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Category Archive: ‘Listing Agent Practices’

Boomers Causing Gridlock

Hat tip to daytrip for sending this in!

LINK

An excerpt:

People 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied houses, the biggest share since the government started collecting data in 1900, according to real estate website Trulia. That’s up from 43 percent a decade ago. Those ages 18 to 34 possess just 11 percent. When they were that age, baby boomers had homes at almost twice that level.

Public policy contributes to the generational standoff. Property-tax exemptions for longtime residents keep older Americans from moving. Zoning rules make it harder to build affordable apartments attractive to senior citizens.

“The system is gridlocked,” says Dowell Myers, a professor of urban planning and demography at the University of Southern California. “The seniors aren’t turning over homes as fast as they used to, so there are very few existing homes coming online. To turn it over, they’ll have to have a landing place.”

Read full article here:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-08/baby-boomers-who-won-t-sell-are-dominating-the-housing-market

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Boomer Liquidations, Boomers, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices | 5 comments

Private Club for Realtors

There is one solution that would solve everything – start a new club.

It was probably no accident that Mauricio ran this again on his Instagram yesterday, and it is a fantastic idea:

They are advertising it as a pocket-listing website, but it could go big and offer the industry a viable alternative to the current MLS system.

A wanted and needed alternative!

It might take a few months to catch on, but think of the effects:

  1. Privatize the marketplace, and force consumers to work with agents who are club members.
  2. Privatize the market data, so only the club members have the comps.
  3. No listing feeds to Zillow or other real estate website, resulting in no public access to listings.
  4. Brokers could only charge agents a reasonable admin fee, instead of big splits because all agents need is to be in the club.
  5. The N.A.R. and all other blood-suckers are eliminated.
  6. Club members in full control of market, with no rules or ethics.

Only agents can join, and let’s make club membership extremely expensive so only the top agents could afford it, which would eliminate the lousy agents. If the cost was $2,000 per month, it would cull the herd immediately.

The only reason there are so many pimps making millions off agents is because we let them. We should take back our listings, and control our own destiny!

All it would take is a celebrity realtor to create it, and off we go!  Revolution!

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Revolution, The Future | 8 comments

Zillow vs. Redfin?

Spencer took a crack at Redfin yesterday, and more:

LINK

An excerpt:

Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff isn’t worried about the threat of newly-public Redfin — but he thinks the rest of the real estate industry should be.

He made that clear during a conference call associated with Zillow’s second-quarter earnings Tuesday in which he went so far as to say that Redfin is a “threat” to the traditional real estate industry.

“Undoubtedly, one of Redfin’s goals is to obviate the buyer’s agent,” Rascoff said on the call. “I think they have stated, quite publicly, that they aim to acquire more listings inventory in given markets, and then have no buyers’ agents on the other side of those listings. And that is a threat to organized real estate, and that’s one of the many reasons why brokerages are so concerned about Redfin.”

With N.A.R. on the sidelines, traditional realtors won’t mind somebody taking up the fight against Redfin – and Spencer could wind up being the hero!’

In this era of fake news, we can expect both sides to continue their bending of the facts too, which could get ugly.  Who will consumers believe?

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, The Future, Zillow | 0 comments

Big Brother Real Estate

Hat tip to reader MF who sent in a note about this latest 3.0 release.  If it wasn’t already obvious, our industry has more information on you than ever:

With PropertyRadar 3.0, you can have unlimited, always up-to-date contact information with your subscription, including:

  1. 40 million phone numbers for property owners and their spouses.
  2. Spouse Owner/Joint Owner Contact Details
  3. Links to Social Media Profiles
  4. Profile Pictures from Social Media
  5. Gender, Age & Date-of-Birth
  6. Ethnicity & Language
  7. Household Income & Household Net Worth
  8. Presence of Children & Age of Children
  9. Interests & Affiliations

We’ve known about your mortgage history for years, and now it’s really getting personal.  Realtors are building teams of people to help process this data, and seek out those who are most likely to move. Don’t be surprised if you see realtor marketing that feels a little creepy!

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, The Future | 3 comments

Redfin IPO

The Redfin IPO has been announced, and people are wondering what effect it could have on the home-selling business.  Notorious Rob started with the impact on brokerages:

http://www.notorious-rob.com/2017/07/the-impact-of-redfin-post-ipo-part-1-brokerages/

I agree with Rob that the real-estate-portal battle could be a two-horse race between Redfin and Zillow – the others just don’t seem to be interested in spending enough advertising money to get ahead.

Rob called his post ‘Part 1’, so he’ll have more on the topic as we go.  I’m not sure where he’s going with it, but I’ll add my two cents:

  1. Redfin will help retire the old guard. The median age of all realtors is 53 years old, according to the NAR, which means 600,000+ realtors nationwide are in their mid-50s and older.  They will struggle to keep up.
  2. They will help drive down commissions.  Redfin is, and always has been, a discount brokerage.  In an environment where you never hear agents talking publicly about their commission rate, Redfin is now advertising theirs on TV (and it’s higher than it used to be).  The non-Redfin agents who have little else to offer the consumer will be forced to match.
  3. They have helped to create and expand the team concept. For better or for worse, the agent-teams are here to stay; with the most-experienced agents back in the control room, and the new agents in the field.  The jury is out on whether this approach is what’s best for the consumer, but it is the future of home sales.
  4. They can process an order.  If consumers are satisfied that they don’t need expert help, and only want help closing a sale, then Redfin can handle the paperwork. So can every other agent.
  5. They have the killer instinct.  Their version of ‘Instant Offers’ has the potential to be a good seller-lead generator, if sellers don’t mind the bait-and-switch.  I expect they will also offer a Coming-Soon Club too, which could really rock the boat.

What Redfin is not:

  1. They haven’t changed the service.  The day-to-day business of selling homes hasn’t changed. Listing agents market their homes to a wide audience, and buyer-agents help their buyers find the best fit – Redfin or otherwise.
  2. They aren’t neighborhood experts. They send out their least-experienced agents to show houses, which is treacherous for the buyers who are in unfamiliar territory.
  3. They aren’t angels. Redfin agents do the same ‘sold before processing’ tricks that other agents do. One day, a district attorney is going to have a field day with this topic, and agents will be shocked to find out the real definition of fiduciary duty.
  4. They’ve never made a profit. They offer mortgage, title, and escrow services now, and it’s the way most brokerages can add to the bottom line – if they can get good help.
  5.  Their model/brand is untested in a tough market.  Once the market turns, we’ll see how they do.

You could probably accuse all agents, to some degree, of the ten items above.  I’m not down on the individual Redfin agents – the experience I’ve had with them has been mixed, just like with non-Redfin agents.  We are probably more alike than different – I’m an employee, with medical benefits, of a non-traditional brokerage with a consumer-facing website used to create business.  Maybe I should IPO? 🙂

In fact, the actual Redfin agents are pretty far down my list of concerns.  If we ever have a realtor revolution, this is who we should be fighting:

  1. NAR, CAR, and local associations – they refuse to provide us quality assistance, won’t enforce the rules, and won’t battle those below:
  2. Glenn Kelman, Spencer Rascoff, Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, venture capitalists, and everybody else who is making a killing off us without ever selling a house themselves.  In many cases, we are paying them to disrupt us. We could get along fine without them.
  3. MLS companies who already have our listings, but don’t even try to compete with independent real estate portals.  Insane!!
  4. Major franchises who don’t provide industry leadership or real help.
  5. Bad agents.

These are the people who are the real threat to the 1.2 million realtors in America.  Unfortunately, like politicians and other rich people in power, they will be allowed to pick us apart from their mansions on the hill.

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor | 15 comments

Zillow/Sandicor Breakdown 2

Zillow has uploaded my Caminito Vasto listing!  The MLS remarks didn’t pull through – but the photos did, go figure. They also called me a Premier Agent, and eliminated the three-headed monster.

We had two offers on Vasto, and I marked it pending on Monday, but they still show it as an active listing – but at least it’s on their website.

They are still having trouble with the listings that go pending, like the one below where they remove the list price and listing agent and just call it off-market, which isn’t accurate either for people who may have seen the for-sale sign or who are checking out the listing agents.  I added the first couple of sentences in the remarks to help:

When my Caminito Vasto seller saw her listing finally appear on Zillow today, she said, “I used to use Zillow all the time but I never realized how crappy and slow they were until now….”.

It doesn’t take much to lose your stature in the marketplace when there are plenty of similar alternatives available!

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Zillow | 0 comments

La Jolla Open House

Glad to be back home Saturday in my favorite town of all-time, La Jolla, CA.  Please join me 1-3pm Saturday for open house at 3340 Caminito Vasto!





Zillow is supposed to be auto-uploading every listing with 60 minutes, but here we are eight hours after MLS input and my listing is still not on Zillow.  Hmmm.

Here is the red team’s link instead:

https://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Diego/3340-Caminito-Vasto-92037/home/4883947

You may have seen that they announced today that they are going public, and those who bet the farm will be amply rewarded, not because they provide a better service, but because they offer the sexiest disruptor.

Save

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, La Jolla, Listing Agent Practices, North County Coastal, Open House | 2 comments

Lockbox Security

With the big cyber-attack today, let’s touch on a local security issue that is hard to believe.  It didn’t happen to me, but to a listing agent I know.

It involves the new mobile app for our MLS, which is touted as a more convenient way for agents to access the lockbox when showing the home at their scheduled time.

The mobile app allows a realtor to obtain an entry-code for any lockbox on the system – whether the agent owns the lockbox or not, which is a big change.

The breach of security happened when a buyer’s-agent obtained an entry-code to a lockbox on an active listing – but she wasn’t at the house, and didn’t have an appointment.

She gave the code to her buyers, who let themselves in when the sellers weren’t home – and the house was owner-occupied!

Then she did the same thing a second time, giving the potential buyers the code to enter the home on their own – when she is not physically on site and has not made an appointment.

The sellers came home while the buyers were in the house – it wasn’t pretty!

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop | 13 comments