Re: Help. Please critique my L/O ad. - Posted by eric-fl
Posted by eric-fl on March 22, 2001 at 14:17:32:
People who lease/option houses as tenants are pretty disorganized. Think about it - if they had their act together, they would have just bought a house already, especially at current interest rates.
In my limited experience, I noticed the following:
Placing an ad for l/o under “homes for sale” is pretty unproductive. Those people are looking to BUY, not rent.
Placing an ad for an l/o under the rental section will get you calls from tenants. It’s weird, it’s like there’s a blind spot over the words “to own”, they don’t even see that. I had so many conversations that went like “HOW MUCH?” “You understand this is a lease with an option to purchase the house, and the payment is applied towards your purchase if you choose to buy it down the road.” “What, a lease/what?” They just don’t get it. Trying to convert tenants to owners is a long and difficult road.
I found that the very best place to advertise a lease/option is under the section that says “lease/option”. Weird, huh? If your paper doesn’t have one, tell them they should. I had much better luck when I went this route, especially when I was offering rent credits. People reading this section know what a lease/option is, and what a rent credit is.
Speaking of that, if you are offering a rent credit, that should be in your ad. If you’re not, why not? It doesn’t cost you anything unless they buy. Just increase the back-end price a little bit to compensate.
Also, I’m guessing your ad didn’t net any phone calls, because you took away all the reasons to call! You give the address of the house, and also state there will be an open house! Most people reading an ad like that say, “well, we’ll take a drive by and look at it, if it looks good we’ll go to the open house”. And they never do. I HATE open houses. What a waste of time that was for me. People always intend to go, but something always comes up. Wanna have an open house? Have one. Just don’t tell anyone about it.
What do I mean? Simple. DON’T put the address in the paper. And DON’T advertise an open house. Spend more of your ad talking about the house to hook them. If it’s remodeled, say what’s remodeled, like “brand new kitchen, refinished hw floors”, or whatever. Once they call, after talking the place up, you say, “well, I’m going to be out there on Sunday around 1:00 doing some cleaning and touch-up, can you make it out then?” If they are interested, they’ll say yes. Then, say the same thing to every interested caller. About half of them will show, if they think it’s a “showing” appointment. It’s pretty hilarious to see about four or five cars all pull-up within 5 minutes of one another. People walk in, and you call out from the back “hey folks, come on in and make yourself comfortable, I’ll be with you in just a minute”, as you are showing another couple the house. Now how hot does this house look? You don’t even have to say “I’ve had other people interested”, like everyone else does. They know it, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL THERE, LOL!
Have a stack of apps and a box of pens handy. End each “tour” by handing the couple an app and a pen. Say something like “now, by law, I have to take the applications on a first-come, first-served basis, but the first qualified person to apply gets the house”, or something like that. At this point, many of them will take the app and step aside, either VERY seriously talking about it, or actually filling out the app and writing out a check for the application fee.