Monthly Archives: October 2012

In Which I Fisk NAREP’s Post

Well, my Inman column on syndication was correct in one respect. Just when I thought I was out, it pulls me back in. Hopefully, I don’t have a seizure right away as did Michael Corleone.

As an example, Ben Caballero of NAREP has written a post explaining the difference between syndication (which is doubleplus ungood blight on society) and IDX (which is a blend of pure awesome and the nectar of the gods). I thought it would be fun to fisk it to see what the underlying assumptions are and to see what the actual argument of the Syndication = Evil, IDX = Good crowd is.

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The Minneapolis Association of REALTORS Takes A Step into the Unknown


From Star-Tribune’s article on the marriage amendment in Minnesota

Earlier today, I got a press release from the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS (r) (MAAR) about an official stance of the organization on a statewide ballot initiative:

Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® Opposes Minnesota Marriage Amendment Proposal

The Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) officially announces its opposition to the proposed state constitutional amendment defining recognized marriage as only between opposite-sex couples.

The Association’s position, adopted by the volunteer Board of Directors, is based on the amendment’s negative impact on equal access to housing and property rights in Minnesota. MAAR recognizes that a culture of openness and acceptance is vital to a healthy real estate industry, and overall economy, in the Twin Cities. Ultimately, the proposed amendment limiting the definition of marriage in Minnesota would enshrine an inherent unfairness and system of inequality, specifically related to housing and homeownership, into the Minnesota constitution.

MAAR has long lead the way on diversity and fair housing issues within the local and national real estate community. Most recently, the association, lead by a core group of volunteer leaders, championed changes to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics–Article 10 in 2010 and 2012 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its list of protected classes. The Code of Ethics is the professional moral standard by which every REALTOR® pledges to conduct him/herself, and states that a REALTOR® shall not be party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against any person on these grounds.

“Our Association leadership believes this issue strikes at the heart of our organization’s commitment to fair housing, a strong code of ethics and equal opportunities for all,” said Mark Allen, Chief Executive Officer of MAAR. “The rights and privileges of homeownership extend beyond the actual sale of a home, and passage of this amendment would deepen the inequality of access to those rights for couples whose unions are not legally recognized.”

The Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) is a professional trade association that provides education, advocacy, and industry resources to nearly 7,000 local REALTORS® in Hennepin, Carver, Scott, McLeod and Sibley Counties.

I spoke with Julia Parenteau, the Government Affairs Director at MAAR, about this announcement because there’s something hitherto unseen here. While I personally support the policy of same sex marriage (as long as it is done legislatively, instead of by judicial fiat), the step into the unknown here is that of a REALTOR Association taking a position on a “social issue”.

There be some unknowns here, matey, yarrr.

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How To Improve Your Business, If You’re Not a Genius


I think most people who know me realize I’m a firearms enthusiast. Or, as might be said in some parts of the country, with the appropriate sneer, a gun nut. But I’m also a business strategist. So when Forbes runs a story like this one about Sturm Ruger & Co., I went thither as a hummingbird to an orchid:

And then I distilled a nugget of wisdom that might be helpful to my friends and colleagues in the real estate business, who are trying to figure out how the hell to improve business that’s stagnant at best and headed to the cliff at worst.

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A Theory of Real Estate Brokerage: Thinking About Dr. Dunbar

I saw the following cross my Twitter feed earlier today:


Brian Solis, of course, is the widely respected “social business” author and consultant, and I’m sure the FastCompany article is full of goodness (it actually is; do check it out.)

But since I work in real estate industry, I got to wondering about a few things.

First off, if any industry embraced social media, it was the real estate industry. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that no other industry or profession — except maybe SEO consultants, social media gurus, and the like — got as heavily involved with blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, whatever-flavor-of-the-week as real estate did.

Second, for an early adopter industry, the track record of social media marketing is spotty at best. Some real estate companies and agents have done fantastically well. Others have struggled and failed, despite spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.

Third, in the midst of all this, I feel as if we are in the midst of a push for “social business” in the mainstream corporate world as very large brands start to figure out how to use social networks and social engagement methods to brand themselves, create fans, and push products/services.

So let’s think out loud for a second here. Oh, who am I kidding. It won’t be a second; it likely won’t be minutes either.

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My Big Takeaway from HearItDirect SoCal

Buyer Panel Q&A at HearItDirect SoCal

It’s been a busy week or two. The highlight was the HearItDirect Southern California event held on Monday, October 1 at the UC Irvine campus. There have been some reactions already out there on the Interwebz from (the Presenting Sponsor), Linsey Planeta, and Lori Ballen. I wanted to post my thoughts from the event, but I just couldn’t find the time between life and the NFL. It is football season, after all.

But this was an important event for me. I mean, I learn something new with each event, but this one solidified a few of my thoughts, with one major conclusion. Let’s get into it.

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