Photo courtesy Creative Commons from Flickr user Simon Hadleigh-Sparks

Photo courtesy Creative Commons license from Simon Hadleigh-Sparks

As we see strong job growth in North Texas, and housing inventory remaining low, it follows that office vacancies should be affected by economic conditions in the area.

A new report issued by Cushman & Wakefield confirms this, stating that only 16 percent of DFW’s office space was empty at the end of 2014. This is the lowest vacancy rate in over a decade.

The lowest level of vacancies was found in North Dallas, averaging less than 9 percent during the year.

Cushman & Wakefield’s report says DFW had the highest net leasing in more than 15 years during 2014, translating to about 5 million square feet of office space rented.

There’s plenty of room for more growth: area developers are currently building more than 6 million square feet of office space, which is the largest volume in North Texas since the 1990s. Much of it is happening at the CityLine development in Richardson. That master plan calls for more than 5 million square feet of office space, as well as 300,000 square feet of retail, and 4,000 residential units.


Century 21 Commercial Still

We say it here on all the time, but it bears repeating: Real estate is a local — nay, hyperlocal — business. So it was interesting to hear Realtor chatter about the four splashy Super Bowl commercials from Century 21.

Impact-wise, Ad Age gave the 30-second spot 2.5 out of 4 stars, saying it was predictable: “No one expects a real-estate ad to push the boundaries. This one lives up to expectations with a plot straight out of The Saturday Evening Post.”

However, Prudential agent Kerry Paradise Slaughter asked her Facebook friends this question after the above commercial aired:

“As a Realtor, I’m curious – do these VERY expensive C21 commercials have any impact on your choice of real estate agent?”

Most responses were variations on “no,” all but confirming my personal experience that Reators’ business is built on locally targeted advertising — not big, splashy national campaigns — and referrals. Here’s a selection of my favorite responses:

From Greg:

“Great branding. Still a personal relationship game.”

From Tricia:

“No, especially since they are trying to be funny and they aren’t.”

From Bud, who is a home inspector:

“I agree with all of the statements above. However I believe that they are necessary to keep your brand relevant. So many times I ask my client whom their realtor is and the answer is something like “Ebby”. Your brand is strong and you don’t want the market consciousness being pulled out from under you like a riptide.”

And from Slaughter:

” … Here in Dallas, I don’t think it matters how many millions C21 spends, that brand is almost impossible to revive inside 635. And Ebby is a great example. Outside a 100 mile radius the consumer has no idea who Ebby is. 
I can only recall one time in the last eight years that my phone rang because of the broker brand I am associated with. And ironically, it was just last week.
I THINK my clients choose to do business with me because of my competence and my character – both of which they either know personally or they hear about from someone they trust. They have never seemed to care whose logo is on my sign.”

What do you think? Was it cunning marketing to help revive a brand, or was it a complete waste?