July 28th, 2014
To some the most alarming event is on the horizon now – it is official that Zillow IS buying Trulia. Some think they are going to take over the industry. I don’t.
I don’t think they are “going to do” much of anything. They have already DONE it. They just absorbed their only major competitor. They now have the bulk of real estate web traffic. This is not something that is “going to happen”.
Zillow did not marginalize Realtor.com You can thank the apathetic, always looking backwards, and only covering their own ass dunderheads that run the National Association of Realtors (and the blind bats that run MOVE) for that. The meaningful things that COULD still be done – like shutting down List Hub completely and turning off ALL syndication – so Realtor.com would be the only game in town (like the Canadian version – and there is no Zillow in Canada!) will never make it past the, “We could never that” stage. Translate: we will bury our heads in the sand until we are completely gone. And the executives at MOVE (the company that runs Realtor.com) or anyone at NAR give a hoot about what is best for working Realtors.
So Zillow eats their lunch, along with everybody else’s lunch too. So what is this going to change now? What is going to be different? Does anyone really think that this is going to change something for Realtors? Or for anyone else? Will Zillow now REALLY raise their prices? Or give even worse Zestimates?
Their two choices would seem to be: 1) keep the Trulia brand as a separate brand and just own and run it too. Or 2) shut it down and give all the traffic to Zillow. I believe they will choose option 1 – because that is the pattern of successful large companies (examples; General Foods, General Electric) but it won’t matter to anyone else which option they choose.
Realtor.com is not and has not been “the Realtor’s friend” in any way, shape or form. So there is nothing here for agents to win or lose. There is no “service” that Realtor.com provides the public or agents that can’t be better by someone else.
Anyone who thinks or promotes the nonsense idea that Zillow plans on replacing all Realtors just can’t think very clearly. They will not become a brokerage for the simple reason that it isn’t all that profitable to become a brokerage. And if they “replaced Realtors” (if such an idiotic thing could be done) then they would become their own only customer.
Unless you own stock in MOVE I don’t believe anyone reading this has a damn thing to worry about.
January 3rd, 2014
This seminar contains the most vital, high impact and important information I know.
Here is the link to the online version of the booklet:
Here is the link to the YouTube video:
January 1st, 2014
Earth made the full trip around the sun. 365 revolutions of the earth. And we are supposed to “make new decisions” about the time it will take for the earth’s next full trip around?
What was wrong with our old decisions? Didn’t yours all happen the way you decided? I know mine sure didn’t. Not even close. The sudden changes in the market stood many predictions on their heads. An awful 1st quarter, a decent 2nd quarter and a mediocre 3rd and 4th quarter for us – we wound up 2013 closing 342 transactions. But congratulations are not in order – as that is down from our 435 closed transactions for 2012. Oddly enough, our annual sales volume ($63,973,603.) didn’t suffer, in fact it was up by almost a million dollars – due to prices being higher than in 2012.
So, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We hope it is happy.
Happy = Fun!
Happy = It went like we wanted and planned.
For the record I am planning on doubling the amount of business in 2014 we did in 2013. I am no longer trying to figure out HOW to generate buyer sides, thanks to finally having that crazy making issue resolved thanks to my Real Estate Webmasters site (www.allphoenixareahomes.com). So we have added 2 buyer agents (for a total of 6) and hitting 200 closed buyer deals in 2014 is no longer a pipe dream. That now solved – along with the market shift back to “traditional sellers”, we can once again make lead generation for sellers our primary focus and have our (considerable) marketing dollars have a huge impact (regardless of the now numerous local copycats). The new radio ad is done. The new TV ad will be done early this month. Our staff is fully groomed to provide an even higher quality level of service so the experience our clients have will create more raving fans.
Some of you felt battered in 2013. I did too. It is just part of the deal. If you don’t ever want to get hit, don’t get in the ring. This is going to be a GREAT year. Won’t you join me?
October 11th, 2013
A few days ago I posted this update about the market: http://www.nohasslelistingblog.com/2013/10/09/buyers-hit-the-pause-button/
A friend sent me the following text:
“Just read your blog. What are you doing to get past this little stall we are in? Any advice?”
Yes. When the market slows, as it has, it does not mean that “nothing is selling” or that it has all gone to hell. Buyer activity (which is what drives the market) is never really constant. It is always fluctuating – and therefore the relationship between supply and demand is seldom static – it is normally moving. It is that relationship between supply and demand that tells you which way prices are moving. Trying to determine the actual rate of increase or decrease WHILE it is occurring is difficult. After the fact, it is an easy calculation.
You can see examples of this by observing how major banks behave in pricing their REO properties. They tend to be out of sync with the market. 3 or 4 years ago, they were under pricing everything in our area and the buyers would bid them up to the “actual market price”. Recently, they have been overpricing lots of inventory. Part of their problem is how removed they are from the scene and they usually rely on asinine economist’s data or the kind of crap companies like Core Logic churn out. It is just simply wrong.
No agent ever needs to make that error. Here is what is true. Any house is “worth” what a willing buyer will pay for it and a willing seller will accept. Now.
The is the point that is typically missed. Now. How much will they pay for it, NOW. Not what did the agent think it was worth last month. Or how much it might “appraise for” next year. Now.
Overpriced listings in ARMLS are not rare. The Days on Market (DOM) count is growing. Why? Not priced correctly. This is SO simple, even a Realtor can do it!
May 28th, 2013
Here is a video link for a seminar I gave to agents. It is just under 90 minutes long. It is a remarkable tool for predicting the behavior of others. I think you will really like it.
Here is the on line link to the booklet I passed out: http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH4.HTM
February 28th, 2013
When I finally discovered in late January what Zillow had done to me and all of their paying customers outraged me so thoroughly that I called and made several demands. Working my way through their channels it became obvious that they had no intention of doing any of them. From their point of view they had done precisely nothing wrong. They had sent a notice. It was all legal. In other words, they could get away with it.
The 2nd person I spoke with is named, Martin. Martin’s job was to handle people who wanted to cancel their account with Zillow. I told Martin that I was aware of the continuous price increases but that what they did in October was a covert and underhanded move designed to hide a massive price increase and that they had actually cheated me and all of their other customers when they did it. It was about the same as a Realtor filling out a listing form, charging the seller 6% and then going back in to an elderly person and having them unknowingly agree to a 15% commission. Martin didn’t see it that way at all. But that is exactly how I saw it.
You can see the specifics at this link: http://zillowripsoffagents.com/zillowcostsandresults2012.htm
I am accustomed to advertising vendors attempting to overcharge me. I spend a little over $800,000 a year on marketing. Every year at contract negotiation time pretty much every TV and radio station wants to explain why we should pay more for even less. It wasn’t the fact of a price increase that outraged me – but the disingenuous method they chose to use. And no TV or radio station (or other source of internet leads I’ve ever used) has ever attempted to trick me once I made a deal with them. According to Martin, Zillow had simply “changed their business model”.
I explained to him that based on what each lead cost me the cost per closed deal (buying Zillow leads) went from about $1,100 a deal to about $1,900 a deal. He became agitated that I kept insisting on using a cost per lead – he let me know “we don’t sell leads, we sell number of impressions”. Really, Martin? Cost per impression? Fine, if you hadn’t at the very same time tried to hide the fact that you REALLY jacked the price this time. So high that I believe any agent who sees and understands what your company just pulled and can see what their true cost is now will simply stop doing business with Zillow.
My demands were:
- Refund to me the money they had overcharged me.
- Refund to all of the other agents they had overcharged.
- Issue a public apology for having been sneaky about it.
- Promise to never do it again.
Martin made it clear Zillow wasn’t going to do any of these things.
They didn’t have to refund me or anybody else. They had “sent a notice” they were making those changes. It was legal.
February 26th, 2013
www.zillowsucks.com was already taken. Same for www.zillowsucks.net. Already taken. This is a company that is openly mocked and pretty much the entire agent community (their actual paying customers) dislikes them. The people who might speak up in their defense are on their payroll.
They spew FALSE AND MISLEADING DATA almost non-stop and pretend like it is factual information. This false information is not limited to their usually silly “Zestimates”. Oh no. In the months and years ahead I will document that the initially open (but now hidden) CONTEMPT that Zillow’s founder has for agents remains an interegal part of the make up of the company now.
I will take up the ACTUAL PURPOSE of Zillow and demonstrate why the PRICES THEY CHARGE WON’T WORK for their paying customers. I will show, with specifics, that they are PASSIVE-AGRESSIVE in most of what they do and say.
Every word or phrase that is capitalized in this post will be the subject of a future post. And …. I promise to make each and everyone of them informative and entertaining.
September 13th, 2012
If you are a working Realtor and want to “give yourself a raise” this short post is for you.
There are many many “things which must be done” in your business. Many. To skip just one of those things is to invite eventual disaster. But that does not mean YOU have to physically do each of them yourself. In fact, doing them all yourself is a very expensive way to foolishly spend money.
There are DOLLAR PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES. And then there is everything else.
There are only two types of activities which can not ever be delegated. Just two. Lead generation (not lead conversion, it can) and quality control.
All other actions can be delegated. All of them. You will always make the greatest income if YOU focus on Led Generation and delegate the rest.
The first thing to get rid of is the $15 an hour stuff. Your time spent on lead gen is worth at least $200 an hour. You doing $15 an hour work costs you $185 an hour for you to do it.
And get over the (false) idea that customers only want you. They want a certain result. Not “you”.
This is done on a gradient. First get rid of $15 an hour work. And get a life in the process too.