In Charlotte and Fort Mill it’s not just about location, location, location… but even more so relocation! The Queen City and its South Carolina sibling, Fort Mill, are becoming more and more diverse with clients from all around the U.S. flocking to charming, affordable southern style living. This spur of relocation has created a hot sellers market for Kim Trouten of the Andy Bovender Team.
“With such a high conversion rate from offers to contracts, we are having to stay one step ahead of the game” says Kim. “Clients from outside of the Carolinas are not able to jump on a flight, or travel several hours for a home that may be here today and gone tomorrow. Time is always of the essence.”
Technology has always been one step ahead of the region’s growing market; with high tech online tours being implemented in real estate marketing strategies. Drone photography for aerial landscape views, 3D virtual tours from the comfort of a buyer’s home, and wide ranging HD photos of property are now all considered the new normal. Kim has taken a sharp cue to these developing advances, and has created her own “virtual tour” strategy to keep pace.
“Since 2015, our team has used FaceTime and Skype to get out of state clients in the door in real time. I focused in on key details that I knew they would find most important to them. The remainder of the time I spent describing the neighborhood, surrounding local eateries, and the night life. I wanted to be sure to paint the full picture before we got off the phone” says Kim.
Kim has been able to keep her out of town clients ahead of even the local market hunters by using the Iphone’s FaceTime capabilities to perform showings throughout Waxhaw, Weddington, Myers Park, and Fort Mill areas. With many years in the industry and having lived in several areas of Charlotte herself, Kim is well aware of the neighborhoods and all they have to offer.
“Establishing both what my client wants in a home and in the surrounding area is key” says Kim. “Since they can’t see it all, this type of technology coupled with experience, is providing a fast and visual way for those outside of Charlotte and Fort Mill to view their favorite properties while not having to worry that they’ll miss out on any great deals by not being physically present.”
I had the chance to see Kim in action first hand, FaceTiming one of her out of town clients from California. The home was located in popular Union County and she already had a great sense of what the buyer was looking for. As she walked around the property, she was quick to point out subtle details that she knew would appeal to their own sense of style. “Can we see that again?” “What do you think?” “Could you zoom out?” “What was that about the neighborhood?” “What kind of traffic is on this street?” These were just a few of the words being spoken from the other end of the call.
She took special care to show them every particular detail. She would describe some of the great special features and qualities of the home, the builder’s ideology behind some of the design, and would then zoom out to give them the full view. She made sure to even focus the camera lens on the true color of the brick, the texture of the walls, and the tiny splinters of wood damage around the windows. It was a sight to see, as the end result was an offer to purchase on the home that evening!
“It’s important to learn as soon as possible your clients personal tastes, unique sense of style, and their short term and long term goals; that’s what makes it possible to lead them virtually through what you’ve already established is something that they would want for a new home.”
Kim is not the only one who has begun to incorporate this new technology. Real Estate agents throughout the U.S. have begun to defy what it means to get real “face time” with clients by using the Apple phones FaceTime call ability. Kim’s advice on it all, “Know your clients first, then be sure that you’re ready to go for those particular showings. You’ll have to leave no stone unturned.”
As for what’s next with technology in the real estate market, we will all just have to sit back behind our TV’s, smartphones and tablets to see what unfolds.
About the Author | Kim Trouten
Partner, Listing & Buyer Specialist Broker / Realtor® NC/SC
Kim has years of experience working in land development, architectural planning, interior design, luxury home construction and professional home staging.
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