Whatever Happened to Five Star Service?
Five-Star Service. When is the last time you experienced service that was truly five-star? Has it been a while? I don’t know about you, but it’s been ages since I have. In fact, I recently had an experience that was a tipping point. It was, in a manner of speaking, sort of a last straw for me. Let me share it with you. I’ve been an Amazon shopper from the beginning. I love being able to shop whenever I want and get my stuff delivered right to my door. Amazon ...Read more
Don’t Look Now But You May Be Out of a Job
Have you been paying attention to what’s going on in the real estate industry lately? Mergers and acquisitions abound. Hardly a week goes by without us hearing about another major M&A event. Think about some of the major acquisitions in just the last few years. Move Inc. (operator of Realtor.com) bought ListHub, Point2’s syndication business, and picked up several smaller players like Doorsteps, SocialBios, Relocation.com, FiveStreet and TigerLead Zillow acquired Postlets, HotPads, StreetEasy, Retsly, Mortech, Buyfolio and RentJuice Trulia purchased Market Leader and ActiveRain Nationstar acquired Real Estate Digital Cozy ...Read more
It’s Crushing Season!
Several years ago I traveled to San Francisco to attend the NAR Annual Convention. Being a big fan of California red wine, I arranged to arrive a day early so I could visit the world famous Napa and Sonoma valleys. Both are well-known for producing some of the best wine in the world, and I intended to taste as much as I could. I even brought my own driver so I could taste responsibly. As it turned out, the conference was in October, and the weather was perfect. When we ...Read more
Is Your Business Down 15% Since July?
The numbers are in and sales of existing homes fell 1.8% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in August, according to National Association of Realtors data released yesterday. Forecast for September is 4.88 million or another drop of 3.5%. At the same time, sales were down 5.3% from a year earlier, when the pace stood at 5.33 million. As you can see from the chart above, we are entering our seasonal slowdown, off from the highs of the traditional summer moving season. Many of you ...Read more
The Ultimate Website — It’s Better than Ever!
The numbers are in for last month and they are better than even we expected! Of course many of you know that our company has long been an innovator in the field of online lead generation for the real estate professionals and was featured by CNN’s Pulse on America program almost a decade ago as, “changing the way real estate is done in America”. Still we’ve continued to perfect the science of online marketing and help agents generate their own business and not be dependent on national aggregators like Zillow, ...Read more
The Most Important 5 Seconds of Any Real Estate Transaction
For every closing… every single deal… there is that one moment… that one crucial moment where things can go terribly wrong but don’t. The “tipping point” of any transaction where if you handle it right the result is a commission check, and if you handle it wrong, there is the frustration of yet another missed opportunity. Sure, you may tell yourself that the lead was just a tire-kicker — a poor quality lead — but in your heart of hearts you know that it really came down to that moment… ...Read more
Sex Offenders On Your Website!
Well I’m excited to announce that the new search feature of the Ultimate Website has been a huge success! Our objective was to give our agents another option — not to replace the IDX search that many offer their visitors, but rather to enhance it. After all, nearly every home search website out there pulls from the same central database using a RETS feed. RETS is an acronym which stands for Real Estate Transaction Standard created to overcome the difficulties presented by the existence of a large number of organizations ...Read more
Learn Some Zillow Ju-jitsu
Ju-jitsu is the ancient art and technique of using your opponent’s force and momentum against him rather than confronting it with your own force. First developed and practiced during the Muromachi period in Japan (1333-1573), this old style of martial arts training was focused on teaching the unarmed or very lightly armed farmer/warrior to fight a heavily armed professional soldier. “So what does that have to do with me and Zillow?,” you ask. It has everything to do with you and Zillow. First let’s get a few things straight. One, ...Read more
Brad Inman says “Checkmate!” Yesterday Brad Inman, real estate industry pioneer and founder of Inman News, commented on the Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) acquisition of chief rival Trulia (NYSE: TRLA) in an early morning press release: “In my view, this is checkmate. Soon, Zillow will control the chessboard, like Amazon does the publishing industry. The only meaningful consumer destination, Amazon, after many savvy moves, now controls pricing, merchandising, the data and the market. Soon, Zillow will control the pricing, the listings, the merchandizing and, for sure, the consumer.” That is a ...Read more
Rethinking Your Promo Photo
Several times in the last week I had almost identical conversations with different agents, so I thought it might be a good idea to share it with my readers. During the course of showing agents around my website we would eventually come to my photo. The reaction is almost predictable. There is a weird kind of stunned, nearly audible silence where you can almost hear the wheels turning in their minds as they try to decide what to say. On the one hand, they almost universally like the photo, but ...Read more