Back in about 1963 the market in Las Vegas was overbuilt with new homes. The builders were going crazy trying to figure out how to sell these new houses. Terms were being used like: the market is flat, the economy is in the toilet and the housing market bubble has burst. A lot like some of the stories you read from some of the investors in certain areas of the country.
As hard as the builders tried there seemed no way to sell any houses. This looked like the perfect opportunity for a creative real estate investor. I went to the largest builder in the city and asked him what his largest housing development was. He replied, “there was a sub-division with about 85 tract homes sitting vacant that he owned”. I said, “if I can sell all your houses in one day would you give me a free house?” You know how you get one of “those looks” like you don't have all your marbles? His look did not bother me. He must have figured, what the heck, what do I have to loose? He agreed and we drew up the paperwork to cement the deal.
I picked a Saturday for the great give away spectacular. I ran ads in the newspaper, offering a Free Bar-B-Q with hot dogs, hamburgers, soda pop and all the great gourmet items. The headline of the ad read $5000.00 to $10,000 off the price of every house for the lucky ones only. How lucky are you? I had pre-arranged with the owner concerning the prices of the houses, so we were fine there. I instructed the tract salesman not to sell any homes until 1 p.m. It was a great turn out; hundreds of people enjoying themselves with a FREE meal.
At exactly 1 p.m. , the helicopter flew in. Inside the helicopter were thousands of Ping Pong Balls with $5K and one ball with $10K (complying with the advertising laws) imprinted on them. The balls were released over the crowd. My plan was excellent, except I for forgot about the big whooshing blade of the copter. Ping Pong Balls went hither, dither and everywhere. Fortunately the customers were pushing and shoving chasing them down to find the lucky ping-pong ball. The sub-division was sold out that Saturday with back up offers on every single home.
Creative advertising works to sell your property. The next time someone tells you the real estate market has gone bust, rent a helicopter and take him or her for a ride.