Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher

Archive for January, 2009

While the vast majority of REALTORS still don’t know that social networking exists, there’s definitely a trend growing amongst “early adopters” to drive a stake in the heart of Web 2.0 world. Being first often creates a competitive advantage – such as being first to respond to a buyer’s inquiry on a property. On the other hand, being effective with social networking technology requires something that too many REALTORS still need to learn: We don’t care that you have just listed another overpriced property!

Here’s an idea (or five) whose time has come: Real estate professionals can’t wait around any longer to have “someone else” fix the market. Whether it’s government money or buyers coming off the sidelines, if we’re waiting for other people to turn around our business, we’re going to find that time is against us. No longer can we remain on the sidelines ourselves. It’s time to take action and make the changes that we’ve all know are long overdue in our business. To get you started, here are five technology-driven production boosters that are easily within everyone’s reach.

As part of a new ongoing series of posts on our blog, we’re going to apply our brainpower here at Matthew Ferrara & Company to looking at the latest numbers from real estate industry research and helping our readers make sense out of their meaning. Many organizations from NAR to Case-Schiller to research firms and universities worldwide study consumers, agents, brokers and the business of real estate. They release “findings” – lots of numbers – but rarely interpret their meaning. Of course, that’s where we have always been helpful to our clients: leveraging the research facts about the marketplace to  Read more

One of the most exciting roles our company plays for real estate brokers and agents worldwide happens when we are called upon to do Strategic Planning with them. It’s fascinating to see how planning energizes people – even though so many of them may have been operating for years without a written plan (or a recently written one :>) Usually, strategic planning starts out as  “pie in the sky” and then comes down to “I need to make this much revenue!” Somewhere in between, however, the process starts to become unnecessarily confused. Bogged down, is more like it, because too  Read more

Here’s a little story about the power of the new consumer. He’s the guy who used to have no power – no information, everything kept a secret from him, all confused about what happened behind the scenes – but today is ripping the roof off traditional real estate models, confusing REALTORS, service providers and vendors worldwide. Pay close attention, because this is the guy who’s going to make your life a lot more complicated when you ask him to buy your services! Our story begins one cloudy Saturday in Peabody, where yours truly was shopping for a new car. My  Read more

Warren Buffet likes to say, “When others are greedy, I’m fearful; when others are fearful, then I’m greedy.” As a rule for when to invest in the stock markets, the Sage of Omaha is cautioning the average investor against the psychology of the markets. Mass markets – like stocks, bonds and even housing – are subject to mood swings by the consumer. And frenzies – to purchase or sell – are the scariest moods of all. Buffets advice: Do the opposite of the frenzy, and you’ll be just fine. Now let’s apply that thinking to the “lower mortgage rates” frenzy  Read more

Every year at this time, most of us are making “resolutions” of how to improve ourselves for the upcoming year. We resolve to go on a diet, save more money, take time off with the kids, and so on. Business people usually take it one step further, resolving to do all the things they “put off” in the last year because they ran out of money, or opportunity knocked, or they just forgot. We all do this – while conveniently forgetting the most common thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that we usually forget about them by the end of  Read more