Free Advertising!

As Mac pointed out this weekend, the most effective Vancouver real estate marketers know how to reap the benefits of free advertising provided by our local media.

Some of them are a bit too ham-fisted with their approach and get called out for generating obviously fake stories with fake buyers or fake houses.

But there’s one guy who really knows what he’s doing.

Bob Rennie isn’t referred to as the ‘condo king’ for nothing, he knows just the right way to keep the media interested.  Here’s how Mac put it:

Here is the depressingly effective PR strategy Rennie has used for years to effectively make the newspapers (and TV news) his free ad agency.

1. Start with a hook that splits the audience: either one hopes for it or is dying to refute: Boomers will finance the real estate market.

2. State a belief supported by your “insight” as an expert and mix with some facts. Leave it to the reporter NOT to know how to ask hard questions:

Boomers own their homes outright.

Feds have a hard time understanding our market.

Vancouver RE buyers are not entirely dependent on only their incomes to buy their homes, he noted. Just 4.9 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents make more than$100,000 [≈ Small rural house (2011)] a year, while 65 per cent earn less than$55,000 [≈ Median US household income (2009)] a year.

3. Plug your other projects: scaled down VAG and [fill in the blank] condo development

4. Recap with an example that is a tautology: someone sold in Shaughnessy for a bit less, therefore they will be buying their kids houses and financing the real estate market

5. Don’t address the other side of that argument (probably because the journalist can’t figure it out)…as in ‘What if the Shaughnessy seller had plans for the higher sold price and now feels “poorer” because they sold for less and gives less to their kids? Is there any trickle down effect on prices from that? And what if we do’t use Shaughnessy–the most $$$ neibhbourhood– as an example but use another neighbourhood instead where the price drops may be more significant and the family net worth, and negative wealth-effect might be less and maybe even they have more kids to “support” into their late adulthood?

6. Bring up an obvious example of something that has nothing to do with the main point you’re trying to prove to re-inforce your “expertness”: people like dens. They like them as extra bedrooms. (This was also true for every generation of grannies and grandpas). But my God! It’s true! So if you are right about dens, then you must be right about the Boomers, and the VAG, and RE being supported by these den-loving boomers who will take less rooms but want more room. (???)

7. Side your argument with the masses: “They won’t pay for crazy green initiatives or crazy lofts.” Same effect as no. 6 above. Gosh! You are right. Utilitarian condo for the kids. Luxury for the parents! And TA DA! You have proved the hook! Boomers will finance the RE market! And I don’t need to ask how, if the market has already declined, this will effect their net worth because I know they will use dens and prefer to visit Grouse Mountain over wanting to visit a proper Art Gallery that makes the Rennie Gallery look small.

Thank you Rennie, and thank you Vancouver media!

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Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

It’s not just Rennie who benefits from this arrangement, the papers need content so why not go to an expert who has lots of experience in the local market?

Real Estate Pimp
Guest
Real Estate Pimp

Bob Rennie, “Shoe box in the Sky” King.

mosessupposes
Guest
mosessupposes

For the first in months I dipped my toe in the water this weekend and hit a few open houses. Expected it to be busy given the decent weather and time of year but mostly crickets where I was at.

Anyone else out there this weekend?

Also a question – does anyone have a very rough ballpark of what someone should budget to do a massive non-structural (i.e. limited eletrical or plumbing work) reno of a 3,000 square foot house? Assuming I have to hire third parties to do all the work but I don’t go super high end with the applicances, I’ve been hearing I should budget around $200,000. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

mac
Member
mac

Can you say where you were and what you saw?

Real Estate Pimp
Guest
Real Estate Pimp

I was at a few open houses in Richmond Steveston this weekend.
Not much traffic. Noticeable absent are the Asian buyers.

VMD@work
Guest
VMD@work

FP: Canada’s housing slump only just beginning: Capital Economics
2013/05/21

Canada’s housing slump has only just begun and it is premature to say the market will have a so-called soft landing, said David Madani, an economist at Toronto-based Capital Economics Ltd.

“We don’t expect prices to rebound this year,” Madani said Tuesday at the Bloomberg Economic Summit in Toronto.

Madani, a former senior economist at the Bank of Canada, was the only person surveyed by Bloomberg News during the past two years who consistently predicted the central bank wouldn’t raise borrowing costs. Madani previously forecast home prices in the country would fall by 25% in the next few years.

squeako
Guest
squeako
A philosophical angle: Vancouver local media is fluff, like the housing market is a house of cards. Vancouver does not have much to offer its residents except: 1)traffic jams: long commutes in the blackness/rain – reality 75% of the year, stuck in traffic, ugly fumes to breathe. 2)view of mountains/sea that most won’t have time or even energy to notice b/c of the hamster wheel. 3)pressure of a way too big mortgage: many are working 2 jobs with poor pay leading to sleep deprivation, weekends spent trying to make the home functional again to slough through another week of work than “enjoying” the mountains/sea. 4) Mickey mouse job opportunities due to no corp head offices – and of course it makes no sense to plant one here – it is too bloody expensive 4)Local people here are exhausted from this… Read more »
gokou3
Guest
gokou3

This is kind of a late post, but I celebrated Mother’s day with my mom at our favourite high-end Chinese restaurant in Vancouver. Typically in previous years, this restaurant would be fully booked about a week before the day. However, this year, the restaurant was not even full for the 6:30 sitting, and we didn’t see many people coming in by the time we left.

This makes me wonder, where’s all the HAM? Btw, the reversion of HST back to GST should have helped restaurants.

Barb Rennie
Guest
Barb Rennie

We need to hire the old lady from the “Wendys” commercials, who was well known for yelling “Where’s the beef?” instead say “Where’s the HAM?”

Real Estate Pimp
Guest
Real Estate Pimp

@gokou3.
What I found that many Asian restaurants actully raised their prices, thinking that they can fool the customers.

gokou3
Guest
gokou3

@ Real Estate Pimp #10,

I wouldn’t call that “fool the customers”. (Non-monopolic) businesses can set whatever prices they want. On the other hand, what you just described is similar to the positive house price reaction when there’s an interest rate reduction or increase in amortization.

Real Estate Pimp
Guest
Real Estate Pimp

@gokou.
Fair enough if you think that consumers are rational and markets are perfect.
I for all, will no longer patronize these restaurants.

N
Guest
N

@squeako

Why don’t you try Calgary?

BWilson
Guest
BWilson

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-21/canada-real-estate-slump-only-just-beginning-madani-says.html

“Canada’s housing slump has only just begun and it is premature to say the market will have a so-called soft landing, said David Madani, an economist at Toronto-based Capital Economics Ltd.”

BWilson
Guest
BWilson

Sorry I just noticed VMD posted the same story earlier – although it looks like the FP just re-ran a Bloomberg story – and Bloomberg sometimes does update their stories with additional quotes/data. If you have access to a Bloomberg terminal I’d suggest watching Madani battling with Brad Lamb today. Brad Lamb and some douche from Royal Lepage go off on Madani. He calls for a 25% decline noting that not just the US but many other developed countries have seen material declines over the last 5 years giving specific examples of US, UK, Ireland, Spain. The developers called a 25% decline “the end of the world” which was a little absurd.

bon jovi
Guest
bon jovi

@squeako

and winnipeg, regina, saskatoon are even better then calgary.
if you have a growing family there is not better place than prairies.

Vote Down The Facts
Guest
Vote Down The Facts

squeako, have you ever lived anywhere else?

Bob Rennie
Guest
Bob Rennie

Where is the correction? Seriously, It’s almost June.

bon jovi
Guest
bon jovi

@vote down with facts

you dont have to live somewhere else in order to recognize that is something fundamentaly wrong with quality of living in vancouver.

crabman
Guest

Hey Rennie – The correction started last June. It should be in full swing by the fall.

N
Guest
N

“you dont have to live somewhere else in order to recognize that is something fundamentaly wrong with quality of living in vancouver.”

Yes, actually, you do. It’s next to impossible to evaluate something without comparing it to something else. If you just compare the current situation to a remembered situation, things like nostalgia and one’s own changing tastes get in the way.

Certainly, if a person believes there is something fundamentally wrong with the quality of living in Vancouver, and that person has not tried living somewhere else, the first thing I would encourage them to do is move. It’s like someone saying they dislike what they eat for lunch every day but refusing to try anything else on the menu.

Wakeup call
Guest
Wakeup call

” Where’s the correction? ”

Where’s the big rebound that that bulls have been calling for???
There are absolutely no fundamentals to support this market.
When HAM stops showing up at open houses, you know we’re in trouble.
Unfortunately, our good Canadian kids are the last to get the message.

jesse
Member
Thought I’d share a bit on rents in Vancouver, based on some analysis I did a while ago. There are three measures of rents, one is the CPI rent (“rented accommodation”), one is the CMHC-survey looking at rents in purpose-built rentals (predominately older vintage dwellings), and another is anecdotes from developers on new unit rents and concomitant craigslist ads for these units. This graph shows CMHC-surveyed rents, and taking the baseline in 1992 and increasing by the CPI “rented accommodation” measure. It can be seen that CMHC surveyed rents have consistently increased above “rented accommodation” for the past 20 years. CMHC survey predominately includes existing and older vintage units. That means it is a rough “same unit” measure of rents, albeit it’s likely that property managers are keeping these units at reasonable quality and upgrades. This measure does not track… Read more »
Lifetime Renter
Guest
Lifetime Renter

@ N Says.
Your argument amounts to nothing more than attacking the messenger rather than the message. Sqeako raises a number of points that resonate with many. Who cares whether he or she has lived elsewhere. If you disagree with any of his or her points then tell us where you disagree. That would be of some value. And are you so contemptuous of people that you would suggest to someone with legitimate concerns that they should move? To me it is far better to see it as an opportunity to discuss why the problems exist and what is required to change it.

paulb
Member

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