer’s emotions and creates images of them living in your property.

Besides video, you’ll get a blog post, pod cast, and a constant social media campaign of images of your home on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. More exposure off a broker site for your individual property across the internet is more likely to attract an interested buyer.

Expired listing? My strategies and marketing program produce maximum exposure for your property, beyond what every other broker has been doing as a plug and play for years and years.

Did I get real enough? If so, I invite you to contact me about your Venice or Sarasota expired property listing, so I can help you get it sold.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Advanced Online Real Estate Marketing | Venice FL | blog.davidbarrhomes.com

I talk a lot about real estate marketing, because it's changing rapidly and because most Realtors are falling behind the technology curve.

Home buyers today are more informed than ever.  Many times, they don't need a Realtor to send them a list of properties from a search request on Zillow or Realtor.com.  In my experience with my own websites, I'm finding many buyers don't want to sign up for listings updates.  They just keep coming back to my website again and again, to check on available properties for condos and neighborhoods they are interested in.

That's why, when I take your listing, I market your Venice FL home or condo to the actual buyers, not other Realtors in the area.  Buyers are driving neighborhoods, looking for Open Houses, and using their phones to do it.

What if I told you that with my advanced marketing, the best buyer prospects looking for homes in your neighborhood, could find your individual property easily on their mobile device?

This property I listed in South Venice has 3 of the top 10 positions on the first page of Google search results

Do you think a buyer interested in your neighborhood would like to take a video tour of the home before visiting in person?   Or, would being one dot in a sea of red dots on a Zillow map help a buyer single out your home? 

On Zillow, you're one dot in a sea of red dots

Showing up in a long list of properties on a broker website, Realtor.com, or Zillow, won't cut it anymore.  You need a Realtor like me who understands the importance of giving buyers direct access to your property for sale, with multiple links and content to dominate the competition.

Has your Venice FL home expired without selling in the MLS?  It may not be because of the price or condition.  It may be due to stale marketing.  Contact me about how my advanced online marketing will sell your home to the best potential buyer.


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Lake of the Woods Homes for Sale | Venice FL | blog.davidbarrhomes.com


So first of all, where is Lake of the Woods? Travel east on Tamiami Trail from Jacaranda, and turn north on Venice East Ave. It’s a huge area with about 800 total homes. Lake of the Woods is the master association but there are four separate neighborhoods: Lake of the Woods, Grassy Oaks, Park Estates, and The Lakes of Jacaranda. 

 For convenience purposes for home buyers, I have a page on my website listed under Lake of the Woods that includes homes for sale and video from all 4 neighborhoods. You can find that under the neighborhoods tab on the main menu on my Venice website, davidbarrhomes.com



Lake of the Woods is considered one of the Venice area’s nicest upscale neighborhoods. The homes sit on large lots and aren’t right on top of each other, and there’s a lot of mature oaks and palms. There are nicely winding streets and lots of lake views. 

Most homes here are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and a good number have private pools. Most homes have 1800 to 2400 square feet under air. The construction of the homes here is concrete block with tile roofs, and I would call the architectural style mostly Mediterranean.

A lot of buyers interested in Lake of the Woods will probably be interested in other Venice neighborhoods like Sawgrass. Lake of the Woods is a bit less expensive and the homes are a little older, but are in general very well maintained. 

 To me, Sawgrass feels a bit more tight as far as density of homes on smaller lots. There are a lot more 10,000 square foot and over home sites in Lake of the Woods than in Sawgrass. It’s a toss up when it comes to curb appeal between the two.



Listen to my podcast about Lake of the Woods


If you’re looking at Sarasota as an option. Lake of the Woods compares well to Stoneybrook and Turtle Rock in Palmer Ranch, with overall better prices. I think Lake of the Woods looks very similar to Turtle Rock with it’s mature landscaping and water views.

I’ll keep the sales statistics here to a minimum. I look at 4 criteria when evaluating neighborhoods. In 2016 and 2017, the sale price to list price ratio was 97%. That’s a good sign that sellers are pricing accurately and home buyer demand is high. 

 The overall number of sales went from 39 to 49, and the median sold price per square foot went from $155 in 2016 to $164 in 2017, even though days on market increased. These are all good signs that Lake of the Woods is a healthy micro-market and the area is in demand by home buyers.

So, the bottom line on Lake of the Woods: If you’re a home buyer, you have a good list of available homes for sale right now. If you’re a home seller, you have more competing homes on the market and you may expect a bit longer time on the market because of this. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in Lake of the Woods, please contact me to help you navigate to the best price and a smooth transaction.