A few years back, Rachel Natalie Klein transplanted from Indiana to New York City and made a huge splash by founding IntoTheBox.tv and applying her on-air journalism background to create real estate video about NYC. RNK is an entertaining commentator and every IntoTheBox.tv video was professionally produced.
In RNK’s last blog post on March 31, 2008, it was indicated that big things were in the works for IntoTheBox as it had grown so massively and that a new site was on the way (which I was surprised about, as the existing site was beautiful). It has been 589 days and there is no movement, no updates, the site has been shelved and we can’t find RNK anywhere!
We’ve checked Twitter (she doesn’t have an account there under “Rachel Natalie Klein”), we’ve checked Facebook (ditto) and we’ve even checked LinkedIn (which notes her recent activity is Founder of IntoTheBox.tv for going on two years). We tried contacting RNK through the IntoTheBox.tv website but haven’t heard anything back. We’ve searched her personal blog, Google news and Google blogs and even searched for info about IntoTheBox.tv or a marriage announcement for RNK, but there is nothing to be found after March 2008 about her… maybe she was using an alias? I have no idea, but I know she’s real because there are pictures of her on Flickr with RE.net people.
It’s possible that she won the lottery (but that would have been mentioned somewhere online, right?) or that she got a desk job (which also seems like it would be mentioned somewhere), but the Internet has erased her. Does anyone know where RNK is?? We’re worried!
Why we care:
It may seem silly to you, but go visit IntoTheBox.tv and see why we miss her. She’s funny, well spoken, and most importantly, her video series always served as a good example of what agents can do with a video camera and how they can carry themselves on film without looking like the Blair Witch project. IntoTheBox.tv was one of the only (well, maybe the only) shining example of quality real estate video in a sea of poorly produced crap.
Does anyone have any tips on where RNK is now? Where is IntoTheBox.tv and where is all the video content that people had put on their own blogs? Was she lined up for funding in fall of ’08 and it fell through like the rest of the world’s? Is this another company’s victimization due to the economy? That sure would be a shame as IntoTheBox.tv was certainly worth investing in.
So, if you want an awesome example of what you or your brokerage could be doing locally with video, look at this site now in case it disappears later. And please, if you have any insider tips on the whereabouts of RNK or IntoTheBox.tv, leave them in the comments section below.
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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