Vol. 8 No. 29 - April 9, 2008


Creative ways to sell homes

The human spirit excels in creativity, and when it comes to selling property in a tight unpredictable market, real estate professionals have, shall we say, cornered the market. A good portion of the real estate agents and mortgage brokers working in the business today have never seen the type of market we’re experiencing. At the very least, it has gotten their creative juices running in an attempt to pull a few rabbits out of their real estate hats resulting in some benefits to buyers.

Open houses for both real estate agents and buyers have been a long standing tradition in exposing new listings to the marketplace. Within the industry there has always been a difference of opinion about the value of public open houses. Some agents feel that any exposure is good exposure with the theory being you never know who is going to walk through the front door. Some feel it just attracts nosey neighbors and tire kickers. Whatever your opinion, real estate professionals are going full speed ahead to get their properties showcased with a few new twists.

Annually, the new home builders of Sarasota and Manatee counties conduct their parade of homes, with informative booklets describing the communities including pathfinder maps. Recently in Manatee County, one of the leading mortgage companies organized an Affordable Home Tour in conjunction with local real estate brokers. The tour was modeled in part like the builders’ parade of homes with the lender and participating brokers gathering 130 homes in the $150,000 to $250,000 price range in a variety of locations around the county. Buyers were provided with maps based on the location they preferred and sent off on tour day. According to the company, it was a great success with between 60 and 80 people registering for the tour. The results were positive enough for the lender to move forward with plans for another tour in the fall.

Along these same lines, in Miami an enterprising real estate broker has taken this concept to a whole new level. He has established the Foreclosure Express Opportunity Tour where prospective buyers can be driven around to look at only foreclosure properties in a vehicle hired by the broker. Sounds a little depressing. Not really. Most of the homes are in excellent condition, priced well and ready for occupancy. He claims he attracted serious buyers and investors, and in addition to showcasing his listings, he has the opportunity to educate consumers in the foreclosure process.

Well the east coast doesn’t have anything on our enterprising real estate agents. A Manatee County broker has partnered with a lending company, an insurance company and a title company to form a foreclosure team. Again, their concept is to get prospective home buyers to participate in their chauffeured bus tour to look at foreclosed properties in every price range. They are also planning tours designed for specific price ranges because they feel buyers who are ready to commit are not out just to fill an afternoon, they want to see what’s available in the ranges they want to buy or invest in. As of this writing, the date of their first tour has not been set.

With over 400 foreclosures reported in Manatee County for March alone, don’t be surprised to see marketing techniques never seen before in this state. Good real estate professionals are finding new ways to market properties, and savvy buyers are taking this opportunity to make wise and lucrative investments. Necessity is the mother of invention and this mother has sifted through real estate sales people and brokers leaving only the most professional and creative ones standing. Tough times result in creative solutions and maybe a few rabbits.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper