Channeling Santa Cruz

Next time you kick back to channel surf, see if you can catch the most recent Apple ad. The one featuring a young couple somewhere in snowbound New England, asking the all-knowing voice of their Delphic I Phone Oracle: “What’s the best way to Santa Cruz, California?”

Notice they aren’t echoing the refrain of an old Burt Bacharach song…like…”Do you know the way to San Jose?” Nope. They’re humming a very different tune.

To make a short commercial shorter, the happy couple embarks on a cross country odyssey, finally reaching the promised land of the left coast – you know – Santa Cruz. Is there a left-er coast anywhere else?

Bottom Line? Santa Cruz is now a big league destination. Our little corner of the global village officially registers on the world’s radar. I Phones. I Pads. Macs. Even – PCs – which seem so unPC these days in a Santa Cruz-y/App-y kinda way.

Yep. We are wired into the planet’s brain. Plenty of neural pathways heading in our direction via all those internet homing devices.

Just as an aside – Don’t worry about our Keep Santa Cruz Weird lifestyles in Surf City. People move here precisely because they want both a latitude adjustment and an attitude adjustment. That’s the whole idea – they aren’t in Kansas anymore when they come here. This is the home of the Mystery Spot. It’s supposed to be weird.

Or….as we Realtors like to say when we get the opportunity for a perfect seque – Life’s a Beach and then You Buy. It’s easy…all you gotta do is phone home.

So if the world is calling our name – how are we answering? My contention: Sellers need to expand their world-view about marketing if they want to increase their world-views.

When your property hits the MLS, your street address automatically becomes a Web Address. Your home – a Home Page. Within seconds it is streaming to the four corners of the globe. Wall Street Journal? DuPont Registry? MSNBC? Click your heels. Your home page already resides here, there and everywhere.

There are 250 million internet users in the US. Two billion on the planet. 90% of all Buyers utilize the web as their primary tool to view homes. The internet drives thousands of Buyers and Agents past your place daily. It is the market. Search engines run 24/7/365. Forget: “Where is my property being advertised?” Rather: “What do people see when they take that first virtual drive-by?”

If the Medium is truly the Message in the age of the digital download…it begs the question: What kind of Message is your Message sending to that huge home audience out there?

The distinctive homes and remarkable settings for sale in and around the Monterey Bay deserve distinctive home pages and remarkable web sites that successfully capture and promote exactly what it is that’s so unique about them. And about here.

Homes staged with beautiful contents should have home-sites staged with meaningful content of their own. Mindfully crafted images, words and descriptions that capture their essence and communicate their true character. Why do so many websites promoting special homes look and feel so one dimensional and uninspired?

Visual Tour. Tour Factory. Obeo. Take a few pictures. Slap them into the tour widget. Cue the canned music. Whether it’s the $29.95, $49.95 or $99.95 tour – might as well be the ten cent tour in terms of the amount of custom time, effort, marketing skill and money some Agents invest into the online presence of those expensive custom homes they represent.

If you want the ultimate destination for buyers to be your home, your Agent can’t just show up anymore and upload your listing off the assembly line. Time to list local. Think global. But insist the design be compelling and personal before the world logs on.

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