I was born, raised and currently live on the Rockaway Peninsula, one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Sandy. My family evacuated before the storm hit, but we saw the images on television of flooding and fires that struck our area.
Yet, as soon as the storm ended, my wife started pressing to return to the property we own, even though we had no power and at the time we didn’t know our gas and water situation. It turns out we have gas and water but no heat.
We left as night approached but came back a day later to stay and start to clean up. Even though the house was very cold, my wife commented to me it was her best night of a sleep since we evacuated.
My tenant, on the other hand, has had a more cavalier attitude. While concerned about his mother and his aunt who live in adjoining property, he basically was making plans with his mother to get to a warmer climate to wait things out.
Since this is a marketing column, our lesson—people who own properties and who see them as places to live and not as investments have an emotional tie to them and that is what you can use to attract first-time homebuyers.