The old dream for Americans was to save enough money for a down payment on a home that you could own or partly own by qualifying for a mortgage you could pay off over time. My, how times have changed. Many people I speak with still believe in the old dream. When asked why, they’d say things like “I don’t want a landlord telling me the rules or dictating how I live,” or, “I don’t want my rent raised every year.” These concerns and fears are not groundless.
Over a hundred years ago poets, politicians and bankers were singing the praises of home ownership. “A man is not a whole and complete man,” wrote Walt Whitman (1819-1892), “unless he owns a house and the ground it stands on.” Now that ideal is quickly vanishing. Recently Reuters interviewed and wrote a story about Rich Arzaga, the founder and CEO of Cornerstone Wealth Management. The article New American Dream is Renting to Get Rich speaks to why the number of renters will be growing exponentially in the months and years ahead. “It’s the American Dream to own a home, but whoever said that didn’t do the analysis on it,” Arzaga claims, knowing he’s contradicting past notions and conventional wisdom.
The Reuter’s article went on to look at the benefits of renting versus owning. “Examining 250 properties around the U.S., and going through close to 40 client files to project the financial impact of owning real estate versus liquidating it, Arzaga, an adjunct professor in personal finance at the University of California at Berkeley, found that, 100 percent of the time it was better to rent, rather than own.” The assertion that 100 percent of the time it was better to rent than to own sounds like a hyperbole at best. How could it be true?
Apparently the reasons are self-evident, as the article articulated. “While a home is the main repository of wealth for many Americans, it comes with numerous hefty expenses. The carrying costs – what’s needed to hold and maintain the asset – range from property taxes and home insurance to emergency repairs and renovations. In a rental situation, the landlord covers those costs, leaving the occupant free to invest revenue in other areas.” That’s a topic I also write about in my articles at Seeking Alpha. “I don’t have the emotions a lot of people do surrounding real estate,” Arzaga says. “I have steely eyes for how investing in real estate works, and I’d better be a prudent investor for my clients.”
That’s a perspective that property owners can leverage to the hilt. Through online advertising and your own company’s web site find ways to attract and appeal to both owners and prospective residents who are goal-oriented, proud people who want to live the new American dream. Let them know you can help them, and that you value relationships with both landlords and tenants who are top drawer kind of people. It doesn’t have to sound snobbish to put a positive spin on the advantages of hiring the services of a property manager who is selective and proactive.
If you’re well-organized, using the latest technology for property management, and enjoy helping people to succeed while you’re pursuing your own success, and then make that clearly visible in your self-promotions. We all want to do business with people who are in the know and have caring hearts. Tell everyone you know that you’re the kind of property manager that wants to help everyone live the New American Dream and that you have the experience and the tools to make it happen!