1% for Authenticity

2009 is definitely the year to try to make the World a better place.  If 2,000 to 2010 will be the decade of greed, then let’s make 2010 to 2020 the decade of “authenticity”. The age of “What you see is what you get”.  Showing what you ARE vs. what you think you should show them to get them to choose you.

Many years ago, 1% of the budget for building new construction in many big cities had to include 1% for “art”.  I remember the authentic ones of my time.

Aspring to Authenticy

Aspring to Authenticity

Authentic Art is about what IS, or what one at least HOPES TO BE.  Philadelphia’s been hoping to be The City of Brotherly Love for a very long time, long before this artwork made the scene in Love Park at JFK Center in 1978.  It’s a lasting reminder of what the City is supposed to be all about.

City of Clothespins?

City of Clothespins?

When they put this 45′ clothespin up outside my office window across from City Hall in 1976, many of us were not happy with the choice.  It was 1976.  It was the bi-centennial of a great city.  What did clothespins have to do with that?  Yet the artist’s view of Philadelphia was one of city folk hanging clothes by clothespins out of their apartment windows…I guess.  That’s what they get for hiring an artist who never lived in Philadelphia.  Wasn’t very authentic, even less so today,I’m sure.

So what is “authentic”, what would 1% for Authenticity look like?

Longaberger Building in Ohio

Longaberger Building in Ohio

Back in 1993 or so, I gave these Longaberger Baskets as closing gifts.  I hired a woman to bake home made sweet breads to put in the baskets, that people could eat while unpacking at their new home. 

Wouldn’t it be great if all businesses and professionals were that obvious?  Imagine having a meeting at Longaberger and trying to find the building.  Would you need a GPS when “within range” to find that place?

What would Authenticity look like?


Enter at your own risk

Enter at your own risk

The receptionist at the bottom would assign an evaluator.  Alt-A loan? – 4th floor.  NINJA Loan? Top Floor.  The visual and the feeling of being on the top floor, with the perception of little support underneath would say it all…no?

Look around the big cities with the 1% art rule.  You can spot them, because over the years the impact has been dramatic with only 1% going toward art.  What will 1% of time, effort and resources going toward authenticity look like, a decade from now?

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

22 thoughts on “1% for Authenticity

  1. Kev,

    You probably wouldn’t get on an elevator in that building. That’s the point. At least if you went up to the NINJA floor, you’d know the kind of risk factor involved.

  2. Great post, I loved the photos and the message was right on target. In this era of so many social networks transparency isn’t simply something we should strive for – it’s something that will be automatically revealed. There’s no way to fake it anymore and being authentic (whatever that means to you) is the key to success.

  3. Ardell,
    I love you. Were I a man (and single and were you single), I’d marry you in a heartbeat.

    I may not agree with some of your calls of bottom or near bottom, I may not agree with you that 1% is too much for something as silly as art, and I’ve been sitting on the fence of real estate for ages, but when I think the market is affordable, first thing I’ll do is to give you a call.

  4. Andrew,

    It surprised me how many did not understand “transparency”. I even had people say “Hey, it’s not true. But it’s “clear” and “transparent”. LOL

    Let’s see if “authenticity” raises the bar.

  5. Jen,

    “…but when I think the market is affordable, first thing I’ll do is to give you a call.”

    That means the world to me, even if you never call 🙂 I’ve been thinking about having a once a month “meetup” to talk about real estate in 2009. Good idea?

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Patent Guy. It really, really means a lot to us at RCG to know that people appreciate the work we do here.

    A very Merry Christmas to you.

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