The Proper Thank Yous, But…
I wrote my final wrap up post of REBarcamp Houston over at my blog yesterday. It’s full of the proper thanks yous, attaboys, and pats on the back.
Was it a success? Absolutely. Am I glad I jumped in with all I had to make it happen? Absolutely. Will I do it again? You bet. Did it achieve it’s best potential? No. Far, far from it.
Luminaries of Web 2.0, social media, and more flew in from around the country to give of themselves in a transparent, non promotional way and we couldn’t get more 70 real estate professionals to show up in a market with 10’s of thousands? Puhleeeeeeze. We had at a high point about 85 people in attendance. No matter how you spin it, that just plain sucks. Granted, we should have promoted it in a more traditional sense. I underestimated the number of agents who don’t bother to check e-mail, keep up with industry news outside of their trade publications or how many generally just live outside of any kind of digital sphere of influence other than their local association mls gateway.
It’s my mistake and I accept full responsibility. The depressing fact is, the people that need to participate in these type of events will most likely not see these words either. Do me a favor, print it, copy it and stick it in the in-box of every agent in your brokerage. Pick up the phone and call them and ask them what they did today to further their professional growth that wasn’t required of them to maintain a license.
A Time & A Place
Conferences have their place and ROI for a specific purpose. Barcamps are not conferences. I’m not going to go into the explanation of a BarCamp in this post. If you have a genuine interest in the format you can take the time to find out everything you want to know at Barcamp.org, REBarcamp.Com, RebarcampHouston.Com or just go to google and do a general search. Better yet, call someone that attended either of the first two events and ask what they thought. I promise you that you will hear nothing but praise and a desire to experience it all over again.
I love my friends in the RE.Net dearly and I would be lying if I said I didn’t crave all the attention and adulation of each and every one of them (especially from Jeff Turner :), however, it’s time for us to stop talking to each other. We’ve hit a critical mass of RE.Net digerati that are spending a great deal of time interacting with one another, but it’s not enough. It’s time to use some dead trees, wear down a bunch of shoe leather, smile when we dial and generally get out in front of the folks that need to hear what’s been being preached to the choir.
That said, I will be joining a conference call with some brave souls that are about to undertake this endeavor in another REALLY big market. Like always, I will be telling it like it is and hoping to do my part to shape the experience of the first two events into something that EVERYONE is talking about afterward. After all, isn’t that the real goal?
Carpe Diem People!
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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