Where do most people enjoy the holidays? At home, in their back yards, around their fireplaces. All of which real estate professionals play a part in making special for millions of people. Whether the sun is shining or the snow is falling, REALTORS help make the holidays a little better for families around the world.
Hindsight is always 20/20, they say. Unless, of course, you spend most of your time navel gazing. So it’s almost myopic to point out that some ideas’ time has come. And other ideas’ time has passed. On one hand, it’s time for every sale to include in-house ancillary sales. On the other hand, it’s time for NAR to give up the dream of one HAL-like central database. Didn’t they find the bellybutton lint the last time they tried it?
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
Bizarre, Cool, Finally and Funny: Observations from the NAR Annual Conference, 2009 Each year, as thousands of REALTORS descend upon some unsuspecting city in American, we bring you observations from the event, complete with raised eyebrows of all kinds. This year’s Annual Convention of the National Association of REALTORS in San Diego is no exception: the 14,000 vendors, agents and industry leaders left us with no lack of bizarre, cool, finally and funny observations to share with you. So, without further ado, here goes. Bizarre: Why do all of the REALTOR conventions happen in cities with soaring homeless rates? It 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?
“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
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
Yesterday, President Obama announced he was prepared to break the law. After blaming the senior debt bondholders of Chrysler for pushing the company into Chapter 11, he sanctioned a plan to abrogate their covenants and force them to take pennies on their loaned dollar. No matter that their bonds were secured by the company’s assets. The rights of “speculators” are easily swept aside in populist frenzies. Notice how the President didn’t blink a teleprompter-eye when he stood with the union workers, the families and the communities – while transferring to them 55% control of the company assets. American lenders filled Read more
This video made me jump up out of my seat and cheer! Finally, a businessman who isn’t embarrassed by what he earns – and is willing to defend it in front of the mass purveyors of guilt, the Media. Every REALTOR should watch this clip and see what it looks like when someone stands up and says, Yes, dammit! I’m worth every penny! I may get paid a lot, but I create a LOT MORE value in return. We need a lot more of this kind of attitude in the industry these days – rather than the doom, gloom, hat-in-hand Read more
Like a three ring circus, the housing bill distracts the American taxpayer with shiny baubles. Behind the scenes however, the bill will likely destroy the housing industry and the careers of millions of REALTORS. Yet the moths continue to fly toward the fire, praising the insidious federal policy of giving away down-payments to buyers, forcing banks to write down mortgage principle, and protecting non-paying borrowers. All this , and more, just to set the stage for the big act: Commission caps for REALTORS. Really. Haven’t Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac done enough harm already? Remember Barney Frank’s “roll the dice” Read more