Monday, March 14, 2011

Woo Hoo! Florida Open House Weekend is Coming!

As a regular reader of this blog you know that I often like to poke at the status quo and old-school thinking that pervades so much of the real estate business.

Nothing exhibits as much old-school thinking as the breathlessly touted Florida Open House Weekend coming up on March 26 and 27.

According to the Sarasota Association of Realtors:  "More than 50,000 blue balloons featuring the Realtor logo will be flying over  mailboxes from Sarasota to Jacksonville.  The Sarasota Herald-Tribune is offering a special advertising package for the event".

In this age of technology, is the best our realtor association can come up with is hanging balloons on mailboxes?  And to add insult to injury, the cash-strapped Herald-Tribune, which has seen real estate classified and display advertising shrink to all time lows, is seeking to find any way to tap Realtor's pockets for advertising dollars.

Has anyone outside the business seen any advertising for this?  I haven't.

It's well documented that Open Houses don't sell homes, and that buyers turn to the internet first, more than any other medium including newspaper, to search for homes.

What I also find contradictory is that balloons and newsprint are inherently not "green", yet the Sarasota Association of Realtors provides "green" accreditation courses.

This dovetails with my blog posts disputing the rosy real estate market outlook of other Realtors in the Sarasota area.  Sales must be slow to create this type of event to try to generate some hype.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New content on davidbarrhomes.com

I have now included a "Just Reduced" page on my real estate website, http://www.davidbarrhomes.com/.

The page (see it here) includes results from our MLS, sorted by lowest price first, on properties that have had a price change within the past day.  The results posted include properties from Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte Counties.  I will be updating this daily.

Everybody out there is looking for a great deal.  This is a useful way to identify properties that likely are the most motivated to sell.

In addition to the "Just Reduced" content, I've beefed up my contact page as well.  Here I provide an array of easy to use options to connect to me from North America and the rest of the world, using Google Voice, Skype, a live chat feature, QR codes from your mobile phone, my own mobile real estate app, and good old fashioned email.  I will be adding Go To Meeting in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Easy communication with buyers from around the world is the key to real estate marketing success.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Follow up to Pig/Lipstick post

Recently I posted my take on an overly optimistic read on the economy and real estate market from the area's "luxury leader".

The Florida Association of Realtors posted an AP story about the latest market figures.   You can read it here:  http://bit.ly/fdk8Lv

The AP story confirms my sense of where we are in the market cycle:  hovering near bottom and struggling to climb out.

As I blogged earlier, putting an overly optimistic spin on apparent "seasonal visitors" out and about in our area is a less than scientific measure of future prices or activity.  This type of advice results in overpriced listings, which result in drastic price reductions in our MLS and increased time on the market.

The buyer mentality is still "I want to buy, but only if I feel I'm getting the best deal".  When working with buyers, I show them the price history of properties.  In their current mind set, continual  price reductions means the seller is getting desperate to sell.  This results in a vicious cycle of lowball offers and no sale.

Homeowners, if you want a realistic approach to pricing and marketing your home, please contact me.

A Ridiculous Florida Association of Realtors Article

I always get a kick out of reading some of our industry publications and newsletters.

Obviously, the Florida Association of Realtors is struggling to find material to feed it's members and the public when there's nothing to write about.  So they picked "curb appeal" as the topic of one email blast. 

Usually these press releases are yawn-worthy at best, but this one made me chuckle.

"Still, Marilou Buffum of Eichler & Moffly, Realtors in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood, who concentrates on Northwest Philadelphia properties, cautioned that curb appeal “depends upon what a buyer is looking for.” "

Pure gold.

How about this quote: " "If you have an urban-oriented buyer, a house with a lovely lawn isn’t high on the list,” Buffum said." 

I learned something with this one.  I guess I'm making a mistake showing a townhouse or condo with a lawn in an urban neighborhood.   Who knew?  And where are these condos with lawns?

Another pressing issue in the real estate market is described like this:  "“The city is the best place to live, and I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” said Prudential Fox & Roach agent Jeff Block, who focuses on the Center City real estate market. “But city properties do deal with unique curb-appeal issues. “One is simply windblown bags, wrappers and leaves,” he said. “You can sweep your sidewalk every day, but if the wind blows right before an appointment, the buyer doesn’t know that.” "

Must be a great city to live in if there's the constant threat of blowing trash to ruin your showings.

Thanks, Florida Association of Realtors, I can see my dues are put to good use.