This was an answer that I sent to an Activerainer on a great concept she had. She answered back and said that I should put this out where others could see it, so being new at this I hope I've put it in the right place. So here it is, I hope it can be as successful for you as it has been for me.
I wrote: Arn't Blogs wonderful though. People come up with such great ideas. Here's one of mine that I came up with that I'm sure that other people are probably doing, but if you haven't tried it you might give it a try and see how it works for you. I gather subdivision sales information from our local courthouse records and send "Happy Anniversary" cards to the owners. I indicate what houses like theirs were selling for in their area back when they bought their home, and ask them if they would like to know what they are selling for now. If you send a letter be sure and put "Happy Anniversary: on the envelope or they may just ash can it when they receive it. I let them know I'll be dropping around in a few days to give them their "Anniversary Gift" ( a preprinted scracth pad or shopping list makes a nice gift, and a lasting impression) While your there, talk to them about how the market has changed since they bought and get around to asking again if they would like to know what homes like theirs would be selling for now. If they indicate they would this is a great chance to ask to do a walk through to see the home. From there on your on your own.
Using this method you've established yourself as a "Neighborhood Expert" and have very little invested when compared to the impression you should have made. My best success story to go with this method was that the homeowners invited me back to discuss my market analysis and ended up listing their property with me. We sold that home and they moved out of the area and bought a new home direct from a builder, within a year they broke up and I ended up selling their new home. The husband moved back to our area and I sold him another home. By the next year he had met and married another lady, and guess what... I ended up selling her home and she moved in with her new husband in the home I had sold him. We'r not through yet... Within a year the home they were in became too small, and you guessed it, I listed and sold that home for them as soon as their new home they were building was finished. There is no telling how long this may have continued but they became realtors and started to put the method to work for themselves.
This is just one example of a method that can be quite successful if worked properly. If you do try it let me know how it works for you.
Sorry to have rambled on so, I'll try to do better next time.
Hal Kennelley, Broker Owner
The Kennelley Group Realtors, Inc.