Out of state real estate shows in the northeast bode well for prospects. We are still talking constantly with the Baby Boomers who are ready to move on with their life, as we have been and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
The Settings Development Companies, which has properties in GA, SC, and NC, has attended real estate shows out of state through RPI Media in Reston VA (DC area), Chicago, IL, Long Island, NY and Parsippany, NJ. Each show was attended by 600-900 couples, specifically to have the opportunity to look at approximately 45-50 developments throughout the southeast. These folks have either been invited to stop by to see a certain community or have purchased a ticket to come to the show; they are all there to see what they have as an option for retirement, pre-retirement, or a second home.
I went to the DC show and personally met with couples that were there. They were still tired of the cold winters (a severe winter up north always leads to a good spring down south) and the crowded hustle and bustle of the cities, not to mention high taxes. Most were ready to get to the sunny south.
The bottom line is that there has been a great response so far in 2009 and many appointments were made from these shows. We know from experience that they will lead to a certain percentage of sales and closings through a professional presentation! This initial positive response puts us and other communities I talked with way ahead of last year for the first and second quarters. These buyers feel the “brevity of life” and “can’t wait on others to fix the economy”. They want to get started on the “rest of their life’s plans” even if it will means scaling back some.