Monday, June 19, 2006

"Hungry" Fresno Agents Get "Creative"

An update on the Fresno housing market from the Fresno Bee:

Real estate agent Mel Kilner knows how to attract a crowd. Kilner held six open houses last week, all at one time, and he used a free dinner as a reward to make sure people would stop at each home. More than 200 people went through at least one home. Free dinners, target marketing and cash bonuses are all being used by hungry real estate agents eager for buyers in a cooling housing market.

The number of resale homes sold in Fresno County slid from 848 in March to 799 in April, while the median price fell slightly from $275,000 to $270,000, according to DataQuick information services. "This is what we like to call the adjusting phase in real estate right now," said Joan Jolly, president of the Fresno Association of Realtors. "There are buyers out there, but they are on the sidelines waiting to see what happens to the market..."

Jolly believes home-buying seminars may also be coming back. The seminars are organized by real estate agents and lenders as a way to prequalify potential homeowners and educate them about the home-buying process...

While Kilner targets older home buyers, agents like Kristine Sorrells, with Guarantee Real Estate in Fresno are going after renters and younger buyers. Sorrells, 24, hits apartment complexes with direct mailers introducing herself as an agent and networks with people younger than 30, another segment of the market she is trying to target. "I know a lot of people who are renting and who are interested in buying a home," said Sorrells. "I don't see the market slowing down; I think it is a good market. We are just having to work a little harder..."

And it isn't just agents who are eager for home buyers; the lenders are also searching for new clients. Joni Davis, of Royal Charter Mortgage in Fresno, has started advertising on bags used by pharmacies in two of Save Mart's Fresno-area stores. "It is just a way to put the thought in someone's mind," said Davis, a mortgage loan officer for 20 years. "It has become a buyer's market and it hasn't been that way for some time, so it is important to educate people about the possibility of buying a home."


Anonymous said...

I guess new home builders are getting "creative" as well. I heard a radio commercial about this offer on my way back to work from lunch. What a great deal;)

Ali, in Cali said...

"This is what we like to call the adjusting phase in real estate right now," said Joan Jolly, president of the Fresno Association of Realtors.

How suited she is to her optimism and profession with such a chipper moniker! I can picture her with her bob-cut and blue business suit smiling from the corner of a newsletter near you.

Rob said...

"I don't see the market slowing down"

I'm not sure if I would want to hire a blind, deaf, and slightly dumb agent to represent my interests.

tom stone said...

it's a crash,and an ugly one.joan jolly
"likes" to call it an adjustment phase.and death is "passing over".