A phenomenon I have observed in our world today is that we are fully immersed in a snapshot click bait headline type of world. We see the click bait for what it is – what it has so blatantly come to identify itself as – and, yes, you won’t believe what I am about to type next, we click on it anyway.

I have witnessed with my own eyes an advertisement in a newspaper with a button with an internet link printed on it… click here… it invited. Clearly an error but what’s worse? Did that person who just tapped that link have any thought that the newspaper would flip a page or redraw somehow, or what on Earth might that person have thought would have happened. More likely still they simply reached out and tapped the link as an unconscious impulse, unknowing, just reacting.

Therein lies a remarkable thing – the power of suggestion, the power of recognition, the power of connection, this is a device, simply two words – “click here” –  that are such a ubiquitous  feature in our lives, that a person can without conscious will reach out and tap them on a piece of paper by sheer mental and muscle memory alone.

Headlines flash up on our phones and our screen about everything, including the property market, every single day and mostly lately, the stories have in a general sense largely reported the meteoric  rise in property values right around the country and in recent times driven by the markets in Auckland and now Wellington.

It is really easy to form strong and lasting opinions from headlines and media snapshots. The existence of a media platform is totally contingent on having a large follower base and ideally a growing follower base.  One of their main focuses is to ingratiate themselves into your life and garner your trust – naturally if they succeed it is very easy for their dimension to influence your perceived reality.

So what? Are the headlines wrong? Where is this going?

One of the great things about real estate sales is being right at the front line of the market. I read all the headlines too. I have a couple of ‘trusted’ media outlets that feed me bite sized news snippets into my hand. One thing I know for sure is that right now housing and property are a big deal in this Country – hard to argue in saying it is the number one issue right now –  it is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

But what is wrong with media headlines? What is wrong with market snapshots and opinion pieces and commentaries? Nothing, absolutely nothing at all –  I love to get all of the updates, especially in the role I am in because it’s all information, some of which is extremely useful . What I am wary of however and contemplating here is the degree of influence media headlines and clickbait type snapshots can have in shaping our realities.

I have spoken to property owners who based on the undeniably incredible prices we have been experiencing, have been stunned to find in reality they haven’t realised the same astronomical gains in their own particular property  due a variety of individual factors they had not considered.

Conversely I have had dejected, battered, totally withered and defeated buyers stare right through me quivering when I say they still have a chance to buy at their budget and to keep motivated in the hunt – and meanwhile their house to be sells away from them in their fear. It’s not a cool place to be and I feel for the buyers who in the space of a year have seen any hope of home ownership evaporate.

As I mentioned earlier I consume the media hype and the articles like anyone else, and I enjoy observing the headlines play out in my own experiences, but sometimes I look around and I wonder if what they are talking about is actually in the same market.

Sometimes there is simply no correlation in general terms between the headlines and the current market circumstances we might be witnessing at a local level at all and it just couldn’t be more obvious. The headlines are not necessarily wrong; they just aren’t relevant to what is actually taking place in a specific place at a specific time.

The reason this is important is if you consider how prominent housing and property is in the media and national focus right now it is really easy to form a skewed view on what aspects of the market activity may be important to you. In many cases there are life shaping decisions being factored here and a lot of emotion involved– so it pays to be informed, factually informed.


This has led me to the belief, or in a sense it is a reassurance – a reassurance that as a real estate professional, I have an important function in my role working for you. It is to provide you a real and tangible connection to your market. It is to be a filter between the real and the sensational. Always knowledge is power, so I doubt anyone will convince you that less information would help best?

How many news outlets print sales in your street or throw headlines to your phone like these – FOUR DOORS DOWN SOLD FOR XX or OPEN HOME NUMBERS PICKING UP? Who knows what your headlines might be if they could inform only you, that’s where the intelligence in information lies.

The world we live in moves so fast and is so fluid. We shape our opinions and views on an incoming multitude of sound bites, headlines, stings and grabs, opinions and social commentaries, so what weight do we give to it all? What credence shall we give it at all?

I think it is primarily about balance and relevance. When it comes to real estate in particular one thing I have noticed above all else is that it can be a fickle landscape and it can change in any and/or many ways, seemingly overnight.

To those who have views and perceptions of the real estate market largely influenced by headlines and media reports do not dismiss this information stream by any means, but if you are serious about an informed view which applies to you, then it can only help to have that local connection – at the coal face as it were.

The best option is to get in touch with your agent, whether that’s me, or whosoever you’re comfortable with and have them deliver you some context. They don’t have to suddenly be calling you every day and turning up at your barbecues and kids swimming lessons, or joining your gym classes, it’s just that when it comes to real estate they’re your go to guy or girl – and if they spy an opportunity for you, they’re on it.

To vendors and sellers, pay close attention, there has been a shift in the market but the papers aren’t talking about it yet. They are still talking up, up, up.

Ring any agent in the phone book right now and ask how the open home numbers have been over the last couple of weeks…

To buyers, if you can cry with your eyes open then by all means do it, it’s really tough out there – but keep your eyes open! There are real estate deals happening right now, opportunities are there.

Ring any agent in the phone book right now and ask if any property sold recently under where all the pointers said it would have…

There is a reason why the word actual is in factual – and not in sensational. Don’t believe the hype, look for insight.

Thanks for reading this blog – I am a professional real estate salesperson centrally located in Harcourts Johnsonville and servicing the Wellington region. If you would like the real information on your street just get in touch and I will be glad to inform you.

I also update frequently on my facebook page and it is terrific when people like my page – it’s at facebook.com/coreywattsrealestate

If anyone mentions property, please say Corey at Harcourts – referrals are a huge part of my business and I appreciate and warmly acknowledge every one. Thanks a million and all the very best.

I can be reached at any time on 027 532 3273 or at corey.watts@harcourts.co.nz