This will all end soon

Affordable Luxury Condos

We’re getting so close to the end of days it isn’t even funny. You know it’s desperate times when you see something like this in the Vancouver Sun. Special thanks to moongirl for pointing it out. This ad showed up in the Tuesday edition in full colour, spread across two full pages.

How ironic that what appears to be the most cheaply designed ad in the history of Vancouver condo marketing is backed by an ad buy worth tens of thousands of dollars. Couldn’t they have spared $500 for creative?

If I can say something nice, I’ll say that this ad does a good job summing up everything that’s wrong with the selling of real estate in Metro Vancouver. It shows how twisted things have become. Broken down to the basic elements, this is what we’re sold:

  1. Affordable condos = One-bedrooms starting at $149,900;
  2. Great location = Downtown Langley, close to a Starbucks, groceries and a casino;
  3. Fabulous luxury = Kohler faucets, garburator, soap dispenser in kitchen, electric fireplace, storage room in MOST suites, microwave.

I could keep going but it’s too depressing. To think that our economy is driven by this, that so many people have bought into this, that the “Best Place on Earth” is defined by this. It’s a tragedy. There’s no way this is going to end well. If you’re not scared now, you should be.

Friends, get ready for a walk into the basement. The market is going down.

18 Responses to “This will all end soon”

  1. robbennie Says:

    Hey Hypsters

    Thought you’d like this approach. It’s direct, devoid of stock lifestyle imagery & has a nice dash of desperation. What’s not to like.

    What all the disgruntled renters out there should know is real estate is cyclical just like the economy & your girlfriends. We’re in a downward trend, but guess what it will go up again.
    The graphs don’t lie,

  2. streel Says:

    “Friends, get ready for a walk into the basement.”

    Maybe a walk into the basement, “Blair Witch” style!

  3. s.p. Says:

    not a rule i go by, but often i look at the number of typefaces in an advertisement – the more isn’t merrier – it often indicates rushed work by a very cheap designer.

    this ad screams: cheap marketing campaign.

    doesn’t necessarily mean the the condos are bad…or does it?


  4. cambo Says:

    Newspapers throw in creative for free.

    This looks like the work of a junior paper makeup employee who took the standard afternoon course in drawing boxes and spilling on photos and text.

  5. Heather hates loaded language Says:

    “What all the disgruntled renters out there should know is real estate is cyclical just like the economy & your girlfriends.”

    I applaud your effort to be witty Rob Bennie but I can’t identify with the last part. Real estate may be cyclical but why assume disgruntled renters are all heterosexual men or gay women?

  6. condohype Says:

    Heather, you’re so cool!

  7. Rocker Guy Says:

    LoL – near a grocery store AND a casino.

    I’m traveling in Europe at the moment. What a different world.

    In Zurich, Switzerland (rated as the best city in the world in 2003 –, about one third of resident own their homes. The rest rent. Why? I asked someone from Zurich.

    “We choose not to own because it would be too expensive. Property taxes are high, and there are many problems in maintaining a property. Why would you want to own?”

    Let’s remember that Switzerland has an unemployment rate of only 3.1% (and Zurich’s rate is even lower). House prices in Switzerland have only increased 19% since 1997, and that’s despite the fact that in Switzerland you can write off your mortgage interest.

    Interesting. And you know what really blew me away? My friend from Switzerland said, “In Zurich, you can rent very nice flats. Why would you want to buy one?”

    Perhaps this is what happens in a society that has been around since 1291.

    Read my blog:

  8. robbennie Says:


    Apologies for the sexist slip.


  9. Warren Says:

    I wish I could get excited about Langley.. I’m still waiting for 1BR in Yaletown for $149k. 🙂

  10. CondoVan Says:

    This project should sell out quite quickly. You wouldn’t see me in line to buy one though.

  11. MJ Says:

    We got that same glossy advert yesterday, pushed through the mail slot and we both laughed.

    But Honey, I said, look…it says affordable “luxury” condos. That’s important…all condos must meet the GVRD description of ‘luxury’. Hell, I think I should buy three of them.

    It’s getting a bit sad to watch this thing unravel. There’s more than a few developments that have really missed the bubble, whether it’s through lack of planning, lack of finances, or lack of labour to build, they have missed the bubble.

    Yes, sad in a way….

  12. Paul Says:

    I think this stinks as much as you guys/gals do.
    BUT…..(and this is no shill or astro-turfing):
    They’re almost sold through this.
    The campaign has worked.

    This brings us to the discussion of what the purpose of advertising is. (and while we’re critiquing advertising and marketing, we have to remember to take away any bias of hating the market, feeling priced out, hating yaletown, density, etc.)

    More stylish(or whatever) or honest ads will not change the housing situation.

    (Heck, even if a renowned visual artist participates in your campaign, we’ll still be taking shots at at it:

    I still challenge condohype and all you readers: What does a good RE ad look like???????? Hopefully this blog can help contribute somehow to the RE mktg environment other than just the smug laughter on the sidelines.

  13. MJ Says:

    Hopefully this blog can help contribute somehow to the RE mktg environment other than just the smug laughter on the sidelines.

    You were expecting a sane response to an insane situation. Good luck with that one.

  14. genxr Says:

    Nice price. but with gas prices so high, my car costs to commute downtown just doesn’t cut it. I rather live in a crap place than live in Langley and bleed $ from spending on my car. prices need to be at least 1/2 price for me to even consider!

  15. Red frog Says:

    Am I the only one paying no attention whatsoever to real estate ads?. I judge condos/ houses by the floor plan and especially the layout of the kitchen and bathroom(s). Unfortunately here in B.C. pretty much all new homes, regardless of price, have a bad floor plan and the kitchen and the bath(s) are soo behind the rest of the world! developers hypes a microwave over a range–a very dangerous location–while in the rest of the world the microwave ovens, for the last 20 years, also bake and broil and now also steam cook and are located in an oven storage column while the range is replaced by a cooking hob that often uses several energies. Only here do we see showers with only one fixed shower head etc. etc. yet the developers and realtors flog these under designed homes as if they were the envy of the world. This is the hype Condohype should be ranting about . The silliness of ALL ads is irritating but doesn’t matter that much. Does anyone actually buy something based on ads?

  16. MJ Says:

    I read somewhere that only about 4% of a development’s budget goes to actual design and engineering. But, something like 16% goes into marketing the product.

    I can’t remember the exact figures, but the gist of the article was that product quality takes a back seat to product hype.

  17. RJB Says:

    I know someone who lives two blocks away from this project. Next to it is some run-down apartments which seem to be a center for drugs in the neighbourhood. Lots of meth and crack users in the area. A few prostitutes hang out in front of the convenience store on the corner. You will definitely need a car unless you like to spend 3 1/2 to 4 hours a day on bus and Skytrain (2 hours each way to/from Vancouver).

  18. Why I write condohype « condohype Says:

    […] to my previous post, reader Paul argues that this blog has a role in making a positive contribution to the craft of condo marketing. […]

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