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Good News, Bad News

January 20, 1991

Perhaps William North of the National Assn. of Realtors believes that no news is good news ("Realty Slump: The Media and the Market," Jan. 13). Truth be told, realtors and builders think of a newspaper real estate section as their own PR section and take offense at anything that might counter all the good ad dollars they pay into it.

However, until those words "Advertising Supplement" appear on these pages, we the public will expect to see the bad news along with the good.

As it is, I don't think enough of the "bad news" is exposed. The economy and unemployment in the construction industry right now is bad news for us all, not just the NAR. What the NAR and builders need to be concerned with is the everyday bad news for the home buyer, i.e., high sales commissions, questions of client representation, shoddy construction, builders' failure to correct defects in new homes and their coziness to politicians.

The media sometimes does its job, sometimes it doesn't. Either way it affects what the public perceives to be the realities in realty. Randall Lewis, president of Lewis Homes Group, sounds like a marketing director saying that "perception defines reality." That's the credo behind every real estate advertisement. On the other hand, marketing director Eric Elder of Kaufman & Broad sounds like a company president. He perceives reality and can define it, without scapegoats.

PUTT C. PETRULLI

Palmdale

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