Everyday is another surprise in the chaotic world of high-rise condominium sales. I saw something when I came into my office today that struck me as unusual. A very well known Bellevue condo project had candy delivered in a jar to our office (jellybeans). The correlation between this jar of candy and selling million dollar condominiums just didn’t make sense to me. In a past life when real estate marketing was limited to the newspaper, presenting at office meetings and bringing cupcakes to the agents, this strategy might have worked. There are a million other ways this project should be using their marketing budget. Bottom line is, agents don’t need jellybeans. A jellybean will not influence an office of agents to sell your units. I would re-think your strategy. Agents want the honest truth about your project.
What I don’t understand yet is how protecting price sheets is helping the situation. I can understand why projects can’t fill the MLS with all their inventory, but these same projects need to face the facts. Buyers and their agents are nervous about their projects. Instead of giving away jellybeans, these developers need to go on a public relations barrage to help us understand their product offering. It is impossible to expect that a buyer would commit to a project that doesn’t reveal the truth. As I mentioned in a previous post, I hope that all local developers will answer the following questions in one way or another:
- Will the price of my unit go down after I move in?
- What happens to the amenities in the building? Are they maintained?
- If the project is exploring others options (leases, assisted living, foreclosure) how can this affect my purchase?
- When does the builder turn the project over to the association?
- When does the developer stop paying the HOA dues?
- How many units have sold?
- How may units are left?
- What is the actual number of homes recorded?
I don’t mean to make light of this major problem. There are some things that a developer can not avoid. I understand and respect that. I’m simply asking them to re-think their strategy. They can save the jellybeans for their lenders when they come by the office and ask the sales team what the hell they are doing to sell out the rest of the project.
P.S. For any sales agents and developers reading this post; if you are wondering, I do have ideas for you. All you have to do is ask.