Connect with us

Housing News

Real Estate Lessons Learned From a Bottle of Smirnoff



Writer Debut:

janie inesPlease welcome AG’s newest writer, Janie Coffey, owner of Pappilon Real estate and Papillon ReDevelopment in Florida. She has a very unique background ranging from commercial construction, residential sales, undergraduate work in historical preservation all the way up to her current higher education pursuit in the history of business and technology. Spend five minutes with Janie and you’ll learn about her obsession with anything geo- mapping old school and new school, and is a consummate researcher. She will be writing about geotechnology and consumerism along with her related passions in real estate. Please take a moment to welcome Janie in the comments of her first post.

Smirnoff has a pretty catchy ad campaign running called “There”

It’s all about being there, in the moment, and capturing something  unique and special.  You may have seen them; building islands, foam pools and underground jam sessions…. Watching the ad made me realize that Smirnoff is  darn smart.  They realize where we are in the world today and what grabs our attention.

Lessons I’ve learned from Smirnoff:

  • You need to think outside the box, go for the unexpected.
  • You need to tell the story, the unique story.
  • You need to be “there”, both literally and figuratively.

If you are not “there” you won’t even know the story happened and might miss something really special.  Special might not be building an island, but it might be a great connection, new insight or broadened horizons.

Geomapping, part of the next generation of the geowebThe evolving geoweb makes it easier than ever to be “there”, to hear about the story in real time, to have the pulse of your community. Twitter now is geotagging tweets since last week,  WordPress has some nifty mapping plugins and geosocial apps such as Foursquare and Brightkite are popping up left and right. Geomapping, geotaggin and geosocial gives “Location, Location, Location” even more relevancy than ever before.

The geoweb is just starting to gain momentum and is building on the foundation laid by blogging and social media.  The geoweb is the next generation.  For someone who absolutely loves maps and the information that can be gleaned from them, I’m all in.  My first boyfriend’s mom was a cartographer.  I didn’t know what that meant, so I ran home and looked it up and I was hooked from that moment on.  My obsession with mapping has not waned and judging by the speed in which geo-everything is taking off, I am not the only one obsessed.

So, what do you think? Is geo the new wave (and not google wave) or is it the next “shiny new object” which will be turned over in our hands and eventually set aside in a short time?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Janie has been in the development, construction and real estate industries for over 20 years. She began her career in commerical construction and has slowly worked into all of the related industries and added residential properties to her resume 7 years ago. She is currently the co-owner of sister companies, Papillon Real Estate and Papillon ReDevelopment (a construction and project management firm). Janie blogs for The Coral Gables Story. In her "free" time, she is a graduate student of Atlantic History with a focus on the history of business and technology. She is a lover of geo-anything. She loves the story.

Continue Reading


  1. Keith

    December 1, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Welcome Janie! Looking to learn more about anything Geo!

  2. Ann Cummings - Portsmouth NH Real Estate

    December 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Hey Janie – what a great first article! Love seeing you here on AG!

  3. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    December 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    OMG!!! Janie!! welcome to AG! this is such awesome news! (and that photo was when we first met at BarCamp Miami).

    As for Geo-tools, they scare me a bit, especially in a world of crazies. So of course we have to be smart about how we use these tools (I confess to logging into brightkite for example when I’m leaving the place if I’m alone). So looking forward to hearing what you have to say. (correction: to hearing MORE of what you have to say)

  4. Pam Buda

    December 1, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Janie,
    Welcome–I agree with Ines, what a great first post. I too am fascinated with the geoweb–I don’t think it is a shiny fad and that it is here to stay–amazing implications for real estate too. Ever since I got my iPhone this summer I cannot have enough of the geo-apps that help me find nearby resources–Open Table is far more useful geo-enabled on my phone than it was on my laptop, so is Yelp. I agree about Brightkite and share the same security concerns–we have to be careful how and when we enable geo-tagging in our apps. But augmenting reality with geo tagged information is a killer app for real estate sales. The devil is in the details.

  5. Cheryl Ritchie

    December 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Just when I realized it has taken two pairs of running shoes to keep up with and learn from you, I discover that I better order a third pair. Great Post. Oor “Crabcakes and Coffey” Event just hit the front Featured Post on Active Rain thanks to Martha Brown’s idea.

  6. Jacci

    December 1, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Great first article. Look forward to future posts.

  7. Brandon Marchand

    December 2, 2009 at 1:09 am

    How could I pass this one up? Real estate and Vodka – my two favorite things. Seriously tho – great points.

  8. Mike Mueller

    December 2, 2009 at 3:39 am

    That’s all I need to say – right?

  9. Brad Officer

    December 2, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Lesson I learned from your article: Use alcohol to relate to real estate as it will entice more agents to read it! Congrats on your first article!

  10. Erin Golding

    December 2, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Great first post Janie! geoweb is here to stay and something I need to learn more about in my “spare” time ; )

  11. Janie Coffey

    December 2, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Thank you everyone for the kind words of welcome. I figured that bringing alcohol to get a party started is never a bad move;-)

    Ines, I remember well, and that was a real tech barcamp, pre-RE bar camp days

    Mike, I knew you’d love this series!

    Pam, Ines, I definitely plan to address the security and privacy issues the new geo brings with it…

    If there are things you’d like to hear about, please let me know.

  12. Erion Shehaj

    December 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Welcome to AG Janie!

    How’s that for a title that grabs you and brings you in for the read.

    Great Debut and looking forward to more

  13. Zoltan Szendro

    December 3, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Hi Janie,

    Great to see you here on AG as a writer. Looking forward to reading your articles.

    — Zoltan

  14. MIssy Caulk

    December 17, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Janie, wow I had no idea…until I saw your latest post. Welcome to AgentGenius.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!