Category Archives: Personal

Power, Diversity, and the SP200 List

As some of you may know, I’ve been assisting Stefan Swanepoel with a project called SP200, the second annual edition of which just went live. SP stands for “Swanepoel Power”, so the actual list is the list of the 200 most powerful individuals in the residential real estate industry.

Since I haven’t shown this post to Stefan or anyone else, and this is my personal blog, everything that follows is my personal opinion only.

Recently, an interesting little debate broke out on Facebook about the list, when Leigh Brown, a REALTOR and coach, posted this:

_1__So_this_list_says_it_s_not_the__old_boys_____-_Leigh_Thomas_Brown

The resulting debate and comments were, and remain, fascinating, interesting, and important. Nonetheless, I thought it might be useful to at least provide a peek behind the scenes as Stefan, I, and others spent weeks and months debating the list, debating the criteria, and ranking individuals.

To be sure, the most important debate happened last year, when we put the first edition of the Power 200 list together. Because it was then that we spent countless hours on the phone and via email debating the central concept of the list: “powerful”. What is “power”? What do we mean by that? How would the list and the rankings change if we changed our assumptions about what “power” means?

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Why I’m in the Real Estate Industry

From circa 2009, Lucky Strikes Social Media Club, NYC

From circa 2009, Lucky Strikes Social Media Club, NYC

The following is entirely personal, and unlikely to offer any sort of insight into the burning issues of the day. I thought to write it because I was presenting at a meeting just this past week, and as is often the case, the attendees usually fly in the night before and have a chance to hang out.

One of the people I met is Sherri Meadows, the new President of the Florida Association of REALTORS. We got to talking, and somehow, the topic got into why I’m in the real estate industry at all. I told her, and she suggested that I tell that story publicly, to all of you. So I will. Thanks, Sherri!

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In Which I Further Engage Ben Caballero of NAREP

vampire-diaries-soap-opera-weekly-november-24

In this episode of “As The Blog Turns” we learn that our protagonist — your humble scribe — finds even more amusement in the responses from Mr. Ben Caballero, of HomesUSA and of NAREP.

For those missing out on the soap opera, here were my questions to Mr. Caballero, and then here are his answers, which I’ve posted in full, without editing. I now turn to those answers to perform a full-on fisking.

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Ben Caballero Responds

As you may have read, I asked Ben Caballero of NAREP a number of questions. He has responded, and authorized me to post his responses, as long as I did not edit it or add anything else to what he sent in.

In accordance to his wishes, I post his response in full. Any modifications are cosmetic only, to help legibility, and because Microsoft Word text has to be formatted for WordPress platform. If a response is needed, I will do so in a separate post.

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Twenty Questions for Ben Caballero of NAREP

Recently, I’ve had the occasion to be taken to task personally by one Ben Caballero, the co-founder of an entity called NAREP. Here are the relevant tweets in question:

and

Then in the comments to the Unintended Consequences post, Mr. Caballero posts the following:

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 11.40.50 AM

Now, I’m pretty used to disagreements, arguments, and being told I don’t know a thing because I’ve never sold real estate, or any variety of amusing ad hominem stuff. Seeing as how I enjoy debate and argument, I’ve managed to pick up a pretty thick skin over the years. But I gotta say, being accused of being on Zillow and Trulia’s payroll, and then hiding that… well, that was a new one. I mean, damn… if I could get two of the biggest tech companies to write me checks for blogging, I rather think I’d be more inclined to boast about it, in the hopes I’d get other guys to write me checks too.

But that whole deal got me wondering, who the heck is this guy throwing rocks in my direction? I mean, I sort of knew that Ben Caballero was behind something called NAREP, because I wrote about them earlier. But beyond that, I didn’t really know anything about the man and why he seems to have such a grudge against me.

So I went looking. And oh boy, have I got some questions for Mr. Ben Caballero. Twenty of them in fact. Some of what I found, I think, is relevant to an overall discussion about industry practices, and certainly, NAREP has been on the forefront of the syndication issue. So while I’ll admit to a bit of ah… personal interest in these matters, I ask these questions on behalf of inquiring folks who may want to know.

[UPDATE: Mr. Caballero has provided answers, which I’ve posted in its entirety.]

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