December 15, 2010

A Neighborhood Change - Why "New and Improved" May Help You Sell More Properties in 2011

Remember What Your Mother Use to Tell You

"Don't judge a book by it's cover" was as standard cliche we all probably heard a few times as children. The same concept can be said about people too. In the real estate industry you never can tell who the good clients are just by looking at them and you should never modify your level of service based on appearances.

Visitors to an open house might pull up in a beat up old car and some Realtors would peek out the window and sigh, thinking "these people can't afford this house." Be careful and remind yourself that perhaps those people just don't like to drive their Mercedes or Rolls Royce on the weekends.

"The last time I went there it was horrible"

Have you ever been asked by a friend about a restaurant and you quickly encourage them to try something else, recalling a bad experience or untasty meal that you had at that location in the past? Did you ever stop to consider that the ownership might have changed or maybe there's a new chef on staff or perhaps you were just having a bad day when you visited in the past?

As you move into the new year, challenge yourself to rely on the wisdom of others who have experience and knowledge of things but at the same time, always seek out new information (updated almost daily) before making a decision or recommendation because there might be more than meets the eye (or your faded memory).

Urban Living Comes to Cincinnati

I had the opportunity to tour the new Gateway Quarter project in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday with several leaders from our Coldwell Banker West Shell team. Our hosts were the team from our newest branch, the CBWS Metro Link Office.

The Gateway Quarter is a mix of newly constructed and renovated condominiums located on and around 12th and Vine in downtown Cincinnati. Nearly 100 new lofts are available priced from the $90's to $400's with features that are simply unavailable at these prices elsewhere in downtown Cincinnati.

After being welcomed by branch manager Bill Heckman to the main Gateway Quarter Welcome Center at 1326 Vine Street, we learned of the overall development project. According to the development's website. "The Over-the-Rhine Comprehensive Plan, local community stakeholders and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) created a set of planning principles that will guide the development of the Gateway QUARTER and surrounding community into a safe, attractive and productive neighborhood for residents and visitors alike." Click here to read more of the overall principles and plans for the amazing undertaking. The Welcome Center has a few large scale maps showing the enormity of the project as well as a tremendous staff of associates to assist any visitors or interested future residents.

We enjoyed a tour of several of the buildings and units inside each. The unique architecture creates incredible visual appeal and the interior updates and craftsmanship coupled with some fabulous decorating is very welcoming. One thing you won't find in the Gateway Quarter is any "status quo" cookie cutter housing.

While being guided around by Assistant Manager Kathy Fergus, Sales Representative Holly Redmond and Becky Mannix, the team's Marketing Manager, we learned of the history of the area and began to envision what incredible opportunities this revival of a once-blighted neighborhood will do for the city of Cincinnati and those who choose to become a part of it.

Long-time Cincinnati residents and Realtors serving in the Tri-State area need to find some time to make it down to see this incredible makeover that is happening in the Gateway Quarter. The pleasant mixture of urban living lofts, neighborhood shops and restaurants and the soon-to-be renovated Washington Square Park will really amaze you and help you look at this area in an entirely new light.

We ended our tour over some cold seasonal brews at The Lackman, one of the really neat pubs that dot the landscape of Gateway Quarter. As we watched the happy hour crowd filter in there was no one specific stereotype of clientele. There were Gen Xer's sitting amongst Boomers, there were men and women and there were residents and visitors. It was a really cool way to end my day and get a totally neat view of what urban living could be all about.

As I said at the beginning of this post, don't judge a book by it's cover. The Gateway Quarter area isn't your grandfather's Over the Rhine. It's fresh, it's hip and it's going to be a really cool place to be for living, entertainment, shopping and dining in downtown Cincinnati.

I encourage you to visit their website at or better yet, stop down to 1326 Vine Street and say hello to Holly, Stacy, Kathy or Becky. I know they'd be happy to meet you and your clients and show you what urban living could be all about. Whether you or your clients have any interest in living downtown or not, you'll at least know more about what's behind that "new and improved" book cover.

Here are some photos of some of the various units in the Gateway Quarter development area.

The main map at the Welcome Center, 1326 Vine Street

Valuted "loft living" with hardwood floors and unique architectural charm

Roof-top decks, balconies, fireplaces, exposed brick and ducts,stainless steel appliances, great city views and more...