Real Estate Agents & Brokers in Northeast Ohio have been capitalizing on the opportunity inherent in the 50,000+ visitors expected to attend the Republican National Convention this week in Cleveland. Attendees will need housing, dining and numerous other amenities during the Convention which occurs from July 18 through the 21st at Cleveland's Quicken Loans arena, home of the newly minted 2016 National Basketball Association Champion Cleveland Cavaliers!
Cleveland, a city of nearly 400,000 residents, will be welcoming 50,000 delegates, RNC staffers, lobbyists, media, demonstrators and so many others for the Convention and its associated ancillary events. Although the city has about 5,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the venue, most of those rooms were booked shortly after the RNC announced Cleveland as the host city in 2014. As a result, many visitors will be staying even farther away from the venue.
Each state delegation gets its own hotel, and California's 600-plus delegates, for example, could only find enough space at the Kalahari Resort, a tropical-themed water park and hotel in Sandusky, Ohio, which is about an hour away from the city.
More than 30,000+ attendees will need housing at least the week of the event if not longer, and real estate brokers and agents in the area are finding opportunities in helping to assuage this pain point.
According to Rob Frost, Chairman of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County, Cleveland's low cost of living is one of the reasons it is such an attractive city as compared to other locations. As he states, "We have a lot of unique properties in Cleveland that would probably be triple or quadruple the value of a comparable rental in another market."
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services was selected as the 'official' real estate company for the convention. They are the fourth largest real estate sales organization in the country and are equipped with the local market expertise required to assist RNC attendees in finding lodging. According to the firm, Cleveland properties have been renting from $4,000 to $50,000 for the week and their agents are focused upon concentrating listings within a 10-15 minute drive to the arena. Smaller apartments are renting for about $3000 for the week, but most of those are completely booked at this time. Agents receive about a 12% commission on the rentals, and Howard Hanna is even offering a 'Concierge Service' for out-of-towners who need information or recommendations on restaurants, dry cleaners and other local businesses.
In spite of the business boost the convention has provided to Cleveland area brokers and agents, demand and prices are more sluggish than expected. Some are concerned that planned demonstrations may be keeping some visitors and corporations away from doing the normal sponsorships they might do for this event. However, almost everyone in Cleveland and its real estate community would agree that hosting the RNC is a phenomenal opportunity for the city and will offer a boost to its local business owners!