As many of my readers know, Matthew Dollinger is one of my closest friends in the industry. Some folks, including Matt’s wife, have called our relationship a full-blown bromance. (It’s the hair, really….) But fact is, Matt has been one of the driving forces behind the innovations at @Properties — the largest brokerage in the Chicagoland market, whom I have profiled as an example of a viable brokerage business model. The man knows what agents want and need, and what concerns and challenges a broker has.
So I was happy for Matt when Trulia tapped him to be the new Head of Industry Relations. I rather thought Trulia managed to pull off a coup on that hire, and I’m somewhat eager to see what Matt would bring to the table as he shifts from the brokerage side of the industry to the technology side.
I thought it would be fun to conduct an interview with Matt and bring it to my loyal (if silent) readers. It starts after the fold.
(Full Disclosure: Trulia is not a client. However, I have provided unpaid advice to Trulia on certain strategic matters in the past, and may again in the future.)
I’ve seen quite a few posts of late suggesting that the housing market has finally hit bottom. Agent friends of mine are telling me about increased activity in their local markets, multiple bids on houses, low inventory, and so on. We have Stan Humphries of Zillow saying the Spring 2012 season should be positive. And none other than Calculated Risk, hardly a cheerleader for housing, has called the bottom on housing:
And it now appears we can look for the bottom in prices. My guess is that nominal house prices, using the national repeat sales indexes and not seasonally adjusted, will bottom in March 2012.
There are several reasons I think that house prices are close to a bottom. First prices are close to normal looking at the price-to-rent ratio and real prices (especially if prices fall another 4% to 5% NSA between the November Case-Shiller report and the March report). Second the large decline in listed inventory means less downward pressure on house prices, and third, I think that several policy initiatives will lessen the pressure from distressed sales (the probable mortgage settlement, the HARP refinance program, and more).
I’m working on the Redfin 3.0 post, but this was interesting enough that I took a short break from that to run some quick numbers. Maybe all these green shoots of positivity will indeed result in the housing market finally turning around. For a variety of reasons, I’m skeptical of such a thing, but I could be and hope to be wrong.
In 2009, I batted .600 in predictions for 2010. And I thought that was fun. It’s one thing to make predictions; it’s another to look back and see how those predictions fared.
How did I do last year in predicting events of 2011? I was hoping to be maybe 1 out of 7, since most of my predictions last year were of the doom-n-gloom variety. Sadly, I think I’m 4.5 out of 7 for a .642 batting average. Hall of Fame (Infamy?), here I come.
We’ll review my take on the predictions for 2011 after the jump.
Now, the study apparently showed (I say apparently because I’m not putting my name/email in to download the said study, thereby ending up in their CRM software) that 1 in 4 men REALTORS carried a knife or a gun with them while “on the job”, while only 7% or so of women REALTORS did so. Lani Rosales, the Editor-in-Chief of AgentGenius, writes:
The above chart outlines Canadian and American answers and although we knew a small portion of real estate professionals would indicate carrying a gun, especially those practicing in the foreclosure or short sale markets, but despite a massive disparity between men and women regarding carrying a gun or knife on the job, it is extremely intriguing that one in four male Realtors indicate they carry a knife or gun while on the job. One in four women carry some form of pepper spray while only five percent of male Realtors do.
The major differences between the behaviors between male Realtors and female Realtors is highly intriguing, but it is most interesting that such a high number of men carry either a knife or gun while they are on the job.
I’m not sure what Lani finds interesting about the difference, but what I find interesting — nay, disturbing and of great concern — is the fact that only 5% of women REALTORS carry a gun while working. If anyone should go about with a concealed firearm while working, it is the female REALTOR.
How's that hopey-changey stuff working out for ya?
One of my pet hobby topics is to fret about the Millenials (the twentysomethings of today). I’ve written about this “largest demographic group like evah” here, here, and here – as well as peppered throughout this blog for a while now. A lot of people — especially in real estate — like to point to the older reaches of the Millenials (the young 30somethings) and think that they are the future of the industry.
Well, to be sure, from pure demographics standpoint, the Millenials do point to the future of the industry. But you should worry about that. A lot. My opinion about the Millenials is that they are the most Screwed Generation in American history who have had their initiative beaten out of them by overprotective parents, teachers and “safety” bureaucrats; their future mortgaged by irresponsible politicians of both parties with full-throated support by the Boomer Generation; their expectations of what is a good life totally unmoored from reality by Hollywood; their options foreclosed by a college-industrial complex that burdened them with absolutely unsustainable student debt (that is not dischargeable in bankruptcy); and of course, they screwed themselves with their attitude of entitlement and superiority complex based on nothing more than the fact that they know how to text message real fast and post pictures to Facebook.
Call it Generation Vexed — young Americans who are downsizing expectations in the face of an economic future that is anything but certain. Career plans are being altered, marriages put off and dreams shelved.
Welcome to the real world, LA Times. Jump right in, the water is freezing.