Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher

Archive for June, 2008

It’s time for REALTOR Associations to do something they don’t like to do: Change. Certainly, over the past two decades, I’ve watched a fair amount of “changes” at REALTOR Associations worldwide: Executive Officers have come and gone; Associations have moved to bigger, then smaller, then bigger locations; they have changed their newsletters from print to email. All of these are “changes” but none of them represent the Change I mean when I say it’s time for REALTOR Associations to change. I mean: It’s time for them to Evolve.

Well, I don’t know what took so long, but Microsoft finally seems to have read its emails, listened to its voice mail and talked to its customers. According to a headline over at Engadget, Microsoft is going to support Windows XP until 2013. It’s about time! Customers worldwide are breathing a sigh of relief as the Redmond Behemoth seems to have remembered a fundamental premise of running a good business: Listen to your customers! There’s no magic in that premise. Your customers will tell you everything you need to know to be successful. After Microsoft launched Vista, both customers and  Read more

Been having a great discussion with the fellow over at 4REALZ.NET over the new REALTOR.COM Home Estimator tool just released - and quite quietly, we might add, since even we techhies missed the press release (so we suspect the public did too.... and about half the REALTORS who don't even know REALTOR.COM exists...)  Read more

Frequently in this column, I have argued that REALTORS have a lot to learn about selling and customer service from “professional” sales organizations. A common reference has been who puts at least seven photos of every pair of shoes online. Zappos proves that just because you have a large database of “inventory” there’s no excuse for not having lots of clear, informative information and images for your products. Zappos even raises the bar on “descriptions” on inventory: their writers describe shoes in terms of customer desires and needs – like “sexy, comfy, classy, etc.” This is totally unlike REALTOR  Read more

Take a look around and you’ll likely notice something about today’s “brand names” in business. Too many of them are crumbling. Now, I don’t mean “imploding” like Bear Stearns; that’s too amazing a disaster to consider anything more than pure mushroom-cloud brand bomb. Rather, I mean the slow rot of some of America’s most “trusted” names in commerce. Sears. Hertz. Ford. American Airlines. Even “recent” brand wonders like Dell computer are disintegrating like rusty chrome bumpers on a ’74 Oldsmobile Delta 88 (a brand that no longer exists itself). Why are these brands – once market leaders and marvelously profitable  Read more

NAR turned 100 years old this year. Think where we have come in 100 years. Think how fast our business has changed since the mid 1990s with the introduction of the internet into the business sector. With this anniversary in our midst it is time to think about new standards of performance for our business. Why? Today‚Äôs consumer is unlike any consumer we have ever known. This is because of the rapid acceleration of the internet and the rate at which people like to communicate. They expect and deserve new levels of professionalism from us . These new standards start  Read more