Monday, August 13, 2012

One Suburb Welcomes People, Another To Lose Them

As I tell my real estate agent advertising and marketing clients, a lot of the most helpful information they can find during the course of a day is the local Business news.

Interesting story about how Sugar Land TX, a Houston suburb (about 20 miles outside), is about to add a 6,500 seat concert and event facility to its current offerings in the hopes of attracting even more Houston area residents to visit the community.

What does this have to do with area real estate agents? The answer should be "a lot more" if the Real Estate market is to make a comeback.

Adding this venue means a lot of near future construction and engineering jobs, and later on many jobs related to events and operation of the venue.

For current home owners in the Sugar Land area interested in selling, this information makes now a much better time to place their property on the market. The listing agent could be advertising it in a union or construction related publication and/or web site in search of unemployed or underemployed workers who are currently renting in areas with fewer employment opportunities.

Of course, adding a large venue also means it is likely that more restaurants, shops, and possibly hotels will soon look to add or start a new location within proximity of this venue. Again, more construction and more jobs for these establishments being created over the next couple of years.

Real estate investors are probably already seeing this opportunity to buy "low", upgrade, and hopefully turn a profit a couple years (or sooner) down the road when the construction and upgrades are in place.

Potential buyers should be made aware of the growth potential within the Sugar Land area, in the event they would consider moving to a new growth area adding larger businesses. This is also likely to be sure that streets and upgraded to handle the traffic flow.

On the other hand, current property owners who may wish to get away from the coming additional hustle and bustle now have an opportunity to plan an exit before others with a similar philosophy realize the idea.

Meanwhile, separate and unrelated business stories in the Chicago area have two large corporations, United Airlines and Motorola, both announcing (coincidentally) within the past week that literally thousands of workers are going to be relocated from suburban offices to downtown Chicago locations.

This is (or should be treated as) a bigger story for realty agents than anyone else, other than those who will be impacted by the move.

Such an announcement is right now putting many workers in a challenging position. Right now, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of employees of each of these companies who live within a 30 minute drive of their workplace. They enjoy free parking and a suburb to suburb commute, not necessarily involving use of a busy expressway during the heavy traffic periods.

Having to commute to downtown Chicago from these suburban areas could add one hour or more to their commuting time each workday. This will send many to instead take commuter trains and to make the changes of routine that go along with it. It does not mean fewer expenses by not driving to work when it really means increased train fares as well as driving and parking at the train station.

From a real estate marketing standpoint, this news does not only impact those workers who have decisions coming up. At least, it shouldn't only impact those workers.

Anyone looking to sell that lives within a reasonable walking distance of a train station within range of the current locations of Motorola and United should be on the phone with their listing agent by the end of the day. Agents with listings in the downtown Chicago area should be targeting those same suburbs.

There are potentially thousands of people who will be forced to make some decisions as their jobs are relocating in the months to come.

You can't sit back. It's amazing that people don't react to these types of news stories, and they happen daily in many more places than Chicago and Houston.

I have my own example. The Realtor I most recently used is not one of my clients. Even with her 25 years of local experience, I actually provided her with statistics relative to local home sales based in "my" area showing how proximity to area train stations has a direct impact. She was not aware of that research. Only THEN did it start appearing in her advertising of my property.

Taking action on this information now means a lot more than waiting for statistics on whether home sales went up or down in these areas last month.

Start looking for 'news you can use' to your benefit. The Business section is an ideal place to start!

No comments: