Home prices plummeting. Foreclosures rising. Mortgages defaulting. Banks collapsing. New construction slowing. Loans vanishing. Credit nonexistent. Financial apocalypse imminent.
Yes, it seemed like the right time to buy that first home.
Along with the two-car garage and 2.5 children, owning a home is one of the tenets of the American dream. Lately, this dream has turned into a nightmare for countless families that have fallen victim to predatory lending practices, a problem only compounded by increasing unemployment. Despite the circumstances, the real-estate market isn’t going to vanish—people will always need places to live. Real estate will continue to be lucrative, not only for real-estate agents but also for those distributors who recognize the opportunities inherent in the market.
Of course, for many (including this writer), knowledge of the housing world is limited to MTV’s Cribs and the computer game The Sims, and as a result there’s an entire generation that believes the average three-story house should have $50,000 in stainless-steel appliances and no stairs. To guide us through the mire, Mike Cirillo, Realtor and associate broker for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, Realtor in Philadelphia, spoke with Promo Marketing about the real world of real estate, and what distributors can do to build better housing promotions.
Despite the lamentations on MSNBC and Fox News, it seems the death of the real-estate market has been greatly exaggerated. “Typically, the winter months are slower compared to spring and fall, especially during the holidays,” said Cirillo. “I witnessed an increased amount of buyer activity in March and it has continued to be steady. I believe this has a lot to do with historically low mortgage rates as well as the stimulus credit.”
Another reason for the increased activity is the open house, a common fixture in the warmer months. Not only is it one of the best methods to generate interest in a property, but due to the sheer amount of materials involved in the process, it is an excellent opportunity for distributors. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, you can’t walk a block without seeing those familiar balloons strung from a mailbox.