Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Try something different with second-home marketing

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Try something different with second-home marketing
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – Nov. 16, 2011 – If you happen to bump into Daniel Webster Johnson, you’ll probably remember him.

The Breckenridge, Colo.-based real estate broker likes to walk around in public places with skis on his back, just for fun. He rides his bike through the snow – something he refers to on Facebook as his “epic winter biking adventure” – and he almost always wears a bright red shirt.

“Do you notice that I’m a little bit different?” he asked Saturday during the Resort and Second Home Forum at the Realtors® Conference & Expo in Anaheim. “I want people to think I’m eccentric.”

It’s all part of his plan to market himself without spending a dime. “People just walk up to me and talk to me,” said Johnston, who sells second homes that average $700,000.

Johnston was part of a panel that also included former National Association of Realtors President Richard Mendenhall of RE/MAX Boone Realty in Columbia, Mo. Mendenhall urged Realtors to expand their definition of the second-home market. For example, considering tapping into college towns, where many of the students’ parents purchase a duplex or other property for their child to live for four years. “It doesn’t have to be Harvard or Yale, it just has to be a place where students are going to school,” he said.

Mendenhall also spoke about the opportunity in appealing to hunters – a group that includes close to 21 million people in the United States. Everyone markets homes to golfers, which number around 27 million, but hunters are barely touched.

“Hunters are a big deal, and there’s a lot of money there,” he said.

Homes near wetlands could be sold as waterfowl property; research duck flyways and see if one is near your market. If you’re close to a flyway but there are no wetlands, consider building a berm that can be flooded to attract ducks and stage the outdoor area with duck decoys. Mendenhall said he’s seen that strategy dramatically boost the value of property.

“It’s a whole different way to look at second homes,” Mendenhall said.

Source: Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

© 2011 Florida Realtors®

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