Most of the country watched in horror as a deadly fire ripped through the idyllic town of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui. But a select few property investors, developers, and realtors saw the devastation of the fires and couldn’t help but try to take advantage of the situation. A social media post went viral condemning the people calling recent victims of the fire asking them to sell their new fire damaged property. Now many are furious about this insensitive land grab, and more are taking to social media to warn about a possible backlash.
The desire to find a great investment opportunity is central to property industry professionals, but there is a time and place for it. Calling fire victims right after they have lost everything (including family members) to the disaster is a terrible overstep and shows a disregard for others that can give the real estate industry a bad image. Many investors and developers with good intentions are often met with community backlash for reasons exactly like this. I hope that the blowback from these calls will be enough to deter others from doing the same when the next disaster inevitably hits.