Brokerage uses Groupon to lure more clients
CHICAGO – April 12, 2011 – Dream Town Realty in Chicago is offering buyers and sellers a unique offer: $1,000 cash at closing when they purchase a $25 Groupon coupon. Dream Town Realty is believed to be the first brokerage in the country to use Groupon in a real estate transaction.
Groupon is a website that features daily deals, often on restaurants and retail items, in more than 500 markets.
To use the Dream Town Realty Groupon offer, buyers must close on a home priced at $150,000 or more, or sellers must list with Dream Town before April 9, 2012. If they do, they’ll be able to redeem their $1,000 cash gift.
Dream Town’s Groupon offer has already received a lot of attention. Soon after it was announced, it reached its 50-person minimum, and the company plans to have more announcements promoting the offer Monday.
Dream Town’s president Yuval Degani says the goal of the Groupon promotion was to generate some buzz as well as draw in more clients who visit the brokerage’s website and who might be buying or selling a home in the next year.
Some states ban such rebates by real estate professionals at closing.
According to Donna Ryan, Florida Realtors Manager of Legal Communications, it’s important to make sure that all advertising follows current real estate law. A Groupon coupon doesn’t by itself violate RESPA or any rules under FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission). “However, it definitely won’t work with short sales or where a buyer’s lender objects, and if those exclusions or limitations are not addressed in the advertisement, a violation could exist – i.e., misleading or deceptive advertising,” says Ryan.
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