A Home for Your Hog
It is the 87th Anniversary of the Laconia Motorcycle Rally and thousands of bikers have descended on the Lakes Region to enjoy the scenery and hospitality of the area. Today’s motorcycle enthusiasts are a far cry from the early days. Today there are doctors, lawyers (a few Indian Chiefs), business professionals, corporate executives, and more than a few real estate agents out there enjoying the “wind in your face” lifestyle. It is a different breed of biker today. Many are older and much more affluent. They have to be, as these gleaming iron horses cost more than a lot of the automobiles on the road today. With all these bikers here you’d think that more than just a few would be interested in finding a home for their hog right here in the Lakes Region. Here are a few methods we can employ to not only get these prospective biker/buyers to stop but to actually get them into your home, which is the essential step in getting them to buy it! You do want to sell, don’t you?
One only needs to look around to see what would get these prospective buyers to stop at your house.Bikini bike washes in your driveway will usually work. You’ll need a good sign and obviously someone to wear bikinis, so you should try and line up some college co-eds earlier in the year. Having a vendor selling T shirts, bike parts, or doing tattoos in your yard also works extremely well. If you have a pool in the back yard, a sign on the road advertising “Beach Bar Open” can be really effective marketing especially if you get the scantily clad Wild Turkey or Jagermeister girls to work the pool area and perhaps hold up signs near the street. The girls are essential as there is a lot of competition in this area just like in the housing market! Several other good ways to get potential buyers to stop is to advertise free camping in your back yard, put up a “Rally Headquarters” sign, or “Poker Run Stop” sign (all you need is a deck of cards). To make your property stand out paint your garage orange and black. To really get noticed, fly the American and MIA POW flags in your yard as bikers are very patriotic.
Once you get the bikers to stop you need to get them into the house. A “Free Beer Tomorrow” sign with an arrow pointed to your front door works well but may irritate some of your prospects because bikers aren’t stupid, they live for today, not tomorrow. Probably the most useful method will be a “Rest Room” sign. That is guaranteed to work.
Now that the biker/buyer is in the house, you can win him over easily with a few decorating tips. In the bath make sure that there’s a lot of chrome. Burnished bronze accessories don’t work for a biker. Towel and face cloth racks, lights, mirror frames, and shelves should all be chromed. Floors should be black and white tile. A black leather toilet seat cover would be perfect. You need a shower big enough for two (three is preferable). Once you’ve got his attention with the bathroom you can seal the deal with the living room. The living room should have, if it already doesn’t, a pool table dead center and black leather couches and chairs with leather saddle bags draped over the armrests. A large flat screen TV is also essential in this room. Throw in a few neon signs for ambiance and you are all set. If your wife doesn’t let you take it this far upstairs (i.e. if you are not a biker), then make sure your basement or your garage is outfitted as above. If you have no garage (that may put your home out of the running completely) you must make sure that your buyer can at least get his bike into the basement for storage in the winter. Storing the bike in the living room would be much better, but that could mess up the placement of the pool table.
Following these few simple suggestions should bring you a buyer during bike week, but you really shouldn’t try any of this alone. Always consult with a real estate agent (like me) that also rides. It is your safest bet to have a true professional biker/agent help during this opportune selling time! Next year I might even change my real estate yard signs to an orange and black sign just like the Harley Davidson logo, that should help.
The residential home sales activity in the Lakes Region during May 2010 was just about the same as in May of 2009. Last month there were 68 transactions at an average sales price of $314,665 and a median price of $183,000. In May 2009 there were 69 transactions at an average of $258,828 and a median sales price of $187,000. Home sales for the rolling 12 month period ending 5/31/10 totaled 765 transactions at an average sales price of $308,823 compared to 669 transactions at an average sales price of $307,896 for the 12 month period ending 5/31/09. That is a 14% increase in the total number of sales for that period. That’s certainly better than going the other way! Let’s hope home sales remain strong over the next few months and that everyone has a safe and sound bike week!