In 1995 I owned a Saab 900. It was gunmetal gray, but it wasn’t a Turbo, so I operated as though those two conditions canceled each other out. I owned the car for a couple of years and the car broke, often, which caused me severe hardship because now when my kids’ cars break I just have to fix them but it was the mid 1990s and when kids’ cars broke their dads didn’t care. In spite of the car being low on pep and high on maintenance, it was easily the coolest car in the Faith Christian High School parking lot during my senior year. The car ultimately required more repairs than it was worth and I recall paying a junk yard $100 to come and tow it away.
But I still think about that car and about those old Saab 900 coupes (mine was a sedan). As a point of fact, I think about them so much that I often turn to the internet to look for Saab 900 Turbos that are offered for sale. Last night I found a really nice one in France, and looked through a bunch of pictures and read an English description of the car. It was a cool car, but I imported a car from Spain once and it wasn’t nearly as much fun as it sounds. I found another Turbo in Spokane, and that car held more promise. I thought I might buy it and fly to Spokane with my son to drive the car home. We could drive through Whitefish and fish the Flathead and dabble our dry flies through random roadside mountain streams, that handsome Turbo pulled onto the gravel shoulder. Then I thought about the trustworthiness of 1980s Swedish automobiles and I figured that trip would have at least a 50% chance of involving tow trucks.
I found another Turbo, this one red with tan interior, and it was offered for sale in Kenosha. The red and tan doesn’t do much for me, but it is a classic combination on this increasingly classic car, and so I thought perhaps it would be worth a drive to Kenosha. Then I remembered I really don’t love Kenosha and Highway 50 is under construction for the tenth time in the last twelve years, and if I do drive to Kenosha I’ll probably have to stop at this one donut shop that I used to stop at whenever I went fly fishing in the Pike River, and that’s really the last thing I need. So maybe I won’t go to Kenosha this weekend, unless it’s raining and I have time, which seems likely given the forecast.
Three Turbos, exactly the sort I would, in theory, like to own, all on my little phone screen located in Walworth County, Wisconsin. I didn’t need to drive to the far away towns to view the cars and make my personal determination on each. The internet is like that. It takes your query for specific far away things and brings them to you for your consideration. I felt the need to explain the way the internet works this morning because increasingly Lake Geneva sellers seem to be forgetting the way it works. With the onslaught of corporate brokers moving into our market, there is much talk of global advertising and wide reaching campaigns. The companies tend to present these things as thought they are proprietary to their brand, or to their corporate culture. And if it was 1990, they would be absolutely right.
But, The Internet. It exists. It works rather well. The concept of advertising for buyers in far flung locales is nothing but supply side marketing fodder. I’m the top producing agent in this County by a wide margin, and I advertise in locations that can be seen in Lake Geneva and Tokyo. I advertise in Palm Beach and in Gordes. I’m even advertising in Rome and Anchorage, right this very moment. In the same way, an agent who has only one listing and no sales in their pocket is doing the exact same thing. The internet is like that. It’s everywhere and it’s not new anymore. Global Networks sound great until you realize that’s just the definition of the internet. Don’t be fooled into thinking local real estate in Lake Geneva is sold globally. It’s sold by relationships. It’s sold because a client of yours loves their home and they have a friend up for the weekend and the friend loves the home, too. Your client tells their friend to call you, because you’re the best, and after some time they buy a lakefront house of their own. Want to know what sort of network is needed to successfully market Lake Geneva lakefront homes? That sort of network. Anything else is just marketing for sellers.
Photo Courtesy Scottie Peterson