A Realtor behaving badly?

When you’re in business, you generally like free publicity, but a San Francisco agent has attracted the kind of free attention you generally don’t want.  But on a positive note, it’s nothing involving a mug shot.

French revolution

The flame-throwing started with an article on curbed, Realtor Rebrands Four Neighborhoods in One Fell Quadrangle, which took a City real estate agent we’ll call Muffy to task for having the temerity to take bits and pieces of cherished and long-established City neighborhoods (as, apparently, only City neighborhoods can be cherished and long-established) and assembling a Frankenstein neighborhood she calls the Quad.  Then followed reader comments and, as anyone who reads online real estate articles can guess, that’s where the gentlemanliness stopped and the cussin’ and hollerin’ began.

“How damn stupid are these people?”, enquires one enquiring mind.  “Holier-than-thou materialistic [nonsense]” huffs another.  “[Muffy] wants to make neighborhoods…more straight, white and rich so she can earn bigger bucks”, rails yet another.  “‘Insufferable yuppie’ territory.”  Sounds like Muffy walked straight into the crossfire between the City’s yuppies and the keepin’-it-real types.

So, burning with indignation over this crass tinkering with cherished and long-established neighborhoods (although what do I know or care about City neighborhoods?) I clicked the link to Muffy’s website.  Where I found a slightly different take on the subject, one not involving the f-word.

All Muffy’s done is create what she calls a “meta hood” of similar neighborhoods, attracting similar residents with similar lifestyles (“so-called ‘lifestyles'”, according to one skeptic), and with similar market performance over the past few years.  “The Quad crosses through 4 real estate sub-districts, so that valuing properties using the standard MLS classifications is difficult.”  Okay, I dig that.  “I started to notice that the values in this area are crazy high compared to just a few years ago.”  Why the upsurge “in an area that was/is kind of edgy”?  There’s the weather–it’s funny how people like good weather–and it’s “walkable & bikeable”–I guess the SUV comes later, with the move to the ‘burbs–and it has good access to both downtown and Silicon Valley–and it’s funny how people don’t like spending half an hour getting into and out of their own neighborhood.

So who’s the typical “Quadster”?  They’re young–“under 40 anyway”.  They “work very hard–mostly in high tech–and make a lot of money.  They value time greatly and want to be in a place where they can get to work quickly, meet up with their friends easily, and walk or bike instead of sitting in traffic.”

Sounds kind of like you, doesn’t it?

It all sounds reasonable to me.  No cherished and long-established neighborhoods were harmed in the making of Muffy’s map.  What we have here is one agent, showing a little initiative and moving a few imaginary walls around to create a more cohesive workspace.  And letting slip the dogs of class warfare.

On a positive note,  they don’t use the guillotine in San Francisco.  And I’ll bet traffic to her website is way up.

copyright © John Fyten  2014

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