It’s a well known fact that President Obama is from Chicago. However, we rarely talk about his house or the neighborhood he lived in. This all ended when President Obama’s neighbors decided to sell their house. While social media and online marketing has long been used by corporations (i.e. Sony’s Stop Writing on My Wall Campaign), this is one of the few times we see individuals using media to sell their house.
According to zillow.com, the Grimshaws (owners of the house next door to the Obamas) tried to market the fact that their house is next door to the President’s house. The couple hired the Matt Garrison Group, a sales team within Coldwell Banker, and created a website promoting the sale of this house.
The website includes pictures of the home, the home’s history, floor plans, and information on the sale. Beyond making the website, the couple also has videos and news articles in the Chicago Journal, Youtube, Huffington Post, and even Reuters Blog. The couple utilized word-of-mouth marketing and the home’s location to get buyers’ attention, while leaving the house unpriced and open to offers. So with all these different types of media used the big question is: did it work?
The short answer: no. What all of this promotion did do was bring over 100,000 page views, pretty impressive for a new site that’s based on one house. And while the couple received inquiries from Singapore to Saudia Arabia, none of the offers were deemed acceptable. Finally the couple decided to list the house the traditional way on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for $1,849,000, which is pretty reasonable considering homes in this neighborhood sell for between $1-2 million.
The big kicker? The Grimshaws bought this house for $40,000 in 1973! That’s only about a $1.8 million payoff. For the full article and pictures of the house, check out Zillow’s Blog.