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Breaking: Joe Ferrara of Sellsius, TheClozing passes away

It is with an extremely heavy heart that we tell you that Joe Ferrara, one of the original real estate bloggers and good friend to AgentGenius since day one has passed away.

After a brief battle with brain cancer diagnosed just over two months ago, Joe is no longer with us. Joe was an outspoken lawyer and industry advocate, a vigilant champion of free speech and privacy and is well known for his role as founder of and He got on a bus and toured the country a while back to meet as many real estate bloggers as possible, he has awarded women in real estate with recognition every year and always fought for the underdog.

We all owe a great deal to Joe for his role in the real estate blogging world, and Benn and I personally have enjoyed many years of friendship with Joe as did many. Details of the funeral will be posted here when we know anything and we will pass along any of your kind words to his wife.

Joe, thank you for all you’ve done for everyone around you, you will be so very sorely missed.

talk @ agentgenius .com

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My personal note:
After writing this and sitting quietly for some time, I wanted to share with you why this is such a devastating loss and why we’re so frustrated, and the tears are so abundant in our home tonight. I feel like the last line of defense is gone, like the last line of sanity is erased, and honestly, Joe is who we always called if we had a dilemma- when we were attacked, when we were considering a lawsuit, when we needed a balanced voice, or when we were tempted to put a note into his “Deep Throat” mailbox that he asked us to so many times over the years.

A few years back, Joe and I met in person for the first time at a small private party in San Francisco. We found it amusing that we were the two people hovering consistently at the tiny bar without leaving, and we joked that we wanted to get the last drink served at the party (Joe won). That night, I asked him how he does it, how we stays so vigilant. His answer as his eyes lit up, he flashed that patent smile and shrugged his sport-coat-draped shoulders was, “who else is gonna do it?” Amazing. We love Joe because he is open to everyone and is always on the side of justice over popularity.

Joe felt like an old friend the minute we shook hands and almost everyone I know feels the same way. The Defender is gone and I honestly don’t know who to call now in hundreds of situations. Joe has helped us so much along the way and this truly is a loss to us all, even those of you who don’t know who he is- he cared for us all and watched out for us, and I believe he’s still doing the same, just from a different vantage point.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Lucretia Pruitt

    August 4, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Oh Lani – I’m so sorry to hear it. He sounds like he was an amazing guy – and if you and Benn liked him? It’s obvious he was a good man to me.

    May he rest in peace – and may his legacy shine brightly.

  2. David Crandall

    August 4, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I will keep his family in my prayers and pray that they are comforted during this time. May God be with his family and bring them peace.

  3. Ginny Cain

    August 4, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Joe was one of a kind…a true renaissance man…creative, kind, genuine, multi-talented. The world will not be the same without him, nor will I.

  4. Brandie Young

    August 4, 2010 at 2:24 am

    I can barely see through my tears to type this message. I am so very sad. Joe was a magnificent man and I feel blessed, humbled and honored to have known him.

    Joe left a huge footprint on this world, and I know he will be just as loved in Heaven.

    God bless you Joe Ferrara.


  5. Ricardo Bueno

    August 4, 2010 at 2:32 am

    My last memory of Joe was at the RETechSouth Conference. We met there for the first time. He was all smiles and a complete joy to spend time with. Intelligent, passionate and joyful on life.

    My prayers go to Joe and his family. He will be missed.

  6. Ken Montville

    August 4, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Joe was a great guy and a true inspiration. I first met Joe at the Philadelphia REBAR Camp and one last time at the Ocean City, MD REBAR Camp. It was great to talk with him and learn from him. Sellsius is one of the great RE blogs on the ‘Net. Words cannot express how much he’ll be missed – his warmth, his sense of humor, his creativity. Just an all around great guy.

  7. Jim Duncan

    August 4, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Lani – You’ve summed up many of my thoughts about Joe – he was brilliant, even-headed, listened and sided with what was right … and could defend that side with a thoughtfulness and intelligence that was unparalleled. Every time I saw or talked to Joe I left feeling somewhat fulfilled, and that was special and unique. I will miss him enormously.

  8. Missy Caulk

    August 4, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Devastating loss of such a fine human being. He was loved and will be missed. I will never forget the day we spent together in Michigan at the Blog Tour.
    Prayers go out to his family, such a sad day.

  9. Greg Cooper

    August 4, 2010 at 7:35 am

    There are few more remarkable legacies than from those whose influence affects people they’ve never met. Such was the case for Joe. I never had the privilege of meeting him yet his footprint was so wide it will forever leave an indelible mark our industry. RIP Joe…and prayers to your loved ones.

  10. Monika

    August 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Oh my gosh this is such sad news. My heart goes out to Joe’s family and to all of us who will miss him so much. He was a wonderful man and one who really cared.
    RIP Joe.

  11. Matt Stigliano

    August 4, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I woke this morning to read the news on Twitter. The lost another soldier today in it’s constant battle against mediocrity. I didn’t get a chance to meet Joe in real life, but like many real estate bloggers, I felt I knew him personally. Jay Thompson had told me about his diagnosis and it was from there I learned about his bus tour. I remember thinking how amazing that idea was and smiling at the creativity and true interest it showed. Joe certainly will be missed by many and you can add my name to that list.

    My heart goes out to his family in the coming days, which are never easy. I do know they have a massive group to lean on here in the One of the early things I learned right here at AgentGenius is that this is a group that bonds quickly and can be there in a heartbeat for friends (in real life or online) and family. Together we are a powerful force and although we can’t stop a friend from being taken from us, we can help their families get through and honor their memories.

    Goodbye Joe, I’ll meet you someday, looking forward to thanking you for all you have done for us through your words and actions.

  12. Joe Sheehan

    August 4, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Thanks for sharing, Joe.

  13. Clint Miller

    August 4, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Unfortunately, I was denied the ability to meet Joe in person. I only knew Joe via Twitter and his blog. But, he and I have had multiple conversations online about one topic or another. One thing was certain…..if Joe (or @JFSellsius, as I knew him) was talking to you, you had better be paying attention…because everyone else was…

    I am saddened that he was silenced too early and my sincere and most heartfelt condolences go out to his family.

    RIP Joe…you will be missed.

  14. Paula Henry

    August 4, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I first remember hearing about Joe when he did the Blog Tour. Although I never met him, I learned so much from reading his blog, comments and opinions. As many have said, he was a voice of reason and made you think. RIP Joe; may your family find strength and peace in this great time of sadness.

  15. Kristal Kraft

    August 4, 2010 at 10:05 am

    So sad to hear about Joe. He was a great guy! I first met him when he and Rudy did the Blog Tour and stopped in Denver. My last fun time with Joe was in San Francisco when he came on a photo walk with us. He will be missed.

  16. Nick Bastian

    August 4, 2010 at 10:47 am

    RIP Joe. We will miss you!
    Thanks so much for all you have done for so many people… God bless, my man.

  17. Tara Sybrant

    August 4, 2010 at 10:59 am

    It is a truly a sad day. I only met him briefly but have read his blog for sometime, today we lost a great contributor and better man.

  18. Vicki Lloyd

    August 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Such sad news. I was so hoping that he could beat the cancer! I first met Joe in San Diego when he & Rudy did the blog tour and always enjoyed knowing him through his blogs & articles on Inman News.

    He will truly be missed by a lot of people!

  19. Francces Flynn Thorsen

    August 4, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Joe was a very special guy, warm and smart and funny and provocative. It was always a joy to spend time with him or speak with him on the phone. The real estate Net will not be the same without him. He had the courage to challenge the status quo. Sometimes he was like Damian poking sticks in Goliath’s eye. 😎 He was unafraid. He was a beautiful man with heart of gold. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family. I will miss Joe dearly.

  20. Market Leader

    August 4, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Joe Ferrara of Sellsius, TheClozing passes away @agentgenius – Joe you will be missed! ^danae

  21. Matt Dollinger

    August 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    It’s great to read such a wonderful outpouring of memories and love in these comments… While reading these I am happy to remember my last memory of Joe. We were at the LRE conference this year, he wasn’t feeling well, and I gave him some advil (I think). All I know is that when such a great person passes – i am glad to know that my last memory of him was one where I am able to reflect and see kindness. We should all approach each moment we have that those we care about, (whether intimately or out of pure respect) with awe and as if they were our last. Thanks for helping to keep me centered Joe and focused on what’s important.

  22. loftninja

    August 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I truly feel many of the same exact thoughts as the post author..almost too shakin to write anything intelligable here…what i would like to note is a few months ago some friends living in Manhattan were forced out of their apartment building due to a fire that occurred because of a negligent landlord. I immediately called Joe and asked his advise and having been friends and fellow bloggers since the dawn of real estate blogging, he instantly dropped everything he was doing at the time and gave me a piece of advise that I then passed on and as it worked through the channels, it ended up being the exact point of action that the tenants needed to take…they were able to see justice come from that situation due to the wisdom that Joe offered. Around 40 people were able to survive that situation and find themselves on the best possible side of such a tragic event. Wherever you are Joe, I know you are helping everyone around you even if it is not the most popular advise available, your contribution to all that can be right in real estate is what we all appreciate from you. You will be sorely missed, my friend.

  23. Andrew Mooers

    September 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Such a loss. Hard to fathom.

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