By Audra Hall
I have really noticed how much real estate marketing has changed over the last few years. First of all, the ways to market new construction have changed dramatically. An old friend of mine is moving here from Paris and wanted some advice on downtown condos in Chicago. She wants to live in the loop so she can be close to work.
Since the Tribune real estate section only has ads from brokers and just a few developments, there is really nowhere to look for new homes. She insisted on doing some initial legwork before she hired a broker and personally visited each site so she asked me to narrow down the great developments in the best locations. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw an ad on TV for 6 North Michigan that same week. After looking in the Tribune for real estate, I can see why 6 North Michigan decided to advertise on television.
The traditional method of real estate marketing used to be through metropolitan newspapers. That method simply does not work anymore. Around the same time that real estate went into a depression, everything was moving to a visual mode of communication via the television or the Internet. The Internet is simply a necessary, relatively inexpensive and easy mode of advertising everything, including real estate. Getting people to go to a specific website is the hard and expensive part. Unless a marketer purchases pay per clicks of every real estate catch phrase one could think of, it is very hard to get noticed. In addition, a typical buyer generally gets information overload while searching on the Internet.
6 North Michigan used television advertising which grabbed the attention of multiple people who may or may not have been thinking about real estate and captured their undivided attention for 30 seconds. This prompts an interested party to go to the website that is advertised in the commercial and get more detailed information.
When I went to 6 North Michigan, I was really surprised. I knew my friend wanted to live in a building with some old charm so that helped to narrow the choices. Most of the new, downtown buildings have glass curtain walls and are too contemporary for her particular taste. 6 North has been completely redone on the inside. They have taken a historically significant building and basically gutted the inside. The units have the unique qualities of blending the old and the new.
The location is just right for my friend whose office is also on Michigan Avenue. She will be able to walk to work all year round. There are some great restaurants in the area so she does not have to rely on her really bad cooking. Since she is a culture vulture, she can go to plays and concerts whenever she wants.
The kitchen is perfect for her. It is really modern with every gadget and appliance one could want. Since she really cannot cook, it will always look perfect. My guess is that it will be used to chill wine and make coffee in the morning. Most of the kitchens that I looked at in the other buildings had cabinets and appliances from American manufacturers. They work fine, but they do not have the same look as the Italian kitchens that are in 6 North.
The rest of the condo is also pretty inviting. The wood floors and the marble bathroom make it a beautiful place to live. As nice as the condo is, the real star is the view. Even though my friend looked at the Eifel tower from has last home, I think the view of the lake and Millennium Park is equally dramatic. She will be completing her move here within a few weeks and I think that after she completes the rigors of looking at the five or six buildings that surround the park, she will choose 6 North Michigan.
Audra Hall is a real estate agent in Chicago.