My Account: One Rincon Hill Sales Office Visit

Wow. What a fiasco. A friend and I decided to check out the One Rincon Hill sales office and see just how painful their process really is before letting you see an actual unit. Let’s just say we were even more disappointed than we expected to be.

After the usual sign-in sheet where you put a fake name or maybe your own name with fake contact info (unless you are seriously interested in buying there), we were rounded up into a small group tour—not what I was looking for. We had to sit through the grade-school-style tour of the nice miniature model of the complex, the Rincon Hill neighborhood map and city plan on the wall, and then a mock kitchen and mock bathroom with an admittedly-short shower enclosure (they seriously couldn’t get that right?). These things probably took at least 20 minutes—painfully slow for any experienced home/condo open house “tourist.”

Finally, we get to walk into the full-sized 2-bedroom model unit, also in the sales office across the street from the actual tower. My friend and I agreed that this thing is staged beyond utility—so much crap in there, albeit nice, that you can’t appreciate the size of the unit at all, which is not that spacious to begin with. And they have these nice Bay Bridge, downtown, and water view murals on curtains pulled down behind the windows. I get what they are doing but it feels so enclosed and encapsulating, I think it does more harm than good.

For units asking near and sometimes above $1000/sq ft, I expect and demand more. The kitchens are plain with yesterday’s granite and nice appliances. Same with the bathrooms. Both bedrooms are not especially spacious. So, basically they tried to sell us views on curtains for $1000/sq ft. Great marketing plan.

Finally, we leave the unit and are escorted back to the main lobby to watch a “virtual demo,” or something like that she called it, on a plasma TV on the wall. It starts out looking just like the website but does have a nice feature that shows views from various floors and units (see, this post isn’t ALL negative). Luckily, I got a call from my mom in the middle of this demo and gladly accepted the call and walked away for awhile. When I returned several minutes later to catch the end of it, my friend was providing some “constructive criticism” to the salesperson. There was a mother and her son also on the tour with us, and they seemed like very serious buyers from the start—and not very familiar with anything about the project or location it seemed. One of the comments that was made before we left made by the salesperson to the mother/son regarded units that were “possibly being taken back” from the developer. We didn’t think these buyers quite understood what she meant by that—that due to many people trying to reassign their contracts/deposits currently, the developer may be taking several units back and relisting them. My friend politely asked her to be sure to explain exactly what she meant by these units “possibly being taken back.” She was too busy touting the notion that One Rincon Hill is 97% sold while Infinity is only 80% sold. This is nearly impossible to confirm or deny, so I just don’t quite believe those numbers.

Based on this painful 45-minute experience, we went in to the Infinity and immediately asked if we could see an actual unit in the building and was told to come back in about 2 weeks. That took about 30 seconds. Now we knew.

What we didn’t know until later was that we could have viewed a 2bed/2bath unit on the 24th floor at One Rincon Hill that was the first open house listed on the resale market. Doh.