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Delaware County, PA Realtor Reveals a Unique, Yet Proven Method to Sell Homes in a Down Market


West Chester, Pa. – By all accounts, the U.S. housing market is as slow as it’s been in several years. With fewer buyers than sellers, home prices have dropped significantly in recent years throughout most of the country. Pennsylvania is no exception. In this down real estate market, one West Chester, PA Realtor has come up with a creative strategy to sell homes for his clients for top dollar in as little time as possible.

Meet Don Dowd. Don is a realtor serving Delaware, Chester and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania. Don does things a little differently from most other realtors in the region. An entrepreneur since age 17, Don brings an “out of the box” approach to his real estate business that has yielded remarkable results.

“When I started in this business, I used to do the Tuesday afternoon open houses like all the other realtors in the area, but I found that I was only getting 4 or 5 people to attend, and half of those people were just my friends!” Dowd says. “I soon realized that I needed to develop a different strategy to get my clients the greatest possible exposure in the marketplace.”

The marketing strategy Dowd developed has proven to bring exceptional results, even in one of the worst real estate markets in recent memory. As of June 2010, Don ranked number five in sales out of 3204 RE/MAX agents in Pennsylvania and Delaware. This year, with the market down even further from 1 year ago, Don is on pace to double his 2010 sales numbers.

So what makes Don’s method of selling homes so different from most other realtors? There are several things Don does differently, but it starts with his business model. Because he has been an entrepreneur since his teens, Don chose RE/MAX Main Line because it had the most entrepreneurial-friendly pay structure. With this pay plan, he was able to negotiate to keep 99% of the commissions he earns. This gave him the flexibility to invest heavily into the marketing of each home he lists.

“Many real estate agents only keep 50% of the commissions for each home they sell and give the other 50% to their head office,” Dowd continues. “This type of business model gives the agent only limited resources to invest back into selling the home. Since I keep 99% of the commissions I earn, I am able to invest a significant amount of resources back into the marketing of each property. Bottom line, who would you rather have negotiating on your behalf, someone who only negotiated 50% for themselves, or someone who negotiated nearly 100%?”

Don Dowd has the advantage of being backed by a national company that spends millions of dollars marketing their agents and brand. RE/MAX is known to advertise in some very high profile places-including behind home plate at Citizens Bank Park during all Philadelphia Phillies home games. RE/MAX Main Line also helps its agents reduce their costs by giving them use of their three area offices in West Chester, Paoli and Phoenixville. The reduced overhead of not having to maintain an office gives Don more money to invest into marketing his listings.

The other part of Don’s home selling strategy is the creative way he invests in marketing to make sure each of his listings receives maximum exposure. Don’s marketing methods include:

-Luxury Homes & Estates Magazine Listing: Full front cover reaching over 20,000 upscale households in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

-Distinctive Homes Magazine Listing: Full back cover with a distribution of 40,000 to affluent readers in Main Line, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties as well as parts of Philadelphia.

-Chester County Life Magazine Listing: Full page back inside cover reaching 110,000 households in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

-Home Décor & Ideas Magazine Listing: Full back cover reaching 110,000 highly affluent households in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

-The Real Estate Book Listing: Full front cover of every other issue with distribution of 25,000.

-Internet & Email Blasts: Each home listed on over 100 real estate websites and email blasted to over 12,500 local realtors.

-Broker’s Only Open Houses: Monthly open houses that are really more like cocktail parties.

The Party that Makes All the Difference

Don has a highly aggressive marketing strategy that includes the ability to get exclusive high exposure listings in the top real estate magazines in the area. This puts him miles ahead of most other agents. In addition to these listings, Don also throws one heck of a party at each of his homes. This is not your typical Tuesday afternoon open house. This is a Thursday night cocktail party with food fully catered by Carlino’s Catering- one of the top caterers in West Chester.

The food and drink are great and the atmosphere is festive, but what really draws the brokers in is the chance to win the 42-inch HD flat screen TV that is given away at most of these events.

“I knew that to draw in the top real estate brokers in the area, I needed to do something creative and give them a strong incentive to come to my event. We offer them great food and drinks on a Thursday evening as they’re getting ready for the weekend, plus the chance to get a free flat screen TV. What’s not to love about a party like that?”

Most real estate brokers agree. Don’s events consistently draw large crowds from the real estate community and give his clients’ homes an incredible amount of exposure. Don also has a creative way of keeping the costs of these events within his budget. He does this by working with a team of representatives from four other real estate-related industries. The five of them share the expenses for each party and allow each one to promote the event within their own sphere of influence.

Don’s team of professionals includes:

Gary Risler: Sales manager of Waterstone Mortgage Corporation.

Sheila Dragon: Staging professional and owner of Dragon Design.

Chris Early: Home Inspector for Inspect-It First.

Greg O’Neill: Publisher of The Real Estate Book and Luxury Homes & Estates Magazines.

With his unique marketing methods,Delaware County Real Estate Agent Don Dowd is proving that even in a down market, using the right strategies he can still get homes sold at a great price and in a timely manner.

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