Desperation tactics: If you think buy-one-house-get-one-free is bad, check out the blog

A developer outside San Diego is hoping the old buy-one-get-one-free deal will lure customers. If you buy a $1.6 million home in San Pasqual Valley, he'll throw in an Escondido row home, which he values at $400,000. The San Diego Union Tribune says the Michael Crews Developers insist the prices are legit, not just holdovers from the boom. They say the rowhouses originally sold for $540,000 but now are going for $400,000.

They told the paper only one person has made an offer -- and they don't want to take on an extra house. Instead they want Crews to take their old house off their hands. In this real estate market, who wants more house, even if it is at current prices? But meanwhile this offer is making the rounds in the blogs and on TV as the latest internet craziness.

Of course this all seems desperate. But that's making Crews a star for today. But is it a ham-fisted and awkward kind of promotion? No, for that you'll really need to check out the Michael Crews blog. He "blogs" in press release style that Michael Crews Offers Two Homes for the Price of One. In February, 2007, he offered homebuyers a free truck. What's the most fun is to check out the comments on his stories like this one entry from two years ago . An anonymous commentator says: "Did you know that the San Diego Business Journal recognizes Michael Crews Development as one of San Diego's Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies?" then goes on to spontaneously spout some other marketing stats. Later another obviously totally random person who has nothing to do with company exclaimed "I didn't know Michael Crews Development had won such an incredible award. I do know they have beautiful new homes for sale in San Diego County...."

These spontaneous outbursts of support are hurled on Michael Crews blog continually. One guy was "blown away by the caliber of these estates." Another ejaculated: "Wow -- Michael Crews really is North County's Local homebuilder --he's everywhere you go in North County!!" Seldom does a month go by without someone uttering things like "Been there, done that... LOVED IT! It's a Class A community." I like to read that one in the voice of Michael Scott on the Office.

If he's got such big fans, how come he can't sell these houses?

And why don't AOL WalletPop readers leave such fawning praise?
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