We have a midsize brokerage in the Washington, D.C., area, and we’re always looking for unique ways to market homes. We have several Arlington, Va., townhomes coming on the market soon, and we’d like to explore some methods outside of traditional on- and offline marketing. What suggestions do you have that won’t break the bank?

Tara Christianson, Century 21 Redwood Realty,


To get to the heart of your question, I reached out to Morgan Clawson (morgan from Edina Realty, a leading Realtor in the Twin Cities.

According to Clawson, success online may have less to do with getting “out of the box” with your marketing, and more about maximizing the box you are already in. He feels that with 90 percent of buyers using websites to search for homes, investment beyond these digital channels to market individual properties becomes wasteful.

Instead, Clawson stresses that the focus should be on making a home’s presence on digital media as attractive as possible. Almost all of the home search websites have multiple photos of the properties that are listed for sale.

“Great photographs will drive buyers to see homes. In most cases, using a professional photographer who is experienced in shooting homes is a wise investment,” according to Clawson.

For maximum impact, hire a photographer who knows how to position furnishings and light rooms properly for selling the emotional value of the home.

“Painting rooms in designer colors and having attractive furnishings provides the perfect subject matter for the photographer,” points out Clawson. “And of course, the home will show nicely when buyers come to look.”

Finally, Clawson highly recommends the use of professional staging companies to help with paint color selections, and they can also bring in furnishings to make the key rooms show as well as possible.

About the author: Mike Porter, Ed. D., director, Master of Business Communication Program, University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business