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Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

Let’s talk about real estate

My daughter grows frustrated while apartment hunting.

No wonder, given the current market. Her operatic career has her traveling more, diminishing the value of typical apartment life. And prices have skyrocketed since COVID, caused by supply shortages and an overabundance of renters.

Many of these renters have been pushed from the buying market by rising interest rates, with successful buyers relying on “love letters” to sellers. Such letters explain why they deserve to own the house more than 18 other families bidding for the same property.

To secure a rare rental property, many would-be tenants have been up-bidding rental rates. It’s gotten out of hand.

Thinking a love letter to renting agents might help, I consulted Rancho Bernardo realtor Brian Habib. Known as “A Man Who Listens™” (which, sadly, is too often in short supply), Brian calls such efforts “a coin toss,” adding, “If the owner will accept such a letter, send it with the offer; there is a possibility it can make a difference in the decision.”

For now, my daughter lives in my third bedroom. Fortunately, we like each other.

Meanwhile, observant market watchers have noticed price-cutting among home sellers. The LA Times reports a slightly softening market, with price cuts from overeager sellers who priced their properties way over market value.

There’s no easy answer to this situation, but marketing oneself should provide long-term visibility. Realtors continue hustling to remind everyone of their presence for the inevitable day when a buying or selling decision is made. Expanding into rentals or new markets may also provide business growth opportunities.

Remaining a seller’s market, buyers and renters should be prepared to position themselves as the best choice.

And those not in the real estate market should take away lessons from both sides on the importance of constantly marketing oneself. Because good times or bad, and regardless of what you sell, there’s always competition. It’s too easy to get lost in the crowd and lose the deal.

As with anything else you’re touting, be able to answer the question, “Why should I deal with YOU?” Just being a nice person isn’t enough anymore.

And remember; if you can’t explain why I should do business with you, how do you expect the customer, owner or seller to figure it out?

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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