Will the Charter Review Commission increase the market value of our homes?

The economy will recover, and people will buy houses again. Will University Heights be ready?  Unless our city government works to secure UH’s place in that recovery, no one will look at us, except as low-cost housing.

If we want to be a significant player, we must start now. The time, energy and tax dollars used on the Charter Review Commission will not assure UH homeowners of increased housing values. A Branding Commission will.

I propose a program to brand University Heights and market that brand. I call on our mayor and city council to begin that process now. We are the right size to pull off a brand image of being a great place to raise a young family, a city for professionals of all ages and a place to retire to, a lifestyle community.

What is branding? Marketing texts tell us a brand provides “a badge, emblem or symbol that gives the product credibility and helps consumers identify products and make choices.”  It is no longer enough to be The City of Beautiful Homes, as curb-appeal alone does not compensate for issues that count against us.

My initial proposal is two-fold and modest. Brand UH as a healthier place to live and raise a family in a beautiful home. Our branding needs to incorporate the green communities’ movement, and incorporate the psychological and physiological health aspects of the residents. To start, let’s be proactive in reducing the harmful effects of both noise and light pollution.

We all want our community to be vital, attractive and to command solid housing prices. I guarantee if we offer what the housing market wants, we will attract buyers. We can do this without tax increases. It will take hard work on the part of the council and mayor. It will take grant-writing proposals. It will take the will of our entire community to be the neighbors we want for ourselves. But it can be done.

Will the buyers be able to identify UH homes and choose us? What do you think? Tell me your ideas.

Anita Kazarian

University Heights

Editor's note: Anita Kazarian is a career marketing professional in the North American markets.  She has also taught MBA-level global marketing.

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Volume 2, Issue 2, Posted 6:56 AM, 01.16.2009