Thursday, January 10, 2008

Accelerated Marketing for a Decelerated Market

Is there anyone out there who hasn't felt the change? That engine that was roaring ever onward and upward ran out of gas, and now we're coasting. Okay, we have a different market, but that doesn't mean we can't still get people to look at and buy houses.

You might remember my earlier experience with what I call "Accelerated Marketing." Yes, it's an auction, but it's more than that. Case in point – yesterday on Stevenson Road in Baltimore. We decided to apply Accelerated Marketing to this wonderful stone rancher, along with five other properties, all scheduled for January 10. January in Baltimore can bring anything from balmy sun to slushy snow; we ended up in between with a kind of raw, overcast day.

You can imagine how delighted I was, then, to see a crowd of at least 60 people show up for the walk-through and auction on Stevenson. There were several bidders, and even though we did not reach a level that met the buyer's reserve, I still count the event as a success. Many more people saw the house than ever before, and people who are willing and able buyers know about it now having taken the time to walk through. For this house and the other four, I was careful to set low expectations with the owners – we went into the day with the expectation that none of the properties would sell. When your goal is exposure and activity, the sale becomes a bonus.

What happened with the other five properties that had their own Accelerated Marketing events? As we expected, the turnouts varied at Milford Road, Strathmore Towers, Old Post, Griffin Way, and Autumn Frost. But we still had good success and then some - two of the five sold! There are two more events tomorrow, one in country-like Havre de Grace and another in picturesque Dickeyville. Then we wrap up this series on Tuesday at Clarks Lane.

I'm feeling very positive about this way of marketing real estate. As we do more of these I'll be talking again the advantages for both the seller and the agent. I see it as a win-win in a time when we hear too many lose-lose stories.

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