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Talking House

Getting a Buyers Attention
by Jeffrey Vilk - Business Writer

Part of the futuristic world of The Jetsons has become a reality - sort of.

Ideal Realty, a Murfreesboro real estate company, has started offering a service for potential home buyers called the "Talking House."

By using a digital radio transmitter, a potential customer can drive by a house with the "Talking House" sign on it, tune into various AM radio stations and get all the information a pamphlet on the house would give.

"The Talking House radio transmitter is a powerful and effective real estate tool because it simplifies the process for all parties involved - the agent, the seller and the buyer," said Jim Gibbs, owner of Ideal Realty.

  Gibbs explained why this is an easier method.

"Buyers typically don't want to talk to us about the house because we're salespeople," he said. "So all they need to do now is click on an AM radio station and get the details on the homes."

Do not worry about the Talking Homes cutting into a favorite radio station because the transmitters can only convey


the five minute, looping information 300 feet from the four homes equipped in the area.

The transmitters use any frequency between 560 and 1700 AM "and thus, two homes side-by-side could use a transmitter without interfering with each other's broadcast," the company said. In addition, because the transmitter has a computer chip in it, the message is "crisp and static-free."

This may seem like new technology, Mark Goulais, sales manager for the Wisconsin-based Talking Homes transmitters, said it has been around since 1985 although it has, of course, gone through changes; Goulais likened the technology to that of a videocassette recorder.

"Back then, you know how you had the big VCRs that loaded through the top, well the old talking houses (transmitters) used to be two pieces, a glorified tape recorder," he said. "Now, it's a night and day comparison."

Goulais said the price of the items depend on the volume of devices purchased but usually cost $340 to $400 per unit. \

"Instead of a dry data sheet" about the home, "the idea is presented in a emotional way," he said.

The "emotional way," Gibbs explained, is the way the realtor talks about the features of the home in a descriptive way so it piques the interest of the buyer. "(Using the transmitter) is baby steps toward getting the buyer interested in what we have listed," he said.

"For listing agents and their sellers, a house that talks is much more memorable and stands out amid the clutter of homes on the market."

There are about 20,000 real estate agents in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission records, and very few are using the transmitters.

Home sellers interested in using the technology can contact Ideal Realty at 615-494-5100. According to Gibbs, the service is offered to all of their clients. Owners offering the home for-sale-by-owner may rent the "Talking House" transmitters from Ideal Realty.


2005  Ideal Realty - 4230 Burt Burgen Road,  Woodbury, TN 37190  -  Phone: 615-494-5100