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Apple profits soar, company rises in Fortune 500 standing



The spread of the Apple cult

Yesterday, in a room full of Realtors, someone said that they felt slighted because they moved to Apple products to be in a bug-free environment yet software products required to run a real estate business aren’t compliant, nor are they bug free. There was a great ruckus at the assertion that Apple is superior, but for the people who agreed, there was a solidarity that those on the outside simply couldn’t understand.

The joke was made about the cult of Apple and that the cult “works,” and the room moved on, but it is perhaps this cult joke isn’t really a joke. There is no joke in owning reliable products that people are willing to pay more for, and the cult mentality has gone mainstream (thus making it no longer a cult, rather a corporate culture). Because Apple has gone mainstream, their profits are soaring.

Apple rising in Fortune 500 rankings

Fortune has just released their annual “Fortune 500” rankings of America’s largest companies according to revenue with Apple quickly rising in the ranks and is now in the top 50.

Details of Apple’s standings:

  1. Apple jumped up 21 spots this year to #35.
  2. Revenue for 2010 exceeded $65 billion.
  3. Apple’s profits were $14 billion in 2010.
  4. Apple rose 18 stops to be the 8th most profitable company in 2010.
  5. Apple is still second place for revenue but has surpassed Dell.
  6. With 12,600 employees added to the company in 2010, it is the seventh largest hirer.

We may make jokes of the Mac vs. Android debate, but Apple is experiencing a meteoric rise that has surpassed the buzz and the cult of users that camp out weeks before a product release. They’re mainstream, profits and revenue are rocking and Apple is here for a fight for their marketshare.

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  1. Roland Estrada

    May 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I love using Apple computer products. I enjoyed being the trendy geek when I switched over in 2006. I new I had made the right choice. I remember some snotty know-it-all agent in my office told me he couldn't believe I had bought a computer with obsolete operating system. The week I bought my iPad last year, that same agent smugly asked how I like my new "toy". He finally caught on because he was sitting right up front when I taught an iPad for real estate class at our office earlier this year.

    I like my Macs because the get out of the way and let me just take care of business. Thankfully, the real estate software vendors have started to come around. They were quite a stumbling block in the early years of switching over. I have to say, I idd, and still do take some guilty pleasure in hammering them over the years about getting with times.

  2. Jill Kipnis

    May 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Roland, which apps do you find most useful on your iPad? released its free app last week, which is a great tool to use with your clients when you're on the go looking at properties.

    • Roland Estrada

      May 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      Jill, I don't use the app mostly because I don't trust the info to be up to date. I tend to use the MLS on the iPad and iPhone. Our SoCalMLS provider is Tempo/Marketlinx. I have been beta testing a mobile product for SoCalMLS called Kurio (web based). I like it. The information in terms of active listings is accurate and it has a GPS component to show you listings relative to your location and that seems to be pretty accurate as well. They also gave me another one to test called MLS-Touch (iOS app). It works will but not as robust as Kurio in terms of features.

      To show I like to use iAnnotate. I work on a Mac but have to use Internet Explorer for the MLS. The workflow I use is as follows: Once I have the properties I need to show as Agent Full Reports, I set them up to print to PDF (I use CutePDF for this on Windows. Before do this however, I select Print Preview from the dropdown in IE. I then select the Page View to 12 and use the Shrink To Fit dropdown so that all the info for each listing fits on one page. Now I print to PDF. I put them into a folder called Showing in Dropbox. I then rearrange the pages in the order of showing. On a Mac this is really easy using Preview. In Window you need to buy a program to rearrange pages – NitroPDF or Foxit Phantom. I prefer Foxit Phantom. You can get trail versions of both and choose the one that fits best for you.

      On my iPad, I open the file using Dropbox, then I choose Open In and open in iAnnotate. The great thing about iAnnotate is that you can make notes on each individual listing as you are walking through the home with you clients. Also, iAnnotate supports tabs you have the previous set of showing open in a separate tab or floorplans… whatever you need.

      Other apps I like are:

      GeeTasksPro – Task manager for syncing tasks using you Google Calendar
      eKey – Lock Box Key for Supra
      Daylite – Mac CRM
      LogMeIn Ignition
      TomTom USA
      Loan Calc
      BusyToDo – Task manager for syncing iCal tasks on you Mac using MobileMe

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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, 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.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

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.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

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.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

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.



zillow move

zillow move

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,, 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’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

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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