Gerhard Ade covers Real Estate around Seattle and more.
For the past nine years, Gerhard Ade has published the "View from the Street" a monthly newsletter he writes for his clients and friends. Appearing at the end of each month, Gerhard covers not only real estate but other topics that are close to his mind and heart. To reach a broader audience, Gerhard posts each newsletter on ReSeattle.com. Don't miss what Gerhard has to say and subscribe to his "View from the Street" right here!
For the past 117 months, I’ve published this newsletter – nothing canned, no copy-and-paste stuff, everything from scratch. The average length is about 600 words and most of the visuals are homegrown, too. After the month-end email distribution to about 400 people, I post each newsletter here on my website – ReSeattle.com.
Creative real estate, is it possible?
Why would I do such a thing for nine years and nine months without skipping a beat? Simply put, I like to write and nobody is stopping me. When I first started in real estate after a 30-year career in graphic design, branding, and corporate communications I feared my creative days were numbered. Today, 18 years later, I can say that I’ve successfully channeled that creativity in a field not known for its artistic expression. Creative real estate is possible.
Back in the day, when I wrote the letter to shareholders for the chairman of a Fortune 500 company, I had to know the company’s business and the mind of the CEO. To test my knowledge of anything it helps me to write it down. When I began to write about real estate, I realized how unsure I was about some things. So I looked things up, checked different sources. Essentially I wrote for myself because I wanted to become a better agent. The more I learned, the better the agent I became, and the more I wanted to write.
Eventually, I wrote about topics other than real estate – how I bought Jeff Bezos lunch and why typography fascinates me. Here’s the link to various topics I’ve covered over the years.
Real estate has given me other opportunities to be creative. Take, for example, the 500 characters including spaces, that the local MLS allows for the description of a property listing. Judging by some of the listing prose, even spell check has taken a leave of absence, say nothing of basic literacy. Abbreviated real estate lingo is not only unattractive but it wins no flower pot at the search engine optimization ball.
It took me a while to realize that these 500 characters – about 85 words – presented an opportunity. I accepted the challenge to create something special in a very constrained space. I wrote real sentences with verbs and subjects. Avoiding cliches, I tried to express the familiar in new ways. Whatever these few words were, they had to capture the essence of the home and make the reader want to know more.
Update: the MLS has just increased the character allowance from 500 to 750. After two decades, it was about time.
Creativity finds many expressions, including the ‘offer strategy’ for a desirable property or negotiations after a home inspection. But in the artistic sense, listing a property for sale offers the most enticing creative opportunities. I treat each listing as if were a unique product, a very expensive one at that.
It has taken me a while to realize that I didn’t change careers 18 years ago. I just changed the field in which I practice. 2020 was the most successful year in my real estate career.
Creative real estate? It can be fun.
I wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Healthy New Year!
The Christmas of my childhood was filled with magic. If there were any Christmas decorations in the public square I can’t recall them. I do remember, however, the door between my grandparents’ kitchen and the living room. About a week before Christmas it closed and stayed shut until Christmas Eve.
That evening, after a week of growing anticipation, and after the last bite of carp and boiled potatoes, the little bell rang. It came from behind the door. In concert, a traditional German Christmas carol permitted me to open the door.[Read more…] about The beautiful magic happens behind closed doors.
Has the pandemic caused a real estate panic?
The pandemic has caused a real estate panic. The urban unrest hasn’t helped. Buyers are fleeing urban settings for the suburban life and beyond to rural areas. Some leave Washington State altogether. What they want are larger homes or second homes. This scenario plays out across the country.
“Anything right outside of Boston is going like wildfire, but especially the single-family homes. I’ve never seen bidding wars – I mean, you know, randomly here or there – but I’ve never seen bidding wars with consistency in the fall like I have this fall.”
“Consumers working from home or schooling from home want more square footage since the home is more than just a home now, it’s a daycare, an office, a gym and a school. Pool permits in Frisco, a Dallas suburb, have gone up 400%.”
“People have been working this whole time at home, and they’re looking for bigger homes with maybe a little more land. So, they’re moving away from the downtown area. The suburbs are really getting busy. Some homes are bought sight-unseen.”
The complete quotes, cited above and edited only for brevity, can be found in this article from HousingWire.[Read more…] about Is there really a real estate panic?
What happened to real estate values around Seattle from 2003 to 2020.
A Personal Story
I was inspired to write this story because I wanted to know how my client’s experience fit into the bigger picture. I chose the years 2003, 2008, 2009, 2016, and 2020 because those are the years when the six transactions took place.
Five years, six transactions
I started in real estate in 2002, so this story is also a look back at my 18 years in this business. In 2003, this client – The Family – moved to Seattle from Chicago. A Swiss friend from church had recommended me to them.
Little did I know back then that the purchase of a bungalow-like home near Seward Park would be the first of six transactions. Since then, my business has grown mainly due to repeat business and recommendations.
From boom to bust to best
Having arrived in Seattle in 1999 for a job in my former career, I had very few local contacts. That was painfully obvious during the boom years of Seattle real estate. Oddly enough, the year 2008, after the bubble burst, was until then my best year in real estate. That was also the year when I helped The Family with the purchase of their second home.