Real estate developers are often stereotyped as profiteers. Like Lex Luther and literally every Scooby-Doo villain, developers are caricatured in media as selfish old men, disinterested in communities they develop and in the people who live in them. According to the trope, real estate developers are amused by their propensity to displace residents and they’ don’t care about the history underlying whatever came before the construction of their property.
In reality, real estate developers make products people need and want–the homes we live in, the schools we attend, the offices where we work. Like any profession, real estate has its fair share of greedy individuals who care only about money. Still, in actuality, most real estate developers want their work to have a positive impact on the places and people they work alongside. In the spirit of debunking negative stereotypes, here are three common misconceptions about real estate developers:
DEVELOPERS ARE MOTIVATED ONLY BY MONEY
In representations on TV and in film, real estate developers don’t care much about the larger impact that their work has on nearby residents. Developers who do reinforce this unfortunate stereotype often overshadow the many others who quietly go about their work.
If my own experience is any indication, quite the opposite is true. Real estate businesses support communities in a number of ways. For example, real estate companies frequently sponsor youth little leagues. Check out your local event listings. It’s pretty common to see real estate businesses listed among sponsors for charity events and school functions, too. For example, Kailas companies, along with other local businesses in NOLA, sponsor The Akula Foundation’s annual New Orleans fundraiser. Our sponsorship helps to make a positive difference in communities throughout Southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
DEVELOPERS DON’T CARE ABOUT CREATIVITY + DESIGN
Architects and designers, per a common misconception, are concerned primarily with the image and appearance of a building; they care less about the financial performance of the building as an investment. Developers, on the other hand, don’t appreciate the innovation and design involved in building. This oversimplification is totally false.
Increasingly, due to the growth of urban planning and sustainable development, the two roles are intertwined, with an approach to the work that is holistic in nature. Design and investment are integrally connected in a built environment.
DEVELOPERS ARE ANTI-TECH
Digital technology is a contentious subject among real estate developers. With short-term rental apps such as Airbnb and HomeAway disrupting the nature of the industry, developers are portrayed falsely as luddites, firmly entrenched in an anti-tech campaign to keep digital tools out of real estate. However, this assumption dismisses the power that digital technology has to motivate me and others in the New Orleans’ real estate community to modernize and improve the services that our own businesses provide. The most innovative real estate apps allow buyers and sellers to work more efficiently–and transactional efficiency is integral to the success of any real estate company. By employing these digital tools, developers streamline property renting processes and operate with the advantages afforded by real-time information.
This article was originally published on Huffington Post.