Palm Coast, FL – January 3, 2014 – Sales tactics perfected by Bobby Ginn and emulated by others were exposed as hype when the real estate bubble burst. Developer Encore Resorts & Homes has revived the strategy as it rolls out Reunion West, a 963-acre residential component of the 2,300-acre Reunion Resort near Orlando’s theme parks.
Encore’s initial rollout is called The Ridge at Reunion. Homes with four to nine bedrooms will be available with starting prices advertised in the $330s, well below the prices Ginn fetched for the original Reunion properties. While the lower prices reflect recognition of current market conditions, the marketing strategies are vintage Bobby Ginn. Here are a few quotes from the Reunion West website that should stir memories within those with a Ginn history.
The first plants the seed that the product will be in high demand, with more potential buyers than available properties. It talks about the second phase of Reunion West.
The Estates at Reunion is in the pre-development stage and is expected to launch in early 2014. Those who purchase at The Ridge at Reunion will have first options on this community. A Priority Wait List will start soon, so keeping (sic) checking back. [Emphasis added]
The second is from the webpage headed “Reserve Now,' which comes complete with a countdown clock showing days, hours, minutes and seconds (presumably remaining until the Priority Selection Event).
Why Secure a Priority Position?
The Priority Position reserves your place in line to select a home at Reunion’s newest community, Reunion West. When the Priority Selection Event is announced those that secured their positions first will have the greatest selection and lowest prices to choose from. A refundable $1,000 (US Dollars) is required to secure your place in line…….Once payment is received you will be sent a Priority Position Certificate via email securing your position. [Emphasis added]
Will the hype strategy be as effective as when Ginn first used it? Probably not. Memories may be short, but there has to be some residual wariness from the not so long ago Ginn days. (However, they say that one is born every second.)
Ginn’s success relied heavily on cozy relationships with appraisers and banks, as well as a Fed sponsored loose money policy. New regulations make such an environment unlikely.
It will be interesting to see what happens.
Probably derived from the word hyperbole, hype has been an age-old strategy of real estate developers. The Online Etymology Dictionary defines it as “excessive or misleading publicity or advertising.”