Daily Archives: November 25, 2008

“Thanks for the address, I’ll just do a drive-by and ….

….”get back to you”  I wonder how many agents out there have heard this before?

It can be frustrating when a buyer doesn’t realize that you have actually;

1]         found something that matches the desired “tick box” list

2]         found a property within a specified budget & location

3]         advised them as soon as you are aware of the listing, most times a

day or two before the general public en masse find out about it.

Well guess what?

Soon we will be able to direct buyers to conduct there “drive-by” virtually, via Google Street View. So even in they are in the North Island or 18,000kms away in Manchester, they can do a drive-by, and the only thing that will control their view is the size of their mobile phone screen, their PC monitor or TV screen.

Another great use I can foresee for real estate agents would be after the weekly agents new listings inspection tour, when they can flash out a email to their VIP buyer or whole VIP buyers list.

That way even if the listing agent hasn’t taken photos yet or loaded the property up to the web, by just visiting StreetView,  a buyer can still make some initial visual assessments.

By clicking on the link in the email, and being re-directed to StreetView, a buyer can check out the street appeal, the driveway, the neighbourhood, or any other thing that might or might not be on their “tick box” list. Small things like are there any high tension power lines directly overhead, is the house close to a corner, where the nearest bus-stop is, etc.

Earth to Kitchen designers, cabinet makers, et al….

Why is the placement of electrical appliances cabling not more of a consideration than it seems to be? Do you happen to know anyone who has a cordless phone in their kitchen? And where may I ask does the power cable go, and the line to the Telecom socket?

When the whole kitchen is tidied up for an Open Home and looks spotless here’s this track of power cable & phone socket cable tracking across the bench and up the wall 3-400mm or so. Surely placement of both the phone socket & power outlet could still be on the wall but under the bench, in the cupboard out of sight, with access through a “computer desk like” opening in the counter top. Surely the de-cluttered style looks better.

Today in $500,000+ new homes, there appears to be a movement towards the minimalist style in kitchens and lounges. It’s starting to become pretty prevalent in $400k + new homes too.

Display photos, in magazines and on the web, combined with a visit to a showhome will convince you that the only appliance you need (because that’s the only one you’ll usually see in these places) is the mandatory $995 Italian Expresso machine. (Although this is now being seen as “old school”, and the way to go is a wall mounted built-in version.)

Normally you won’t spot a Breville Jug, Tefal toaster, coffee machines, pancake maker,  or cordless phone, plugged in and on display (unless the showhome consultant is lazy).

Of course, there’s obvious marketing reasons for doing this.

The same principles are applied to the marketing of new cars every day.

You’ll only ever see the premium or top of the range car in the front of the showroom window or in adverts, and the fine print below will tell you once you fit the same mags/wheel, get the same paint job, the sun-roof, the sports kit, the leather seat trim, cruise control, etc you’ll be paying another $8995 on top of the $19995 they advertise in the biggest font possible.

Of course the fix is a kitchen tidy at benchtop level, but not all new homes have a appliance garage, although I think they’re one of the best ideas ever.

Computer desk makers, like Criterion have long recognized that all the cables that emanate from a modern home study setup, PC, printer, Pocket PC/Palm dock, Ipod dock, PC Speakers, etc would be better if they weren’t seen. And even better recent trends have taken to even hiding that cabling once it goes out of site, tunneling it through a conduit to as close to the outlet / powerboard as possible. There are cheaper alternatives too.

So I ask in the vein of better design, and at a reasonable cost, why can’t this be more prevalent in new homes?

Monster Auction on today in Auckland

Up to 100 homes in 65 lots are being auctioned today in Auckland, all at the one venue, the Telstra Clear Pacific Events centre, reports TV3.

To encourage buyers to part with their money, the organisers have decided to combine a large volume of properties with appeal for all sizes of chequebooks. They report the organisers as saying the price ranges for todays homes were expected to cover a broad spectrum from $180,000 to over $2m.

Although similar such large scale auctions have been conducted overseas, this they believe is the first time it has been held in New Zealand. Interestingly after the first 16 auctions, 2 were sold prior, and 1 sold under the hammer with rest passed in. The organiser commented that a lot of properties don’t sell under the hammer on the day, but will sell in the next 1-2 weeks.

From experience as long as the auction process has been handled correctly, there is definite merit in that.

To add to the exictment theres models, balloons and a DJ invloved. Now thats probably something we haven’t seen before.

Thinking of holding a Garage Sale – Part IV

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN THE ADD (and in your Sale) …continued from Part IV

Hobby Items / “Different” things

Lets say you happen to have some old camera gear lying around – place a notice of your garage sale with the local camera club.

Lets say you happen to have an old telescope, some binoculars, carry bag and a tripod – contact the local astronomers club and let them know date / time of your sale.

What about a pottery wheel, or an art easel and brushes, contact one of the colleges or higher learning institutions to see if they will let you place a flyer on their noticeboard.

Have heaps of books left over from college or university that you don’t need anymore – see if the local college will let you place a flyer on their staff-room notice board. Same for medical books – call local hospital and see if they will let you do the same. I think you get the idea.

Tricks of the Trade – Capers to Watch For

Offers, individually and on multiplies

What out for this one. I had an older couple recently who asked me to drop off a couple of signs. It was on the Saturday morning and as I arrived before the sale, so did a customer who looked just a bit more “seasoned” at this than others. He proceeded to bargain on about 4-5 different items and persuaded the older couple to agree to discounts on each one. I think he had about $26 worth at the end. He then said to them “Will you take $20 for the lot!”

I acted shocked and was about to voice my opinion when one of owners said no because he had already discounted them. Another tactic I’ve heard of is for the more professional buyers, quite possibly second hand dealers, to approach a different seller than the one they first organized the discounts with, and haggle with them. In busy moments, say just when the sale starts this can have a beneficial effect for that buyer and often results in success.

I’ve gone on a bit about this because it genuinely concerns me.

Here is an older couple who are already having to sell things / downsize and sell off things they probably don’t want to sell. They are selling them cheap as is. And a person arrives to buy who is a professional buyer and wants to beat them down so that he can make the profit.

Previous…..Part III here

next Part V, here.