Paper Money - Paper Tales

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Some Wishfull Thinking!

Here's a PRNewswire press release by a real estate marketing and design firm that is using t-shirts to point the finger at the media for "over blowing" the housing bubble.

The rest of the shirts can be seen here.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The media whipping post at the moment, "the housing bubble", has been the subject of intense speculation, adulation and consternation. Renaissance Creative, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based real estate brand development, marketing and public relations firm has decided it's all a bit, "overblown".

"The housing market correction has been an unfortunate reality, but everyone knows the market will eventually return to normal," said Renaissance Creative President Tim Hamby.

The award winning firm that provides advertising, marketing and public relations for residential, commercial and resort real estate clients across the country has created a series of housing bubble themed t-shirts to help get this message out, while also allowing industry professionals to express their frustration at the intense and often negative media scrutiny associated with the correction.

Proceeds from t-shirt sales are going to Habitat for Humanity and Home Builders Care.

"Created in fun, the serious undertone is that the media has played some role in undermining consumer confidence in the housing industry," Hamby said of the tees.

One design, "The Attack of the Housing Bubble", spoofs the panic initiated by media reports of the demise of the American Dream - homeownership - with a vintage 1950s B-horror movie poster knockoff.

Another shirt that would make Bazooka Joe proud, challenges the media hype surrounding the bubble, calling it "Overblown."

A third design shrugs off the negative effects of the housing bubble and media saturation all together. "The Housing Bubble Did Me Right" portrays a man and a woman drinking martinis under a shower of dollar signs. The shirt celebrates what the housing industry has meant to the national, state and local economy by providing jobs and income, resulting in taxes and fees that benefit everyone.

Hamby says the t-shirts were originally developed for clients and friends, but that they struck such an industry chord, the company decided to market them for a cause.

"Everyone in the housing industry- realtors, builders, developers, mortgage people- they really get a kick out of them. They make a great gift and bring some perspective to the current market fundamentals."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Up a Creek!

Here is a sad but increasingly more common case from the latest Washington Post's "Real Estate Live" with Maryann Haggerty.


Up-a-Creek, Md.: We bought our house a year and a half ago, and took out a home equity loan to pay of some bills about six months after we bought. Prices in the area had gone up so much in the six months that we had no problem getting the home equity loan. Now, though, my husband has been transferred to Ohio. We've had our house on the market for more than nine months now, and have reduced the price three times and it still hasn't sold. We've had several offers at a lower price, but the price we have it listed at right now is the bare minimum we can sell it for and be able to pay off the mortgage and home equity loan. Our lender won't let us sell unless we can pay everything off, and we don't have any spare money. We thought about renting, but we live in a small town and there is no rental demand at all. Do you have any suggestions of what we can do? There must be other people in this situation, now that the market is softening.

Maryann Haggerty: I'm very sorry. This is, indeed, the worst-case scenario for many people. In the early '90s, when the market was soft, it was not uncommon for people in your situation to have to write a check at the settlement table when they sold. So, first, try to rent it if you can. If you must sell, you may have to take a loss. Sometimes it is possible to turn the house back to the bank in lieu of foreclosure and work out a payment plan.

What you DON'T want to do: Get yourself into any complex "rescue" plan with a third party that in some way involves you taking out MORE loans.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Texas Homebuying Incentive: FREE GUNS!

The Houston Chronicle reports on a Texas real estate agent offering free GUNS to buyers who purchase homes of $150,000 or more!


Pearland-area real estate agent Julie Upton has decided to throw down on the competition.

Like any good salesperson, Upton is always looking for new ways to attract customers. Recently, she struck upon what she thinks is some tantalizing bait — at least when it comes to police officers.

Instead of a free toaster, TV or a stay at a luxury hotel, Upton, of Realty Associates, is offering officers a free Glock pistol with any home purchase of at least $150,000.

"It's attracted a lot of attention," she said of her ads in Badge & Gun, the monthly publication of the Houston Police Officers' Union. She said she came up with the idea with help from Blue Cat Creative Consulting and Design.

Upton has given away two Glocks. "So (the ad) has already paid for itself," she said. But not all of her law enforcement customers have been interested in another gun.

"So I just give a $500 American Express gift check," said Upton, whose husband, officer Randy Upton, is a 15-year Houston police veteran.

For police officers, Glocks range from about $450 to $550 on the company's Web site.

Franceska Perot, spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said the giveaway appears to comply with federal and local laws.

"Proper record-keeping in gun transactions is always important," she cautions. "We don't want them falling into the wrong hands."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Real Estate Agents are "Dumb and Lazy"

Here's a press release from WebWire showing some infighting in the real estate crowed. According to this real estate agent, the housing slowdown will separate the intelligent from the "dumb and lazy".


The home selling slump separates real estate agents in two categories: the intelligent and trained or the dumb and lazy. In the old days, this might be called separating the "men from the boys." While tens of thousands of people throughout America whine about the real estate prices taking a dive, the smart agents are still very busy because they know top-notch, professional marketing and they know human behavior.

A professional marketer wouldn’t sell a house by simply placing picture ads and waiting for the phone to ring. The pro knows you need to find a niche of motivated home buyers. Analyze the demographics and psychographics. Match the results to your present inventory on the MLS. And approach the niche directly by appealing to their specific desires.

Furthermore, the smart agent knows people buy based on emotions. The trained agent can separate the sellers emotions while tapping into the buyers emotions. Then matching the motivated, niche home buyer’s emotions and house. This is what sells homes in any market. Not aimlessly advertising to the masses.

"I provide four niches most agents overlook. They’re a goldmine," says author David Anthony.

The details are available in a new Special Report entitled "Buyers Market Made Easier." The author has a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate, was a licensed real estate agent and has 12 years experience as a mortgage broker. You can download the PDF document for $12.97 at

Top Real Estate Blogs Blogarama - The Blog Directory