Monday, April 18, 2011

Can They Market Homes Better Than This?

I'm all for charitable donations and supporting a worthwhile cause. Meanwhile, the real estate market remains in a crisis, still lacking even one desparate measure in desparate times. I'm among those trying to come up with ideas and concepts to spur activity in the marketplace. I'm sure the charity mentioned in this story is worthwhile. Certainly the cause is.

The above story is about how a St. Louis area home builder will make a $1,000 donation to a specific charity for every home sold in a certain development. Fine and dandy - if you know of anyone who would purchase a home in order to have a charitable donation made.
If someone is choosing between one of their homes and one or more others, would a charity donation sway their purchase?

I'm not wanting to sound mean. The intent is good. But the idea is to get buyers into homes. This "news story" really isn't good publicity. I'm disappointed that the reporter merely made this the P R piece the builder wants it to be.

Yes, I have a better idea for this very situation. Again, the idea is to get buyers into homes.
How about these builders DONATE one of their homes to this charity? Let the charity "sell" the home to the highest bidder above a low reserve. This way, the "buyer" would likely get a better than ever price on a new home, AND it might be structured to be a huge tax deduction. (I'm not sure how the legal aspect would work, but I would like to believe some creative accounting could make this happen.) In addition to selling a home in this development, the builder would generate significant publicity from doing this and call attention to the entire development.

Buyers missing out on the "charity house" are likely to have come and taken a look. Maybe some would consider buying into the development, which would not have been a possibility otherwise.
Perhaps other builders would look to do the same, whether for this charity or for another. One more idea out there to put buyers into homes.


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