About a year ago, I posted something about this condo conversion development in Vienna-Oakton area. Guess what? Yesterday, almost a year later, I received email from one of their guys [read: sales rep]
...Thank you for providing our property information on your website. It is very well written and appreciated. However, I must ask that you remove the incentive and pricing information as it is incorrect. My broker and the owner we represent, require that incentive and pricing information only be distributed directly from them or our sales office. I have pasted the link to the page to which I am referring. Again, thanks for your support and I look forward to doing business with you!
The story was posted in October of 2006. This is October 2007. Hello..?? It tells us a) They're desperate now, that's why it took them a year to find what kind of publicity they have online, or b) Business is so slow now that they have plenty-of-time to spend online.
Blogging is about transparency in sharing information.
- It is a bad PR strategy on their part. Instead of providing up-to-date information, they asked part of the information to be removed. Asking to put a disclaimer 'pricing subject to change without notice,' should be sufficient.
- Think of the post as a free publicity for the builder, which they should be thankful for. There is no money exchange hands. The only time I got compensated is whenever a buyer selected me to represent her or him in a transaction.
- The intention of posting the development is, about sharing the information with the public so they can make 'informed decision' about which condominium or development they want to preview and/or purchase.
- Pre-2005 market, Realtors know that (some) builders have love-hate relationships with Realtors. They didn't like compensating a Realtor, because it affected their pocketbook!
- Post-2005 market, when the going gets tough that 'attitude' changed! Builders realized that they need us. They are now paying us regular or higher compensation ..and once in a blue moon they would pay us bonus for bringing clients.
- When they say that "..incentive and pricing be distributed directly from them..," it means that they wanted YOU, Mr. and Ms. Buyer, to come to their office just to get the information. If you noticed, only a few builders (PN Hoffman, for example) provides "the pricing transparency" by posting this kind of information on their website. For the rest of the community - you literally have to come to their office to get the information. A face time: Increases the chances of closing a deal.
The next time you want to preview a new development, make sure that you ask a Realtor (I don't care who you take it with you) to come with you. Whenever they see you come with one of us -- a Realtor -- it gives you a level playing field. They compensate us. Without a Realtor, you are helping them fatten their profits. Because they don't have to pay us to broker the deal!
My message to them - Get Over It. What is so sacred about pricing and incentives? After this, I may have to 'fly under-the-radar' to get the information I need for you.
Talk about freedom of speech.