Active Rain versus Move.com for the layman:- A company is started to provide a free blogging platform and community for Realtors, lenders, stagers, etc. The company and its founders create a successful product.- Realtor.com/Move.com see that this “blogging” thing is popular, so they do what Google do and seek out another company that has already started what they intend to finish.- In what appears to be great naivete, and a case against those who advised Active Rain’s partners, Active Rain gave up the whole kit and kaboodle before the final contract was signed.- Move backed out after they had seen all they wanted to see, and started their own ineffective community.- Active Rain sued.- real/diaBlog has one of the best summaries out there.Techcrunch brought the story well beyond the real estate blogosphere, and Kevin responded in typical articulate fashion.Â Contrary to what the Techcrunch story says, the only Realtors involved are the customers.There is so much more here and here; it’s almost unbearable; as usual some of the best stuff out there is at BHB….Â My perception is that Active Rain betrayed that community by not being transparent in their goals – to build a product and sell it….Â (and even then, with Google, that’s not a guarantee) and, if you step outside your arena of professional expertise (such as negotiating a buyout with a much more powerful entity) get professional help.
Date Archives September 2007
What would this do to the Realtor world?
If we paid for how many miles we drove?…Â early next year, six other states will begin testing a new fund-raising mechanism: charging motorists for the number of miles they drive instead of the amount of gasoline they consume.1) Commissions would rise2) There would be a greater transparency in real estate fees3) There may be fewer Realtors4) More buyers would drive themselves, and the Realtors would be riding shotgun.5) More Realtors would drive hybrids and their market areas would be smaller.
If we could all set our budgets the way government does
Shocking.A $3.3 million budget shortfall is forcing Albemarle County to consider reducing school programs, among other money-saving measures, officials confirmed Tuesday.County leaders had predicted a slowdown in the housing market, but County Executive Robert W….Â said in an e-mail to Albemarle schools Superintendent Pam Moran and the Board of Supervisors that â€œthe extent of the slowdown is greater and has occurred more quickly than expected.â€The county collects real-estate taxes twice per year and bases its budget on revenue projections.Â This year, the county had projected that residentsâ€™ property reassessments would rise 5 percent.Â The new projection pegs the number at 0.8 percent, leaving the county with a hole to fill.This demonstrates in painful term the perils of 1) basing your budget on hopes rather than concrete money-in-hand and 2) spending every nickel taken from the taxpayers.It’s a shame that the schools depend so heavily on property taxes.
Mistakes made in real estate blogging?
The audience will be the Policy Board (they’re “important”) and whomever else decides to stop by….Â Likely one of the topics will be required disclosures on blogs – covered here before….Â (I’m a Realtor) Here is my biggest mistake that I can recall – I deleted a comment three months into blogging, and haven’t made the same mistake since….Â The caller found my blog, castigated me, I deleted his comment and then re-posted it after having immediately regretted my impulsive decision.
National indicators that I’m reading today (and a brief market update)
Consumer confidence hits a near 2-year lowAnother dismal month for consumer confidence (subscription after today)The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Declines AgainHome Prices Post Biggest Drop in 16 YearsExisting Home Sales 5.5 MillionContinuation of Negative Annual Returns in HousingI’m looking for some good news, but unfortunately haven’t found it yet.Â Just looking at the numbers of sold homes in Charlottesville/Albemarle year-over-year these are the volumes of homes sold:January – -23.53%February – -36.89% March – 1.75%April – -5.23%May – -6.67% June – -44.77%July – -40.61%August – -41.67%I promise that one day I’ll figure out how to export the data in a way that I can manipulate it into a pretty graph, but I think that the numbers speak for themselves.Taking condos out of the data, though:January – -65.22%February – -58.75% March – 0%April – 7.19%May – 0% June – -14.57%July – -8.72%August – -16.36%The numbers aren’t quite as discomforting.
Their estimated time is an hour and a half.”Â And that’s why my blog was down today.Not exactly confidence-inspiring.Â My blog has become a part of my business, if only for the fact that I run so many email addresses through it….Â Time to find a new host that gives a damn.Bluehost needs to do better.
It’s about Context
Mark Cuban (one of my heroes for a variety of reasons) said last week:The one thing the internet lacks that will forever change us all is Context….Â No matter the original intent of the words or pictures, anything on the net probably will find its way into situations for which they were never intended.Reading beyond the headlines is crucial when analyzing real estate markets.Â All markets are local, and can be different from state to state, town to town and even block to block.Â A crucial part of real estate analysis is context and perspective.