Happy birthday condohype

Vancouver Magazine | April 2008

If all writers are like me, they tend to find validation of their work in two places. The first comes from having readership, the second from garnering praise. I’ve been fortunate to have both all in a span of a year.

This week, condohype celebrates its first birthday. Many of us in the local condo blogosphere got a gift today in the form of feature coverage in Vancouver Magazine. In my case, this blog was singled out as a leader on the topic of Vancouver condo real estate.

It’s encouraging to see the mainstream media take notice. There are more voices than those of Rennie, Jurock or Muir. For every one of them, there’s a Solipsist, Mohican or The Pope — all of whom provide opinions worthy of being heard.

As for me, I am happy that you, dear reader, keep coming back. Whether you read because you like it, read because you hate it, or read because you’re cheap and I’m cheaper than paying a consultant — yes, developers, we notice you change your ads after they’re lampooned — it makes no difference to me. It’s lovely to have an audience. I thank you for your interest, no matter what your motivation.

So that’s my two cents, 365 days later. What’s yours? Here’s your chance to share your feedback and tell me what you really think. Do you have a favourite post? Do you have a least favourite? Is the writing what you want it to be? Am I fair in my satire? Am I a hack or the real deal? Would you be willing to pay me to not write about your condo? (I accept cash.) Good or bad, give it up.

I’ve got a $10 Starbucks card for the author of the most thoughtful, well-written comment.

14 Responses to “Happy birthday condohype”

  1. aetakeo Says:

    I feel like the Lampoon of Hillary Swank on SNL in saying “I’m a gurl, ya know” – but if I don’t sound too cheese-festooned, I like the way you deal with gender.

    I should be clear that the blogs you’ve mentioned have never made me feel unwelcome, and they are regular and well loved haunts. Generally, they stay away from things like race, gender, or ability in the market: discussions of class cover a lot of scenarios without further labelling. But on the Pappa Bear Blog, HBB, I stay out of the comments. I generally just glance over his stuff in my feed.

    You have actively addressed gender a couple of times, without making it an othering proposition. Since women ARE buying more in this market, there is an undercurrent of “it’s the womenz” – and, on HBB, immigrants. Oh my god! It’s the pink menace and the nagging of women to their husbands! Women want real estate more than they want Manolos! (Women are well represented by the characters on Sex in the City!)

    No doubt bubbles are caused by mass ridiculousness, but there are stupid people of all sorts to go around. Although there are more women acting as the greater fool in this market as compared to (under their own name) in markets of the past, I’d need to see some pretty heavy analysis to begin to how this could bring anything more but a slight price increase and an increase in demand, and then supply, of one-bedroom condos. Both of which we blew right past a LONG time ago.

    The women and immigrants argument is one of those premises that’s being thrown around without thought about the fundamentals: after all, women have been actors all along, and both of those groups economically are less likely to have the economic “leverage” necessary to be specuvestors and flippers. They are, perhaps, more likely to be risk adverse and see owner-occupier situations as more economically stable than rent and invest, but that is an unproven/unquantified hypothesis. By how much more than your average second-or-greater generation Canadian dude of the same economic profile?

    Which is not to say that women and immigrants with sufficient capital and get-rich-quick greed wouldn’t or aren’t flipping up a storm. Idiots are a universal plague, and slight trends in one group do not make for absolute anything.

    So I give you props for treating female fools like simply more fools, no modifier needed.

  2. mathamatical Says:

    I check out your site once in a while. I do appreciate the efforts you have put in over the year. Some of your witty comments have made me laugh out loud. It clear shows some marketers have no idea what they are doing. Please keep up the good work.

  3. ThePope Says:

    What great timing for the article. Happy B-day Condohype! As far as I’m concerned you don’t need to change a thing.

    Aetakeo, brilliant comment. Generalizations are a mental crutch used to squeeze a complicated world into simple boxes. I want to get ‘idiots are a universal plague’ printed on a T-shirt.

  4. Close to everything and far from ordinary Says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Love your site. Been writing ad copy for what seems like a million years; a couple of my ads are in your collection. I laugh along with everyone else because every ad is a compromise. And the clients rule.

    Can you imagine what we’d do if left to our own devices?

    Clients, on the other hand, would run was/is spreadsheets.

    Would like to write more but have to rustle some fresh adjectives for the paying customers.

  5. Will Says:

    I have been reading you from the start because you’re funny. you make me laugh. I find myself nodding in agreement many times. Sure you have droughts but who doesn’t?

    A suggestion, if I may. You clearly have a talent for taking what others have done and trashing them (rightly so). How about doing up some parody ads of your own? You know, like the old MAD magazines? Heck, if you could do a tri-folding parody… Now that would be gold!

    Keep the lampooning coming!

  6. sidelines Says:

    Happy birthday, indeed!

    Love your site and always look forward to seeing new entries.

    Realtor flyers and websites are often hilarious: hyperbole, bad grammar, lay-out, etc. – you name it, it’s there. Maybe you could roast up some of those on your blog once in a while, too? Just a thought.

    Whatever you do, keep it up. In nutty RE times like these, we need the laughs.


    P.S. I’d also like to echo aetakeo’s thoughts re your blog’s treatment of gender. Good on you there, too!

  7. j6p Says:

    you’ve changed the way i look at ads. thank you for the many laughs.

  8. Ultraman Says:

    I enjoy your witty sense of observation. Why limit yourself to the condo life? Vancouver is such a pretentious an immature city, there’s so much that you can make fun of within those few square miles of The Best Place on Earth. Thanks always for the laugh.

  9. Prateek Says:

    I’ve only been reading for the past month or so and haven’t really dug through the archives, but congratulations all the same.

  10. JasonK Says:

    No real favorite post… that’s impossible.

    I enjoy your site so much that I look every day in the faint hope of a new post. Every one is fresh, moody, fun… something!

    I hope I’m not throwing off your stats by compulsively checking for new articles.

    I’m not too vocal, I did take a great panoramic Richmond housing crane shot that got got posted on Vancouver Housing Blogger’s site back in the day! Wish we knew where he was at…

    Keep it up! Only more interesting things to come.

  11. Larry Yatkowsky Says:

    Regular fodder keeps brain cells in tact.

    Well done on the hard work.

    Many Happies on the moment.

  12. RobBennie Says:

    Happy BDay Mr. Hype,

    Enjoy your musings on the fertile ground of real estate marketing.

    A word of caution though, with the softening of the market you may want to branch out. Have you considered other sectors, ie: Hardwood Flooring Hype,
    Gas Fireplace Hype or the ever expanding Green Living Hype….. Just a thought.

    Cheers, keep up the “Quality & Value”
    Rob Bennie

  13. scullboy Says:

    I love your site’s tagline: “Disown the lifestyle”. I could never figure out what bothered me about Vancouver’s condo market until I read it. It’s perfect… succinct and precise.

    I also love that the blog focuses so well on that very thing. Most of what you’re lampooning isn’t Vancouver or its condos per se, it’s that illusive “luxury lifestyle” that marketers here try to define and describe, usually with hilarious results.

    A great example is found in that infomercial “article” for Quttro:

    “The starter market in housing is often neglected by developers and doesn’t offer the luxury that first-time buyers usually feel they want.”

    And the autor of that is supposed to be a journalist? That passed an editor’s desk? It’s so badly written it’s impossible to read on without giggling to yourself.

    I love the “Lower side of middle income earners like an old gold mine” comment…. it’s so totally insulting and yet neither the author nor editor have the wit to see it.

    Anyway love your site, love your skewering of the merketer defined “lifestyle”. It reminds me of what REALLY drove this bubble…. greed and stupidity.

  14. The Blackbird Says:

    I just found you, so happy belated. I’m a local photographer. Here’s my birthday gift to you: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackbird_hollow/sets/72157604607347186/

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