(This is the fourth installment in a weekly series with people who don’t work in journalism commenting on the news. Photography by Kevin Fiscus. If you’d like to participate, message or tweet me.)
Meet Ryan Lundquist.
He’s 38, a Southern California native, a Biola University graduate, recently moved from Rancho Cordova to Carmichael and works as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser.
You may have seen him sharing the “Brown Grass is Sexy” message on TV last year. Or maybe as a source in The Sacramento Bee. Or as the subject of this Q&A in the Sacramento Business Journal.
I’ve been following Ryan on Twitter for a few years and have found him to be one of the most engaging and insightful people in Sacramento on social media.
We met for the first time last week at River’s Edge Cafe to talk about media consumption, the city of Sacramento and his thoughts on the news.
Ryan came to the region at the turn of the century and started “telling the story of the market” a couple years later. His work includes lending, litigation, tax consulting and teaching classes. The Sacramento Association of Realtors named him Affiliate of the Year for 2014.
If you’re interested in learning about the local housing market, his blog is a must-read. Ryan has been posting about prices and trends once a week for more than six years.
“Blogging is a powerful platform and outlet,” he says.
The blog not only serves as the face of his business, it builds trust and attracts new clients.
“I started with one post and one subscriber,” he says. “How do you not have time to connect with people?”
Building a strong sense of community is important to him. He’s worried that too many of us come home, close the garage and retreat. We build up walls to keep our neighbors away and rely too much on the government when issues arise.
“We need a greater sense of trust,” he says. “There’s no such thing as a parcel island.”
It’s not just talk. Ryan founded and led Project 680, a grassroots effort to help homeless students in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District. He passed the baton last month after more than six years and is looking forward to the next opportunity to give back.
The married father of two boys loves the region’s bike trails, woodworking and spending time with the family in midtown. (His wife, Jenny, is an author.) He can remember attending Second Saturday when it first started, with wine and cheese at little galleries, and then seeing the masses come out when the family went again months later.
“You see this explosion of coolness in midtown,” he says, crediting the neighborhood as a catalyst driving culture. “So much more vibe.”
Ryan answered the following questions by email about how he gets the news. Text submitted April 11.
How do you get your news?
I get my news from Capital Public Radio on the radio while driving around. I also get a substantial amount of news online as I tend to read Google News on my tablet before going to bed. I tend to see breaking news on Twitter from glancing at trending topics throughout the day. I sometimes find out about important happenings from Facebook posts too.
What’s the first news event you remember?
One of the most definitive news events of my childhood was when the Challenger space shuttle blew up in 1986. I remember it vividly when my 4th grade teacher teared up when she made the announcement during class. After school my family was glued to the TV for hours to hear more. I’m sure there is a prior event if I think hard enough, but this one was definitely one of those “Where were you when you first heard the news?” events.
What content do you pay for?
The only content I pay for is a subscription to the Sacramento Business Journal. I love the print copy each week, which is nice in a digital age. It’s a quick read and it helps me stay in touch with the local business community, which is important to me as a small business owner.
A quiet and crisp Sunday morning. Coffee, @sacbiz porch time, and family still sleeping. #bliss pic.twitter.com/2AlXTJHVdB
— Ryan Lundquist (@SacAppraiser) April 12, 2015
What’s the last great thing you ate?
The obvious answer is carne asada tacos from Chandos on Arden Way. But I also recently went to Pushkin’s Bakery in Midtown, which is a vegan bakery. The cookies weren’t a part of the diet I am supposed to be on, but they were divine.
It’s always a good day when you wake up knowing you have a business meeting at @ChandosTacos. #glory
— Ryan Lundquist (@SacAppraiser) August 29, 2014
Who’s doing it right in news?
I think NPR gets it right because they present interesting content, often multiple points of view on a topic, and hyper-local and national stories. There are several programs I look forward to listening to, such as Insight, Morning Edition, TED Radio Hour, The World & Marketplace. I cannot catch all these programs every day, but when I do listen I feel like I learned something or at least have some worthy conversation fodder.
Name the three most important issues facing Sacramento.
1) We need better jobs (and wage growth);
2) Housing affordability;
3) We need to continue to develop stronger branding for the Sacramento region.
Having a more developed identity will help attract outsiders to come to the area, but it’s also good for insiders to have a more unified sense of what Sacramento is and what it has to offer. For instance, the Farm-to-Fork movement has been a huge step in branding Sacramento because now locals can say, “Sacramento is the Farm-to-Fork capital of the United States”. This is much better than saying, “Well, we’re a wonderful place to be since we are right between Lake Tahoe and San Francisco.”
What do you absolutely hate about the news?
I despise the constant negativity, the underlying message that people should be afraid (so they should continue watching every day), and too much focus on Hollywood over real substance. There is a place for reporting on Justin Bieber egging his neighbor’s house, but let’s find a balance to talk about real issues vs. fluff. In recent years many media platforms have become more entertainment-focused like TMZ instead of having hard-hitting meaty news. The marketing on TV bugs me too: “There is a dangerous pedophile on the loose in Sacramento. Tune in at 11 p.m. to find out which neighborhoods are at risk.”
What’s the most important issue to you that’s not being covered well enough?
I would simply say I’d love to hear more about what is right in Sacramento. What are the strong points we can make stronger? What is going well in various neighborhoods and with different cultures in the region? Let’s hear more good news and celebrate diversity together.
If you could be anywhere, an-hour-and-a-half drive away, where would you be?
No need to drive when I can ride the American River trails on my bike.
This is my favorite spot on the American River Trails. pic.twitter.com/KvBz3z0TkF
— Ryan Lundquist (@SacAppraiser) March 22, 2015
Follow Ryan (@SacAppraiser) on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.
4 thoughts on “People of Sacramento commenting on the news: Ryan Lundquist”
Thank you so much for the interview. I really appreciate this series, and I’m looking forward to hearing from others. Relevant topic, Nathaniel.
Great to see Ryan featured in this series! Our local American Society of Appraisers had him as a guest speaker a few months ago and he impressed us with his professionalism, good humor and enthusiasm.
Thanks Jack. What a nice thing to say. You have a very eclectic and talented group.