4 Things You Need to Know about the Win-a-House Essay Contest Trend

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 12 June 2018 05:43

Planning to sell your home, but want to take a different approach? The win-a-house essay contest trend may have caught your eye. While enticing, it's important to understand how these contests work and to understand that it may not be all "rainbows and butterflies" when it comes time to fork over your property.

1. Not All Contests are Successful

One of the most famous win-a-house essay contests was for the Maine inn. It made headlines. And it also drew in more than 7,000 paid entries. Those entries generated more than $906,000, which was around the estimated value of the property.

That's a successful contest. Not everyone gets this lucky.

According to the New York Times, many other homeowners wind up having to halt their contests because they fail to accumulate the thousands of entries needed to cover the cost of the prize (the property).

Just keep in mind that if you do have to cancel the contest, you will need to refund all of the entry fees. You will have also wasted your time.

If you have a good marketing strategy in mind, then you may have much better luck with your contest.

2. Running a Contest is Hard Work

If you think you're going to launch the contest and then sit back and collect checks, you'd be wrong.

Running a contest is hard work. In fact, for one couple, it became a part-time job. Their plan was to run a competition for their 35-acre horse farm in Virginia. To ensure everything was legitimate, the couple hired a trustee to accept entries and remove any identifying details. They also established a panel of judges (who remained anonymous) to make the final decision among 25 finalists chosen by the couple. They even set up a Facebook page that includes all of the details and rules for potential contestants.

Apparently, the couple spent four hours a day reading through essay entries and explaining rules to possible entrants.

3. You Better Have Thick Skin

If you're going to run a contest like this, you better be prepared for people to say and do just about anything.

Some contestants may use professional writers for hire to write their essays. Others may just be unhappy that they lost.

When the winner of the Maine inn contest was announced, a group of people created a Facebook page that claimed the contest was rigged.

According to the New York Times, the Maine attorney general's office received 15 complaints, which prompted a police inquiry.

There will be a lot of sore losers, too. The new owners of the Maine inn complained that losing contestants left one-star reviews for the place on TripAdviser. He also says he received "nasty visits and phone calls."

4. Expected Uninvited Visitors

If your contest draws the attention of the local and/or national media, you can expect some unexpected and uninvited visitors to drop by.

People who have held win-a-house essay contests have said that they had people constantly driving up to the home or walking around the property.

If you plan to go this route, you may want to find a new place to live first.

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James Stevenson

Hi, My name is James and I've been involved in the property and real estate industry for 10 years now. I hope people will like to read about my thoughts and experiences in the industry and please contact me if you want to discuss my articles further!

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