Property Grunt

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The absolutely wrong message to send to potential buyers and sellers.

One of the marketing tools of real estate brokers in Manhattan are mailings. They can range from a postcard announcing an exclusive listing in a building or a sold property. These mailings are usually professionally done by marketing departments so usually they are very slick. Now and then you get some, how should I say this, unusual ones. They often come from the outer boroughs. But I have come across a set of ads that stick out but not for the right reason.

I do not know this broker nor have I met her. And I have nothing against her and I have no desire to start a broker blood feud with her. Out of professional courtesy I have made the effort to cover up the identity of the broker and the location of these listings. I figure why make her life harder than it is? This not about being harsh for the sake of entertainment but to educate.

These listings were sent in a thick heavy stack reminiscent of a coupons in the mail. It gives the feeling that these are not mailings for homes but instead a stack of coupons for Papa John's.

As you have all seen, the first sentence that the recipient sees is

"Is it time for you to cash out?"

Two years ago this would have made people pause to think. Now all it will do is piss people off . Wall Street is getting hammered and there is strong evidence that the dead cat bounce is dead and that the Manhattan real estate market is in for some major chop. Chop in prices that is. When you use the words "cash out" it implies "big bucks", "major moolah" and "jackpot". That term is not in vogue now. This sentence also implies
"If you haven't lost your job yet, you will soon. Get out while you can."


The paper choice is absolutely atrocious. First of all the colors scream "I am too cheap to get post cards or get the proper paper for mailings, therefore I have raided my daughter's high school year book club's supplies."

The word "Sale" is utilized prominently on each mailing. This is Manhattan real estate we are dealing with not an outlet store. Sale in New York real estate implies desperation. Sellers do not appreciate that type of impression created on their behalf.

The content of the mailings is absolutely atrocious. There are no pictures of the apartment itself and there is no proper description of the apartments themselves. Just some sparse words and a floor plan.

Square footage is detailed on the mailing. THIS IS A BIG F**KING NO NO! Brokers should never list square footage on a mailing because if the apartment does not appraise and the buyer needs to shell out more money then the broker is looking at major legal trouble.

This last mailing is the biggest sin committed by this broker.

This broker just closed a deal and especially in this market this is a cause for celebration. What this broker should have done was simply write a short yet proud letter about selling the apartment and how they could do the same for prospective sellers. This accomplishment should be presented like a fine wine. Instead it feels like this broker is presenting a can of PBR.

I am quite surprised about all of this considering that this particular broker is aligned with the Dali Lama of the real estate broker world. This broker is also no joke herself. From looking seeing the vast amount of listings on her website she is the high priestess of the broker world.

My suspicion is that her company requires her to put up the capital outlays for marketing so she decided to take the quick and dirty route. But if you are selling Manhattan real estate, you can't afford to play it cheap.

Honestly, there are brokers in Queens who have better mailings. This broker should really rethink her game plan with her marketing. Also the company should make more of an effort for quality control because this also makes them look bad.