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10 March 2009

Deals On The Bus

Last weekend, I was mindlessly channel surfing when I landed on TLC. A common stopping point for me when scrolling around the stations. Like most other times when I breeze by this channel there was a show that had something to do with real estate. But this wasn’t your typical rerun of some real estate wannabe flipping a house and making a $150,000.  This was a new show! I guess it only makes sense that reality TV has to look for new angles given the change in market conditions.

This show was called: Deals On The Bus. On the screen was a real estate agent talking into the microphone of a tour bus to a group of buyers. The group was touring homes for sale in Corona, California. That was it, within 30 seconds I put the remote control down and was instantly drawn into the delight of viewing these properties along with these stangers on a tour bus.

As well as seeing some beautiful homes that had previously sold for more then a million dollars and were now available for 30-40% less, I learned a little bit about each potential buyer–why they were looking, their relationship, their concerns.

At the end of the show they recapped who made an offer on what and who didn’t. I think two couples of the 6 or 8 on the bus did make an offer on a property they saw that day. By the time the end of the show came I was already on Google learning more about this concept.

Turns out there are companies and agents that are using this marketing technique as the premise for their business. Check out Dealsonthebus.com. According to their site, this is a full service real estate brokerage where agents offer listing and buyer representation. Their main source of prospecting is offering free bus tours in neighborhoods mainly focusing on foreclosed properties.

I think this concept is very interesting. I would go on a bus tour. In fact, I’ve added it to my to do list just to experience it. Appartenly, most Saturday’s you can find one in many cities (mostly on the west coast). It takes about two hours to see anywhere from 5-10 homes.

What do you think of Deals On The Bus?

A good marketing idea for agents or a gimmick for TV?

Would this work in your market?

5 thoughts on “Deals On The Bus

  1. Pingback: Deals On The Bus
  2. My first feeling was one of how cheap it sounded to view homes like furniture in a store. The vision given is one of home after home with for sale signs. Maybe its effective in tract areas or those areas devasted by the sub prime mess. It just does not seem to sit well with me. It smacks of reality TV.

  3. I really like the website. It is different and fun to navigate. The concept is something I have heard about, but not seen in this area as yet. I think it may be costly to tote around clients and I would imagine that a preapproval would be required prior to taking a tour. It might not be a bad idea to add a buyer agency agreement. I am tired of “free of charge” and “free of obligation”- if a company is providing value, then why can’t there be some obligation?

  4. My feeling is that these agents have figured out a way to get 8 potential buyers on a bus, that are going to buy from them (if not today, then soon). For the average agent, doing 8 deals in the $400-650K range would be a great year, maybe their best year ever in a challenging market. Kudos to the concept and to the agents who are making this work.

    I am not sold that this model is one that will stand the test of time. I am sold that innovation and forward thinking brokerages will continue to dominate in any market conditions that we will encounter.

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