Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring's a-poppin' in Milwaukee real estate sales and relocation ...

(Do you hear me, news media?)

by Derse A. Smith, Relocation Specialist

The market is indeed picking up in Milwaukee. One can't help but notice the yard signs popping up throughout our North Shore communities. While it's an annual site here, what's important this year, is recent growth in the number of postings on our office "Accepted Offers" board.

I have spent the last week gearing up for 50 home showings with a transferee and his wife on Saturday and Sunday. Currently, I'm working with 6 (count 'em, S-I-X) different out-of-towners. They are coming from various parts of the country ... some with homes to sell, some already closed or soon-to-close.

Their "outbound" states/cities include Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Madison (2). Several have been offered relo packages as a "lump sum", others are still being offered home "buyouts". So, in my opinion, anyone who believes that relocation is suffering isn't talking to the right "relocation specialist" agents!

I'm also in midst of the counter-offer process with one client ... had a closing in February, have one scheduled for April 30 and just double-popped a home within one week of listing it. The February closing and the upcoming April closing are both first-time buyers ... one of whom is able to take advantage of the restructured $8,000 First-Time Buyer Tax Credit for 2009.

The business is definitely out there for agents. But unlike years in the not-so-distant past, it doesn't just drop in one's lap any more. It takes work. Hard work!

I continually have my friends and kids "working" for me. As a result, my son proudly tells me every time he hands out one of my business cards to a customer at his restaurant (Rustico Pizzeria & Enoteca) in the Third Ward.

The parents of my daughter's dear friend are now about to list a home and begin a condo search with me. She, too, keeps my cards at her popular East Town restaurant (Louise's Trattoria) and has recently introduced me to two prospect transferees who soon will begin house-hunting. The sellers of my April closing were also introduced to me by her. Parents, are you talking to your kids?

As is pretty evident here, in turn, I constantly promote my children's restaurants to my own friends, clients and business associates.

I also make sure that the kids are stocked with Festival & Packer schedules each spring and summer. These are a popular and requested handout. My favorite local businesses and hangouts are supplied as well.

I truly do "work" all my relationships ... family, business, personal, social networks ... to obtain ongoing referrals. And, I don't hesitate to ask for recommendations. Visitors to my websites & and to my LinkedIn profile page
will see comments from past and present clients and associates. Those testimonials speak volumes in the super-competitive world of real estate referrals.

Finally, I honestly believe that positive news (and attitudes) breeds positive results. I am beginning to feel the "spring" coming back to my walk. Hear me roar!