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Why the media focuses on property doom and gloom

Have you ever noticed any discrepancies in the size of stories by some media on different subjects?

Now, usually that is because some topics are considered more newsworthy than others due to how many people that particular story appeals to.

When it comes to real estate, because everyone lives in a property of some description, therefore that topic is given greater media coverage than many others.

At the end of the day, most adults are either renters, homeowners or landlords – or a combination of one or two these days.

Fear-based stories

However, the issue with some of the coverage is the angle they are currently regularly taking, which is that things are very bad indeed in the world of property.

It’s always been difficult to understand why some sections of the media often focus on the negative when there is so much good news out there every day about every conceivable topic.

Unfortunately, the reason why some media outlets consistently produce fear-based stories – and especially on TV current affairs shows – is because of human psychology.

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase “if it bleeds, it leads” when it comes to the media.

In reality, this means that some outlets will focus more on the bad rather than the good, so they can tap into our primal desires and fears.

They might use a headline like “Property bust on the horizon” to attract more readers, regardless of whether there is any clear evidence of that happening at all in the story.

Of course, specialist property journalists and media produce stories that reflect a fair and reasonable assessment of the market because their aim is to be experts in that space.

They’re not interested in attracting the masses just for the sake of selling overpriced advertising on shows like The Block.

Rather, the stories they produce are as objective as possible, and use quotes from leading experts who know what they are talking about.

Consumer impact 

The problem is that most people don’t know the difference between the two philosophies and because of the power the media has to influence consumer sentiment and behaviour, they soon start believing that the property sky is really falling.

Then, the aforementioned doom starts to become a reality because would-be buyers and investors are too scared to do anything at all.

In fact, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy that never needed to be anything more than an alarmist story destined to become tomorrow’s fish and chip paper.

The truth of the matter is that savvy investors don’t given much credence to beat-up stories whose sole aim to attract readers or viewers.

Rather, they have a collection of specialist news sources that they know and trust.

They don’t waste time watching tabloid TV shows predicting some sort of real estate Armageddon because they know that program is not an expert in the topic and they know the story is scaremongering plain and simple.

Instead, while everyone else is fearful because of what they’ve read or viewed, they are making the most of fewer competitors lodging offers on solid properties.

It is as Warren Buffett has long said:

“It is wise to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

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