Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher

All posts in Technology

Do you know what others are saying about you online? Here are three techniques to keep an eye on your business buzz in social media.  Read more

YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web, yet most REALTORS still haven't figured out how tap into its traffic. Maybe that's because their MLS listing sheets can't play a video? Let's change that.  Read more

For a social network predicated on making friends, Facebook sure doesn't know how to build trust amongst its users.  Read more

The iPad's destiny isn't how it will revive newspapers and magazines, but how it will finally kill off the real estate property listing sheet. Hopefully.  Read more

There are two basic reasons why companies fail: unwillingness to embrace the obvious changes of their day, and a smug rejection of customer feedback. At Barnes and Noble, you can get both.  Read more

On Screen - a new weekly "launch" of news, commentary, resources, bloggers and other information you can use to get your week started - from Matthew Ferrara & Company.  Read more

Are social network games just for fun - or powerful sales tools. Matthew Ferrara explores the Gen X / Gen Y sales potential of Farmville and other social media fun.  Read more

Download a copy of the latest survey of REALTORS by the Center for REALTOR Technology and you’re certain to be fascinated – startled, perhaps – at what’s happening on the Bat-belts of modern agents trying to make buying and selling homes a twenty-first century experience. While the report is no page-turner – in fact, it looks a bit like it was produced on a Commodore 64 with dot-matrix fonts – a few facts stand out, highlighting just how easy it should be for serious salespeople to scoop up market share in the months to come. And all they really need  Read more

Blogging is both art and tax. Good blogging means turning a steady flow of useful ideas into interesting content. Bloggers must be good writers. And developing a readership takes a lot of time each day and week. So it’s not unusual for busy salespeople to worry that they’ll never really leverage the medium, tending instead to go for quick contributions in their Facebook updates. Yet there is opportunity in between the blog and the burst, providing ample opportunity to show off your knowledge, influence your contacts and develop new business. It’s called LinkedIn Answers, and it may just be the  Read more

For some time now, I’ve been asking myself if I’d missed the point about Twitter. Give it some time, I told myself. Sometimes these new technologies just need to shake themselves out. Originally, Motorola  shelved the mouse as an input device, only to have someone dust it off years later and make it the tool of choice for personal computers. So I gave Twitter a chance. I tried it myself, and even started to “follow” some people online. Alas, with the release of a new study, I now know  that I should have stuck with my initial reaction. Twitter is  Read more

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?

Once again, as REALTORS converged last week for their MidYear meetings in Washington, D.C., the forces of stability and sameness were present, coming up with last-gasp-ways to protect the tattered vestiges of Real Estate, the Last Generation. New white-papers and shiny-Powerpoint presentations proclaimed the “we-can-renovate” mentality of Gen 2.0 MLS systems struggling to enter the 3.0 version of the industry. Much like Google and Yahoo – who refuse to admit their advertising model is crumbling in the face of social networks – MLS’s are trying one last time to burnish a brand that has already worn off the chrome. What’s  Read more

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

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

Sometimes, you just have to learn the hard way. That seems to be the real estate industry’s preferred method of implementing technology tools – at least for the last twenty years or so. A herald comes over the hill, the masses become excited, everyone just starts doing it: And that’s when the highest risk to sound business principles usually occurs. Which is exactly where we are today with IDX – the “sharing” of listing inventory between competing brokers’ websites. It sounds like a good idea, except for one small snag: Your million dollar website now looks awful because the data  Read more