Strategic Marketing Case Studies
Problem: A failed residential rent control scheme
and the law of unintended consequences combined to decimate the
housing stock and tax base of suburban Brookline, Massachusetts.
Collateral damage included unrealized losses in property values
running into the hundreds of millions and thousands of residential
property owners subject to enormous fines for the "crime" of occupying
their own homes.
Challenge: An enormous tenant constituency enjoyed
an unqualified lifetime sinecure in the form of permanent occupancy
rights. Supported by a substantial cohort of homeowners intent
on maintaining the status quo and a jaded and disengaged constituency
of inactive residents, commercial and residential property owners
began to organize to return Brookline to a more equitable state
Action: On behalf of an organizing committee of
residents, we participated in the formation of a non-partisan
civic association that remains active in a variety of local government
issues to this day. We also organized and led a broad-based association
of condominium owners on whose behalf we developed a legislative
agenda and published a regular newsletter.
Part of our efforts included the analysis and databasing of residents
in over 10,000 multi-family housing units, part of a membership
development strategy on behalf of the previously referenced Condominium
Association of Brookline (CAB). At its height, CAB membership
included over 100 condominium and cooperative housing associations
representing upwards of four thousand units.
Concurrently we participated in a number of municipal electoral
campaigns, successfully promoting numerous candidates for town
meeting and other local offices.
Result: In mounting an electoral and legislative
challenge to the established order, we were able to mount what
at the time was the first successful challenge to rent control
in recent US history. Full rights of ownership and use were restored
to thousands of Brookline property owners, including scores of
small property owners for whom income derived from two and three
family units was a substantial source of income.
An estimated $1 billion dollars in real estate was returned to
the tax roles at full value, yielding millions of dollars in sorely-need
revenues to municipal coffers. Further, property whose sales value
was long compromised by onerous ownership restrictions was disencumbered,
resulting in substantial potential gains for property owners.
Property and condominium owners from other municipalities, most
notably Cambridge, closely observed our actions and requested
briefings on our strategic perspective, which we were more than
glad to supply. Subsequently, rent control was overthrown at the
state level, ridding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and all
of its approximately 365 cities and towns of rent control. All
subsequent attempts to reverse this victory have failed.
The Golden Group
Inspiring the imagination,
stirring the soul!
Copyright 2002, 2014 The Golden Group.
The Golden Group is a marketing, creative and Web services firm
located in the Metrowest area of Greater Boston, Massachusetts.