Friday, October 13, 2006

Influence: The Psychology behind The San Antonio Silent Market

Why is the San Antonio Silent Market so successful?

I know why the San Antonio Silent Market works. The San Antonio Silent Market works for sellers because Joe Barfield understands the mind of the buyer and what compels them.

Dr. Robert Cialdini, professor of Psychology at Arizona State University describes 6 social and psychological principles of Influence in his outstanding book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The San Antonio Silent Market takes full advantage of each of these strong psychological principles and rules as follows:

1. The Rule of Reciprocity- Joe shares privileged info with privileged people who are on his list. In turn, buyers who are on that privileged list aren't likely to low-ball or play games. Joe is like a kinder, gentler soup nazi. I can't imagine Joe yelling "No house for you! Back of line!"- but he does control who gets on the list, so offers will more likely be written with an air of respect and deference with fewer "small print" gotchas.

2. The Principle of Commitment & Consistency- I receive Joe's newsletters and emails like clockwork. All of his communications and materials have a consistent look and feel. And his houses and clients are always presented in a unique and interesting way.

3. The Principle of Social Proof - Joe gives us a glimpse at the admirable lifestyle of his sellers and how their lifestyle is reflected in the home. The buyer, when first reading about a silently marketed house can relate to the home and sellers by association.

4. The Principle of Liking - Joe's clients and family sure seem to like him...

5. The Principle of Authority - Joe is clearly an authority in San Antonio Real Estate services and in vintage homes... There isn't another San Antonio agent that does anything even approaching what he's doing in terms of marketing, counseling and customer service. By retaining the services of an Architectural Historian and Photographer, The Joe Barfield Group is well equipped to understand and communicate the significance of a historic home.

6. The Principle of Scarcity - The biggee! When any agent has a home for sale, buyers have to move, or they risk someone else buying. But Joe's Silent Market trumps that. What is really compelling buyers to move on Joe's listings isn't so much that someone else might buy it, it's that he might put it on MLS next week and share it all the other buyers and agents in the world. They are competing with imaginary buyers! In San Antonio's current real estate market, the real commodity isn't the actual house. The commodity is the information. Any agent can put a home on the MLS and put up a sign. But there is only one San Antonio Silent Market.

Joe might not have understood the science behind the San Antonio Silent Market back when he was first developing it. He probably just had an innate understanding of buyers. That may actually be part of why the San Antonio Silent Market works so well- he built it while following his gut and his heart and it speaks to buyers from that level.

I have noticed that Joe may be working on the unpublished seventh psychological principal. You might consider that the Rule of Curiosity. Consumers are bombarded with marketing missives and have learned to block, ignore or delete the bulk of them. All of Joe’s emails seem to have an odd angle somewhere. Who could resist a read? More importantly, his readers forward on these emails to their friends forming what could be called a Silent Viral Market. I know that whenever I get one of Joe's marketing emails, I eagerly open it looking for I call the surprise "Easter egg" of the home that only someone as creative as Joe could think of presenting. You can't pay for that sort of openness to marketing!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Older San Antonio hoods are attracting buyers

Older neighborhoods draw buyers looking for the next trendy historic area
Jennifer Hiller
Express-News Business Writer

Most San Antonio home buyers head straight to the suburbs.

Others go on a more elusive search: trying to identify the next King William or Monte Vista.

Ohlenbusch and Alvarado say the St. Cecilia area is one of a few places where it's still affordable to buy and renovate or restore a historic home, like this one on Castillo Street.

Interest in San Antonio's older neighborhoods is picking up, in part because of rising gas prices, traffic congestion and a desire for distinctive architecture.

But with home prices skyrocketing in some of the city's original suburbs, some buyers are turning to other neighborhoods where entry-level homes can still be had for a song — and maybe a lot of elbow grease.

Buyers, architects and real estate agents looking for the next big thing are targeting neighborhoods that include Mahncke Park, Government Hill, Alta Vista, Beacon Hill, Lavaca, Tobin Hill, Woodlawn Heights and Olmos Park Terrace.

For entry-level buyers, the homes there represent a more realistic option than the high-end homes in Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills, King William or Monte Vista — a few of the neighborhoods where sales prices can be hundreds of thousands of dollars higher.

Many real estate professionals point to the Broadway corridor south of Hildebrand Avenue as an area primed for renewal.

Nearby, developers have started turning the 22-acre Pearl Brewery into a mixed-use urban village. Also along Broadway, the refurbishing of the old Butter Krust bakery into C.H. Guenther & Son's headquarters, an expansion proposed at the Witte Museum and the construction of a high-rise condominium on the site of the former Earl Abel's are helping drive interest in the area's neighborhoods.

Prices have already spiked in Mahncke Park, located off Broadway near the San Antonio Botanical Garden, but there are still a few deals to be found there — if a buyer wants to do a lot of work on a house, real estate agents say.

Sales prices in Government Hill, farther south off Broadway and near Fort Sam Houston, are much lower, said Julie Hooper, owner of King William Realty.

Government Hill has been on the brink of a comeback for some time. It was designated as historic by the city and lately has attracted local artists as buyers. But neighborhood revitalization is rarely a smooth and rapid process.

"Hopefully it will be a natural progression now," Hooper said. "There are some fine houses there."

Architects, contractors and real estate professionals say excellent architecture — or "good bones" — is one thing that helps older or historic neighborhoods attract new buyers.

Most people attribute Monte Vista's continued popularity to its housing stock — large, unique homes built primarily of rock and brick in the Spanish Eclectic, Craftsman and Colonial Revival styles.

Mike Idrogo, a real estate agent with Bradfield Properties, said the historic designation in 1975 helped improve property values in the neighborhood.

Now he sees the same thing happening in Monticello Park.

Monticello Park, west of Interstate 10 and off Fredericksburg Road, recently was designated a historic district. It includes Art Moderne, Spanish Eclectic and Gothic Revival homes built in the 1920s and 1930s.

"It hasn't really kicked up like Monte Vista," Idrogo said. "There's still some you can get deals on."

Pat Howell, a real estate agent with Bradfield Properties, also likes Woodlawn Heights, near the Monticello Park Historic District.

"They look real similar to little Olmos Park homes, but they haven't been touched yet, which is really good," Howell said. "I try to get my investors to look over in that area. I think it might take a while to catch on, but I love the homes."

Howell also said buyers can still find reasonable prices and good architecture in Olmos Park Terrace, northwest of Olmos Park, but they have to move quickly.

Liz Chiego, a real estate agent with the Phyllis Browning Co., said Monte Vista's popularity is helping drive renovation in the neighborhoods that fringe it.

"There's a proximity to downtown, and gas prices are very high," she said.
Edward Alanis, also with the Phyllis Browning Co., said prices in nearby Alta Vista and Beacon Hill are moving higher and that homes are moving off the market at or near asking price. Alta Vista is near San Antonio College and San Pedro Park, and Beacon Hill is west of Monte Vista.
Buyers also are looking to renovate and remodel in Tobin Hill, south of Monte Vista.

"People seem to be proud of them even if they're in terrible condition," he said. "To get a deal you may have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in renovation."

Darryl Ohlenbusch, an architect who lives in Lavaca, which is near King William, recently purchased a 90-year-old Craftsman-style home in the neighborhood near St. Cecilia Church.
Ohlenbusch and others describe the St. Cecilia area, south of Lavaca and King William near Roosevelt Park, as a once-middle-class neighborhood that declined in the 1960s because of nearby freeway construction.

"It's beautiful housing stock," he said. "I don't think the noise is really an issue."
Ohlenbusch, his mother, an aunt and other friends recently have bought homes in the neighborhood and started renovations. He and his business partner, contractor Robert Alvarado, say it's one of a few areas where it's still affordable to buy and renovate or restore a historic home.

"After King William it was Lavaca; after Lavaca it was St. Cecilia," Ohlenbusch said.
There's an inherent risk in buying a home in a neighborhood that might — or might not — be on the fringe of a comeback.

But buyers can take comfort in this: The King William Historic District, which houses some of San Antonio's best residential architecture gems, was famously forgotten for several decades. Its Victorian, Greek Revival and Italian villa homes declined with neglect, then were rediscovered in the 1960s.

This year's average sales price: $139 per square foot, with many homes in the half-million-dollar range.
Portions © 2006 KENS 5 and the San Antonio Express-News.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Additional Landlord Resources

Rental Availabilty Posting Availabilities:
Craigslist: (free)
St. Mary's University Housing Forum: (free)
I have heard good things about, but I haven't used them yet.
Express News or classifieds:
Any other suggestions?
I would love an easy link to post vacancies at UTSA downtown, Trinity, SAC or UTHSCSA. or any other large employer in the downtown area.

Texas Property Code:

Landlord Resources and Forms (leases):
San Antonio Apartment Association has excellent forms and support for you. Membership is $150. I may have let my membership lapse, but I'm a licensed REALTOR and I have forms. The Texas Association of Realtor forms are very fair. That's what I use as a REALTOR and I frequently get taken advantage of because of it. I miss the SAA forms. They really looked out for the landlord and their property in a fair, firm manner. I love good tenants, and the best way to honor the good tenant is to have consistant, high standards for all.

Do you have any resources you can share with me? Please let me know...

Caveat- There is a time for exceptions, but compassion and strictness are not mutually exclusive.

Landlord Eviction Resources

Eviction isn't very fun for anyone. It's better to be fastidious with tenant screening and being firm with late fees because you can frequently avoid having to evict. Most of my evictions were tenants that I let slide. I thought I was doing them a favor, but looking back, I think I was making things worse. I could go on about this, but it's too painful.

Rent should be a priority, and it's amazing how much easier it manage property if everyone knows the landlord is firm (but fair!).

One important thing I would like to express is that you should always treat your tenants professionally and with respect.

If it comes down to an eviction, Here's the eviction pages for a few of the Justices of the Peace:
JP 1 -
JP2 -
JP's 3&4 -
If you file at the wrong JP, they may kick it back to you. If you need to look up which JP to file with go to and enter the zip code or address.

JP1 & JP2 provides the following eviction guidelines:

Prior to filing a Complaint for Forcible Detainer to evict a tenant, the plaintiff/ landlord must give the tenant at least three days written notice to vacate (with a few exceptions). The notice period is calculated from the day on which the notice is delivered. The notice to vacate should be unconditional (I.E., it should tell the tenant to vacate the premises by a specific date in no uncertain terms. You can't say "pay or vacate.") The plaintiff/ landlord should be prepared to provide proof at an subsequent court hearing that the Notice to Vacate has been served on the tenant retaining a copy of the Notice to Vacate and serving the Notice to Vacate in accordance with the law.

How to deliver the Notice to Vacate:
  1. Hand deliver to tenant or any person residing at the premises who is 16 years of age or older (NOTE: it may be helpful to have a witness).
  2. Regular or Certified mail.
  3. Attaching notice to inside of main entry of the premises (Always keep a copy of the notice to vacate).
In the event that a tenant does not vacate the premises by the specified date, the plaintiff or landlord may then initiate a judicial action against the tenant by filing a Complaint for Forcible Detainer. The complaint MUST be filed in the precinct where the property relating to the eviction is located.

What you will need for filing for eviction (FE&D = Forcible Eviction & Detainer):
  1. Three copies of the Complaint for Eviction + 2 copies for each additional tenant. (You may have to alter the form to reflect appropriate JP precinct)
  2. Three copies of the Notice to Vacate you delivered / posted at least 3 days prior.
  3. Money order or cashiers check (no personal checks) Call in advance or visit website for fees. Right now the complaint is $17 + $60 per named tenant on the lease.
  4. Recheck all documents for correct spelling of names and addresses, and calculations on amount of rent you are suing for.
Just so you know, the clerks at the JP Court can't give you advice because they "aren't lawyers." Don't bother getting your feelings hurt if they don't answer your easy questions.

If you need legal advice or desire representation by an attorney, the San Antonio Bar Association provides a referral service (210) 227-1853.

If the complaint for Forcible Detainer includes a suit for unpaid rent, the plaintiff/landlord must clearly state the amount of back rent for which judgment is being sought (within the jurisdictional limit of $5,000.00), and should reserve the right to include any additional rents that may become due during the pendency of the suit.

The fee for filing a Complaint for Forcible Detainer is dependant upon the number of defendants named in the Complaint. A defendant is defined as anyone who has signed the lease, contract, or agreement as an occupant. The filing fee for one defendant is $77.00. The filing fee for two defendants is $137.00. At the time of filing, one original per case and two (2) copies per defendant of the complaint form must be provided for use by the court.
The landlord, his/her attorney, or a non-lawyer agent may sign and file the Complaint of Forcible Detainer and represent the owner at the court hearing.

At the time of filing, the Court Clerk will issue a receipt. The receipt will include the case number and the court date. Please refer to your case number when communicating with the court regarding your case. The Court will then issue a citation to the defendant (s) commanding him/her to appear before the Justice of the Peace on the assigned court date. A copy of the complaint will be attached to the citation and both the citation and the attached complaint will be served upon the defendant by the Constable´s Office. By law, the hearing date will be not less than six (6) day nor more than ten (10) days from the date the citations is served. Should the plaintiff/landlord fail to appear at the hearing, their case may be dismissed or there may be a judgment for the defendant.

At the time of the hearing, the plaintiff/landlord should, at a minimum have in their possession the following items or information:
  1. A copy of the lease;
  2. A copy of the notice to vacate (including proof of service);
  3. Any additional evidence which may have a direct bearing on the case;
  4. Total amount of rent due (Maximum of $5,000)
The Justice of the Peace will give roll call. If the defendant isn't there (which they frequently aren't) then you will get a default judgment, which means you win and can go home without waiting through the caseload.
When you are called up, keep things short and simple. "I am the landlord at 123 Jones St. On June 3rd, 2003, Mary rented apartment B from me for $500 per month. She has failed to pay rent since August 1, so I want her evicted and I want a judgment for the rent she owes me." You can add on "plus court costs and attorneys fees" or whatever, but the JP may or may not give it to you. For failure to pay rent the JP really doesn't need to hear in great detail how much noise or damage or what a bad neighbor they are. You might add on "and she continues to violate various terms of the lease which disturbs her neighboring tenants. I will be happy to go into that in as much detail as you would want." And leave it at that.

Once the JP gives his judgment, you can typically leave. Be sure to go up to the bailiff to get a copy of the judgment.
From my experience, by now, the tenant knows it's time to vamoose.

However... if, within five calendar days from the date of judgment, no appeal has been filed and the defendant still has not vacated the premises, the plaintiff may obtain from the court a Writ of Possession to legally remove all personal property of the defendant´s from the premises. The cost is $175.00 (an is included in the judgment amount rendered against the defendant).
A Writ of Possession is executed by the Constable´s Office.
Frequently the plaintiff will find it difficult to collect their judgment on past rent due. Thirty (30) days after a judgment is signed, a Writ of Execution may be obtained through the court at a cost of $195.00. A new home or work address of the defendant is required for service of the writ. Court personnel will prepare the Writ of Execution and forward it to the Constable´s Office. The Constable serves the writ on the defendant and makes oral demand for payment of the judgment. If the Constable receives no payment, and there is no non-exempt property to levy on, the writ is returned unsuccessful to the court. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT PAYMENT WILL BE RECEIVED.
Another alternative to collection of a judgment for past rent is an Abstract of Judgment. An Abstract may be obtained If no appeal has been filed within five days after the date the judgment is rendered. The fee is $5.00. The court will prepare the abstract which the plaintiff must then file with the County Court. The Abstract of Judgment places a lien against any non-exempt, real property of the defendant for a period of ten years. When requesting an Abstract of judgment you should provide the court, whenever possible, with the following information pertaining to the defendant: Date of Birth, Texas Driver´s License, Present address.
Alamo Eviction service (Bexar County only)- "You can do any or all steps to evict tenants, and NEVER LEAVE YOUR OFFICE!" I just heard from him and he confirmed he is still in the business. He can be reached at (210)-615-7873.

Landlord Tools for Tenant Screening.

Good morning,
A client asked me for some landlord resources so I decided I would compile what I have and post them for all my investment property clients and property managers. If you have any resources that I should be aware of, please let me know via the comments or drop me an email.

Tenant Background Check:
I use

They do criminal, eviction, terrorist and credit checking for about $17.

They don't verify employment and rent confirmation. I have to do that myself. NTN is nice because it spits back an answer in 10 seconds, 24 hours a day. They can verify past addresses via the credit report so you can detect address they "forgot".

The local NTN contact people are very helpful and will make sure you do it all to your best interest. You can also submit evictions and they will forward that stuff to someone that can act as a collection agency if you choose. I talk to Linda at (210) 590-0280 EXT 104.

Strict background checking and enforcing high standards with troublesome tenants means better lives for the other tenants at the property and for neighbors. If you are loose with your standards, everyone suffers except for the troublesome tenant. Respect yourself and your good tenants with tough love towards unreasonable tenants. Ultimately, you are respecting the troublesome tenant by expecting and enforcing your high standards, even if it leads to an eviction.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Realtor vs. Real Estate Agent

I am a REALTOR® . Many people don't know the full picture of what makes a REALTOR® different from just a licensed real estate agent (besides the capital letters...). I want to address just one very important aspect of that difference- Our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Texas REALTORs® and real estate agents both have to follow the Texas Real Estate Licensing Act (TRELA), but REALTORs® answer to a higher code as well. That's the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The code of ethics covers much of what is in the Licensing Act, but it also gives Realtors specific ways to deal with the day-to-day challenges we face that may not be explicitly addressed. Conceivably, a REALTOR® could violate the Code of Ethics, but technically not be breaking the TRELA. We, as the REALTOR® community, enforce the code to increase a level of fairness and integrity in the industry.

Article One is key:
When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve REALTORS® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, REALTORS® remain obligated to treat all parties honestly.

The Code is divided into three sections:
Duties to Clients and Customers (Articles 1-9)
Duties to the Public (Articles 10-14)
Duties to REALTORS® (Article 15-17)

I know the Code of Ethics may not seem terribly exciting to most people, but I find it fascinating. I carry around a copy in my backpack and I frequently thumb through it when I find myself in a waitful situation.

I have included a link to a copy of the Code of Ethics which includes copies in Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

If you do feel that a REALTOR has violated this Code of Ethics, I encourage you to contact your local Board of REALTORS. The stronger the Code is enforced, the better things are for the REALTOR community and for consumers, as well.

To understand the spirit of the Code of Ethics without having to read the whole thing, consider reading the Preamble to the NAR Code of Ethics, which I have included below.

Preamble . . .
Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment.

Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.

In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to clients, customers, the public, and each other, REALTORS® continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting real estate and, as knowledgeable professionals, they willingly share the fruit of their experience and study with others. They identify and take steps, through enforcement of this Code of Ethics and by assisting appropriate regulatory bodies, to eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. REALTORS® having direct personal knowledge of conduct that may violate the Code of Ethics involving misappropriation of client or customer funds or property, willful discrimination, or fraud resulting in substantial economic harm, bring such matters to the attention of the appropriate Board or Association of REALTORS®. (Amended 1/00)

Realizing that cooperation with other real estate professionals promotes the best interests of those who utilize their services, REALTORS® urge exclusive representation of clients; do not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over their competitors; and they refrain from making unsolicited comments about other practitioners. In instances where their opinion is sought, or where REALTORS® believe that comment is necessary, their opinion is offered in an objective, professional manner, uninfluenced by any personal motivation or potential advantage or gain.

The term REALTOR® has come to connote competency, fairness, and high integrity resulting from adherence to a lofty ideal of moral conduct in business relations. No inducement of profit and no instruction from clients ever can justify departure from this ideal.

In the interpretation of this obligation, REALTORS® can take no safer guide than that which has been handed down through the centuries, embodied in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Accepting this standard as their own, REALTORS® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenets set forth below.

Monday, June 12, 2006

My Beacon Hill Neighbors

I love my home in Beacon Hill. I'm not done fixing it up yet, but I love my block and my neighbors.

Nicole Lessin published a nice article back in May about folks that prefer to live in San Antonio's inner-city vintage neighborhoods. Phil and Vici live across the street from me in an amazing home. They are the kingpins in a local vegetable syndicate that they refer to as a "Veggie Co-op." Eye have my eye on them...

San Antonio housing is booming

I am frequently asked if there's a "bubble" in San Antonio real estate. My easy answer is "No." San Antonio real estate is appreciating rapidly, but it's still extremely inexpensive to live in San Antonio. As investors in over-appreciated markets like Claifornia lose confidence, San Antonio appears as one of the top places to relocate their investment dollars.

Housing is gaining as one of San Antonio's top industries ($9.4billion impact!), bypassing the military and tourism, and running second to the health care industry in ecoinomic impact. Roy Brag of the Express News lists the benchmarks in a review of the San Antonio housing industry published on June 10th, 2006.

Most of the benchmarks reflect tremendous growth outside Loop 410 and 1604, but over all, San Antoino has a robust market and lots of skilled workers making a decent wage.

A few benchmarks: San Antonio housing starts for 2005 were at 16,500, up 27% from 2004. Projections for 2006 are for 18,000 housing starts, according to American Metrostudy.

In the article, Travis Kesler, president and CEO of the San Antonio Board of Realtors notes that existing homes are selling at a record pace. There were 22,000 existing home sales in 2005, up from 19, 523 in 2004. Exististing sales in 2003 and 2002 were at 17,510 and 15,967 homes, respectively. Wow!

The new building starts are on the fringes of San Antonio and keep marching farther out. Most of my clients are located inside Loop 410 and their investments aren't at risk of their investments becoming redundant by the next development down the road. Me? I wouldn't invest in another cookie cutter neighborhood way outside of San Antonio, and not just because of building over sensitive aquifer recharge zones and the rising gasoline costs. But then again, I'm an inner-city kind of fellow and I guarantee San Antonio can't keep up with its growing population with in-fill developments.

The Joe Barfield Group highlighted in E-N's new Real Estate section debut

I enjoyed the feeling I got when I opened Sunday's Paper to find that my listing at 418 Furr was the very first home featured in the newly-designed Real Estate section.

It wasn't there by chance. The Expess News announced that it will begin highlighting a few homes every Sunday and requested photo submissions. The Joe Barfield Group always hires a professional to photograph our listings, so submitting was a snap.

Check out the cool online slideshow they put on-line.

Monday, January 30, 2006

San Antonio Silent Market - A brief overview of marketing your home for maximum profits and minimum disturbance

Sellers typically want to get as much for their house as possible. Who wouldn’t want more!? Overpricing a home on MLS, however, can actually lead to a lower sales price than if the house was price pointed accurately in the beginning.

With too high a price, there is initial interest from buyers, but that interest cools when the buyers figure out that the price is too high. By the time the seller drops the price to reasonable level, the “bloom is off the rose”. The buyers that already saw the house lack the excitement they feel when a house comes newly to market. What follows is a long course of low-ball offers to an apparently desperate seller.

In the older neighborhoods, it is difficult to pinpoint a precise value for any given house. Unlike the newer subdivisions where a single developer builds homes over a 3 year period, the older neighborhoods have a variety of styles, sizes and vintages built by a number of builders. Variation in age can span over 50 years!

I have come up with a marketing program that allows sellers to “float” their house out at the highest end of the reasonable price spectrum, but not get burnt if the market isn’t receptive. There are a certain number of candidates for your home out there, with some dropping out and some taking up the hunt on any given day or week.

At any given moment, there are a number of people that match the demographic that would be interested in your house. As we peg the price higher, that pool of buyers shrinks. We need to peg the price to gain the maximum amount possible, with minimum turbulence, and within an acceptable timeframe. Easy, right?

Here’s my plan:
- After we get the house and yard spiffed up, I will have a professional photographer shoot your home for stills and a virtual tour.
- With those photos and links, I will develop an alluringly romantic email that will capture the hearts of our target audience and those that might know candidates.
- Before marketing your home, I will “float” your home past a few traditional Real Estate agents that know the area. They appreciate getting early notice, so will give good feedback on your home and our price range. Who knows, maybe we’ll have an offer from one of their clients...
- I will then send the email brochure, with tweaks, to my email list of 1,334 (and growing) people who are interested in San Antonio Real Estate. The brochure isn’t designed for the end buyer. We describe your neat lifestyle and send the email out with the message of “do you know anyone who would like lazy evenings on the balcony sipping wine...” The list of 1,334 (Joe-MLS)includes people in design firms, law firms, universities and those who act as advocates in getting the word out to the ultimate buyers. Typically, I get a ton of interest and there will be showings. If she isn’t under contract, then...
- We put a link and photo in my Friday email that goes to 5,000+ people...;
- We send the brochure to more traditional area Real Estate Agents. (20 or so at a time);
- We send the email to the balance of 246 traditional Real Estate Agents familiar with the area;
- If your home still hasn’t sold, we then put your home on MLS.
- We put up a For Sale sign;
- I pay for premium placement on, plus as an e-PRO, I know how to tweak to place your home near the top of the search results.

During this process, each “round of buyers” exposed to your home get the message that they are in a privileged position. We haven’t listed it on MLS yet, so they need to move quickly, before the whole world learns about this great home!

At each step, we can adjust the price. In effect, we have the leisure of aiming high and adjusting if necessary. Since the home appears new for each round, the bloom stays on the rose.

By the way, this works! With the right marketing plan, your home can sell quicker, for more money and with fewer disruptive showings. We can customize the marketing plan based on your needs and your urgency. We can run through the steps in 2 weeks or over 2 years.

I would love to answer any questions you might have about my cascading series of silent marketing. Feel free to call me at 210-733-1928. - Joe Barfield

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

“At Home in Monticello Park” Tour of Homes - Sunday November 5, 11AM - 5pm

Monticello Park Neighborhood Association presents the 9th Annual “At Home in Monticello” Tour of Homes Sunday November 5, 2006 from 11AM-5PM.

We invite you to “At Home in Monticello” which will showcase a sampling of seven homes from the extraordinary collection of Revival styles including English Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Greek, Italianate, Neoclassical, Mission, Craftsman, English stone bungalow and Art Moderne within the Monticello Park Neighborhood Association.

Tickets will be on sale the day of the tour at 444 Club Drive located at the intersection of Club Dr. and Kampmann Rd, $15 each.

The tour will feature two prominent San Antonio Architects: N. Straus Nayfach and Adams & Adams whom designed homes in Monticello Park and Monte Vista.

Adams and Adams is noted for the design of Thomas Jefferson High School (1929) and
Nayfach designed about 40 homes in the area and is most noted for the Alameda Theater (1949). Also, the tour will highlight the accomplishments of Southwest Housing-Primrose at Monticello Park’s restoration of the Bihl House and evolution into Bihl House Arts.

Monticello Park, originally called Woodlawn Terrace, grew from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. Its growth reflected the Roaring 20’s, the Great Depression, and finally World War II.

Come spend the day “At home in Monticello” and experience the unique architecture of our neighborhood. All proceeds are exclusively for the beautification and continued revitalization efforts of the Monticello Park area.

Dr. Shelley Roff, Architectural Historian and associate professor at UTSA, will give a lecture and tour of the Straus Nayfach Spanish-American Ranch home at 440 Quentin at 3pm and of the 2-story Tudor Revival at 346 Donaldson at 4pm.