Let''s see, what's on my grocery list today? Need some tomatoes, and some lettuce for that salad. Also need some chicken to grill. Funyuns, Clamato... Oh, and a house. I keep forgetting to pick up that friggin' house. Is it on aisle five...?
Real estate company Re/Max of New England signed a five-year deal with supermarket chain Stop & Shop to open 17 "micro" offices in stores later this year. There will be 15 stores throughout Massachusetts, then one in both Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The logic here is this: I want a new house, but it's just one of those little things nagging in the back of my mind. I need food. Food takes precedent. So I go to Stop & Shop for food. And then just as I'm about to unload my cart, oh yeah! I've been meaning to set up an appointment to look at a house! And there's Re/Max! So convenient!
"We don't pretend that people are going to go in to buy a loaf of bread and come out buying a house," Jay Hummer, EVP of Re/Max of New England, told the Hartford Courant. "What we hope is that they are going to get to know us, and when they want to buy a house, they will come to us."
Even with pharmacies, eye doctors, banks, tax prepping companies, and restaurants making their way into big chain stores like Stop & Shop, this could be called over-the-top. What's next, car dealerships in Pathmark? Mattresses on sale in Kroger? A maternity ward in Walmart? (Oh no, I'm giving them ideas!)
One good thing coming out of the partnership is a sign that real estate could be on the upswing. Five years is a long contract to sign for a real estate agency in the worst real estate economy in a long, long time. A show of confidence is nice.
Unless it doesn't get better and the foreclosures keep on coming... Now, where's that coupon I had for a three-bedroom, two-bath bungalow?
[Via the Hartford Courant]