Past Pages, June 27, 2011: Cash buyers of homes move to center stage

The cover of the June 27, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

The cover of the June 27, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week in 2021, we will feature snippets of stories that published a decade ago to provide readers a 10-year perspective of business news in the region. This week’s stories first published in the June 27, 2011, edition of the NNBW.

Lower office-space rents bring ‘flight to quality’

Companies in the Truckee Meadows are taking advantage of historically high vacancy rates and cheap rents to upgrade into prime office space. Business owners say the moves not only have improved their image in the eyes of customers and clients, but in some cases also provided a greater level of security for employees.

Reno Hearing Center, for instance, in early July leaves its location of 30 years on East Plumb Lane for the Plumas Quail office park at West Plumb and Plumas Street. Owner Tim Hawkins, who purchased the business four years ago, wanted to move in 2006 when the lease came up, but the former owner signed a five-year extension.

However, due to the sharp drop in lease rates, Hawkins leased 3,500 square feet of top-quality office space for a lower price per square foot than he’s currently paying on the lease for 2,000 square feet of lower-quality space that was signed at the height of the real estate boom.

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo

Cash buyers of homes move to center stage

Cash may not yet be king among buyers of residential real estate in Washoe County, but it’s edging ever closer to the throne. That’s a sign investors are becoming increasingly active as prices continue their slide and make residential investments more attractive.

Cash buyers — those who didn’t use any type of loan to buy a home — accounted for 26.3% of the purchases of existing homes in Washoe County during May. That compares with 11.5% three years earlier, according to figures compiled by the Reno Sparks Association of Realtors from Multiple Listing Service data.

Even within the past year, the percentage of sales that are all-cash has risen substantially. In May 2010, cash sales accounted for 18.4 percent of residential transactions.

— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer

Web optimization strategy: Straightforward content

Enter “Reno sign painter” into a Google search, and Lane Walker’s firm, Solo Signs, pops up close to the top. There’s no magic to the strong performance of Solo Signs’ one-page website, and there’s certainly no big investment in consultants who specialize in SEO.

Instead, Walker worked with David Branby Advertising Inc. of Reno to develop a site that naturally ranks high on search engines without the use of sophisticated strategies to enhanced the visibility of the site. The key, says Branby, is a straightforward statement on the site that explains what the business is all about.

“Most people think in a fairly linear fashion,” Branby says. “You have to think it through. What might people type in if they are looking for you?”

— Page 4, by John Seelmeyer


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