A New Approach to Suburban Home Marketing

by : Susan Zanzonico

The American dream is changing, and real estate professionals are doing their best to keep up in order to sell homes. Many buyers still want a big house in an uncrowded neighborhood, especially if they have a family, but there are conditions attached now. Long commutes into the city are more of a deal breaker now than ever before, and areas without a nearby business community, parks infrastructure, or future-proof layout are generating less interest. Realtors working in the suburbs must now learn to identify and market smart growth, and a well-rounded lifestyle, as well as the old ideals of comfort and privacy.

Soaring gas prices have made the suburban commute a tough sell, but rail lines are a cheap solution in many metro areas. Cities with long-established commuter rails have upgraded their routes to accommodate growth, while cities that expanded rapidly during the mid-20th century are building new commuter lines. One example of a large center with a newer commuter line is Vancouver, BC, Canada, where an extensive line called the West Coast Express opened in 1995. An area like suburban New Jersey offers well-established commuter railways, but here too the traditional routes are augmented by new routes, such as the Morristown Line which runs 40 miles between Hoboken and Hackettstown. Real estate agents who know the rail routes in their area, and stay on top of development plans, can help more buyers find a suburban home suited to their needs.

The high-tech bio-tech industries have brought another marketing angle to the suburban home market in recent years. Many companies in these rapidly expanding sectors operate at the outskirts of large metro areas, where they can develop large campuses and research facilities employing thousands. High-tech and bio-tech professionals can live in low-density neighborhoods, and avoid a lengthy commute altogether, if they find a home near their campus. Realtors sensitive to the high-tech market will find these home searches easy to accommodate.

Other new marketing angles for suburban real estate can include high quality school districts, parks systems, improved inter-municipal planning, outdoor shopping plazas, cheaper home prices, and a larger new home inventory. Knowing what makes these areas attractive to buyers will help real estate professionals close more deals, and promote smart growth where they live.