He is a second-generation real estate man who had achieved success that afforded him a comfortable life, complete with travel adventures and his own plane that he landed on remote Mexican beaches.
But 72Sold founder Greg Hague credits a news article about technology titan Apple with inspiring his latest venture that aims to push his industry into contemporary times.
In 2018, Hague launched his Scottsdale-based real estate consulting firm with a model that allowed homeowners to sell their home using an auction-like process within 72 hours.
How it works: Homes are shown on Day One only, typically a Saturday; offers are accepted on Sunday only; and agents review the best offers and give those to sellers, who review them on Monday and make a decision. The 72-hour streamlined process that runs like clockwork is set.
“It gives sellers a better experience. Buyers don’t live under stress,” Hague said. “It helps both sides get what they want.”
This means sellers miss out on the hassles of multiple showings and lengthy wait-and-see periods. The method creates a competitive environment, which drives up sale prices and benefits the sellers. Sellers can also choose their best close date and have the option to stay in their home for up to six months after closing, relieving the pressure to vacate before they are ready.
In turn, prospective buyers get a price and term sheet that outlines the seller’s perfect offer so it serves as a guide. The three-day mandatory process means buyers aren’t pressured and have time to evaluate their options and ask listing agents more questions. This helps creates a level playing field among buyers.
When Hague started the company, generating 12-15 sales a month was success. Currently, the company averages 12-15 sales a day, he said. The website draws 20,000 people a month. The program operates in 31 markets across the country.
And it all started with the Apple article
Building up demand is key to sales
Real estate may be his bread and butter, but marketing has always captivated Hague. The article looked at Apple’s marketing strategy, pointing out how the tech giant was the first major retailer to market products before the public could buy them.
A high-powered campaign preceded the release of every iPod and iPhone. Hague read how Apple built demand, anticipation and excitement even though the item was not yet available for purchase. Hence the long lines in front of stores on — and sometimes the night before — release day. Naturally, these lines become part of the marketing strategy by drumming up more curiosity and interest.
Hague compared this to the antiquated model that real estate ran on for decades: List a home, show it one at a time. This yielded zero excitement.
The a-ha moment struck.
“You want to make buyers want something so much that they become less concerned about getting a deal and more concerned about getting the thing. (They) just hope by the time you get in front of the line, there’s one left,” Hague said. “None of the things people learned to do was being done in real estate.”
The company website channels an audience of serious buyers, which eliminates most of the looky-loos that traditional open houses draw. An aggressive marketing campaign features photos, videos and multiple representatives onsite. Hague described Day One as more of an event than a simple showing. No one gets in the door before then.
Homes are shown only by appointments that are spaced 15 minutes apart. This way, buyers see each other coming and going. This helps build that competitive environment and, as Hague said, validates the home’s popularity. It builds excitement, like the lines in front of Apple stores. It also drives up prices.
“They are comfortable paying more because other people want it, too,” Hague said.
According to company data of the Phoenix market, its largest, 72Sold homes had an average of 8.4% higher sale price than the MLS average.
About nine months ago, when the market was tight and homeowners were hesitant to put their homes up for sale for fear that a quick sale, while lucrative, could make them homeless while searching for a new home, Hague built and incorporated the six-month component into his trademarked model.
A partnership with investment companies allows sellers to stay for six months or even more if needed.
“One of the biggest problems was that sellers were afraid to sell because there weren’t a lot of homes out there to buy … . I wanted to solve a real problem in the market,” Hague said.
Sun City couple happy with sale
Hague’s commercials on TV and radio have touted this solution over the past several months. They drew the attention of John Lowry and his wife Kathie, who were looking to sell their Sun City home. Hague’s straight-forward and relatable personality impressed John, Kathie said.
The service they received from the 72Sold team during the sale of their 1,200-square foot, two bedroom and two bathroom home backed up that initial impression.
“They were so down-to-earth. There was no pressure and they explained everything to us and made us so comfortable,” said Kathie, who is moving to Michigan with John. “The process was pretty simple for us.”
The Lowries appreciated not having to go through the usual motions of putting a house on the market, namely the multiple showings and open houses. As far as the price their home ended up selling for, Kathie described it as “beyond our expectations.”
“They are people you can trust. They were very positive,” Kathie said of the listing agents that worked on her home.
A native of Cincinnati, Hague worked for his father’s real estate firm before moving to Arizona in 1981. After a few years of success in the industry here, Hague built his own firms and prospered, especially in the luxury realm of real estate.
But when the real estate market crashed during the recession, Hague entertained other options.
Hague has a law degree from the American University Washington College of Law, and is licensed to practice in Ohio. He decided to take the Arizona bar exam 35 years after graduating from law school. It was 2009, and he was 60.
That year, Hague got the No. 1 score in the state.
“I was told I couldn’t do it so I was like, ‘I’m going to show the world,’” he said.
Hague realizes that his 72Sold model had naysayers and its share of doubters. Yet, like passing the bar exam, he was able to overcome them, as well as give a boost to the industry that has benefitted him and his family.
“All the negatives that existed 50 years ago exist today. The industry, this process needed an overhaul. We feel we are doing that, making a positive impact on an industry that needed it,” he said.
He talked about a couple who gave a video testimonial about their experience selling their home and getting more than expected. The man had a tear in his eye.
“The No. 1 thing we focus on is not about how many houses you sell. It’s about the experience sellers and buyers have. Not how we can sell more stuff,” he said. “That is what I wake up for every morning. That’s what it’s all about.”
Where: 7333 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Ste. 100, Scottsdale
Factoid: In 2020, 5.6 million existing homes were sold, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Details: 480-998-9900, 72sold.com