About Those Radio Ads…

This is a brief post from the road.

One benefit (?) of driving all day long is that you get to hear all the radio ads you’ve been missing as a denizen of cyberspace. Well, one radio commercial I’ve heard over and over and over and over again through six states is that one that begins “MORTGAGES SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!” You know the one I’m talking about, right?

Now, the commercial is patently ridiculous on its face. I have to hope that even dumbasses realize that if mortgages were in fact illegal, they wouldn’t have gotten the loan to buy the house they’re living in, and they would still be paying rent to Mr. Potter. (Oh yes, did I mention that A Wonderful Life was on during Christmas? And that it seems eerily prescient of the world we live in today?) But these commercials are running everywhere, 24×7, and clearly telling consumers “You’re getting ripped off by the banks if you take out a mortgage!”

What got me wondering is whether that commercial and others like it, which constantly denigrate banks, call mortgages illegal and immoral, and talk about how you can transform debt into wealth and all other sorts of nonsense are having an effect nonetheless on the real estate market. Wall Street Journal the other day profiled a homeowner who walked away from an underwater mortgage, despite being able to pay. I just wonder if there’s a connection at all between these guys who are hawking whatever debt consolidation or credit counseling services they’re offering using fairly… ah… hyperbolic language and the increasing social acceptance of “strategic defaults”.

For that matter, after being bombarded by those messages on the drive to work and the drive home, I have to wonder how many people would even want to take out a mortgage at all.

Meh. I’m probably hyper-caffeinated and prone to random thoughts on the long roadtrip, but… man, those commercials are starting to get on my nerves.


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Rob Hahn

Managing Partner of 7DS Associates, and the grand poobah of this here blog. Once called "a revolutionary in a really nice suit", people often wonder what I do for a living because I have the temerity to not talk about my clients and my work for clients. Suffice to say that I do strategy work for some of the largest organizations and companies in real estate, as well as some of the smallest startups and agent teams, but usually only on projects that interest me with big implications for reforming this wonderful, crazy, lovable yet frustrating real estate industry of ours.

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6 thoughts on “About Those Radio Ads…”

  1. Problem is that people DO listen to these commercials AND believe that they can beat the bank to get their mortgage eliminated. They are even willing to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for the promise. These services are scams and hard for real estate professionals to combat due to the sheer number of impressions in the media.

  2. I find it unconscionable that someone who can afford to pay their mortgage walks away leaving the debt because the real estate market has changed. I am appalled by that. Where’s your pride man? 60 Minutes did a segment a few months ago where they profiled a 30ish couple with one young child. I don’t exactly recall where they lived, Arizona or Nevada I think. They were making good money, nothing had changed in their job picture, they could afford to continue to pay their mortgage. They had thought it out and “just decided” to let the bank foreclose on their home because prices had dropped. There was no remorse. They said they’ll just rent for a few years, then buy something later. The husband even hinted of “let the taxpayers” take it on the chin, not me. If everyone felt that way, we’d be in a sad state of affairs.

  3. Rob, as a native southerner but as a 30 year resident of the Washington-Baltimore-New York-Harford sprawl (all along I-95) I have made the journey that you are on (one way or another) many, many times. Each trip is always an adventure one way or another. As you make your way to Houston beware of anyone who wants to inform you “Mitzah Kurtz, he dead” Enjoy the trip, “the horror, the horror” as it unfolds…And oh, btw, those commericals, are beyond ridiculous…What a country!

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