May 24, 2018

Selling Tips: A Space of Their Own

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Selling Tips: A Space of Their Own

Tony Sena, a sales associate with Realty One Group Inc. in Henderson, Nev., was using to promote himself, but he thought the site, a popular online hangout for young people, was unprofessional and inappropriate for this purpose. So, Sena launched his own networking site,, designed specifically for real estate industry professionals. Among the site’s offerings are a listings section, online forum, and a directory of links to practitioners’ personal Web sites. The free site, launched May 28, had about 3,400 registered members by the end of October. Sena and a partner spent about $45,000 to start the site, and they’ve begun accepting ads to defray operational costs. Sena, who spends about 12 to 14 hours a day monitoring and working on the site, says he’s personally received four referrals so far. “It’s a good thing I have my team or else I wouldn’t be able to sell real estate,” he says, referring to the five buyer’s agents who work for him.

Sweetening the deal

An unfurnished property can come across as cold during a showing, so Lance Maiden, sales associate with Lynx Realty Inc. in Roslyn, N.Y., turns up the heat—with his fondue pot. Maiden, a former cook in the U.S. Air Force, purchased an electric fondue pot for about $40 and uses it to melt chocolate chips for a tasty fondue during open houses in vacant properties, such as new construction. He sets up the fondue in the kitchen, along with some items for dipping, such as pretzels or sliced fruit. “When people come into a house, one of the first places they go is to the kitchen,” says Maiden, who puts his listing sheets and flyers on a nearby counter. He says the fondue warms up both the room and consumers. “It breaks down that wall that sometimes exists between the practitioner and the potential buyer.”

Spicing up his marketing

You could say that Rod Ohlwiler, e-PRO®, a selling broker with Prudential St. George Realty in St. George, Utah, runs a seasoned marketing program. On four occasions during his 15-year real estate career, Ohlwiler has personally delivered canisters of salt, with customized labels, to each house in his farm area. He designs the labels himself and includes his picture, contact information, and a pithy phrase or two, such as “Your ‘Salt of the Earth’ Broker,” along with the ingredient listing and nutritional information required by the Food and Drug Administration. He says the canisters stay in people’s cabinets for months. “It comes down to people remembering who you are. If you use [such a tactic] as part of an overall marketing program, it has a bigger impact.” The salt containers cost about 40 cents each; he either prints the labels himself or has a printer do it for about 35 cents each.

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