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So it’s come to this: Enterprising real estate agents — desperate for a sale — have taken to organizing “foreclosure bus tours” for prospective buyers and investors. This from Inman News:
Ruth and John Ahlbrand, who own and manage RE/MAX Central, a Las Vegas brokerage company, bought a 40-seat luxury coach and wrapped it with advertising that features their TourVegasHomes.com Web site and the company’s phone number.
Last month, they began offering free real estate tours of bank-owned foreclosure properties and builder-discounted new homes in the Las Vegas area. The bus trips are free and include lunch. The company advertises the tours in Spanish- and Chinese-language newspapers and offers multilingual tours.
There are slideshows after the tour that educate participants about the buying and selling process, and agents that accompany the tours can write up purchase contracts on the spot, said Ruth Ahlbrand. An ad on the bus offers a free Sony high-definition television with each home purchase.
My only comment: It’s probable best for the agents if their prospective clients can’t speak or read English.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.