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What’s Up With The RE.net Lately?


Fresh ideas

Different angles

Healthy, respectful discussion

Help and resources

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Giving to receive

Back in the day…

Not sure about you, but “back in the day”, these were some of the main attractions of the RE.net when I first jumped into it a few years back.

I have discussions, sometimes heated ones, with fellow bloggers, agents, brokers and others in the industry on a regular basis. These discussions have helped me tremendously not only in real estate sales, but in getting a better understanding of the industry as a whole. 

These discussions and disagreements are great! You get to see where the holes in your plan or idea are and you see where those with opposing views are coming from. This helps you fine-tune your plan or idea so that it works even better! And you do the same for the other person, which helps them. And by both of you doing things better helps the real estate industry as a whole, which is a win-win situation for everyone!

These discussions are intelligent, respectful and we act like adults. And even if we’re competitors, we understand that healthy competition and “co-opetition” will help us all succeed in the long run. 

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For the most part, these are still the guiding forces of the RE.net. But…

As of lately…

…there seems to be a lot “my idea/angle/way of doing things is better than yours” and “I’m not helping you because ___________”, “I/my ______ is better than yours” and trash-talking of others.

What’s up with that?!

I don’t drink “Kool-Aid” (never have as a kid and never will). I’m not saying that I’m on “this” side or “that” side nor that “X” is to blame or “Y” is to blame nor am I defending or accusing anyone. 

What I’m saying is…

What happened to the “good ‘ol days” when we all used to get along and be in this for the greater good? What happened to fresh ideas, different angles, healthy discussion, helping others and helping others in a respectful and adult manner…all the things that were the originial attraction to the RE.net?

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Written By

Danilo Bogdanovic is a Real Estate Consultant/REALTOR(R) in Northern Virginia and author/owner of LoudounScene.com and LoudounForeclosures.com. Danilo serves on various committees with the Dulles Area Association of REALTORS(R) and the Virginia Association of REALTORS(R).

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Brad Nix

    November 9, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I’m betting the time people had for 2.0 ideas, blogging and social networking is now being used to cold call and service their few remaining clients. Or maybe some are just in a darker mood due to the tougher times?

  2. Larry Yatkowsky

    November 9, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Danilo,

    Perhaps it might just be the “end of innocence”, the recognizing that while it is fun it is also a tremendous amount of work.

    If Brad is right, it might just be that the work load is making people grumpy. God knows they have reason.:)

  3. Steve Simon

    November 10, 2008 at 6:57 am

    The downturn in the markets and economy in general has a dampening effect on most occurances of outward positive emotion.
    Sadly when another 15 to 20 percent of our population return to worry of survival there is less outward smiling, and certainly less, “…after you, oh no, after you…” discussions going on.
    You will see human beings behaving at their worst right after things are taken away from them. It is more tramatic to have something and then not have it than it is to not ever have had it at all.
    There are many with dreams on hold or completely gone.
    This is when an “Older and Wiser” friend or relative can be helpful. A kind word, a well thought out plan, or just a reminder that “Hard times pass”.
    But you are right, it is getting nastier. I expevt it to get much worse over the short term…

  4. Matt Stigliano

    November 10, 2008 at 7:34 am

    I agree with the ideas above, but I also think some of it is just “internet evolution.” When an idea gets started, it is great, early adopters get on board and start building it. These people are usually an excited bunch, who love to talk, share, and help each other out. Somewhere in the early stages of this development, there is usually a struggle for power (whether it is software based or people based) and there’s a bit of a blip as the kinks are worked out. Then things smooth out again and the community begins to grow more. As it does, it attracts the attention of the media and the people. Once it hits and people start coming to it, people start reacting differently. Some of it is “I was here first,” some of it is showboating, and some of it is just some weird part of human nature that likes to let us mess things up.

    I remember pre-internet using BBS systems. Chat rooms were exciting and fun. AOL is its early days was just a little local network and it was fun, informative, and amazing (at the time). Then it grew and got an internet connection. Boy, did it get ugly for awhile. I haven’t seen or used AOL in years, but I gave it up back then, because it just became a nasty place full of people trying to prove they were better than everyone else.

    There will always be that temptation on the internet to be someone you are not. Not to create a whole new character, but to simply be more aggressive than you are normally, to shout louder than you would in public, to fight a cause you don’t even care that much about.

    I’m sure psychologists years from now will have some interesting facts on how the internet re-wired our brains in some new way in order for us to be able to act the way we (some) do in cyberspace.

  5. Todd

    November 10, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Is it because the participatory, open, transparent nature of modern internet tools ( a.k.a. “Social Media” or “Web 2.0” ) flies in the face of antiquated, closed, compartmentalized NAR style of doing business?

    Hence the “culture clash”? Example: If the NAR relies on monopolistic, pyramid scheme practices with listing data, but then Zillow and Trulia throw a huge monkey wrench in it, you see that “us vs. them” anti-social rhetoric.

  6. Todd Carpenter

    November 10, 2008 at 9:51 am

    I’ve been doing this for nearly four years. Pretty much longer than 99% of “RE.net”, I even run the Back’n Tha Day Facebook Bloggers group.

    The “my idea/angle/way of doing things is better than yours” has been around as long as I have blogged. It just seems to me that people had thicker skin Back’n Tha Day.

    Really. What’s wrong with saying my idea is better than your’s? I’ve made this argument, and had it made against me. I’ve been proven wrong sometimes and vindicated others. They’re just ideas.

  7. Danilo Bogdanovic

    November 10, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Todd Carpenter – Good point. But think the “delivery” is what has gone south. There’s constructive criticism and then there’s bashing.

    Todd – Stirring up the pot between those organizations and “us” is great! But the post was asking the question as it relates to “us” in the RE.et

    Matt – Would love to see those studies. Sure they’d be very interesting.

    Steve – “The downturn in the markets and economy in general has a dampening effect on most occurances of outward positive emotion.” Well said!

    Brad and Larry – Yup…

  8. Mike Price

    November 10, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    D,
    I think maybe you’re just seeing something symptomatic of a random set of circumstances.

    Is there really an RE.net anyhow? It’s just a random adjective coined by Greg Swann a long time ago. A group of the more vocal and participatory people in the industry just collected under an umbrella, that if I remember correctly was a negative connotation to begin with.

    The people you may define as members of the group would be subjective. I may see them as a completely different set of people and if you asked for 6 definitions of what the RE.net is you would probably get 8 answers. Some people recently seem to be dipping their toes in the water making comments that are totally antithetical to what the majority of the collective see it as anyhow.

    Perhaps I haven’t been exposed to the same events or actions you’re seeing (I know I went out of character ONCE on a blog post lately I hope that didnt shape your feelings), but I see this whole thing as a non-issue because the RE.net is just an adjective to me – a phantom description of something that does not exist. There is no spoon Neo.

    That said, I make a motion to dissolve the RE.net in a pool of margaritas and start over with a new adjective. Will anyone second my motion? Of course I’m just kidding (except for the margaritas). I can only think of one person I’d rather drink them with more than you D 🙂

  9. Chris Shouse

    November 10, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Mike I will second that and maybe out REbarcamp LA we can coin the new phrase:) Don’t you see these camps as great exchanges between professionals?

  10. Mike Price

    November 11, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Hi Chris!
    Absolutely. When you have an environment where no one has control over the message or the medium, it doesn’t water anything down or give too much exposure to people, companies and agendas that provide no value to the attendees. Everyone’s an innovator!

    Regarding the RE.net Look – it doesn’t matter what you call it, the RE.net is just ether. What matters are the people, the connections, the conversation and so on and so forth. It’s more powerful if we don’t bother to try to define it or shape it in any way. It will evolve or disintegrate under it’s own power. At least that’s my 2 cents worth.

  11. Jim Duncan

    November 11, 2008 at 6:04 am

    I third Mike’s motion, even though I won’t be there.

    This is a subject that concerns me –

    We’ve grown, and the camaraderie has been replaced in some fashion by competition.

    When we started (I’ll put on my “Back in tha Day” badge and sit next to Todd Carpenter) – there weren’t many of us, and we learned from each other. In many ways, there was a purity to blogging about real estate.

    That purity, the focus on the craft, has been diminished by so many jumping in just because they see that there’s money to be made and because “everybody else is doing it.”

    The “haves” versus the “have-nots” battle is upon us. My advice – ignore it. All we can do is lead the way forward.

    As often happens, I find great insight on Twitter, this time from Hugh MacLeod (who incidentally spoke at the first Inman Conference that had a Bloggers’ Connect) –

    The blogosphere is a lot bigger and a lot meaner than it was 4 years ago. But I always knew this would happen.

  12. teresa boardman

    November 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Honestly never found it all that friendly. I remember when real estate bloggers first started looking at my blog. Had a tough time for awhile until I got to know some of them.

  13. Linsey

    November 12, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    I’m one of the most recent participants in this world. I have to say that by and large, I’ve had people respond very openly to me and with a great deal of warmth.

    Jim Duncan (clearly an ‘old’ pro) says, ‘That purity, the focus on the craft, has been diminished by so many jumping in just because they see that there’s money to be made and because “everybody else is doing it.”

    I’m not totally sure I agree with that. Are there more participants? Yes, but for how long will each of them be there? Those that don’t do it at a high level, with an integrity to their message and work, won’t be lasting in this arena. That’s my guess. I think you have to really love it and be good at it to last.

    The jury is out as to whether or not I’ll fit that bill, but for the prolific, committed blogger or RE.net participant, there will always be a place that is held at a higher level in this part of the industry.

    I’ve so appreciated those that have been encouraging and supportive to me and I hope that I ultimately give back more than I took.

  14. Matthew Rathbun

    November 13, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    It’s the law of unintended consequences. The curmudgeons who grip and fret over the end of the RE world as we know it have been listening to the big push by other practitioners to get involved in the re.net. Now these folks have a platform that their lazy backsides wouldn’t have dreamed up on their own.

    The more the industry targets social media as a venue (no longer “new” IMHO) the more and more bitter people with nothing to do, but cause heartache will emerge.

    The folks who engaged this as a learning / sharing exercise in the forefront shaped it and now it’s been polluted with those who simply like the sound of their own voice.

    We’ve made it “so simple an activerainer, can do it.” I love the guys over at AR, but we started to see their platform get toxic and twisted years ago – now it’s seeped into the more external world.

    Too many monomaniacal people trying to argue one stray point. You see it all the time – agent gets disenfranchised about NAR or MLS or something or other and no matter the post, they’ll work their poison into it and shut down everyone else.

    RE.net has been over promoted and now everyone has to add their two cents, so that they can say that they are “involved in it.”

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