After having houses languish unsold on the market for over a year, the marketer of Grove Cypress, a 15-home development in south Snohomish County, has discovered the key to finding buyers for the remaining $500,000 houses: street balloons.
“We’ve tried banners, flags, sandwich boards, arrow sign wavers… the works,” said Ron Freeman, Grove Cypress lead marketer. “I think the balloons will really do the trick.”
Although offering fixed interest rates as low as 3.875% has was not sufficient incentive to move the homes, Freeman is confident that the street balloons will provide that extra bit of pizzazz that is needed to unload the seven remaining unsold houses and home lots.
“I told Joe [Scott, Grove Cypress marketing associate] that the sandwich boards with ‘SAVE $60,000!’, ‘BIG LOTS,’ and ‘3 CAR GARAGES’ didn’t have the right trick to sell overpriced new construction in this market,” said Freeman. “But I let him try them anyway, just to humor him.”
“Now it’s balloon time,” declared Freeman.
While a mere two years ago, Seattleites were tripping over each other to take on half a million dollars in debt for little more than some hardwood floors and a few granite countertops thrown onto less than a quarter acre in some of the most uninspired floorplans imaginable, a year and a half of declining home prices have taken all the fear out of home buyers.
“It used to be that we could just throw around some scare tactics about being ‘priced out forever’ and the buyers would line up around the block,” said Freeman. “Those were the days.”
“Today’s buyers are just so choosy,” said Scott. “Even red white and blue star-spangled animated text on our website seems to have no effect on building buyer interest.”
Grove Cypress marketers did not take the decision to implement street balloons lightly. “This is a big deal,” said Freeman. “If the balloons don’t move these things, pretty much nothing will,” he explained.
When asked what his backup plan is, in the case that the street balloons fail to do the trick, Freeman responded “this plan will work.”