Banners have been popping up all over the country this month, as real estate developers and billboard companies are trying to reclaim their turf from the city’s growing list of gentrification, with their posters now appearing on streets and buildings that have been transformed into condos and condominiums.
The billboards feature photos of people, including young children, smiling and posing in front of homes that are being marketed to buyers who can afford them.
They are also meant to draw attention to the growing number of people who are finding themselves priced out of their neighborhoods.
The ads feature images of empty houses and billboards with slogans like, “Bidding ends at $100 per square foot.”
“The billboard industry has been around for a long time, but we’ve seen a huge change in the last two years, especially in the past five or six years,” said Mark Daley, president of the Downtown Winnipeg Real Estate Board.
“In the last couple of years, a lot of our ads have really focused on gentrification and people not being able to afford to live in our city.”
He added that the billboard industry is now one of the fastest-growing sectors in Winnipeg.
“It’s a huge opportunity for the industry to continue to grow,” Daley said.
“If you want to be a real estate agent in Winnipeg, the billboard world is the place to be.”
Asking $50 or less to sign a billboard for a home in the city can be a tough sell for many real estate agents, who struggle to keep up with the demand.
“The real estate industry is going through a very tough time right now,” said Joe McPhee, owner of McPheters.
McPheter is hoping that a billboard campaign he has been running for several years will help his company get the message out to the public that it’s OK to rent in the neighbourhood where a home is being advertised. “
You can get a lot more done on a billboard than you can with a home.”
McPheter is hoping that a billboard campaign he has been running for several years will help his company get the message out to the public that it’s OK to rent in the neighbourhood where a home is being advertised.
The billboard campaign features images of houses that have already sold, along with quotes from people who say they are looking for a house in Winnipeg’s city limits.
The posters feature a message that reads, “If we’re lucky, someone will live in that house.”
A sign outside the McPhersons home in North End features a slogan that reads: “If You Want a Home in Winnipeg…
A poster in front the Mc Phetersons house in North Loop features a quote from a man who said he is looking for “a place to live, a job, and to be able to pay rent and be close to the community.”
Daley said that while many people have been trying to sell their homes, many of them have been priced out.
“We’ve seen houses that are gone,” he said.
“The people who were out there and were on the street and didn’t sell their houses are getting a lot better and better and they are getting closer to getting their houses back.”
The real estate and urban arts banner industry is booming.
McPhesters said the company’s advertising campaigns have become a huge success, with billboards now appearing in places like Downtown Winnipeg, and in several other cities across Canada.
McPshee said that he believes the billboard campaigns are helping people realize that the “home in the neighborhood” is still a good option for them.
“There are still lots of people out there who are struggling to buy a home,” he added.
“This is a good opportunity to remind people that a home isn’t a luxury, it’s a living, breathing place.”
In his first year at McPhelson, Daley has been able to increase his advertising revenues by 40 per cent.
In 2016, McPhea was approached by a realtor who wanted to rent a home on his block.
“He was looking to buy for $200,000,” Dale said.
The realtor approached Daley about buying the home, and Daley took the opportunity to advertise the ad.
On the street, people are now seeing ads that say, “We have a home for sale,” and the realtor is making money.
The billboard campaign also brought in a $500,000 sponsorship from the Winnipeg Jets.
“Our billboard campaign has had a huge impact on how the Winnipeg market is seeing it, because we’re seeing more people come in and buy houses on their block,” said David McNeill, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Winnipeg Jets Football Club.
“A lot of the people that are going in, they’re buying a home because they think it’s going to be an opportunity to buy something else.”
With files from Rob Boudreau and Chris Jankowski,