About once per week I receive a promotional offer, targeted at real estate agents, promising to make me a neighborhood expert for a fee. The way it works is a realtor pays a monthly fee and receives prepackaged statistics about a neighborhood for which they want to pretend to be an expert. Then the realtor can print these statistics on a glossy sheet of paper and mail them or email them out to their "sphere of influence" without ever looking at the data themselves or analyzing it to draw any conclusions. A favorite technique is to email this drivel out to everyone in your database on a regular basis until they ask you to stop. It's called a drip marketing campaign - I think because it is similar to Chinese water torture.
The last one of these I received actually came through our MLS service and was billed as a "free client retention and lead generation tool". "Housing Trends eNewsletter will solidify your role as the real estate expert, generate leads, build consumer relationships and communicate current real estate market information consumers are seeking." If only it was that easy!
Here is the "current" Chicago report. As you can see it has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in there and the data is on a quarterly basis and, therefore, not exactly up to date. It's basically a data dump and I can assure you that the realtors distributing this stuff don't bother to look at it because it doesn't really impact day to day real estate decisions. Other pre-packaged material a realtor can buy includes newsletters that cover topics like why "now is the best time to buy".
These offers are always good for a chuckle because the very notion of paying someone to make you look like a neighborhood expert is totally absurd.What's even more absurd is that I'm sure that this ploy actually works for some segment of home buyers/ sellers who way overestimate the value of working with a neighborhood expert. More on that topic in a future blog post.