Monday, August 14, 2006

Marin IJ Advert

One reader had this to say about a recent full-page color ad in the Marin Independent Journal:
I was blown away by a full page Coldwell Banker ad in the Sunday IJ. Did anybody else notice anything interesting about this ad? I have never, ever seen anything like this before in the real estate section. The full page color piece did not list a single house for sale--- not one! On the contrary, they were advertising their BUYERS! "We have buyers," they bragged, "call us if you are thinking of selling." Has anybody ever seen this tactic before? I have not, and think that this is a certain sign that things are about to get very ugly...
Another reader kindly scanned the ad (thank you), shown below (click on the image for a larger view):

What, if anything, does it mean?

22 Comments:

Blogger Bubble-X said...

Wow, that is very weird. Certainly haven’t seen that before..

Aug 14, 2006, 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Athena said...

It means they are going to try to get sellers to stop digging in their heels waiting for the perfect buyer to come to them... they are trying to affect the psychology and force sellers to contact them and market their properties to the wants of the prospective buyers.

interesting.

Aug 14, 2006, 4:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they are trying to affect the psychology and force sellers to contact them and market their properties to the wants of the prospective buyers

You mean, like, lower the price below that of the bubble's peak of last year? But that can't be right, not here in Marin. It's different here, we're immune, everyone else is screwed not us.

Aug 14, 2006, 4:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another brokerage marketing tactic--I AM SO SICK OF REALTORS!!
And, I am one of those elusive buyers waiting on the sidelines and with a pile of cash. I am sick of renting yet I refuse to pay 2005-2006 prices. They may have buyers but they won't get me :)

Aug 14, 2006, 5:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe someone should call them.

~Caddis

Aug 14, 2006, 5:22:00 PM  
Anonymous marin_explorer said...

"...this is a certain sign that things are about to get very ugly"

"...and force sellers to contact them and market their properties to the wants of the prospective buyers."

Fascinating find--and astute observations! My take as well. I can imagine a big Coldwell Banker meeting, ugly sales figures thrown around, and a plan to pressure sellers to meet buyers--before realtors try to eat each other.

Funny thing is: many of these "buyers" want homes in the $1-2M range, which by Marin's Heat Index, is a rather soft market now. Not to mention: the market is flooded with homes in that range. So what's up--are those homes "not right" for these buyers, or still seriously overpriced?

Aug 14, 2006, 5:39:00 PM  
Blogger Tako John said...

A standard marketing practice is to change the sales pitch when the old one is failing--for whatever reason. During the last 3 years they didn't have to advertise or do much of anything to find buyers, now they are trying to establish themselves as the "broker of choice" with an implicit monopoly on the market.

It's pretty smart for the company if you ask me, for the number of sales are dropping off and they are trying to keep or increase their market share. The real goal is to squeeze out the other brokers/companies before the competition gets too intense and their agents are hit financially.

Aug 14, 2006, 6:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, a bunch of those are pictures of the same people.

Gah. I am so glad I don't live in Marin anymore.

Aug 14, 2006, 8:30:00 PM  
Anonymous ross valley local said...

Wait, a bunch of those are pictures of the same people.

That's because they're the Realtors--you can't escape those smiling Stepford mugs. Shopping carts, tv spots, postcards--they're freakin' everywhere.

If an outsider read the IJ and made a snap judgement of Marin, they might assume real estate is our quintessential identity. (That, and perhaps gilded cat buddha statues.)

Aug 14, 2006, 9:18:00 PM  
Anonymous John in Rocklin said...

Very astute marketing tactic. The only value is to work with buyers, because then you have a potential sale. The odds of getting a commission an overpriced listing (or any listing) is very low these days. So go where your time is invested wisely. If they get lists of homes NOT ON THE MARKET, they will tell their buyers they can show product no one else even knows about, but they must work exclusively with them. Genius' at work!

Aug 14, 2006, 9:19:00 PM  
Anonymous sir lurker said...

"they will tell their buyers they can show product no one else even knows about, but they must work exclusively with them"

That might fly in a hot market, but at current demand, I would want to market any homes as widely as possible, to help my odds of a sale.

Aug 14, 2006, 9:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ali, in Cali said...

It means I am going to laugh my way all to the bank in a few more months... It means they are DESPERATE!!!

It reminds me of what CNN/Money had to say about our nations stagnating home prices in this article.

Aug 15, 2006, 8:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the Next Bigger Fool Most Wanted Line-up to me. At least now the Sellers will recognize the "MARKS" for the "STING" on sight Now!

Aug 15, 2006, 9:17:00 AM  
Blogger mktmakr said...

Looks like a gimmic to get people's attention, and based on everyone's reaction it seems to have worked.

"If an outsider read the IJ and made a snap judgement of Marin, they might assume real estate is our quintessential identity"

Actually, that's what an outsider would think if he stumbled on this site. In reality, most of my friends in other parts of California (So Cal, central valley) are far more obsessed with the RE market.

Oh and "ali in cali", is that some arabic character or a nut sak?

Aug 15, 2006, 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

Gimmick or not, the fact is that for years this section of the IJ targeted buyers and now it is targeting sellers.

Aug 15, 2006, 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

Actually, that's what an outsider would think if he stumbled on this site.

Appropriately so, since this blog is devoted to local real estate. In the IJ's case, I expected a bit less cheerleading and navel-gazing over local RE. Perhaps someday they'll publish the "shocking truth" about our local market--maybe 2007.

Aug 15, 2006, 2:03:00 PM  
Blogger buyer2be said...

Yes, this is funny - but not strange. I am like the anon poster here. I wasn't able (out of college) to buy a home around here say 7 years ago, but now am sitting on cash - newly married - and just can't budge me to buy.

I do cruise at times the Sunday open homes for research and just to be live in it - and it's interesting how now hard the RE's are selling me to represent them. A year ago most didn't try at all.

I have seen some better deals, but $850k to $1.2M for some of these homes even in Novato is just still plain silly. I laughed again at a 800k Eichert POS in Terra Linda the other day. "Original" everything the RE marketed. hahahaha... like that is a curse people, not a benefit.

Aug 15, 2006, 5:39:00 PM  
Blogger Ali, in Cali said...

It's a glyph of my astrological sign: capricorn. It's somehow supposed to represent the sea-goat that is the token animal of the clan. Clearly abstract, but it's something to which I can identify.

Aug 15, 2006, 6:11:00 PM  
Anonymous anon. said...

Clearly abstract, but it's something to which I can identify.

Btw, it could easily be derived from Arabic or Akkadian, as those guys were the first decent astronomers.

Aug 15, 2006, 10:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those agents look very sincere.

I don't think they would be smiling like that if they didn't really want to help me.

They look like really nice people.

I think they really have my best interest at heart.

Why else would they look so friendly and inviting.
I am sure they want the best for me and everybody.

Where do I sign?

Aug 16, 2006, 1:26:00 AM  
Blogger sf jack said...

"What, if anything, does it mean?"

*****

Perhaps it means the realtors have to eat.

As others have said, realtors want to stimulate the market.

["eat" approximates to paying their bills: mortgages (locally and otherwise), auto payments, private school tuition, plastic surgeons, shrink visits, yoga/pilates sessions, drug therapeutics, gardeners, mani-pedis, hair stylists, vacations to France, even the spoiled brat kids allowances, etc.]

Aug 16, 2006, 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger mktmakr said...

sorry for the confusion Ali from Cali.

Anyway, I see the biggest bubble as being what these realtors have been paid. They've had a good thing going with their little MLS monopoly. They have their due coming soon with transparency quickly emerging. With zillow.com and other educational sites anyone can access what they do. With the bubble, seller didn't focus on what they were actually paying since they were making so much money. If sellers paid their agents in cash and the buyers his in cash, would agents really get paid more than $1000 to do the paper work and maybe $15-$20 an hour to hold open homes and smile?

Aug 16, 2006, 12:48:00 PM  

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