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Take Real Estate Social Media Efforts From Online to Offline



austin tweetup

No More Excuses

The grandest goal in using social media is to bring your online connections offline, chest to chest. There’s nothing better than making a real, tangible relationship that leads to a transaction because it validates your efforts. People use the excuse that “it’s too hard” to organize events and I call bullspit.

All you need is the internet, a bar or restaurant, nametags and a sharpie (and you don’t need hundreds of hours, check this out…).

Event Planning in Under 1 Hour:

Want to meet all of your friends from Twitter and Facebook but no one in your city is mobilizing to get offline? Want to put a face to a name but are intimidated by some of the larger tech events in town? Whatever the case, it’s easy, here’s a quick case study:

5 minutes: last week, we realized it had been over a month since Austin had had a Tweetup, got with our friend @chelseabot to determine the location- she wanted downtown (yuck, parking issues) and I wanted uptown (closer to my house of course), so we went with a trendy bar called Gingerman downtown.

5 minute: I checked the local event calendars and determined that Thursday, July 9 wouldn’t conflict with anything and is a good happy hour day.

5 minutes: emailed the owners to let them know we’re having a free meetup with our friends and expect about 50 people to show up (make sure they are staffed for a Thursday).

2 minutes: set up an invitation on TwtVite that features a map, time, place, RSVP management (even prints up nametags with Twitter avatars!) and an embeddable widget for you blog. Then, I twittered publicly that we’re getting together for happy hour. (Facebook just simplified event planning, so it’s this easy on FB too; use this option as well)

30 minutes: direct messaged the link with a personal invitation to a bunch of Austin friends and said everyone’s welcome even if they’re not on Twitter.

5 minutes: saw that like over 100 people were coming, notified venue that the group grew, asked for a table for the entry way so people can put on nametags when they come in (you’ll need to provide name badges and sharpies).

And that’s it! So simply throw a happy hour to put faces to names. It isn’t about you, it belongs to the city. It isn’t for a birthday, a product launch or a home sold, it’s for socializing in person. Don’t call it your event, don’t say you’re the sponsor, simply spend a few minutes organizing and promoting an event in the name of bringing online efforts offline.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Brandie Young

    July 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Lani – you are the Martha Stewart of Tweet ups!

    To your point, without an in-person connection every now and again, the whole online/sm thing is sterile and not really authentic. Sounds like you had a great time!

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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…

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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…

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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…

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