Are you as addicted to the plethora of home improvement shows (and channels showing them) on tv as the millions of others across the country? These shows are chock full of inspiration for homeowners and home buyers as they embark on their own home improvement journeys. But they can also provide some tips for real estate agents, if you pay enough attention to them.
We’ve taken three of the most popular home improvement shows on television today and culled the most distinct nuances of each into advice for real estate agents.
Fixer Upper: Name Your Listings
That’s right! A la Joanna and Chip Gaines, add some fun to your properties by adding a fun name to your listings. The show, if you don’t already know, follows the couple as they help clients choose amongst some of the worst houses in the best neighborhoods for them to purchase as rock-bottom prices to then fix up into their dream homes.
To introduce each property, Chip likes to name each house on “Fixer Upper.” He names the houses more to make fun of them, with monikers like “Barndominium,” “Chicken House” and “Shotgun House.”
Of course, you might not want to go this route to effectively sell a home. But you could certainly give a descriptive name to make your listings more memorable. This might sound a little kitschy to you (ok, it is), but if you’re looking to stand out amongst the crowd, a catchy phrase describing a property might do the trick.
Flip or Flop: Take a Trip to the Store
“Flip or Flop” has been a popular mainstay of the property show genre (no thanks, sadly, in part to the drama behind the scenes of its now-divorced hosts Christina and Tarek El Moussa). Taking homes from ugly to chic in just a few months, they risk that their property might not bring them the return on their investment that they hoped. Most of the time, it’s a flip that doesn’t flop!
One of the cool things that they do on the show, though it’s not a huge part of the show, is to take a trip to the fixtures and hardware store. Whenever they need to make a decision on a countertop, flooring option or kitchen cabinet, they bring viewers along on a trip to the store.
Most of the time, the trip entails Christina choosing her favorites then Tarek convincing her that she needs to find a less expensive option. The lesson that is always learned is that there is a more cost-effective but equally stylish way to finish a house.
How can you use this to your advantage? When showing off a home, create short videos about the chosen fixtures or finishes in the house, extolling the virtues of each (or just one) and comparing it to the alternatives. You can then post these on social media, in your newsletter or do a blog post on it!
Once you collect enough videos on fixtures and finishes across different properties, you can collect all the flooring ones, for example, and create one video to do a longer post (and create more fresh content).
Property Brothers: Listen but Shoot It Straight
One of the things that make the “Property Brothers” Drew and Jonathan Scott so appealing (besides their humor and good looks) is their realness. These super tall (6’5″) identical twins from Canada walk their clients through the entire process of identifying a home all the way to renovating it.
Along the way, the brothers interact with and get to know better each client. They hear what the clients want in a home from the very beginning and also what they want to see in the renovations for the property they end up choosing.
As you can imagine, and as you’ve probably experienced, clients change their minds. They have opinions. Then they change their minds again. The Scotts patiently listen and guide their clients but what you notice is that they are up front with them, even at the cost of making them potentially feel uncomfortable.
That’s a great lesson for real estate agents to know. Listening is the cornerstone of good client service. However, as the real estate expert, you also need to shoot your clients straight and give them the best advice possible. It might not always be the most comfortable conversation, but your clients will appreciate your candor and, in the end, know that you are looking out for their best interest.