Moby and SafePlace
Vancouver based Moby is a personal safety app for your smartphone that uses location-based technology to help keep you safe by offering one-touch alerts that contacts your emergency contacts if you’re in trouble, offers check-ins and tracking that only your selected contacts can see (it’s not just for Realtors). It is perfect for the solo agent because you never know when you’ll be in a home alone with a creeper, or worse, we’ve all had to go to some shady parts of town for business. It’s a great tool for new agents who don’t have that sixth sense yet, solo agents, or just for teams that want to make sure everyone is safe and has an emergency button.
SafePlace exists to end sexual and domestic violence through safety, healing, prevention and social change. They are located in Austin and provide safety for individuals and families affected by sexual and domestic violence, helps victims in their healing so they can move beyond being defined by the crimes committed against them, and become Survivors and promotes safe and healthy relationships for the Prevention of sexual and domestic violence. They also work with others to create change in attitudes, behaviors and policies that perpetuate the acceptance of, and impact our understanding and responses to, sexual and domestic violence.
How is Moby helping SafePlace?
Moby is on the verge of launching their new Android and iPhone app as they’ve supported Blackberry for years. In an effort to raise awareness for their product and to raise funds and awareness for SafePlace, Moby has launched WhatIsMoby.com where people like you can sign up to be notified when the new apps are available and with every sign up, they’ll donate $1 to SafePlace in an effort to raise a much needed $5,000 for the organization. When you submit your email, you’ll get a unique URL to share with friends and family that puts you into a drawing for an iPad 2 if three of your friends sign up for the alerts as well.
It’s a win, win, win! You get to know first when their app is released, they get to tell you their good news, and SafePlace gets a fat donation, and they are asking for your support.
Why didn’t Moby just throw a SXSWi party?
Moby, an AG advertiser, contacted us prior to their arrival at SXSWi as we are based in Austin and asked us to connect them with a non-profit that was in line with their goals of protecting individuals and family. We knew that SafePlace is a solid charity that always needs help, and without question, they jumped to help.
We asked what their motivation was and Rob Goehring, VP of Product Management and Marketing at Moby said that instead of funneling money into booze in Austin (which is the standard marketing tactic at SXSWi) and take from the community, they wanted to help put money back into the city. The Moby team even went so far as to spend time with SafePlace, tour the facilities and learn about their needs. As Austinites, we rarely hear of anyone putting back IN to the city surrounding southby, we are very grateful for the concept and help!
Moby has really low turnover of employees because their ethos is to give back and they were founded to help people and they feel like all companies should be run in a way that gives back to those with less.
In 10 seconds, you can help for free
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
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