Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher

All posts in Research

South American investment in U.S. real estate continues to drive growth in the U.S. and not just in Florida. Reaching these markets via social media is easier than ever, too!  Read more

The modern consumer is more demanding, elusive and tech-savvy than ever, so keep these six trends in mind when trying to catch them!  Read more

We love to remind our clients of Peter Drucker's critical insight: Know the customer so well, that your products and services virtually sell themselves. So, here's are 33 things you need to know about them if you want to grow your business!  Read more

How much did the modern REALTOR earn last year? Did they own an iPad? How many leads did their website generate? These answers and more in our annual summary of modern real estate professionals trends.  Read more

For years we’ve been pointing out the failures of traditional marketing methods used in the real estate industry. But what happens when the “new” marketing approaches start to fail, too? Get ready for a real innovation challenge!  Read more

The first Baby Boomer officially hit 65 on January 1, 2011. Thereafter, 10,000 Boomers in the U.S. will turn 65 every day for the next 19 years. What will that mean for real estate?  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

According to a new survey by NAR, by a factor of 4, most buyers think open houses are far more useless than they were just a year ago.  Read more

Real estate is essentially a research industry: trouble is, most agents and brokers think the most important research is about houses, prices, square footage and such. Considering the data that sits in most MLS systems – unverified and incomplete – you’d think they would know better by now. In fact, the best research for any sales industry isn’t the commodity data but the customer specs and competition capabilities. Knowing everything there is to know about the consumer – and the competitors who are trying to beat you to their door – is far more fascinating. And given the state of  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

Yesterday found me on the 15th floor of the New York Times building in Manhattan, part of a trio of industry thinkers including Mike Staver and Steve Harney. Joining us for three hours of  “ask anything” discussion were some of the city’s finest brokers and managers. The host, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, had brought us together for a second time (the first in Phoenix) in a brainstorming session that had audience and panel each doing equal work. And unlike one of the usual presentations you might attend, the learning flowed both ways, from industry experts both on  Read more

What one phrase has done more damage to the housing industry – consumer and practitioner alike – in the last two years? “I’m waiting for the bottom.” Buyers have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for prices to hit their lows. Those REALTORS who didn’t just quit (200,000-plus of them did) similarly stuck their heads in the sand, waiting for everything to just blow over. “When the market changes,” was the favorite phrase of meetings, workshops, articles and convention speakers. A few out there – the Harneys, the Stavers, even yours truly – continued to plead for sanity. Nobody has  Read more

Let's help sellers make better decisions by leveraging their emotional intelligence. Not market intelligence, but emotional. For the first half of the listing presentation, let's take sellers for a ride. Drive them around the neighborhood to see the other homes they are competing against. Get them inside, to see with their own eyes, smell with their own nose and feel with their own emotions what they are up against. Let them experience the newer, older, better, worse - firsthand. Almost like a buyer again.  Read more

It’s true that I’ve never agreed with the National Association of REALTOR’S Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. It’s nothing personal; but it’s everything professional. I just don’t understand why today’s economists can’t figure out why inflation is bad. Of all of the complexities of economics, inflation is pretty much the easiest to understand. We’re not trying to figure out the reasons for irrational exuberance or call the bottom on the stock market. Inflation is simply the slow and steady erosion of a currency’s value. And with a devalued currency comes devalued everything. Including housing. Yet for some reason, NAR’s chief money-thinker  Read more