Wednesday, October 10, 2018

When High End Living Doesn't Fit In

The situation with the Bayside project in Milwaukee is worth paying attention to, especially for investors and real estate professionals in large cities with a variation in the residential market.

On one side is the developer seeking to dominate a community with a mixed use community which would include 280 high end apartments. The developer has shown how its property tax money and eventual retail revenue would have a positive financial impact on the entire community.

The other side has the area residents of middle income residents with comparatively "simple" one and two bedroom single family homes, who are looking to retain the community they are living in without this large development.

To its credit, the city has delayed its decision either way while seeking more input and analysis. Frankly, not all municipalities would delay a project of this magnitude and actually listen to area residents. Instead, many would have pushed the development proposal through and started planning on how the millions of "new" dollars will eventually be spent.

However, one important factor is that a large number of area residents have attended the meetings and made their views felt. Often times it appears that hardly anyone cares until the change goes through and people complain when it is well after they had their chance.

It will be worth tracking this story for how this plays out, as well as for how both sides present their case.

Here is the story:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Only One In A Million?

It was good to see that Leslie Rouda Smith, a presidential candidate for the National Association of Realtors for 2020, was in the Chicago area and appearing at two days' worth of meetings and presentations. Her 30 years of experience appear to make her well qualified for the role.

However, there is cause for concern, and it is not a reflection on Smith or her qualifications. The real estate market is changing again. Renting instead of owning is "in" these days. Home owners in many areas have little to no incentive to sell only because of profit potential. Technology and security concerns continue.

With all that needs to be done to address the current residential real estate situation locally and around the country, the fact remains that Smith is running unopposed for NAR President for 2020.


Out of approximately 1,000,000 Realtors around the country, no others are interested in a prominent industry leadership role. Does everyone agree with everything she says and does?

Consumers are swamped by advertisements and marketing campaigns by real estate companies and individual agents all the time, as if they should constantly be "thinking about" selling or buying a new home. Some agents are more prominent and more aggressive than others.

Many agents take pride in finding solutions, negotiating, and going the extra mile for their current and potential clients.

But only ONE of them wants to lead the pack?

Smith could be the ideal candidate, but that is not the point. She should need to be CHOSEN as the right candidate, and not default into it.

Make the hundreds of thousands of voters have to choose her if they all think she is such a good candidate. Her running unopposed brings an element of "I give up. I can't compete with that." to the mix.

If not even one out of roughly one million Realtors is not stepping up to oppose Smith and lead an effort toward improvement, what kind of message does this send to millions of homeowners?

Most of these Realtors spend countless dollars to give the public reasons why you should choose "me" over all of the other agents.

At this moment, NONE of them, except Smith, have pursued the most prestigious role in the entire industry.

Smith, however, can boast to potential clients that she is, literally, one in a million. Shouldn't she be "one of the choices" instead?