Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Video from GreenPearl Panel is Up

Back in April, I took part in a really fun panel discussion about social media in real estate hosted by GreenPearl, and moderated by Allie Herzog of Quinn & Co.  She put up a post describing the panel, and put video footage of the panel.

Here’s the first part of the video (from GreenPearl’s YouTube Channel):

So as you can see, there were four serious business people, and this one random guy at the end of the table spouting random stuff.  Note that among the panel, only one person is consistently drinking throughout.  Was vodka & tonic.  Very yummy.

I had a great time, and thought you might get a kick out of the panel.  The entire panel is posted on GreenPearl’s Channel.

The one thing I do remember from the panel — and this I do think is worth thinking about more — is when an audience member asked us what the “next big thing” in marketing technology will be.  The wise panelists gave various answers, like mobile, video, and so on.

My answer (around the 1:00 mark):

Just something to think about. :)


Introducing… RE:RnD – An Online Radio Experiment

So now that I’m a member of the Unemployed Consultants Union, Local 182, Dustin Luther (@tyr) and I are chitchatting one night about all the fun things we might do.  Lack of corporate respectability does wonders for one’s creativity, y’know.

We come up with a truly wacky concept that as we keep talking about it sounds less and less wacky.  The basic idea is “sports talk radio” for real estate and tech and marketing and all that good stuff.

Thus, RE: RnD is born.  From Dustin’s announcement on 4Realz:

We’ve decided to launch a weekly radio show starting this Thursday morning!

Are you curious what the show is going to be like? So are we!

Here’s what we know:

  • We’re calling it RE: RnD
  • We’ll run it every Thursday morning for one hour starting at 9am PST/12pm EST
  • We’re going to use TalkShoe, so you can get all the information you’ll need to call in and join the chat room here:
  • We’ve set up a Facebook Page at: Become a “fan” to get regular updates on the show
  • We’re still finalizing the guest list for the first show, but we know the topics we’re going to cover:
    • Current news and events (i.e. real estate banter)
    • Ways to promote your biz with FB Pages
    • NAR’s new code of ethics around social media
    • Fun and games (follow @rernd for details on the “games” part)

I have to admit, I’m sorta looking forward to this little experiment of ours. Because it’s going to be pure fun.  At least for real estate marketing geeks like me and Dustin.

So come join us, “tune in”, and basically party with us as we take on all topics, try hard to not bore each other (no guarantees that we won’t bore the audience, however), and bring the time-honored tradition of pointless jabber and speculation that is sports talk radio to real estate. :)


Questions on New NAR Code of Ethics Policy

Get ready, NAR; there are gonna be some questions coming your way soon.

Get ready, NAR; there are gonna be some questions coming your way soon.

[UPDATE: The text of Standard of Practice 15-2 has been released. Please see below the fold.]

According to Ben Martin of the Virginia Association of REALTORS over at, NAR has released a new Code of Ethics:

Standard of Practice 15-2 was amended and a new Standard of Practice was approved to strengthen members’ obligations to refrain from making false or misleading statements about competitors, including in use of social media tools.

The new amendment includes the duty to publish a clarification about, or to remove statements made by, others on electronic media the REALTOR® controls once the REALTOR® knows the statement is false or misleading. For example, if you’re publishing a blog and someone posts a false or misleading comment about a fellow REALTOR® on it, it’s your duty to remove the post or publish a clarification when you become aware of it.

That was Ben quoting from a newsletter sent out by NAR to association executives, as the actual language of Standard of Practice 15-2 was not available.

Ben goes on to note a real concern:

As I understand it from this article on the Section 230 from the Electronic Freedom Foundation, the more Internet publishers take an active role in editing or publishing content posted by third parties, the more likely they are to open themselves up to legal liability.

Well, you should consult an actual lawyer for a real opinion if you’re concerned about this, but I have further questions from both a legal perspective and a social media perspective.

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Real Estate Insurgency Manual, Part 1: Outmaneuver and Neutralize

Vive La Resistance!

Vive La Resistance! (Members of French Underground, WWII)

In my past writings, I’ve written about the seismic shift going on in the real estate brokerage industry from the perspective of Big Brokers and Big Brands.  You can find those writings here (and the parts linked there), here, here, and here.  At the same time, I’ve always wanted to write the other side of the debate, because the victory of Big Brands is so reliant on a major assumption: that they embrace major change, including putting new blood into the top executive positions, and changing the culture of the organization.  This is never easy, but nearly impossible while senior management is preaching the message of, “Batten down the hatches and get back to basics!” whatever that means.

While the Big Brands are struggling to figure out a strategy for moving forward, however, the Kristian Soldiers are hard at work trying all manner of new things, new strategies, new thinking, and changing the face of the industry.  They are winning far too many battles today, and may ultimately win the war.

This, then, is a series of thoughts on how the Real Estate Insurgency can out-maneuver, out-innovate, and ultimately defeat Big Brands.

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[7DS] Brokerage Performance Speculation – 2007/2008

Just thought some of you might want to check out this new post over on 7DS Associates blog:

The annual Brokerage Performance Report put together by REALTrends is one of the most useful and important studies for the real estate brokerage industry.  Unfortunately, the last report was released in 2007, and nothing has been released since then.

The trouble with the 2007 Report, as valuable as it is, is that it uses 2006 data from respondents who submit the information voluntarily.  And housing market started to decline sharply really starting in 2007, and 2008 may have been the annus horribilis of the real estate industry.  It may be that the respondents of the REALTrends study simply didn’t want to tell anyone how horrible a year 2007, and then 2008 was even worse.

Either way, lacking 2007 and 2008 performance data means that it is nearly impossible to guess what constitutes “average” performance.  And lacking information means decisionmaking is at best made in a vaccuum with no baseline, and at worst is haphazard.

I’ve always been keenly interested in tracking as much performance data as possible.  And I’m into speculating on stuff I can’t measure.  So I figured I’ll take a foolish crack at some numbers.


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Fact is, we as an industry really need some better data on company performance. It’s hard to know how well or badly you’re doing if you have nothing to measure against. Here’s to appreciating REALTrends, and hoping they get back to doing the awesomely useful Brokerage Performance Study series again.