Gimmick Central

There are several ways in which I’m aware of my age. For starters, when I play tennis on a Monday I’m still sore on a Wednesday. That’s not entirely unique, or new, but it’s pronounced. My capacity for head down, sweaty brow, hard physical labor is also dimishing. I used to pride myself on my incredible ability to just power through any difficult circumstance. I was great at working hard. Time to spread 10 yards of mulch by myself because my family is mostly unhelpful? It would be hard, but not impossible, and I’d get it done. Today, it feels impossible. The good news is my work ethic is still strong, as long as I’m not being asked to repetitively lift heavy things under the hot sun.

But about that work thing, I’m increasingly bad at that too. The market has found some level of normal and is operating just fine. With the return to normal we’re seeing the return of what some agents do best: Gimmickery. If I feel the need to cringe when I tell people I meet that I’m a Realtor it’s the tight association with gimmickery that causes my pain. This is what I’m rather bad at, which is why I enjoyed the covid markets so much. There was no time for gimmickery. It was just hustle and hurry and success. I liked the pragmatic action.

Around the country, the old shennagins have returned. New developments and their brokers are partnering with luxury car brands and inviting you to their parties. Imagine owning this condo and being associated with the G Wagon! And not that base level 550, the real one. The open houses are back. Stop by for sushi AND a tour of this amazing 2 bed, 2 bath 1189 square foot carpeted condo on the third floor of a 22 story building! The bonuses are back. Sell this terrible swamp house in sweaty Florida for $10M and we’ll pay you a $500k selling bonus! Nothing screams confidence in the market like offering agents outsized riches for convincing some gullible family from Saint Louis that the Florida market is only in a tiny little pause and not a market shift caused by an overabundance of new inventory that came online 24 months too late. Did your Austin listing fail to sell in a couple of months? No problem! Expire the listing from the market and re-list it so it shows up as brand spanking new to market. Voila, no detrimental market time!

All of this gimmickery is tedius to me and I refuse to play along, and I will do my best to also not let my clients play along. Maybe it’s my old age. Maybe it’s my good sense. When I survey the real estate scene today both locally and across the nation, I see everyone pretending what they’re doing is what’s next. Drop prices every 11.5 days until a buyer is tempted to bite, that’s what’s next. List and relist to save market time, that’s what’s next. Pretend your new condo development is popular amongst G63 drivers, that’s what’s next. Host an open house with a red carpet and a vionist, that’s what’s next. Sadly, like all things in real estate, what’s next is what’s always been, just repackaged in the hopes you’ll buy it. I think that’s what’s causing my fatigue, not that Monday tennis match (which I won).

About the Author

I'm David Curry. I write this blog to educate and entertain those who subscribe to the theory that Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is indeed the center of the real estate universe. When I started selling real estate 27 years ago I did so of a desire to one day dominate the activity in the Lake Geneva vacation home market. With over $800,000,000 in sales since January of 2010, that goal is within reach. If I can help you with your Lake Geneva real estate needs, please consider me at your service. Thanks for reading.

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