Monthly Archives: November 2012

7 Can’t Lose Tips for Content Curation


You might be excited to read the rest of this post. After all, 7 “can’t-lose” tips for content curation! If you’re doing or Pinterest, but not seeing a whole lot of results, you want to know what you have to do to turn those things into faucets of money.

Actually, I don’t have 7 can’t lose tips. I have but one observation:

Titles matter.

You see, on this Black Friday, since I have less than zero desire to be within 5 miles of a shopping mall, I idly clicked on some tweet telling me that “XYZ Real Estate Daily Is Out!” It was one of those “personal newspapers” from put out by a Realtor.

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Something’s Not Adding Up Here… Housing Is Back, But FHA Needs a Bailout?

Housing is back! So says the media and Lawrence Yun of NAR.

872,000 new housing starts in September. Prices are up some 11.7% in September. And Lawrence Yun is projecting 15% increase in home values over the next three years.

So… what the hell is going on over at the FHA?

The Federal Housing Agency, which has played a critical role in stabilizing the housing market, said it ended September with $16.3 billion in projected losses — a possible prelude to a taxpayer bailout.

The precarious financial situation could force the FHA, which has been self-funded through mortgage insurance premiums since it was created during the Great Depression, to tap the U.S. Treasury to stay afloat.

The agency said a determination on whether it needs a bailout won’t come until next year.

The FHA is required to maintain enough cash reserves to cover losses on the mortgages it insures. But in its annual actuarial report to Congress, the FHA said a slower-than-anticipated housing market recovery has led its reserves to fall $16.3 billion below anticipated losses.

The FHA’s cash reserves aren’t supposed to drop below 2% of projected losses. They ended the 2012 fiscal year at -1.44%, down from the seriously low level of 0.24% at the end of 2011.

It appears that the FHA, which guarantees mortgages, has a delinquency problem: 11.14% in September. (Although, that’s an improvement from the 11.89% in June, and 12.09% in 2011.) However, the seriously delinquent category (more than 90 days past due) is up year-over-year from 8.39% in 2011 to 8.54% in 2012. After the “housing is back!” market of 2012. Huh?

Since FHA insures some 16% of home purchases (in 2010, that was 19.1%), a crisis at the FHA is gonna be a pretty big problem for real estate brokers.

I’ve pledged to be more positive and upbeat, but there’s an unsettling feeling at the pit of my stomach.

So what do you make of this divergence in narrative? On the one hand, housing is back! And on the other hand, FHA needs a bailout. Right in the middle of a “fiscal cliff” negotiation, after 2012 saw strong gains in housing market. What the…

Paging economists! Dr. Yun, please call the front desk.



Where Are The Gen-Y REALTORS?

There’s a fascinating, if opaque, puff piece on the Gen-Y (or Millennials) over at HLN extensively quoting Nick Shore of MTV Insights, the market research and consulting arm of MTV. Money grafs:

What we found was counter to the often-charged caricature of today’s youth as “entitled” and “coddled.” Instead, we found a vibrant and strong fixer/maker/builder culture where nearly 3 in 4 Millennials believe “our generation is starting a movement to change old, outdated systems.” Put more broadly, if the American Dream isn’t working as promised, Millennials will take it upon themselves to create the next “version” of America.

The heady mix of forces driving this generation is only partly due to their sense of needing to fix something broken. The other, even more potent, side of the coin is the primacy they place on their own power of creativity. When asked “what word best defines the DNA of your generation?” the number one response was “Creative” and number two “Self-expressive.” A full 70% of Millennials in the study agreed “Creativity will save us!”

The video above, which goes with the story, has Nick Shore repeating this finding from MTV’s study:

Fifty-five percent of Millennials in our study said, “My hustle is more important than my MBA,” while 78% said “even if I have a job it’s important to have a side project that could become a different career.”

And this whole conversation is happening against a backdrop of unemployment and underemployment.

So I have to ask… where are the millions of Gen-Y REALTORS(r)? Seems to me that at least hustling in real estate would fit right into this new American Dreamer.

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