Earlier this year, Grand Rapids MI earned a spot on the dubious list of Top 10 Dying Cities in a Newsweek magazine publication. Thankfully, our city is not a place where we choose easy over medium/mediocre when it comes to responding to what we instinctively reject as false.
Rob Bliss, Grand Rapids' own Event Planner Extraordinaire determined to fight back with the most powerful weapon...the TRUTH. As a result, over 5,000 West Michigan residents joined together to film an event that included media personalities, the mayor, a high school marching band and a host of other people.
In the process, they set a World Record for a Lip Sync event to Don McClains' classic song, ‘Bye, Bye, Ms. American Pie.’ The message was very clear…Grand Rapids, Mi is very much alive!
When all was set and done, the Youtube video had garnered over 2 Million hits in just a few days and the event had been carried on news media all over the world. Newsweek magazine issued a rare public apology citing the fact that they had been victims of poor research and had simply repeated bad data.
In some ways, this example mirrors the challenge that real estate agents face in West Michigan. As anxiety about the economy mounts, the real estate industry finds itself in a position in which everyone seems to have an opinion about what will happen within the real estate market in the future.
But in spite of these challenges, real estate agents in West Michigan have SOLD more homes in August of this year (2011) than they did in 2008 or 2009. This is no small feat in a market which has been significantly impacted by Short Sales and Foreclosures!
Today, the inventory of homes is less than 6,000 homes for Sale. Down from a high of approximately 12,000 homes just a few years ago. With plunging inventory, there has been an incremental rise in home sale prices. This trend has remained steady for seven months. We still have a ways to go as the average price of home fell to 2003 levels over the duration of the current crisis.
However, REALTORS in West Michigan are stepping up to the plate in ways that extend beyond selling homes. They are also actively giving of their time and talents to the West Michigan community.
REALTORS in West Michigan have determined to roll up their sleeves and take their service to the community to a new level. The official iGive campaign was launched at the end of May 2011 with an audacious goal of donating 50,000 FREE hours of services to community residents. The challenge has logged almost 5,000 hours to a variety of area organizations since May 2011.
By the way, that lip dub about Grand Rapids Mi has now garnered over 4 Million hits and was dubbed by Robert Ebert, the legendary film critic as one of the greatest videos ever made. Hardly the Requiem for a dying city is it?