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Media Coverage of Housing Market

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams

I ran across this white paper on Inman "Real Estate and the Media" http://blog.inman.com/RealEstateandtheMedia.pdf by Ronald E. Roel, former Newsday reporter and co-founder of Real Estate Next, and thought it was an excellent read for those of us in the business.

As a former news producer and long-time PR/marketer prior to embarking on a full-time career in RE, I can appreciate many of the points he has made and thought it worthwhile to post here and expound upon a bit.  In light of the plethora of media coverage (beginning in the late 90s) regarding the housing decline -- a "bubble" -- and the recent story on "60 Minutes," I decided that it was time to look inwardly.

We need to think more broadly.  Frankly, we need to think -- instead of just reacting.  We need to be EDUCATORS.  Yes, many of the markets that were experiencing double digit appreciation rates have leveled and are declining.  Is this necessarily a bad thing?  As Mr. Roel points out, buyers in those markets did not/do not have the income to support those purchases.  Is it a positive thing when the consumer cannot afford the purchase with out *very* creative financing (that's now also being re-aligned)?  I don't think so.

Is the sky falling?  No.  Let's not make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I believe that it's up to us -- the real estate professionals -- to hedge against overly inflated negative -- and perceived "POSITIVE" stories with facts, statistics and anecdotes that demonstrate what's happening microcausmically in our markets.  As Mr. Roel pointed out -- while 46% of people thought home prices in broad markets were overvalued -- 50% of these people didn't think theirs were locally.

I can tell you that here in Central Texas -- the real estate market is chugging along just fine.  There are mini-peaks and valleys -- and you can often track them to broad media coverage of boom and bust.  However, I'm doing my part to report what I know "from the ground" here with my clients and the data I pull from our MLS.  I send this information out to my sphere of influence to let them know my perspective as a real estate professional -- and I  hope you'll do the same.

More later...

R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Kiersty, I've written her on AR and elsewhere that I think that there is a news cycle that occurs with any event or story.  That is, that once a story is reported and gets positive feedback for that news organization that others will copy that story (or at least the idea) and report on approximately the same thing that worked for the first company.  That this goes on until the story is no longer interesting to the viewing or reading public.  Then the press will hop on the next hot topic. 


What do you think?


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

May 24, 2007 04:32 AM
Kiersty Lombar
Keller Williams - Georgetown, TX

Yes -- there are definitely cycles.  Though housing is always a hot topic -- whether booming or busting.  And in today's instant gratification news society -- there's less opportunity to dig deep on the story before being outdone by a competitor.  So, the full story suffers.

That's why I believe it's up to us to educate and localize the data for our markets.  For instance, I can tell you that while markets like SF and LV were sizzling, we were just trundling along here in Austin/Round Rock at a pretty traditional rate.  That said, on the flip side -- being that we had modest to conservative growth during those "boom" times for those areas -- we are well positioned now.

Good to hear from you!

May 24, 2007 06:22 AM