Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 2:12 am | Fair 57º


Michael O’Shea: Realtor Duo Think Outside the Box

Mother-daughter team embraces innovation in a challenging market

With a surplus of residential real estate inventory in Santa Barbara and a shortage of qualified and willing buyers, many local real estate agents are wondering what it will take to bring attention to their clients’ properties. It is apparent that the task has transcended offering tea and cookies at open houses.

Stephanie Young and Marie Sue Parsons
Stephanie Young and Marie Sue Parsons

One Realtor duo known for thinking outside the box, Coldwell Banker’s mother-daughter team of Marie Sue Parsons and Stephanie Young, have accepted the challenge and seem to be enjoying it.

For example, whereas the traditional “brokers’ open house,” held specifically for Realtors, is usually scheduled during business hours and midweek, this creative pair showcased one current listing — uniquely perched above the Santa Barbara Bowl and offering a free bird’s-eye view of every concert — by holding an invitation-only showing during performances by the Steve Miller Band and Stevie Nicks.

“The response was incredible,” Young said. “Our sellers were thrilled with our creative marketing approach, agents commented on what a fabulous idea it was, and it really got the buzz going about this one-of-a-kind property as a great home for entertaining.”

Parsons and Young are not limiting their creative methods to open houses, however.

“We market each listing with a custom approach tailored to spotlight the strengths of each specific property,” Parsons said.

Although they are reticent when it comes to revealing all of their innovative marketing ideas, they do share that their Web site — a work in progress — will emphasize performance rather than prettiness, thanks to savvy design and Internet marketing experts.

Select listings on the site will be presented via a video tour as well as photographs, and floor plans will be interactive — offering site visitors the ability to click on any room to view a photo of the space.

Parsons and Young also have retained a professional writer and content adviser to create their marketing copy, including Web site-specific content, property descriptions and brochures.

“He’s even formatted and written our bios in a much more interesting, engaging way,” Young said.

For homeowners thinking of selling in the current market, Parsons and Young stress researching agents and the ways they market their listings, obtaining referrals and having realistic expectations regarding pricing of the property. Finally, with a chuckle, they add in unison, “Then call us!”

Michael O’Shea is a Santa Barbara-based writer and communications consultant.

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