One of the reasons I’m bad at this business is that I tend to give people too much credit. I can’t market gimmicks. I’m incapable. Stop in to my open house and win a gift card! I can’t do this. It’s fine for other people, but not for me. I refuse to think that a gift card will draw in a buyer. If you’re a buyer lured in by a gift card, how can we even be friends? How can you look yourself in the mirror?
Do you want a secret behind the scenes guide to something? Well then type in your email address here! You’ll get that thing, and I’ll get your email address, which is all I really wanted anyway. I can’t tell you to Enter Now! I just can’t. I respect myself too much. I respect you too much, and we haven’t even met. This is why I’m bad at business. I can’t pretend a gimmick is anything but a gimmick. I also hope you’ll know the difference, which may be why my clients and customers tend to be the smartest, but now I’m just bragging.
There’s a new rumor in the market. A new play. A new gimmick. It started a few years ago, but as it should be dying out it is, instead, gaining momentum. It’s a movement, really. Devoted followers, intent on spreading the good word. No, maybe it’s not a movement, maybe it’s a religion. The followers are evangelizing and I’m just sitting here calling the tenements of the faith into question.
The issue here is that of some mythical “Chicago connection” Some spoken or unspoken connection to a geographic area, from this area to that area. This connection is, of course, real. It’s obvious. This market is full of buyers from that market. In this, there is a serious connection. Like Chicago and Naples, like Manhattan and the Hamptons. Like peanut butter and jelly. Connections.
This, in and of itself, is not a gimmick. It’s not a sales ploy. It’s the truth. But the gimmick comes in when we go about 2019 pretending like the internet doesn’t exist. If you were looking to buy real estate on the private island of some reclusive billionaire, you would indeed need a connection. Who knows this billionaire? Where exactly is this island? Are there houses to buy? Do I have to join a cult to gain access? Will I have to eat human flesh? These are important questions when considering access to a private island nation, and I admit that I cannot help you with this questions. You need an inside, a connection. Something more. Your life depends on it.
But we are in Lake Geneva and Chicago is about 90 miles away, down a large and wide highway. Several of them, in fact. Our market is not gated. Our information, once proprietary and secretive, is now published on global real estate inventory websites. If those websites are closed, there are others. Your phone has them on it. You can download apps and maps and look up the sales on a particular street in this town. And you can do it from that town, the Chicago town, the big one where the people are from. If the websites are all broken, you can drive here. There is no requirement to obtain the insider’s guide first (this blog is the best guide you can ever find, and it’s free). You can just get in your car and drive.
Marketing around the lake these days is focused on the connection to Chicago. It supposes that one group has more access to the thoughts and hearts of that great city. It supposes that somehow, knowing some people in some other place, gets someone more access to the people who might buy or sell. It suggests that this is an advantage, but beyond that, it suggests the this advantage is unique to one company or many others. The truth is, all of this also supposes that the internet doesn’t exist. It supposes that our geography isn’t as remarkably convenient as it is. If the market was still closed and secretive, as it was in the days before the MLS and the internet, this connection would matter. But it’s 2019 and I’m connected to you and you’re connected to me, and we haven’t even met. Want to avoid the gimmicks? Work with me. I’m here to help. But if you think I’m giving you a gift card for attending a showing, you’ve read this all wrong.
(Want to know about a new listing on the lakefront in Indian Hills/ Glenwood Springs I’m bringing to market today? Email me.)