Renting: It’s a Pickle

Research conducted by Freddie Mac indicates that people living in single-family rental properties (a house, townhouse, or condo) may be more likely to buy a home than those living in apartments. But there’s a catch: Freddie Mac’s survey found that overall, about 55% of renters in both single- and multi-family properties intend to continue renting in the next three years.

One major factor in deciding when to buy a home is how satisfied the renter is with the rental experience, according to Freddie Mac’s survey. Approximately 68% of those satisfied with their rental experience say they intend to continue renting, compared to 32% who say they plan to buy a home. “The trend shows that satisfied renters are more likely to continue renting, even as we are seeing rising rents in the market,” said David Brickman, EVP of Freddie Mac Multifamily.

The challenge to overcome this satisfaction with their current living situation and getting renters to look at buying a home now can be summed up in one word: pickles. Trust me on this one!

Vlasic Pickles, with their iconic stork, marketed themselves as “the pickle pregnant women crave . . . after all, who’s a better pickle expert?” and became one of the world’s largest distributors of pickles. After some time, though, their growth stalled: what more can they say about a pickle that hasn’t already been said? Then, an idea came to one of their executives, and a new concept was born: Sandwich Stackers. By slicing the pickle lengthwise, they could now advertise this “new” product as ideal for placing it on a sandwich because it covered more area with just one slice. Genius!

They didn’t try to cross a pickle with a tomato or add sriracha sauce to the brine. Actions like that would require countless hours of research & development, focus groups, etc. – all of these things would mean a lot of money spent on something that may not even work. Instead, they addressed an existing need with an existing product – just pitched from a new angle. Before the introduction of the Sandwich Stacker, people weren’t sitting around cursing the fact they had to put multiple pickle chips on one sandwich, but as soon as Vlasic introduced their new concept, people recognized the genius and found it easier to use a Stacker over a chip.

In order to rouse renters from their current stupor of “satisfaction” and get them to see the genius behind buying a home now, we (real estate and mortgage professionals together) need to show them how much easier their lives will be as owners. We have already helped a number of real estate agents reach these renters specifically and show them “the light”. We can do the same with you!

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