Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher

Archive for July, 2009

According to NAR and Radar Logic, home prices rose month-to-month from April to May in 10 cities in America, like Boston, Charlotte, Seattle and Denver. Words like “recovery” are used in the press release, because, at least from the Voice of REALTORS, the word “inflation” is off limits. Since the press release is just a snippet, it’s likely to be passed around without much analysis. Too bad, because it’s likely to mislead a lot of consumers. Let’s just do a little math: According to the data, home prices rose around 3-5%. According to another report from NAR, the median sales  Read more

Nowadays it’s common to see overpriced listings. But rather than fall into the same trap as others, why not try something altogether different. Stop pricing your listings at all. Instead, let the consumer determine the right price every time. Placing property in the market in “price zones” opens the property to far more buyers who might otherwise have disqualified the property because of an arbitrary “search” criteria on a website. Simply offer properties “in the mid $300s” or “starting around $200k” and open the potential pool of buyers as wide as possible. Try it.

Readers of our column know that we called the beginning of the end of search engines some time ago, when we noted that Facebook and MySpace had already started to generate more ad views and targeted traffic than Yahoo and Google. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t seem to have read our post, and went ahead with Bing. Microsoft calls it a “decision engine” and it certainly works differently than the traditional search sites. Yet technology improvements aside, none of the  search engine players have considered the basic question: Do people really “search” for things on the internet any more?

Ten Questions with Real Estate Expert Matthew Ferrara By Dianna Kawell Reposted with permission from WCR’s site.Real estate is becoming an increasingly technology-driven industry. Every day, a typical REALTOR® depends heavily on her laptop, GPS and digital camera to get the job done. For what was long believed to be a face-to-face business, 88 percent of REALTORS® now report using e-mail as the preferred method of communicating with their clients.However, REALTOR® Web sites may be the one neglected piece of the technology puzzle. Perhaps, it is because agents see little tangible results from their personal Web sites. In the latest  Read more

“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” So quipped Mark Twain after hearing his demise had been published in the New York Times. The same might be said today about the real estate industry. A lot of hullabaloo has been making its way through the web these days – the end of brands, numbered days for independent agents, consumers ready to do it on their own. Trouble is, it’s mostly punditry that supports these assertions. Certainly, real estate brokerage is under a lot of pressure to produce profits, cut costs and improve customer satisfaction these days. Even more likely is  Read more