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A Little Bit of Understanding. Staging Sells. Demographics and Affordability.“Growing Market Share through Customer Segmentation”
RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine, April 2008

Be More Specific

Cultural diversity seems to come up a lot more lately-even in the more rural areas of Oregon in which I do business.

Growing up near Vienna, Austria, I was exposed to a multitude of cultures. However, nothing prepares you for immigration to America.

But here is my dilemma: all of the articles that I have recently read propose very politically correct training, etc., but training in what? Kindness? Understanding? In my opinion, that is not enough. I am looking for something concrete.

Once you make a faux-pas, it may already be too late. A Chinese client of mine complained loudly about the way she was being ridiculed by other Realtors for asking, “Which way does the front door face?” Something important to her Feng Shui beliefs, but not understood in small-town Oregon by people who, for most of their lives, have not been touched by or exposed to other cultures, beliefs, religious needs, etc.

Andrea Lavoie
Principal Broker, GRI
Century 21 Best Realty, Inc.
Coos Bay, Oregon

“The Successful Combination of Photography & Real Estate”
rismedia.com, April 1, 2008

Sellers Must Help

While I completely agree with Gar Benedick on his assessment of how important photographs are in selling a home in the Internet-centric world we now live in, there was one element that was left out of his article that makes all the difference in the world.

The goal is to get online prospects to stop, take a look at your listing as a result of a photo display, have them drill down for more photos and information, and e-mail or call you for an appointment.

Selling a home is a partnership that requires the seller to inquire about how many quality pictures the agent will take or how many quality photos he/she has in his/her portfolio. While it is the agent’s duty to educate the seller on what makes homes attractive to buyers and assist in the staging process, multiple photos alone will not sell a home.

nelson_toni.jpgToni Nelson
Director, Strategic Initiatives
Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors
Houston, Texas

“Be An Expert…On the Economy”
RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine, April 2008

Missing Factors

I am forced to comment on the article by Margaret Kelly (CEO, RE/MAX, Intl.). Two factors missing from her analysis of today’s market are demographics and affordability.

Demographically, we are moving out of the Baby Boomer generation. Today, the new immigrant population, which can’t afford to buy, and the lower formation rate of new families result in the slowing of sales.

The affordability issue also stems from the push on the demand side of real estate over the past 15-20 years. The consequent price of existing and-relative to construction inflation-new homes is out of reach for most qualified buyers.

This pricing imbalance will resolve itself, as supply and demand work their economic magic. The industry will learn to deal with lower sales volume as a result of lower demand. It may actually work to distill the numbers of agents, causing those who remain to “think smarter and work harder.” Alas, the last few years haven’t done any favors to the professionalism of the average agent.

Lynn Baldwin
Associate Broker
Houlihan Lawrence
Bronxville, New York

192.168.100.55