16 March 2009 0 Comments

Public Real Estate Notice

Bummer
I saw one of the Real Estate sections disappear this past Saturday from our local daily The Bulletin. The advent of less advertisers no doubt. It appears that the former Real Estate section was replaced with a Public Notice section – featuring mostly foreclosures. Not sure if this is a recent change or not as it’s been a while since I actually picked up the Real Estate section as we can just drive around town and see the For (Short) Sale signs littered across the lawns of homes throughout Bend.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bulletin performs this year in the current economy with less advertisers and the internet taking its toll on all daily newspapers – who struggle to redefine their old business model. How much longer will they be able to keep their big house on the hill with their main sources of revenue going away?

The brighter side is that The Bulletin will no doubt learn, adapt, and grow from all of this. Perhaps even follow the Seattle’s Post-Intelligencer model – who happens to be running their last printed paper tomorrow. The Bulletin seems to have a good team up there and a dedicated following. Time, and money will tell.

13 March 2009 0 Comments

Mari Lassa Handbags

Mari Lassa Handbag
Now available on a browser near you – MariLassa.com – Anne Scott’s website for her one-of-a-kind handmade leather handbags.

A fun project indeed.
After our initial meetings and planning, one of the first tasks on the list was to assemble a library of her current product line, so a date was set and I cruised out to the studio with my gear and started shooting handbags. Then it was design time while adHOC collaborated with Anne to get the copy just right. Next it was development and thanks to the help of Joshua Clanton, the website was coded just right.

It’s complete. With the set-up of several other online networks to get her out there – virtually – and a little PR bump to boot, Anne now has a fully functioning ecommerce website. Cool!
If you live in Bend, be sure to check out The Bulletin next week for more details on Anne. She’s super talented for sure.

1 November 2008 0 Comments

The warmest Halloween + the thinnest Real Estate Section

Two interesting things happened this weekend – The first time I can remember a Halloween night being so unseasonably ‘warm’ in Bend & The first time I have ever seen the Bulletin’s Real Estate section being so thin, so thin that both sections had no inserts, not a single sheet in the fold. Why even have two sections?

MummyGranted, we’ve only lived in Bend for 8 years, but since I can recall Halloween nights have always been a bone chilling expedition and at times thwarted by scattered showers. To boot, this years Halloween fell on a Friday night, TGIF + H.

My sister cruised over to hang out with Max and I, so we popped in a Mel Brooks fav – Young Frankenstein. Max had never seen it and thought it was pretty funny ‘for an old movie‘ LOL. It was a fun evening of trick-or-treats, movies, drinks , and little Halo 3 (toward the end of the evening). Laurie and Ana came back w/ a boatload of candy from what was obviously a well executed high fructose corn syrup run.

This morning I cruised out the front door to pick up Saturdays paper. On Saturdays The Bulletin (our local newspaper) runs their Real Estate Section – which has been getting thinner and thinner over the past six months or so. Today it was the thinnest I’ve ever seen.

Skinny Real EstateI remember when that section was super thick, I mean fat. Full spread ads by brokers, full page ads by builders, agencies, etc. Granted, they were making money hand over fist. I too encouraged my home builder clients to advertise in The Bulletin in addition to our other cross-media venues. Why not? The market was hot, they were making record profits, and everyone – at the time – was in the red ocean. The Bulletin was loving it, selling ad space like there was no tomorrow at fairly high prices, no doubt making record profits as well.

Well, not any more, and not for a while. I’m thinking we’ll see that section staying pretty thin for some time. There really is no incentive to advertise – What’s the incentive to buy a home in an overpriced market when you can just wait for a foreclosure or short-sale? It’s harsh, but true. This market is overpriced – even when moving here we thought – ‘Really, you want that much?’.

If you’re going to try to sell your home (or homes) in this market, place a classified. In the paper sure, but for sure online, it’s free. Less is more these days, and it’s apparent now that less should have always been more – but living in a  100 sq. ft home takes the adage to a whole new level.

The Real Estate Market is still alive and well in other markets though. I have friends selling $2,000,000 – $4,000,000 condos in NYC no problem – for a medium sized residence in the The Big Apple that makes sense. Granted, we’re talking two completely different markets, but $1,000,000+ for living in the heart of downtown Bend? That’s funny.

Regardless, over time I hope to see those pages fill up again with home prices more in check with reality. And a return to a cool, crisp, Fall evening for Halloween would be nice too.