With housing inventories across the country still fairly limited, a number of real estate professionals have taken to the streets, going from door-to-door in order to ask homeowners if they'd be interested in selling up.
This trend is proving to be especially popular among realtors in Portland and has met with some success, reports the Oregonian. In one example, real estate agent Peggy Hoag of Prudential Northwest Properties relates how she headed from door-to-door to ask homeowners in person if they'd consider selling their homes. She explains how her clients had specific requests, and that she would visit properties matching what they were looking for on the off chance that the owner might want to sell up. According to Hoag, she's managed to find a number of willing sellers in this fashion, although she says that in some cases she had to make two visits to the same household.
Hoag says she adopted this strategy because Portland-area housing inventories are at an all-time low, and agents simply can't find suitable properties for their clients among those that are listed for sale. She also points out that clients appreciate the work she's putting in, saying that "buyers really lover the idea that their agent is on the phone talking to people in the neighborhood where they're looking."
Hoag isn't the only Portland real estate agent who's taken to cold-calling. Craig Reger, of Keller Williams Realty, related a story to the Oregonian which illustrates just how effective the method can be. Hoag's situation was that he had a pre-approved buyer desperate to find a home in Portland, but of the four listings within the client's price range, none of them were suitable. Rather than give up, Hoag had a team of five agents start making phone calls to homeowners in the area, asking them if they would be interested to sell up. Surprisingly, Hoag says that 3 or 4 homeowners out of every 100 called showed an interest in selling.
"In 17 years, I've never had to do this," said Reger. "These are real buyers who can't find homes, so we have two options as agents. We can wait for something to hit and compete against 20 other buyers, or we can get on the phone."
Sounds like an interesting strategy that could be beneficial for everyone involved, so long as those pesky agents don't start harassing or pressuring anyone to sell, of course. What do you think about this strategy? Is cold-calling homeowners something that you would try?