Wall Street Journal: Incentives In Minneapolis

by Alex Stenback on November 9, 2007

In a piece on seller incentives, The journal delivers a nice little bit of major-media-love to three Twin Cities listings that are offering unique or notable incentives to potential buyers.  Specifically:

· A seven day stay at the Seller’s Maui timeshare
· An eight day Caribbean cruise
· Will buy your contingent home if it does not sell in 120 days

Since the article doesn’t, we’ve linked the above to the actual listings.

But here’s the question:  Do these incentives really matter to anyone?  Would you really rather have a free trip instead of an actual price concession?  Color us skeptical.  At the end of the day, whatever the incentive, the price and condition still have to be right, and most would rather just have the dough.

However, as evidenced by this very piece, the incentives did one very important thing: Get the listings noticed.  With inventories at record levels, and coverage of the real estate market woes reaching white-noise levels, any attention, by whatever means, can’t hurt.

In any case those sellers and their agents should be riding high today.
A Week in Maui? Incentives in Minneapolis [WSJ]

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen Gross November 9, 2007 at 1:05 pm

Every time I see an in-kind incentive, I ask: What is the cash value of this incentive? And, pursuant to that: Why can’t you just discount the asking price by that amount?

1901 Lofts (on Hennepin) offers a free 3-year lease for a VW GTI. I think that’s worth at least $5k. Great–knock $5k off the asking price and we’ll get somehwere. I already have a car.

Gimmicks are gimmicks. Money is the beginning and end of the real estate transaction.

Minneapolis Real Estate Agent November 10, 2007 at 9:06 am

Alex,

as a creative marketer and a Minneapolis real estate agent with experience in offering all kinds of incentives like huge cash rebates for buyers, flat screen TV’s and gift certificates, I can say with confidence that giving away free stuff to bring in buyers does not really work.

What buyers want: Minnesota home buyers are focusing on finding a great home and getting it for the lowest price possible. When they choose an agent, they look for a trustworthy Realtor they enjoy; someone who can help them get their dream home at the lowest price, and with as little stress as possible.

I salute any Minnesota Realtor who is using creative marketing to get homes noticed and sold. Times like these demand a different approach to marketing. It like we are reinventing the way we market real estate, and that is a positive thing for everyone. The traditional methods of selling (like plopping a sign in the ground and sticking it in the Minnesota MLS) aren’t good enough anymore. Certainly, the MLS is still the primary way homes get noticed, but to be successful, you have to be positioned where the buyers are looking. I use the internet to find buyers and sell homes. Understanding the way Minnesota home buyers are using the internet is key to get your property noticed.

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