Viewpoints: Iris “Ginnie” LaBouchardiere, Realtor, Delux Realty LLC, Houston

by James McClister


Iris “Ginnie” LaBouchardiere is a Realtor with Delux Realty LLC working in Houston.

Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before. This week, we spoke with Iris LaBouchardiere, a Realtor with Delux Realty, LLC. 

Houston Agent (HA): You’ve described your marketing strategy as “aggressive.” Can you elaborate on what you mean by that? Also, what mediums, either on- or offline, have you found most effective?

Iris LaBouchardiere (IL): Aggressive marketing for me is an overall approach that encompasses everything from pricing to presentation. The typical buyer today is doing their home search online. I utilize as many online resources as I can, such as: MLS and various other sites, Craigslist, email blasts, my own personal website, individual property websites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…But there’s more than being all over the Internet and in emails; it’s making sure the house looks desireable. You have to make your clients understand that their house needs to be seen, not their stuff. People can’t see past the seller’s belongings.

Getting professional photos done is a must – good pictures will catch the buyer’s attention. I have had buyers pass on viewing homes because the pictures were blurry, dark or the homeowners just simply had too many furnishings and decorations in one room.

As far as what has been most effective, I think any form of online advertising is effective. Most people start by looking at sites were they can view homes, so in Houston your best bet is to always list on HAR.com. But Facebook can be very productive, too, as it can be viewed, shared and liked by many people very quickly. The first listing of my career I posted to my Facebook business page and sent to my clients to share on their pages, as well. It had 1068 oraganic views and 603 clicks from people that otherwise might not have seen it. That’s great free marketing at it’s best. Not to mention that my latest listing came as result of someone posting on Facebook that they were looking for a Realtor. So working Facebook is a must.

HA: How important is technology to finding success in today’s real estate market? How do you use it?

IL: Technology is extremely important in this industry. The real estate world is full of various programs, apps, etc. There’s always a new tool to discover or program that’s just come out. Knowing how to use technology is a must. Being successful is more than where you are seen online; it’s also getting the job done effeciently. Today that means being able to work from almost anywhere with an iPad or laptop at a moment’s notice. I typically write crontracts online and send them to be digitally signed, use apps to locate homes near me for sale or sign documents, schedule appointments, open lock boxes, share documents, text, email, research, etc. iPads are a great visual tools for explaining to your clients how you plan to market their home or take notes. There’s a vast amount of technological tools for real estate agents to tap into. As important that technology is, though, nothing will bring you business like personal referrals or word of mouth.

HA: A recent article discussed the high level of builder confidence in Houston, despite the low inventory and relatively few number of new housing starts. Do you think builders in the city should be confident, why or why not?

IL: At this point I have to say that I do think they should be confident. Most new communities are selling quickly. The demand is there. About 50 percent of my clients are purchasers looking for new construction, wether it’s to be built or a spec. I see the communities in my area go through price increases and still sell out quickly. How long this will last is hard to say – you hear one thing, then another. It’s all a guessing game and only time will tell, but at the moment or very near future I don’t see why they shouldn’t be confidant. 

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