Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Real Estate Ads

Over the past few months of unemployment I've had conversations with potential employers that never quite came to fruition but got close enough to send me online to look at homes for sale or rent in other cities. In checking the real estate sites nationwide, left coast to right, I have found a common thread:

Nutballs.

I suppose that's harsh. It's certainly not nice though I hope it has a lovable ring to it. Maybe it's just that some real estate brokers have no marketing skills. Not everybody does. But I have read some outstanding ads on eBay written by Joe and Jane Lunchbox that make me think this is a particularly virulent form of ineptitude among real estate agents.

To begin with, all real estate agents have their own pictures on everything: their business cards, newspaper ads, bus benches and websites. They all look nice and clean and happy. But you know what might make me more likely to call them? A picture of a house I know I can't afford.


Show me my dream home. That's what makes my heart go pit-a-pat, not Jack and Jill Darling freshly-showered and nicely dressed for the kill.

When they do give me pictures of a particular house I sometimes wonder if they asked a nine-year-old in the neighborhood to take it. Mostly, I get to see the garage door and often a tree blocking the entryway and front porch. Sometimes I get to see a car blocking the front of the "storybook cottage" which needs "just a little TLC".

Just once I actually saw one I was interested in buying -- the car, not the house.

The inside pictures are usually the most maddening. Just today I went to a website advertising a luxury townhouse in a highly desirable big city neighborhood and it included three pictures: one of the weight room, which I am no more likely to use than if the complex had its own whore house. The second was a picture of the master bedroom. Just the bed, actually. (Nice comforter! And what is the thread count on those sheets?) And the third picture was of a toilet and sink.

Friends, I don't care where you live in this great land -- a toilet is a toilet and 98% of them come in white.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm different than everybody else. When I'm looking for a new home I want to love the location, how it looks from the outside, and I want to see the warmth and comfort of the family and entertaining areas. I want to be excited about the house and I want the house to love me back.

I just assume it has a toilet and a room for my bed.

Maybe I'm the nutball. I want to feel comfortable with my realtor but we're never going to meet if he or she just shows me pictures of the themselves, the toilet, the kitchen sink or the absolute worst feature I have seen in marketing:

A chair, half a drape and a piece of a potted plant.

Seriously, I pulled this picture from an online real estate ad and I didn't crop anything out of it.

Nutballs.

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