Orthodox Jewish Realty

One of my favorite blogs is OrthoMom, the musings of an Orthodox Jewish mom. It is nicely written, almost always interesting, and intimate in the best sense of the word — as if it were a conversation between friends. (And I love her “Heroine of the Day” series.)

The most recent posting is about the real-estate needs of Orthodox Jews, and how a recent New York magazine article on this subject was fine but, from the perspective of an OrthoMom, not very surprising. Then OrthoMom gives us the inside scoop on what an Orthodox family is looking for, including a large basement where noisy Shabbat guests can be banished, or staggered terraces on an apartment building so an open-air sukkah can be built on every floor.

She also makes the point that an Orthodox real-estate agent enjoys a considerable advantage with Orthodox customers, since the agent will already have a good feel for the customer’s preferences. This got me to thinking of other real-estate scenarios: do Spanish-speaking agents do considerably better with Latino clients? Do immigrant agents do better with immigrant customers? Women with women/men with men?


tress_michael

In my case, it would help if we had a Hindu agent. My Indian wife, has so many bits of criteria for a house that it is impossible to find a home that meets all the needs, unless we built it. She has compromised to the point that we are looking for a home where the entrance faces North or East (or somewhere in between) and the person cooking will face east.

Fortunately, for me it is amusing and not irritating...but then I haven't found a home that I had to have that was facing west or south.

Dan

Living and growing up in the same suburb of Toronto for a quarter-century now I've watched the names of real estate agents change with the demographics of the community. The neighbourhood used to be very much Jewish, then, with the exodus of people from Hong Kong, it became more and more Chinese, though the repatriation of HK in 1997 essentially of stopped that. Now the major influx into my 'hood is mostly Persians and Koreans. Through all these changes, the names on the Real Estate signs have been reflective of whoever was moving here. There are still many Chinese and Jewish names on real estate signs (as those groups are still well-represented) but the tide seems to have turned, in particular in favour of Persian names.

porkypine

From my personal experience, I would guess yes. For a while I worked in Chicago for a guy at Allstate whose job was to motivate insurance agents to sell more. Allstate had many prizes and incentives based on the number and amount of various policies sold. Whenever we would go on the mini-reward trips (to the casino, for example) the top earners were without fail an Indian guy, a Chinese guy, a Russian guy, etc. One of each representing the various ethnic groups of Chicago. They sold policies within their own ethnic groups, and very effectively. They seemed to compete more within the ethnic group (for the Polish insurance market, for example) than between each other.

Saavedra

Of course, Orthodox agents do better with Orthodox costumers. Anyone who has taken an elementary psychology class knows that we like people who are like us. That does not mean every Orthodox agent is better with Orthodox costumers compared to any non-Orthodox agent. It is just an average. All other things being equal, we like people who are more like us. If we like a sales person, then we typically buy more from them. However, I do not know about men/men and women/women costumer and agent relationships. That is because of the sexual attraction. That may overcome lack of similarities.

bdresher

While reading your post I thought how strange that a host would invite guests that they would ultimately banish to the basement. I mean, why invite them at all if they are so undesirable? In reading the blog post written by Orthomom, she says that a basement playroom is "the better to banish all the CHILDREN of the frequent Shabbat guests." While children are guests just as much as anyone else at a Shabbat dinner, the absence of the word "children" seemed to imply something about all guests in general.

vaidix

Dear tress_michael,

I am not sure your wife is well informed. Not all Hindus look for North or East facing homes. It all depends on individual's star chart based on date & time of birth. I was told to go for a South facing house, and from the day I signed up every tricky situation turns good for me. Get professional help from India or contact a local Hindu priest. No, very few of them are frauds. Find some expert through acquaintainces and pay them a service fee of $25-50.

vaidix

tress_michael

In my case, it would help if we had a Hindu agent. My Indian wife, has so many bits of criteria for a house that it is impossible to find a home that meets all the needs, unless we built it. She has compromised to the point that we are looking for a home where the entrance faces North or East (or somewhere in between) and the person cooking will face east.

Fortunately, for me it is amusing and not irritating...but then I haven't found a home that I had to have that was facing west or south.

Dan

Living and growing up in the same suburb of Toronto for a quarter-century now I've watched the names of real estate agents change with the demographics of the community. The neighbourhood used to be very much Jewish, then, with the exodus of people from Hong Kong, it became more and more Chinese, though the repatriation of HK in 1997 essentially of stopped that. Now the major influx into my 'hood is mostly Persians and Koreans. Through all these changes, the names on the Real Estate signs have been reflective of whoever was moving here. There are still many Chinese and Jewish names on real estate signs (as those groups are still well-represented) but the tide seems to have turned, in particular in favour of Persian names.

porkypine

From my personal experience, I would guess yes. For a while I worked in Chicago for a guy at Allstate whose job was to motivate insurance agents to sell more. Allstate had many prizes and incentives based on the number and amount of various policies sold. Whenever we would go on the mini-reward trips (to the casino, for example) the top earners were without fail an Indian guy, a Chinese guy, a Russian guy, etc. One of each representing the various ethnic groups of Chicago. They sold policies within their own ethnic groups, and very effectively. They seemed to compete more within the ethnic group (for the Polish insurance market, for example) than between each other.

Saavedra

Of course, Orthodox agents do better with Orthodox costumers. Anyone who has taken an elementary psychology class knows that we like people who are like us. That does not mean every Orthodox agent is better with Orthodox costumers compared to any non-Orthodox agent. It is just an average. All other things being equal, we like people who are more like us. If we like a sales person, then we typically buy more from them. However, I do not know about men/men and women/women costumer and agent relationships. That is because of the sexual attraction. That may overcome lack of similarities.

bdresher

While reading your post I thought how strange that a host would invite guests that they would ultimately banish to the basement. I mean, why invite them at all if they are so undesirable? In reading the blog post written by Orthomom, she says that a basement playroom is "the better to banish all the CHILDREN of the frequent Shabbat guests." While children are guests just as much as anyone else at a Shabbat dinner, the absence of the word "children" seemed to imply something about all guests in general.

vaidix

Dear tress_michael,

I am not sure your wife is well informed. Not all Hindus look for North or East facing homes. It all depends on individual's star chart based on date & time of birth. I was told to go for a South facing house, and from the day I signed up every tricky situation turns good for me. Get professional help from India or contact a local Hindu priest. No, very few of them are frauds. Find some expert through acquaintainces and pay them a service fee of $25-50.

vaidix