Selling Tips: Relaxing Ad
Selling Tips: Relaxing Ad
Real estate pros typically want prospective buyers awake after a sales pitch. Bald Head Island Ltd., which sells listings on the idyllic North Carolina barrier island of the same name, took a different approach. It hired an advertising agency to produce a CD of soothing island sounds that might lull some to sleep.
“Bald Head is very picturesque,” says Robert Shaw West, CEO of the ad agency The Republik in Durham, N.C., which produced the CD. “If buyers don’t like the idea of a nature CD,” he says, “they probably won’t like the island.” The 12,000-acre island contains 10,000 acres of permanent nature preserves.
About 20,000 prospective buyers who met criteria such as interest in North Carolina coastal property received the CD, which features such sounds as the ocean, ropes hitting sailboat masts, and the wind whistling by an 1817 lighthouse. West says the CDs, which cost $1 to produce, can be tailored to other sounds or sights. Do you sell in Colorado? Consider skiers schussing down slopes. New York? Listeners might like Broadway show tunes.
To date, response to Bald Head’s campaign has been 3 percent, double the normal rate, West says.
Not only do babies move from a crib to a bed before you can say, “My, how big you’ve gotten,” but their belongings can take over parents’ living quarters. That demand for more space inspired Cynthia Cordova, with Century 21 Hand Real Estate in Newnan, Ga., to target new parents.
When she drives through a neighborhood, she notes pink and blue bows on mailboxes—or similar signs that the stork has visited. She sends a congrats card and tucks her business card inside, along with a handwritten note. “It might say, ‘Congratulations on your baby. If you find you’ve outgrown your home, let me know,’” says Cordova.
At your service
He doesn’t yet do windows, but Craig Reger, a salesperson at The Hasson Co. in Portland, Ore., might be persuaded, if a client really needed the task done. Already, he has prodded one client’s contractor to finish repairs, cleaned another’s clogged gutter, and tiled a floor when still another had to list her house quickly but couldn’t afford to hire help. “Whatever it takes, I’m willing to do it!” Reger says.
Wearing myriad hats has helped Reger come back strong after a disappointing 2000 when he was focused on his upcoming nuptials. His production climbed in 2001, stayed strong in 2002, and was expected to double to $14 million-plus last year.
He has no plans to switch careers. “I prefer to refer clients to competent contractors,” he says.
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