Archive for November, 2011

BlueLeaf Creates A Blue Ocean
November 26, 2011

BlueLeaf Realty survives the real estate downturn by turning up the heat and implementing the Blue Ocean strategy to wow its customers.  The Blue Ocean strategy, proposed by  Kim and Mauborgne,  is very unique: it maintains that companies will succeed not be battling the competition head-on but by harnessing uncontested market space in a variety of ways.

BlueLeaf Realty has done just that and has built a great reputation.  “The customer response has been amazing!” says BlueLeaf’s co-founder, Liana Oram.  “In a very traditional industry, it’s difficult to raise the bar and create value for customers, but the Blue Ocean strategy has given us a plan to capitalize on our strengths as a small business in a very competitive environment.” 

Today, BlueLeaf Realty is fast-becoming one of the most desirable names in Real Estate, and BlueLeaf shows no signs of slowing down in spite of a protracted downturn in its industry.  Instead, it seems plausible that BlueLeaf will continue to grow by swimming in a slipstream in the calm waters of a blue ocean.  To learn more about how the Blue Ocean strategy can enhance your business, visit Blue Ocean today.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Are you a Linchpin?
November 16, 2011

I just finished reading Godin’s book Linchpin.  This book has numerous applications for business owners and entrepreneurs.  The book compels you to think about your role and the role of your business in today’s fast-moving business environment.  The book asks some fundamentally important questions such as: Are you making a difference?,  Do you understand how the world of commerce is changing?,  Are you connecting with the people you want to serve or sell to?  Many thanks to Seth Godin for writing another book that captures the essence of entrepreneurship – it should be required reading for every small business owner.  Godin gets what it’s all about!  If you’re a small business owner, I strongly recommend reading this book to find out what it means to be a Linchpin.  What you learn just might help you grow your business to the next level.  I know I’ll be leading the charge at BlueLeaf Realty to implement the ideas from Linchpin.

The Next Wave of Home Buyers
November 6, 2011

The next wave of home buyers is building momentum and it may be a tsunami-size wave.  But will it be the housing industry’s salvation?  Some, like me, are speculating that it will be but only time will tell.  Overall, job growth is important (a key component to a sustainable and robust real estate recovery), but a more important trend is the current generational shift underway whereby echo-boomers are beginning to influence every facet of the US economy from marketing and advertising to real estate.  Their influence has grown steadily as they come of age and begin to consume more and more.  Currently, this group’s buying power is estimated to be $200B annually, and this figure will only grow larger over the next decade.  As 80M gen Ys, roughly 25% of the US population, dig deeper and deeper into the workforce many changes will take place.  Standing between them and the corner offices, however, will be their own parents who have maintained a tight rein over corporate America and local, state and national government for decades.  Watching how this unfolds will be interesting as one group, the baby-boomers, seeks to protect what they have while the other group, the echo-boomers, simultaneously seeks to obtain what it wants.

Figuring out what the gen Y group wants will be a major challenge for all industries, including real estate.  Right now, for example, this group is driving much of the growth in multi-family.  As a result, multi-family has experienced a boom.  But what is the 18-32 year old demographic really looking for.  Determining what they want, of course, is very important and starts with understanding how gen Y differs from gen X and their baby-boomer parents.  Some research suggests the following characteristics of gen Y: 

  • ethnically diverse
  • better educated
  • tech savvy
  • charitable
  • very social
  • environmentally conscious
  • pet friendly
  • very active

Given these characteristics, residential builders are aiming to adapt their construction to fit gen Y.  What is this going to look like?  It could mean building communities that have wi-fi hot spots, walkability, mixed-use, smaller floor plans, more open space, amenities that support an active and social lifestyle, high-end finishes, and access to outdoor spaces.  In a nutshell, amenities that accommodate a balanced work and play lifestyle will be better suited to gen Y.  Today, this group is driving a boom in multi-family but soon will make the decision to own versus rent.  When they make this decision will depend on many factors.  At that time, however, the next generation of home buyers will drive the housing recovery. 

Just like all retailers, builders and developers are taking note of the next wave of home buyers, but appealing to gen Y will not be easy.  In fact, the tendency to guess at what this group deems important will not work.  Products that are embraced by gen Y will have to genuinely reflect their own tastes and lifestyles, not the tastes and preferences of the preceding generations. This will be as true for real estate as it is for technology products, etc.  Like it or not, the torch has been passed and gen Y will lead the next renaissance in real estate.  In fact, it has already begun – the next wave of home buyers is gaining momentum.