I think maybe I’ve discovered another angle that has exposed just how terrible I am at the newly modified rules of real estate marketing. Everyone knows I’ve sold oodles of lakefront homes not only on market, but also off market over the past several years. Not everyone can understand why I’ve done that, and in the spirit of keeping my competition confused, I’ll keep the reasons between me and you, directly. To be certain, the reasons are many. Because of these off market sales, many of the images associated with those properties never make it to the world of local real estate advertising. If I didn’t share 48 images of the interior of the house on the web with my romanticized initials adoring the corner of each image, did the sale even occur?
Along those lines, you’ll be seeing an out of town group exploit imagery for a transaction that I facilitated, with no concern for how confusing that might be to the market in spite of it falling under a larger corporate umbrella that suggests such usage is ok. If a Coldwell Banker office in Saint Louis brokered the top Saint Louis sale of 2022, would you expect the Toledo office to splatter the images of that sale all over their Toledo directed advertising? You would not, because you’re a reasonable and intelligent person. But in this new era, with carpetbagging all the rage, you’ll see advertisements that just don’t make much sense to the informed or otherwise perceptive. It’s no longer the intent of advertisements to be clear and accurate, the new intent is to spread subterfuge and create confusion. What a sloppy new world we live in.
When it comes to homes I’ve previously sold, I have intentionally chosen very few images to display in any advertising format. I could fill my annual magazines with hundreds of images of homes I’ve sold, and I could, according to new advertising standards, also display hundreds of images of homes that sold without my involvement. The new rules say that’s okay so long as I add a tiny obscure disclaimer stating that I didn’t actually sell those homes. The reason I don’t focus my advertisements on seven kitchen shots of a home I sold two years ago has everything to do with respecting the purchaser of that home. If you had bought a home in 2022, would you want to open a magazine in 2023 that had 30 interior photos of the home that you now own? I say you wouldn’t, and so I don’t. The new rules of real estate advertisement be damned, I will not march along in the confusion campaign. None of this should even need to be said, but it feels to me like the market should be informed of what’s actually occurring here.
Unfortunately, I’m learning that my stance is increasingly rare in this rapidly devolving world of luxury real estate. To find success today, you needn’t intelligence or understanding of market nuance, you need only to amass the largest email list and indiscriminately broadcast automated listing feeds upon people who you wish to someday be your client. This is all the market wants now. Want to be an expert? Just say you are. What to lay claim to a sale that wasn’t yours? Just add a tiny disclaimer. Want to play pretend? Well then just play pretend. Want to open a satellite office in a market you know nothing about? Just grab a few agents in that market, and hopefully they have a house that they’ll someday sell and voila, instant market share. If you find yourself needing some real estate assistance here and would like quality representation that is narrowly focused on helping you achieve your goals, I’ll be here to help. Hopefully after 27 years at this desk I’ve earned your trust without the need to engage in the market tricks that have, recently and sadly, been normalized.
Above, instead of a photo of a house I didn’t sell, here’s a photo of my sailboat. Note there is no lighthouse in the background, because this isn’t a stock image. It’s a photo I took while sailing on Geneva Lake.