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Wrapping Up Homes With a Big Shiny Bow

The Vision’s Gettting Harder to See

It seems there are more people than ever sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone to give them a signal that it really is okay to buy real estate again. Some are waiting for the basic economic impossibility of the market improving without buyers purchasing the inventory. Some are content to wait until prices go “lower” even when they have no clear concept of how low is low enough.

Many expect the bottom to be so designated with large signs like you see on the side of the freeway – “Welcome to the Bottom, Enjoy the Ride Back Up” – even though history tells us that we won’t know that we reached bottom until it’s already past us.

Some buyers absolutely aren’t motivated. Others are unaware that they might be motivated if only the right stimulus – the right property – was placed before them.

And that’s where I come in.

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It’s Time to Decide

Over the past week or so, I’ve been sending blast e-mails to accumulated lists of buyers (one such list is 60-odd deep at the moment) with information on bank owned homes in the areas where they’re looking.

Not “pardon me but if it’s not too much trouble would you like me to send you some listings of some bank owned homes that you don’t really need to look at if you don’t have time and it’s okay because I’ll be sitting here waiting in case you need me.”

Rather, I’m being as direct as possible, almost daring the folks not to e-mail me for more information. “There is a home in (name the area) with the lowest list price we’ve seen in five years.” And a few days after that, “there’s another bank owned home that on a per-square foot basis is less expensive than the other.”

Each e-mail has brought a half-dozen responses from a largely silent group. And in those responses are the nuggets I’ve been trying to unearth … motivation, actual needs (as contrasted with the property I sent), real timelines for purchase … honesty.

Managing Your Time

There’s only so much time you can devote to the non-motivated. Set them up for automated listings and let them look at the pretty pictures for as long as they want. But remember always that they’re just looking at homes and not really buying them, at least not yet.

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Find a way to uncover the truly motivated (since, like the bottom, they don’t usually come with large signs attached telling you who they are) and you’ll keep your business moving forward.

Give them the homes with a big shiny bow on top. Dare them not to open it to see what’s inside.

Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.



  1. Tammy - Austincentric

    January 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I like it. I have similar responses from emails I send to clients that focus on “good deals” and that pertain to specific properties. One of my investors told me recently that he was waiting for “all of the layoffs in the new year to drive down prices”. Lots of pessimists out there waiting for the bottom.

  2. Missy Caulk

    January 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    What you said, that you will never know the bottom until we are on the way back up, should be shouted from the house tops.

  3. Erion Shehaj

    January 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I would take that even further.

    Why not let the content of your site be that call to action through RSS or opt-in email updates?

    Often, I see agent websites that incorporate blogs full of great tips and advice with the goal to entice one to use their IDX and search. How about a more proactive approach (You search your own IDX)? Figure out what your clients might like to see and offer it to them through Deal of the Hour/Day/Week posts. Wrap it up with that “Big Shiny Bow” and voila!

  4. Ken Brand

    January 26, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Right On Jonathan, load’em up with info and possibility. To really drive it home, pick up the phone and engage them in a conversation. You never know what they might be thinking, the questions they have or what specifically you can do to fast forward things. Load’em up, then call and chat.

    My 2 cents. Thanks.

  5. Seattle Washington Real Estate

    January 30, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Very interesting points raised in the article about the psychology of the people who are waiting for buying home. No body knows where is the bottom of property prices- hence when some people are still waiting on the sidelines, buying and selling are going on depending on what type of motivation the prospective buyers or sellers are getting.

  6. Buenos Aires Apartments

    February 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I agree the post of Seattle Washington Real Estate. It will depends on what type of motivation buyers and sellers are getting but also which kind of information of the market they handle.

  7. Iowa City homes

    October 16, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Due to the meltdown of the real estate market the buyers and the sellers will not get any type of motivation to do any deal.

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