The classic tale
We noticed a classic story being told through Twitter about the struggle of some to reject social media and how it is being used versus those who are pushing the very tools of social media in Realtors’ faces. At the National Association of Realtors (NAR) annual conference, the following tweets took place:
1. Rejecting the idea of controlling social media
2. NAR sessions promoting use of social media
The irony has not been lost on our readers that there are committee members and leaders that want to tighten rules around social media, and that these topics are being duked out on Twitter itself as ideas spread. On the other end of the spectrum, the conference is hosting two tech seminars within hours of the statements above and below, “High-Tech, High Touch Marketing Techniques for Success: Marketing Forum” and later, “Follow Me and Discover New Tech Tools: Business Technology & Information Systems Forum” presented by people that are highly leveraged in social media, namely Twitter.
3. Twitter should be banned from sessions
We hear this at every conference and some do ban Twitter, but typically so that private meetings are not leaked or so attendees will stay focused on speakers. Interestingly, via Twitter (yes, ironic), it was tweeted that perhaps Twitter should be banned and the other irony is that the commenter is someone who is one of the more prolific tweeters in the industry.
4. NAR members reject idea of banning Twitter
The idea of banning Twitter was likely meant to apply to the MLS Committee meeting, but the meeting was not only an open meeting (closed meetings are held at NAR), but contained a ruling on a topic that thousands of people have been waiting on for months, and the meeting has been built up for so long that of course people are going to talk about it live. The only way Twitter could be banned is if the venue jams cell phone reception, disallowing texts, phone, and internet use which we don’t imagine 18,000 Realtors would be very receptive to (can you imagine taking a Realtor’s phone away for an entire day?).
The point here is that NAR can ban whatever they like, but it is ironic that an event that sells technology tools and seminars for paying attendees would retweet the notion that Twitter should be banned, thus telegraphing that transparency should be used by agents in their marketing as instructed, but not by the event or instructors presenting these concepts. If Twitter is banned at an event like this (and NAR has every right to do so, but they won’t), or the idea of banning Twitter is entertained via a retweet, what does that tell agents who have paid good money to attend sessions about technology and how glorious social media is?
This is a very interesting case study – do the sellers of transparent technologies truly believe in the concept of transparency and immediacy?
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
Idea: Color-coded face masks as the new social contract to combat COVID-19
New company beats Amazon with next morning delivery?
Gloves that translate sign language in real time
What to do when you can’t find your passion and you’re feeling lost
Google plans to pay publishers for content (a little too late)?
HEROES Act could increase unemployment stimulus benefits, add return to work bonus
LinkedIn: New retargeting options expand your marketing efforts
A closer look at the HEROES act, and who stands to benefit the most
The future of quantum computing is “Azure” bright and you can try it
The Apple Watch isn’t just a way to ignore calls, it could save your life
Anti-surveillance mask – creepy, ingenious, or potentially illegal?
Amy’s Ice Cream founder on Austin’s business risks and rewards #WhyAustin
Turns out a lot of people are in between introverted and extroverted
P. Terry’s founder on the booming economy in Austin #WhyAustin
Ladies and gentlemen, the U.S. National Anthem
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