IT'S CALLED “WIN A FREE HOME,” BUT THE TRUTH IS THE DEVELOPERS of Fallen Leaf at Galena, a 245-unit, 20-plus acre condominium project in Reno, Nev., will actually refund the purchase price of a home—including upgrades—to one of the first 40 buyers to close since the promotional campaign launched in September 2006. “They can pay off the mortgage, save for college, take a trip; it's up to them,” says Taylor Cohee, vice president of sales at Pacific West Cos., the developer. With base prices into the $320s, he says, “It's really going to change someone's life.”
Approaching build-out of the 35-building community with about 100 sales to go last October, Pacific West wanted to boost site visits and sales without kowtowing to the deep discounts and other incentives undertaken by its competitors. The promotion worked, increasing sales traffic from about 25 people a week to 100-plus and invigorating the sales pace to about seven per month through February.
The names of the first 40 of those home buyers were put into a hopper, with one lucky winner getting his or her money back. “We could have included more people [beyond the first 40 sales], but the odds had to be attractive and the offer seen as legitimate,” says Cohee. “We found a number that allowed it to work financially for us and generate excitement in the market.”
CAMPAIGN DETAILS Program: “Win a Free Home” promotion at Fallen Leaf at Galena, Reno, Nev.; Developer: Pacific West Cos., Reno; Cost: $180,000 (advertising/promotion), plus the purchase price of one home
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Reno, NV.