Tag Archives: mobile real estate

IDX Websites, Mobile, and Heretical Questions

HeresyStamp

My friends over at Clareity Consulting have released a new white paper entitled, “Is Your IDX Website Mobile Friendly, or Driving Away Business“. You can download the PDF by clicking on that link. It’s a really solid report if you’re in the market for a new IDX website, or need to redo your existing one so that it is mobile friendly.

Because, as Clareity says, citing a Google study:

If your website is not mobile-friendly, it’s time to get a new website. A 2013 NAR study shows that 68% of consumers already use a mobile device rather than a desktop or laptop computer to look for a new home. Many brokers and agents spend a lot of time and money trying to drive consumers to their website, buying online ads for their listings and worrying about search engine optimization (SEO) and so forth – but are they wasting their resources? 61% of consumers on a tablet or phone who visit a website that isn’t mobile friendly leave the site immediately and may never come back. You only have one chance to make that first impression – is it a good one?

They then give you a primer on mobile websites, including adaptive design, responsive design, and of course, native apps. Then Clareity provides a helpful list of vendors.

So as far as that goes, it’s an excellent paper, and I would encourage you to go read the whole thing. But you know me. That ain’t the end of the discussion here. :)

The heretical question I have is not whether your IDX website is mobile friendly or not, but whether you should have an IDX website at all in this day and age.

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Seven Predictions for 2013: The AKUS Experience

 

The Greatest Band in American Music

Once again, it is time for the world famous (in my own mind at least) annual tradition of making predictions for the coming year that are Guaranteed to be Wrong, or Your Money Back! This year, I thought I would pay tribute to the greatest musical act still working today: Alison Krauss and Union Station. If you haven’t experienced AKUS, please click on the embedded videos; you will become a fan. If you are not a fan, you should be. “But I hate country music” is no excuse when it comes to the awesomeness that is the Hall of Fame lineup of Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Ron Block, and Dan Bales.

My 2012 Predictions turned out to be mostly wrong, which is great news, since many of them were dire indeed. Here’s to hoping that my 2013 predictions will perform about the same.

Let’s get into it.

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Grading Time! Reviewing My 2012 Predictions

The first Triple Crown Winner in 45 years… and he bat .330

Welcome to another edition of an annual tradition, in which I go back and grade myself on my predictions made at the start of this year. My track record so far:

  • 2010 Predictions: 6 of 10 (.600)
  • 2011 Predictions: 4.5 of 7 (.642)

As was the case last year, I’m hoping to be wrong more often than not, because my 2012 Predictions, written on January 2, 2012, were kind of on the doomy and gloomy side of things. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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When Life Hands You Citrons, Make Citronade: In Which I Differ With Smart Analysts

 

A cool refreshing drink…

I’ve gotten more than one request from readers to discuss the brutal analysis report on Zillow by Citron Research. I didn’t think I’d have much to add to a stock analyst’s report that tends to be heavy on financial metrics and such, but it turns out that the Citron Research report is indeed worth reading. And opining about. Seeing as how I don’t own any Zillow, haven’t shorted Zillow — or anyone else, and no one is paying me for this post… you may value my thoughts at what you’ve paid for them.

Fundamentally, Citron’s report isn’t an attack solely on Zillow; it’s an attack on the entire business model of Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and everyone else in the “aggregation” business:

We can all agree the internet is not a new technology. Internet-generated leads to realtors have been getting sold for close to 15 years. Zillow itself has been around for seven years. If, after seven years and hundreds of millions of dollars of Wall Street’s money, all it has generated is a $100 million revenue run rate, why should the future be exponentially better than the past—especially with a plethora of well capitalized competition? That Zillow has captured a whopping 1% of real estate ad spend after seven years, definitively reveals a history of rejection of their model by their core market. This is not a broken business model; it is a business model that has never worked. (Emphasis in original.)

I think that’s going a step too far, and ignores some of the real simmering fault lines bubbling under the surface in the real estate industry. Since Citron isn’t new to covering the real estate technology business (“yes, we are veterans in this space”), I would have thought they’d be more aware of those fault lines. If they’re not, I invite them to subscribe to this here blog, since I often discuss them.

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In Which I Solve the Syndication Problem, Once And For All

 

Solved! Once And For All...?

Let’s suppose that you’re some graduate student at Beijing University and you want to write a paper on the major issues confronting the American real estate industry. So you start googling and going to blogs (like this one maybe) and open groups on Facebook and whatnot to find out what critical issues are top of mind for brokers and agents in the United States. Given that you hail from a country that doesn’t allow private ownership in land, you figure that the Americans are way ahead of you in terms of dealing with important issues that might come up as China liberalizes its real estate policies. Plus, you’ve read the news, you keep up with what’s going on.

Would the major issues be the precarious state of housing finance? Maybe American real estate professionals are all about Qualified Residential Mortgage rule. Maybe it’s dealing with the advances in Big Data. Maybe it’s trying to figure out how advances in artificial intelligence would impact things.

No, actually, our Chinese graduate student would likely find that the #1 issue on the minds of American brokers and agents is syndication. Quite literally, hundreds of thousands of brokers, agents, consultants, MLS executives, Association leaders, and vendors are talking about, debating, and getting riled up about basic questions such as, “Should I send my listings to Zillow?”

I believe it is well past high time to get over syndication. It simply is not and should not be an issue of import. There are more important things to discuss as an industry.

Therefore, in the spirit of public service, I will draw together the many strands of thinking on syndication and show that the problem has been solved. Most of this appears elsewhere on this blog or in public speeches I’ve given, but let’s see if we can’t put it all in one place for easy consumption.

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