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Amid tepid market conditions, building professionals get creative to generate leads

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Though the housing market has steadily improved over the past few years, there are still many challenges preventing a truly robust recovery. In light of low inventory, labor shortages and stringent mortgage qualifications, some building professionals are showing savvy with new tactics to lure buyers.

In Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik introduced new ways professionals are capturing the attention of buyers:

  • “…Data scientists at real estate firm Redfin have developed a mathematical algorithm that crunches hundreds of pieces of information on a property, its surroundings and the market, then it labels as ‘hot’ those listings likely to go under contract within 14 days of their original listing … ’What matters to a particular homebuyer is not the macroeconomic conditions or housing starts,’ said Bridget Frey, Redfin’s vice president of engineering. ‘What they’re trying to do is (decide), ‘Should I watch the World Cup this weekend or should I go on a home tour?’”
  • “Lexington Homes had every intention of building a model at its Lexington Place development in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. But with 11 of the 20 sites sold before it could build a model, the company opted for a different strategy … It talked with four owners at the community and now takes prospective buyers through their homes. In exchange for opening their homes to strangers and for keeping them neat, the homeowners get gift cards from Lexington … The idea saved Lexington the time and expense of building, decorating and furnishing a model, a process that can cost $30,000 to $70,000 and keeps a home off the market, said Jeff Benach, co-principal at Lexington Homes.”
  • “BMO Harris Bank wants its loan officers to think outside the normal operating hours of Monday through Friday, so it has encouraged them to partner with real estate agents and help staff open houses Sundays … So far, more than 1,000 loan officers have given it a try, and the bank said it hopes to have its employees at another 1,000 open houses before the homebuying season slows. Loan officers are answering consumers’ questions about mortgages as well as helping agents at busy open house events.”

We’re curious: Has your company tried any new tactics over the past few years to generate business? If so, were they successful?

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