This home in Sugarhouse was the most viewed on BlueRoof last week, averaging 38 views per day. Colorful and clean- there’s a one car garage, 1942 Square Feet, 3 bedrooms, and 1 1/2 bathrooms. It’s listed for $200,000.
This home in Sugarhouse was the most viewed on BlueRoof last week, averaging 38 views per day. Colorful and clean- there’s a one car garage, 1942 Square Feet, 3 bedrooms, and 1 1/2 bathrooms. It’s listed for $200,000.
Around the country there are a lot of opinions around the housing market. And there are also a lot of facts and numbers. Noone will debate that new housing starts (the number of new homes initiated to be built) are down around the country. This is, of course a national trend, as local housing starts in some areas are still up.
**Side by Side- the National Trend compared to Utah’s**
When new starts do decrease in an area, that’s not always a bad thing for the economy, especially with a market like the nation is in now. The current national decrease in housing starts is different from the decreases we’ve seen in the past as this time it’s mostly a correction.
“…this housing cycle is different. In the past, housing downturns have been the result of high interest rates and broad economic weakness leading to rising unemployment. This time, housing is going through its own cycle, largely independent of wider economic conditions. The economy outside of housing remains solid: Unemployment is low, household incomes are growing, and 30-year fixed mortgage rates, at a bit over 6.5% in mid-August, are hardly onerous.”
And when new construction slows down it can help the resale market by making it easier to sell an existing home because there are fewer new builds to buy.
If you want to sell your 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with 2000 Square Feet that was built in 1998 for $325,000, but around the corner is a new home development selling 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom homes with 2000 SF for $315,000 it makes it tough to sell yours when buyers could just buy a brand new home for the same price. But if those new homes are all sold and there aren’t any new homes in the area to buy- it makes it easier (in general) to sell an existing home.
And if more people can sell, and put some of that money back into the economy, that helps the seller and the economy. There is a case to be made on the side of the builders- that when builders are building they are employing people and paying wages, but the current unemployment rate is very low, at 4.8 percent. So these people are still finding work.
First, let me say that I think there are WAY too many people in the business and WAAAAY too many people getting into the business. I’ve posted about that recently.
I’ve been in the real estate industry for over thirteen years and I’ve sold hundreds of homes and I believe that I offer quality, professional, high-touch service for my clients. I’m available on my mobile phone day and night and on weekends and I return phone calls promptly.
My experience gives me the ability to guide my clients and negotiate well and I have a real knowledge about the markets I serve. This comes from years of experience and successes and failures and the examples and participation of hundreds of people I’ve worked with.
So why would someone choose to work with a brand new agent? Or even an agent who has been in the business less than a year or two? Are there advantages to working with these newbies?
Please keep in mind that this is an extreme generalization and of course, does not apply to everyone. Having said that- here are possible advantages of working with a newer agent.
They’re hungry. They need the business and the money. If agent A has twenty homes under contract and seven listed properties and they list your home and it doesn’t sell, they’ll still be able to pay their bills. But if you list your home with a full time agent who doesn’t have any other business and they spend money and time marketing your home and it doesn’t sell- that’s going to hurt them pretty badly.
They’re determined.Real estate is a business where reputation means something. That’s why there are so many Divas in the business. Some agents get their names in the newspaper all the time and are recognized every week at their company sales meetings as being a top agent and people in the business get to know their names. My wife was just featured on HGTV’s House Hunters (now I get to hear about her gruelling shooting schedule and the life of a movie star for the rest of my life). And new agents, especially with bigger companies, see these agents getting all that attention and they want it too. They want to build a name for themselves and have their names in lights.
They have free time. As much as I pride myself on the high-touch service I give to my clients and as available as I try to be, the reality is- I do a lot of business and that means I am in meetings and working with clients and have things to do. Someone who doesn’t have much else going on could call a seller twenty times every day just to chat, and they could do open houses Wednesday- Sunday every week from 10am – 6pm each day or they could stand out in front of Albertsons and hand out flyer’s about the property if they wanted (not that too many people would). But I couldn’t do that even I wanted to. And if a buyer wants to look at every home that comes on the market for the next seven months I am not the right agent for them. But a new agent with nothing else going on maybe wouldn’t mind because they’d be able to learn the area and get the experience and learn the inventory.
They don’t have bad habits yet. After doing something, anything, for a long time we develop certain habits. Many of these habits are good, for instance when I take a listing I have certain steps that I take to make sure all the marketing is ordered in a timely manner. I have done it so many times that it’s just habit now. But there can be bad habits that form. Some agents tell a seller what to price a listing at- even though it’s the seller’s home and money. Or some agents have the habit of only calling their listing clients once every two weeks because that’s how they’ve done it for years. Or they don’t return phone calls or even answer their phones. New agents don’t have these bad habits yet so they can be molded and you can tell them the way you want them to work with you.
They’re friendly. I’m a pretty friendly guy and I’ve always been a people person. I enjoy crowds and I’m very social. And many Realtors are, but many are not. Many agents are unfriendly and impatient and just plain mean. And many of the Divas think the world revolves around them and they don’t really care about other people because clients are just numbers to them. But new agents need the business and they need the money and want to help so you’ll refer them to your friends and they know that they don’t have the experience, so they’ll kiss your butt and wait on you hand and foot to please you. They want you to like them and that’s not a bad thing.
All things considered, I would rather have an experienced agent helping me with such an important transaction, but every top agent was once a newbie, and this is for all those getting into the business who really do care about doing a great job for their clients.
We have just listed this beautiful home in Sugarhouse. It’s at 1188 E. Browning Avenue (1420 South)- just three blocks from 15th and 15th. The home has three bedrooms and is offered at $325,000. The gate on the side is powered and comes with a remote for your car, allowing access to the garage.
The front and back yards were professionally designed and installed recently, and they include a large stamped concrete patio and a large additional patio at the end of the property. The back yard is completely private with no neighboring houses looking in on it.
The kitchen is updated with new cabinets and counter-tops, hardwood floors, and stainless steel appliances. And there is a large family room off the kitchen.
The living room includes newer carpeting and tile, skylights and a fireplace. The home also features new windows and a jetted soaking tub and the entire property has been very well maintained and shows pride of ownership.
For more information call BlueRoof at 801-264-6610 or click here.
This “Code” gives everyone guidelines and rules and conduct. It also prevents Realtors from telling lies to try to get business. It’s not a perfect code, but it’s important and it makes a difference.
Section 1-3 of the Code says that Realtors won’t puff the value just to get the listing, or try to take the listing for less than it’s worth to get a quick sale. Do some agents do that anyway- yes. But I’m glad we have a code that many of us care about and abide by.
Article 15 reads:
“REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about competitors, their businesses, or their business practices. (Amended 1/92)”
This means that they will not lie or speak without integrity about any company, including their own. But this does not mean that Realtors can not point out differences in their company and their competitors. And it certainly doesn’t mean we can’t have our own opinions.
There are some business models I do not agree with. That is my privilege to disagree and it is important that consumers know what the differences are. When I speak to clients I tell them differences in a respectful way and also acknowledge that different people prefer different ways of doing business and there is no ONE right way. That’s important. But it is important to educate people about the differences because they should know if I offer them more/different services than someone else.
And I think it is appropriate and healthy for me to discuss my opinions and have conversations about what I believe and how I think we, as an industry, can best serve the client. It is important in a free society that consumers have choice. And with choice comes differences, and naturally when there are differences, people will have differing opinions. Is that bad? Of course not…
Some agents want to hide behind the Code, or their own moral high-browing, and say that noone should say anything but positives about everyone else. That is ridiculous and those people may have something to hide. Others take it too far the other way and lie about the competition and that’s even worse.
The Code is a guideline. And a guideline that I would hope most of us should not need because we use common sense. And it is also not a shield against open discussion and education. Blogging is all about opinions and open dialogue. I allow commetns on my blog because I encourage people to voice their opinions about my posts, even when they oppose my views. That is one of the things I enjoy about blogging- the open and honest discussion.
Look, I’m all for alternative business models and I understand that we’re all just doing the best we can and everyone is trying to make a living for their families. But as far as real estate professionals go, I don’t care for the philosophy that many Help-U-Sell and Assist-2-Sell agents take with regard to the business and their marketing. Of course there are agents at all national brokerages that offer better service than others, and it is not these two companies I don’t like, it’s agents who subscribe to certain business practices.
An example; There’s a home in the next neighborhood from ours that has Help-U-Sell signs all over the place. And this is a nice home and homes in this area are selling fast. But this one isn’t. And the sellers probably don’t realize why.
But I’ll tell you why I think it isn’t selling…
They’ve just paid thousands of dollars to be a FSBO. They are not on the MLS and the websites they are on are only Help-U-Sell sites, not top area sites like Realtor.com, utahrealestate.com, BlueRoof.com, saltlakecityforsale.com, etc.
Not many people go to Help-U-Sell’s awful website in this area to buy a home because they don’t have many homes there. I did a search in my city to find this home I am talking about and it’s the only home that is for sale on their site in the entire city (not to mention I had to register to get any info about it). Nothing wrong with placing the home on the site, but why would buyers register and look there when they could look on thirty other sites and see over 10,000 homes for sale, hundreds in that particular city?
But the sellers probably don’t know this. They paid $Thousands thinking that all these buyers will see their home, but really they just got a few flyers and some signs and their home gets put on a bad website that doesn’t get much traffic. And if they signed an agency agreement- that’s even worse because now the seller doesn’t have the option of hiring a Realtor who will give them additional exposure on the MLS and on websites that get a lot of traffic.
At the very least, they should make an impressive website so people will want to use it for their home searches.
If you’re going to be a FSBO and you want to pay a company thousands of dollars for flyers and signs that’s okay- it’s a choice sellers can make. Of course, you can get flyers from Kinko’s and signs from Home Depot for a whole lot less- and if you want someone to look over the contracts you can hire an attorney for about a grand. But if they feel comfortable with an agent from one of these companies, or any company, that’s okay.
The part that I really don’t like is how many sellers (of many different brokerages) don’t realize that their homes are not being listed on the MLS. They assume that it is because they are paying a real estate agent to assist them. And they don’t realize how it’s actually hurting them to be in this situation. No agents showing their home because they are not on the MLS and most of the people who buy FSBO homes (investors, looky-loos) think they’re listed because of the company signs.
We’re all trying to making our way, but representing our clients means giving them the best marketing exposure possible so we can bring them the highest price possible.
And at the very least, no matter which brokerage an agent works with they should inform the sellers what they mean when they say they “list” a home for sale so consumer do not confuse having someone to sit the open house with a Realtor who will market the home in every possible way, including the MLS.
What is value-proposition? It’s what you do that’s different/better than your competitors. So how is giving good service going to make your value any better than your competitors? It’s interesting how much marketing in the real estate business is devoted to saying what nobody
cares about wants to hear.
“We put YOU first”
“FREE! Market Analysis”
“I Sell More Homes in (Add your city name here) Than Anyone”
“Top 1% Internationally”
Any of this originality sound familiar? They should- they’re plastered on bus benches and shopping carts in every city across the country. And, a side note- those 1980′s glamour shots make you look ridiculous (public service announcement).
Conduct a poll of 1000 home buyers and sellers and ask them how many of them chose to work with that particular agent because their marketing said that they offer “First-Class Service” or were in the TOP 1% Internationally and you’ll probably have agents lining up to throw rocks at your results because they won’t believe them.
“What do you mean NOBODY listed with me because of my “Selling Homes One Yard at a Time” marketing? Of course they did!
Agents won’t believe this because we all want to think that other people care about how creative and clever our slogan’s are or about how successful we are. “If they know that I’m a top agent they’ll know they can trust and respect my service”- or maybe they’ll think you’re too busy for them. Or maybe they’ll think that you have a slew of twenty assistants doing all the actual work in the office and they’ll never hear from you again after the contract is signed.
Increasing value proposition is not about good service or being an agent who knows what you’re doing. It’s not about being one of the best in your field at negotiating or about how amazing your CMA looks. These things don’t matter because they are all expected.
If you’re looking for a landscaper would you be impressed with someone because they advertise, “We plant trees” or “Number one in sod- laying for the last five years”, or if they had a slogan that said, “The Grass is Always Greener on our Side of the Fence” ? Or would be more impressed by seeing a list of past clients and referrals who loved that their jobs were done in less time, and on time, and for thousands less than other quotes you’d gotten?
Increasing value proposition is about giving people choices that will make/save them time/money/frustration. It’s about surprising and delighting the consumer so that they are compelled to say, WOW! So they actually say, out loud, “Wow!”. That’s an increased value proposition.
Maybe it’s an amazing website that allows them to find what they want more efficiently and increases their experience so much that it’s actually really FUN searching for hours on-line for homes. Maybe it’s a price point that surprises them and delights them so much that they say it. Or maybe it is the act of your service and the incredible attention you give them so that at the end of the transaction the culmination of your efforts draws out that validation of “Wow!”
Whichever way you do it- increasing your value proposition will be relevant in the RE 2.0 realm and it won’t happen by giving the client what they would expect from anyone else.
Home Inspections at their best can save buyers (and sellers) a lot of headache and frustration. A good home inspector will test the outlets and check for gas leaks and make sure there aren’t any leaks coming from those old pipes in the basement. And by catching problems, and potential problems, people can negotiate to make sure everything is fixed, or at least disclosed before a buyer takes possession of a home.
At their worst, home inspections can cause a lot of fighting, stress, and court costs. Even a good home inspector will miss things on occasion, and the not-so-good ones will miss things a lot, either because they’re in a hurry or they forget to check something, or maybe they simply don’t know what they are doing. Some try to fit too many homes into a day and get rushed from taking calls and scheduling the next week’s inspections and fielding questions from clients, all while trying to conduct the inspection of the home they are currently in.
And when things are missed- people get upset. Naturally. Even when you counsel your buyers that home inspectors are human and can miss things and the inspectors have the clients sign a waiver basically saying that they don’t guarantee anything and the inspection is really just an opinion (read the fine print), the buyer will still expect that this person is being paid because they must be an expert and this person should find most everything wrong with the house, or at least the big stuff.
Recently one of my agents represented a buyer who discovered, after moving in to their newly purchased home, that behind the wall in the living room was a fireplace shaft that had been covered over with sheetrock and paint. And on the roof it was visible where the previous sellers had patched this up. And the real problem was, the thing had been leaking for a while and there was mold behind there and water damage. In fact, the sellers not only knew about this and didn’t disclose it, but they had actually drilled a few small holes in the side of the house to let water drain!
And the home inspector, even after supposedly checking the roof (with a basic walk around- not an actual roof inspection by a licensed roofer) did not see or report anything about the visible signs of patchwork on the roof or the holes in the side of the house.
Of course, the seller says they didn’t know anything about this- it must have been the people who owned the home before them. Right…
So now the buyer is taking photos and making a report of the damage and preparing to take the sellers to court. And we are helping them prepare their case and giving as much detail and accounting as possible. But no matter how this all turns out for the buyer- they are going through a frustrating ordeal with their home being ripped up and the sellers lying about what they know and the cost and stress of court. And these good people will not look back at this home buying experience as a pleasant one.
After a month of searching and going to lunches and playing with the kids and creating a great relationship, the experience is tainted. It’s tainted because they can’t enjoy their new home. And they are completely frustrated with it right now. They expected something like this would have been found.
And really, what else should they expect? They are buying a home and want a professional to look it over and make sure it doesn’t have any major problems. So they hire a professional Realtor and also a professional home inspector and pay him hundreds of dollars to perform his inspection, they attend the inspection with him and participate in some of it, but also allow him to do his work, and they close on the house thinking everthing is good.
Now, the seller is, of course, to blame for not disclosing this- no question. But in the mind of the buyer who has hired a Realtor to represent them and an inspector to catch these things, is it unreasonable to be upset that noone caught this and now they have to go to court? And what about the agent’s responsibility?
Is it just “Caveat Emptor” and we don’t represent them anymore (abrogation). Not if you care about your clients, your self-respect and your reputation. So now you’re in for a bunch of work and stress and fighting with the sellers and trying to get their agent to help (and they are always helpful).
So what can we do to prevent this? Unfortunately there will always be things that are missed and even the good inspectors will mess up sometimes. But as real estate agents we are responsible for informing our clients about all the risks and challenges that come with buying a home, and that also means educating them as to where the liability of a home inspector ends.
This could have all been avoided with a roof certification. The agent didn’t recommend one because the roof was fairly new and the inspector includes a roof walk as a part of the inspection. Obviously this agent will recommend having one for their future clients.
And that’s where the value of experience comes in. That’s why people seek the help of a Realtor (or agent) to help them. They want to know about these kinds of potential problems and how to avoid them. They want someone to tell them this story, and others like it- not to scare them, but to make them aware. Experience is a cumulation of lessons.
And hopefully this is a lesson we can all learn from.
This is a character I built on Meez.com- a Great time-waster that allows you to email and insert your own little people.
After being a managing broker for three of the largest brokerages in the country I’ve seen and experienced a LOT of corporate crap. Red tape lines the hallways of each corporate office and the bureacracy spewed within the conference rooms can make you ill within mintues. HR Directors are an evil mix of guidance counselor and my bitchy ex wife who just loves to point out how everything I do is wrong.
Not that I’m bitter…
Corporate policy has it’s place, no question, but the dinosaurs of the industry have caused enough people to rebel and gain voice that now the real estate revolution is upon us. The growing inefficiencies, lacking value propositions, and stiff-shirted bullying of “discount” models has finally pushed the consumer over the threshold of what they are willing to accept, and now, finally, something is being done about it.
And we have the dinosaurs to thank.
I was always amazed at how long it takes to “do” anything within some corporate structures. There was always so much (double) talk. Blah Blah Blah blah blah……..
One day at manager’s meeting I suggested a new commission plan for the agents that would cap at a certain level. You’d think I’d just shot someone with the outrage expressed from the other managers. How dare I suggest something that could potentially cost them money. No matter the potential for increased profit as a result of the recruiting we could do with a more agent-friendly plan. No no no- this was over the line talking about such a taboo subject in open space like that- and really, who the hell was I to make such a sugestion? I’d only been a managing broker for seven years- not nearly the twenty or thirty years many of them had.
See, I was still thinking like an agent. Some managers were so far removed from the actual process of representing clients that they couldn’t wrap their brains around the idea of increasing our value proposition for them. Plus, I was the maverik manager who allowed the agents to cut commissions when they felt like they should, or needed to. My spending was out of control with all the stuff I was paying for and, as one manager said in an email to me, “Maybe [I] should focus on getting [my] spending in line before looking for ways to spend more”. No matter my office had broken it’s all-time sales record for the last 8 months in a row and was more profitable than ever- or that I was the top recruiter in the entire company, bringing in over 110 agents in less than 18 months.
Change is scary for some people. And for large brokerages, it is simply not acceptable. Dave Liniger, founder of Re/Max, declares that the internet is “over-valued” because he started Re/Max thirty years ago and hasn’t had to deal with the actual task of finding a client and then hearing that cleint tell him that they don’t want to pay 6% or even 5% to sell their house and then have to decide whether to walk away from the business so you can claim that you are not a “discount” agent to your buddies at the board luncheon, or take that listing at 4% and help these people with their goals of selling their home and collect that “discount” check of only $6500 for his hours of work.
You can’t blame some people for trying to keep things the same- they’ve made a lot of money charging the higher commissions for decades and they haven’t really had any competitive models to challenge them. There are some alternative models from the past, but most of them, I don’t like their models at all, but that’s not the point- the point is they were never a threat to big brokerages because they weren’t very big- or good.
And anytime a new model did come along the big boys would, as Michael Arrington of TechCrunch stated, “Systematically tear them apart”.
But now a smarter, tech-savvy, empowered consumer is leading the charge. And new models are gaining ground and establishing themselves as players within the breadth of the real estate landscape, which has been growing rapidly with the influx of agents and innovation. And there are some larger companies around that are embracing change and increasing their value propositions.
There has never been a more exciting time to be in real estate. And with real estate historically being a topic of conversation anway, there has never been a better time to be someone who likes to talk about it.
Time just released it’s list of the 50 coolest websites, which includes Zillow in real estate, along with other sites such as Digg, MySpace and YouTube. And some less-known sites made the list, such as Yahoo’s The 9 and Accoona, which uses A.I. to understand the meaning of your search to help give you better results.
Time also published it’s list of “25 sites We Can’t Live Without” which includes obvious picks like Google, Amazon and eBay, and some less known sites such as FactCheck, which picks apart speeches to check the facts stated within and Television Without Pity, which picks funny clips on TV to show for your viewing pleasure.
BlueRoof didn’t make either list, probably because we’re so new (ahem), but as soon as we add arcade games and TV clips we’ll be golden.
RealtyTrac released it’s list of the top 10 Metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates for the second quarter of 2006. Look who’s at #9…
|% of households in foreclosure||#households for every foreclosure||/National Avg.|
|5. Austin, Texas||0.706||142||2.528|
|7. Memphis, Tenn.||0.682||147||2.440|
|8. Stockton, Calif.||0.649||154||2.323|
|9. Salt Lake City||0.607||165||2.171|
|10. San Antonio||0.601||166||2.151|
The Salt Lake real estate market has been hot for the last year and it’s still cruising along. So where do you think it’s heading?
Take the POLL.
Bankrate.com released a rankiing today of the states with the highest real estate closing costs. The site states:
“Bankrate.com researchers gathered closing-cost information from at least eight lenders in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers requested a good faith estimate for a $200,000 loan, assuming a 20-percent down payment and good credit. Below, ranked from most expensive to least expensive, are the average closing costs charged by the lending industry for a mortgage in each state. Your costs will be higher than shown here because the most highly variable costs are not included: Taxes, other governmental fees and escrow fees. They vary almost infinitely, by locale and by which day of the month the closing occurs. With one exception, the quotes were gathered for the largest city in each state. Because of the unique nature of New York City’s real estate market, Buffalo was used. “
Here are the rankings;
|2005 rank||State||Closing costs|
The Tribune recently ran an article about Google Trends, which allows you to type in a keyword and see which cities search for that keyword the most (among other things). And it got me thinking about what people in the Salt Lake area are really thinking about. The great thing about looking at search stats is that this is really looking at the human psychy. This is what people are looking for when noone else is around- so there’s probably more integrity to the numbers than any survey.
It does not tell us how many actual searches are performed- only how the top ten cities rank according to those search terms. So in the vain of curiosity, here is what people in Salt Lake City are searching for, and therefore, thinking about (according to Google Trends rankings).
Remember- this is where Salt Lake City ranks in the entire nation for cities searching for these search terms.
Search Term——–SLC Rank
Family Activities 2
Family Games 2
Kids Games 1
And Salt Lakers like recreation
River Rafting 6
Outdoor Activities 2
But don’t call us prudes?
And people of Salt Lake care about their appearance
Eating Disorder 1
Which leads to
And we like our games
Other interesting rankings
National News 10
World News N/A
Work at Home 3
August 7th I wrote a post explaining that Utahn’s are Drinking More, but apparently that doesn’t apply to the teens (ages 12-20) of the state.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 14.25 percent of Utah minors report binge drinking within 30 days of the surveys (conducted between 2002 and 2004). That rate is the lowest in the nation.
The national average is 20.36 percent.
The county with the lowest teen drinking percentage in the state is Utah county, with 13.5% of teens reportedly drinking, and only 11.23% binge drinking (drinking more than 5 alcoholic drinks within a few hours.
The county with the highest teen binging, Salt Lake County, was still far below the national average with 15.74% of teens participating in the activity.
This only reinforces what most Utahn’s already know, which is that this is a great place to raise healthy kids. Or, at least, kids who binge drink less than other kids around the nation.
According to Travel Leisure, and specifically, their subscribers, New York ranks as the city with the most activities and is the best city for family trips and Honolulu is the favorite city for people, romance, and quality of life.
And what does this tell you? It tells you that they purposely left Salt Lake City off the list so it wouldn’t dominate and make everyone else feel bad- and that’s very considerate.
But, just to keep things local- here is my list of Favorite Cities in Salt Lake County.
This is a cool city for a few reasons- it’s slogan is, “City between the Canyons” and it’s got some of the best restaurants (Tuscany, Market Street) and bars (Oyster Bar, Hog Wallow, Canyon Inn), plus it’s just a beautiful city to be in. Neighborhoods range from the most prestigious in the state (the Cottonwoods) to (relatively) affordable.
South Jordan is a cool city because it was planned well. This is a good example of a city that started to grow so the city council got together and created a master plan for the city and it’s growth. And they planned it well. Builders were required to put in park spaces and the aesthetics are wonderful, with the tree lined roads and brick curbing. And the lot sizes were planned so it doesn’t feel cramped. Zoning allows for some creativity, but also keeps things from getting out of control.
There’s a lot to do in Draper, with all the trails and hiking and the best paragliding and handgliding in the state. The best gym, the Treehouse, is in Draper, and there are some great neighborhoods (Cranberry Hill, Steeplechase, Draper Heights).
Taylorsville is becoming a pretty cool city. With all the renovation along the shopping strip of Redwood Road, the tree’s the city has planted along 6200 South, and the new Ivory development of $500,000 homes right next to homes selling for $200,000. There’s also a great rec center on 2700 West by the library, and along the canal road is a cool (hidden) neighborhood, too.
Always the most in-demand place to live in the county- no matter what season or what the market is doing- this is always the easiest place to sell a home. It’s right along the mountain and has some of the most charming homes anywhere in the state. And of course there’s 9th and 9th and 15th and 15th and the best park (Sugarhouse park) in the county and some great shopping along 21st south. And the best spas are in Sugarhouse.
Downtown Salt Lake has a great, clean, friendly feel to it. It lacks nightlife for being the downtown area, but it has some great bars (Port-O-Call, Red Door) and restaurants (New Yorker, Bacci’s, Lamb’s, Red Iguana) and the Gallivon Center is cool, with the concerts and ice skating. Gateway is the best mall in the state and the downtown malls will be cool if they ever get finished. And the wide streets are cool for a downtown.
There are a lot of great cities in the county, but these are all examples of cities that have some identity and have citizens that elect people who will improve their neighborhoods.
Looks like the Real Salt Lake soccer stadium will be built in Sandy after all.
Dave Checketts, owner of Real Salt Lake, Utah’s professional soccer team, announced this morning that the team will be building it’s stadium at the on again/off again proposed site in Sandy.
Dave Checketts, owner of Real Salt Lake- (Jim Urquhart/The Salt Lake Tribune)
Rocky Anderson, the mayor of Salt Lake City announced today, “Real Salt Lake, along with David Beckham, will be breaking ground for a stadium in Sandy. There are obviously some details to work out under the proposal with the Salt Lake County Council and Salt Lake County mayor, but [RSL owner Dave] Checketts is confident they they’ll be moving forward and Real Salt Lake will remain in Utah.”
Groundbreaking was today at noon and featured David Beckham, of the Real Madrid soccer team (in town for tonight’s game).
Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, Dave Checketts and Real Madrid soccer player David Beckham break ground on Real Salt Lake’s new stadium in Sandy. (Jim Urquhart/The Salt Lake Tribune)
RSL gets $55Million from parking funds, hotel taxes and redevelopment funds from the city. In return RSL will donate $7.5Million toward a soccer complex at 2300 N Redwood Road, erect an eco-friendly stadium, give $1Million/year to tourism promotion, commit to staying in the county for 30 years, give the county .50 cents for every non-concert stadium ticket sold.
Sounds like a bunch of politicking going on. I had hoped the stadium would be built at the fairgrounds location on North Temple, but I am glad we’re getting the stadium built, and it’s actually a pretty good area for it- with Jordan Commons right there and light-rail.
Sandy City Mayor, Tom Dolan, expects the stadium to open in 2008.
Too many people are getting into the real estate industry- way too many. In my 13 years in the business there have always been too many, but today it’s out of control and we need to do something about it.
Too many agents means too many crappy agents, and too many people who get into the business, do a lousy job trying to sell one house, get out of the business and leave the sellers with a bad taste for Realtors in general.
And with too many people there are too many people making bad promises, cheating for business, and doing stupid things to get business.
This is a self-policing industry and we need to weed out the bad agents. This includes agents who:
Lie to people about the services they provide
Lie to people about how much their home is worth to get a listing
Do not answer their phones
Do not return phone calls
Have “Price it right and put it on the MLS” as their marketing plan
Have MLS remarks that say, “Do not call agent- fax offers to_ _ _” or any variation thereof
Slander other agents trying to get a listing
Do not fully explain agency and what it means to the client
Think that abrogation means your clients aren’t your concern after closing
Instruct their buyers to drive around looking at homes and call listing agents and then let them know when they’ve found something they want to see, expecting to just get paid a full fee.
Use agency agreements as a ball-and-chain with their clients- doing a crappy job and not allowing sellers to get a better agent/ doing a crappy job and expecting to get paid when a buyer buys with another agent, etc.
If we all police our industry and report the agents who give us a bad name, maybe we can help make our profession… well, professional. Those of us who really care about helping people and believe in agency should be allowed to help people who want our help, without having all the bad agents screwing it up for everyone.
Arizona continues it’s strong appreciation, but is slowing down pretty fast- SELL! SELL! SELL!- (I’m only joking)… Florida still has great increases in values, and a surprise pops into the ratings for the first time in a while- some decreases. Michigan, Wisconson, Iowa and South Dakota all saw areas with some small decreases for the first quarter.
The Wasatch Front continues to be strong and steady, and St.George, Utah continues it’s strong growth.
* Note: Rankings based on annual percentage change, for all MSAs containing at least 15,000 transactions over the last 10 years.
I remember Ms. Archibald in second grade teaching us all about the dinosaurs and I was fascinated by them. Their size and strength and how long they ruled over the planet. The T-Rex was awesome- not one kid in the class wasn’t totally impressed with the T-Rex and it’s menacing presence. I was intrigued and excited and fascinated.
And I remember learning about their extinction. And while there are plenty of theories about how they became extinct, they did, in fact, go away. There are still ancestors of the dinosaur, like the crocodile and some species of fish. Come to think of it, I even wonder about this girl I used to date.
Since we launched BlueRoof I have had some pretty interesting conversations around the industry and it’s trajectory. I have heard incredible things. I have heard leaders of mega-companies preach about how the internet is overvalued and I have read the blogs (and comments from “anonymous” people) who declare that the status quo is safe and new models will perish as in years past, how the 6% commission will stay or even go up now that the market is turning, and how only “full service”, which actually means “full 6% commission” companies will survive because they are the only companies (even though many of their agents suck) that can negotiate or represent people well.
And I find myself fascinated again- with dinosaurs.
The big, strong, slow, dumb, dinosaurs. They are big and they are strong and they have ruled the planet for decades. And they still rule today, but they are destined to fade away. Of course, there will be some that will survive but they will be evolved and will be considered ancestors of the true dinosaurs.
This is what happens when a species refuses to evolve. The DNA in them cannot accept their natural evolution so mother nature kills them off. And it’s not a single moment, smite-you-down, sort of event. It’s a process that occurs and it takes a while and there will be debate over what actually caused the extinction, but it will happen.
And what will be left will be the fast-moving, dynamic, open and online companies that adapt and evolve with the consumer. And the consumer will ultimately be the ones who win.
And they will rejoice and wine will flow freely amongst them and, and… and verily I say unto you that this will be good and even so much that they shall be cleansed and the angels will sing and…. wait, I may be getting carried away a bit- you get the picture- it’ll be pretty cool.
There are a lot of good agents out there that will see their business grow stronger as the industry evolves because they will evolve with it and they will give the consumer, their client, what they want. These are agents who don’t throw rocks and then hide behind the anonymity of blog commenting or the name of their company.
These are agents who are interested in people and embrace change and will probably be leading the evolution- and they’ll be fascinated.
Feng Shui is an ancient oriental term that means “the way of wind and water”. It’s all about energy, the flow of energy and how it enhances or detracts from your life.
Europeans call it Geomancy. Architects have used it for the physical layout and design of many cities such as Washington DC.
What the ancients discovered is that the placement and layout of physical objects in your environment effects the flow of energy in your life. They created a compass.
The compass is called the Luopan, and it’s a tool used to measure “the facing” and what’s called the soothing or sitting direction. That can be the front door, or it can be the most open view that you have from your house. In other words, if you have big windows facing the ocean, your facing direction would be in the direction of the ocean.
Feng Shui and associated disciplines comprise the study of these energy flows. It also deals with how you should arrange your environment to gain the best possible advantages in your life.
For example, the direction your house faces. If you are building a new house, and you can decide which direction it faces, it would be good to know which direction will benefit your life the most. And you can find out by using Feng Shui. If you were buying an existing house and find out the direction was not set in your best interest, you would need to know how to use Feng Shui techniques to counter the ailment.
Where Not to Live
Feng Shui teaches the troubles of living near casinos, government buildings, temples, butcher’s shops, graveyards, hospitals or straight roads. Casinos are a bad place to live near because they may bring crime which would unbalance the system. Government buildings reserve most of the area’s vital energy, and would leave none for a person living by it. Temples leave an imbalance in the yin and yang. Butcher’s shops contaminate an area with killing, which is said to block the flow of chi. It’s not a good idea to live by a graveyard, as unhappiness and sorrow would spread. Sickness destroys the vital energy, so near a hospital is not an advisable place to live. Living near a straight road pointed towards the houses is said to invite evil energy.
Where to Live
If possible, live near a winding, meandering river or road as they invite good energy. But do not live near a river with loud rapids as it disturbs one’s tranquillity. A hill or mountain behind the home helps protect the home from cold winter winds, with smaller hills to the side of the house.
In Feng Shui, a home is not to be different in any major way from the neighbourhood. A house is not to be much taller than nearby houses, it is also bad to have a home much smaller than nearby houses. To stand out prominently is bad for the flow of chi. In keeping with this idea of not standing out, a rectangular house is most suitable. It is also very important to have a house with good ventilation and sunlight. This is to ensure that it receives vital energy.
Some general rules for furniture placement:
When arranging furniture in the dining room ensure that chairs do not restrict doorways. There should be ample space for guests to walk around the table without having to manoeuvre around chairs or other furniture.
The floor plan of your house is important, and where your room is located in the home can effect your energy. Here is a layout showing where different energys exist in a home.
The real estate market in Salt Lake is charging along strongly with homes selling quickly and with good appreciation. Big, beautiful mountains and lakes, a strong job market, and a healthy young workforce are all contributing to the influx of corporations (and their employees) moving into the area. But even with the market as strong as it is, the area is still very affordable compared to much of the nation.
So what can you get in Salt Lake for $1Million? Here are some properties that have come on the market in the last month…
This home in Draper has 4894 Square Feet with 3 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms and 2 half baths. It has .47 acre of landscaped yard, 20′ ceilings, a gourmet kitchen, a theatre room, and hickory floors. It’s listed with Kassia Katyryniuk of Coldwell Banker.
This home is in Suncrest (Draper) on top of the mountain and has 6921 Square Feet with 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. It has a large .60 acre landscaped yard with incredible views. It’s listed with Lindsey Kraatz of Cindy Wood Realtors.
And this home is in Salt Lake in the Olympus Cove area. It has 5466 Square Feet with 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. It includes a .31 landscaped acre yard and a 3 car garage. It was built in 1992 and is listed with Mike Lindsay of Coldwell Banker.
How do you choose the best golf courses in an entire state? Some like a course that you can walk, others don’t like to wait behind people taking twenty minutes per hole. Some like a course with difficult 5-par holes and sand and water hazards scattered throughout while others like a more pleasantly simple course. Some place scenery as the most important factor and some might say the lay and grass quality would be more important.
Utah’s top 10 amateur golf tourneys
1. Salt Lake City Amateur — Bonneville Golf Course
2. Art City Amateur — Hobble Creek Golf Course
3.Salt Lake City Open — Wingpointe Golf Course/Bonneville Golf Course
4. Dixie Red Hills Amateur — Dixie Red Hills Golf Course
5. Provo Open — Reserve at East Bay
6. Cache Valley Open — Birch Creek Golf Course/Logan River
7. Rose Park Open — Rose Park Golf Course
8. Coral Canyon Open — Coral Canyon Golf Course
9. Spanish Oaks Open — Spanish Oaks Golf Course
10. Black Diamond Open — Carbon Country Club
*List does not include UGA sponsored events
So which is the best of all these great courses? Depends on your definition. My favorite course is Old Mill (see photo tour here), especially if I only have an hour to hit the driving range with it’s view of the valley.
Is your city safe? According to SustainLane, a website that ranks the top 50 American cities based on their natural disaster risks, Miami is the place most likely to feel the wrath of Mother Nature. They, with help from Risk Management Solutions (RMS) look at a city’s risk from hurricanes, major flooding, catastrophic hail, tornado super-outbreaks, and earthquakes.
According to the site:
Cities at Greatest Risk
Based on these criteria, the cities with the greatest natural disaster risk are Miami (#50), which is sited on a peninsula between two prolific hurricane zones; New Orleans (#49); Oakland (#48), which straddles the Hayward Earthquake Fault; San Francisco (#47), on the San Andreas Fault and at risk for tsunamis; Honolulu (#46), subject to hurricanes, storm surge flooding, and tsunamis; and San Jose (#45), which is also near the San Andreas Fault.
To see the entire list click here.
According to a Deseret Morning News article yesterday Utahn’s are drinking more hard alcohol- 62% more. Much of this may be attributed to the growing population, and the fact that many people who are moving into the state are not members of the LDS faith, which teaches abstinence from alcohol, says Sam Otterstrom, a Brigham Young University geology professor. Mr Otterstrom also notes that the number of LDS members who consider themselves “Very active” in the church has declined in the last decade.
The number of tourists visiting the state has also increased substantially. In 1996 Utah had 17 Million visitors from out of state. In 2005 it had 18.2 million- an increase of 7.1 percent, according to the Utah Office of Tourism.
Kenneth Wynn, director of the Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control says, “After the Olympics, we were discovered. There are more tourists.The Sundance Film Festival got bigger.” Attendance at the festival went from 15,500 in 1996 to 53,000 in 2006.
Making the list of drinks growing by the highest percentage over the last decade are rum 107%), wine (63%), Vodka (54%), Tequila (52%) and Brandy (42%). The highest increase of consumption was with heavy beer, or beer that is purchased at the state liquor store and has a higher alcohol content than the beer bought in supermarkets and gas stations. Heavy beer consumption has increased by 139% over the same period.
Despite the increase of alcolhol consumption Utahns still drink the least of all Americans.
Quoted from the article:
“Estimates from the Beer Institute for alcohol of all types ranked Utah dead last among states in per capita consumption, at 14 gallons per person. The next lowest state is Kansas at 20.7 gallons. Nevada was No.1 with 40.4 gallons per person or 78 percent higher than in Utah.”
The increased alcohol consuption, and the 13% special assessment tax that goes along with it has filled state coffers. The general tax fund has seen an increase from alcohol from $22 to $47 Million and the school lunch program, for which the tax was intended, has seen an increase from $10 to over $20.5 Million.
Re/Max is making a big push with it’s new marketing and trying to get the word out they now have all listings on remax.com (like that’s innovative). And of course the ads always say their slogan of, “Nobody sells more real estate than Re/Max”.
First of all, there is no real measurement of who sells the most real estate. And really, what does that even mean? Does it mean selling the most pieces of property, and does that include residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural? Does it mean selling the most actual land (vacant land)? Does it mean only residential? Does it mean selling the most in dollar volume? Does it mean transaction sides or listings sold?
Well, it means something different to many people and there is no one place to see every sale of every company compared to each other.
Re/Max actually isn’t that big of a real estate company. Like other major brands, it’s actually a big network of different companies and offices branded with one name. And almost all of their entire network is franchises. There are only about 30 company-owned operations.
Re/Max saying that nobody sells more real estate than Re/Max is like saying
nobody sells more Hondas than Honda dealerships…
In reality each office is independently owned and operated. Each different from the next, with it’s own set of policies and procedures, it’s own set of standards and culture. They all just share the same name. If you actually compare real estate sold from agents working for the same company, then Re/Max isn’t even close to being the top. NRT outsells all the other companies in the top 10 combined in transaction sides. But NRT is also a big franchise collection. And it goes under different names like Coldwell Banker, ERA, Century 21 and Sotherbys.
If you called five agents from five different Re/Max offices and asked them about their marketing plan you would hear five completely different marketing plans. Because Re/Max the company doesn’t actually do any marketing for home sellers. Re/Max, the company, is more a collector of franchise fees, licensing it’s brand to anyone willing to pay it’s fees and sign it’s franchise agreement.
One agent may pay for newspaper ads and color flyers while another does neither. One agent may believe the internet is a powerful tool so they decide to have virtual tours of their listings and another may not even believe in the power of internet, like the founder of Re/Max, Dave Liniger, who recently claimed that the internet is over-valued, which also makes me wonder why they even care about having reciprocity of listings on their website.
The fallacy of the Re/Max system is that it’s not even a system at all. It’s a collection of different systems with a common name.
To be fair- most other national brands are also franchises and also operate in the same way. If you work with a Century 21 agent in Alaska and you’re really impressed with their service that doesn’t you know anything about the Century 21 agent here in Utah. And that Keller Williams agent that didn’t do their job well in Texas doesn’t have anything to do with the Keller Williams company in Salt Lake.
And almost all agents are independent contractors anyway, so they’re all competing with each other- even agents in the same office and company. In most offices of every company the agent decides what level of service they’ll provide.
A small number of companies have employee agents so they can dictate the level of service, and some companies have models that ensure the same marketing strategies are met with every client.
The reason I single out Re/Max is not because I think it’s a bad company. I actually think it’s a great company, mostly because it was formed with the agent in mind, instead of the broker. And that was a big step at the time.
I single out Re/Max because I have to endure their claim that nobody sells more real estate than they do in all of their marketing. And let’s not be naive about it- they don’t say that because they are proud of their work or something, it’s a way to elicit trust and respect. So people will think, “Oh, they sell more than anybody so agents that work there will give me better service”.
Many Re/Max agents are very good Realtors, in fact there is probably a higher ratio of good agents at Re/Max in Utah then at most other companies, but it’s not because of their company name, it’s because they are good people. Just like with all professions there are good and bad.
My advice is simple. When it comes time to list your house, ask your agent if they will put in the listing contract, “Seller may cancel this contract and receive an unconditional release at any time”. That way if you aren’t happy with their services you can cancel and hire a better agent.
The important thing to remember is in an industry where most all of the sales people are independent contractors who make their own schedules, marketing plans, and service levels it’s important to work with someone based on the person and not by the logo on their business card.
Most people who are not in the real estate industry don’t even realize that there is a difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor. Realtor (pronounced Real-tor with two syllables) is such a common term that most people just assume all agents are Realtors, which is not the case.
A real estate agent is someone who has gone through the required schooling and passed a test to gain their license to sell real estate. This usually requires 90-120 hours of class time, followed by a test with the school and then a test with the state. After which you are deemed an “expert” in real estate.
A Realtor is a real estate agent who has joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This means they have gone through some ethics training and have subscribed to a set of rules called the ‘code of ethics’. And they have to pay dues, of course. ((See video))
So what’s the difference?
Well, let’s start with the question, why would a sales agent not want to be a Realtor?
Is it because they don’t want to pay dues? A few hundred dollars a year shouldn’t be too much for someone who is good at what they do.
Or is it because they don’t want to abide by the code of ethics? This seems a more reasonable assumption, given that the state and national associations have committees to hear grievances and hold the members accountable for their actions. And these committees operate separately from the state divisions and can hand down discipline when appropriate.
Also, when considering the fact that your agent will be representing you and your financial interests in such a large investment, wouldn’t you want to work with someone who has taken that extra step to be accountable and go through that ethics training? ((See Video))
NAR also has a political action arm called the Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC). RPAC fights and lobbies for property rights and those politicians who would support property rights. I think this is one of the most important roles of NAR.
One reason to join NAR is so you can be a part of RPAC and help to protect the rights of individuals who own property, including fighting Eminent Domain, which is the power of a government to take private property for public use; the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution and articles in many state constitutions allow this practice provided that just compensation is made. For more information, see the Eminent Domain Watch.
There are differences between real estate agents and Realtors and I invite anyone to research for yourself and determine which you would rather have working with you.
With any awards announcement there will be debate and discussion, agreement and disbelief, and the Inman Innovator Awards (winners announced last week) are no different. I think some of their choices were either politically driven, or just they screwed up.
Most Innovative Brokerage/Franchise/Realtor- and the winner is…
Are you kidding me? Re/max is the most innovative brokerage? In what way? They just recently included all broker listings on remax.com (about two years after everyone else did). This pick has got to be political because it’s really stupid.
The founder and chairman of Re/Max, Dave Liniger just said that the internet is overvalued- and this is the most innovative company?
My pick would be ZipRealty- The have been cutting edge since inception. There are things about Zip that I don’t like, but they are very innovative.
Most Innovative Technology- and the winner is…
This product is fine- it will send a text message to the agent’s cell phone when a buyer calls on their for sale sign. Companies have been sending the callers phone number to the agents for over a decade. How can this possibly be the most innovative product they could find?
If lead generation tools are what they’re looking for, why not leadalarm? This service will convert an email lead into voice and then call your cell phone immediately, and allow you to be instantly connected to that lead.
Inman gave it to NRT’s Leadrouter a year or two ago and LeadRouter doesn’t connect the agent to the lead. It just gives you the information (and then you have to be frustrated trying to keep the system satisfied with updates).
Or what about Redfin’s mapping system? Everyone’s got a map now, including BlueRoof, but Redfin’s is smoother, richer, and the information around it is better than anyone else’s by far. The technology they built is far superior to CellSigns.
Innovator of the Year- and the winner is…
Mark Lesswing, Vice President, National Association of REALTORS
This has got to be a political award- last year they gave it to Earl Lee from Prudential. And this year it goes to NAR’s tech guy? Give me a break!
In 2006 no one person brought more innovation into the industry directly or indirectly than Rich Barton of Zillow.
I don’t think Zillow is that wonderful- yet. Right now I think it’s just a fun way of checking out other people’s homes, but the anticipation of it and the excitement it brought to the tech world and the real estate world shouldn’t be overlooked. Plus the innovation of Zillow is undeniable. Talk about a grand endeavor.
Rich: I want to get into real estate
Listener: That might be interesting. What would you do?
Rich: Create a database of every residential property in the country, giving an estimate of the properties worth and projections about it’s potential worth.
Listener: … uh, yeah… okay Rich. I need to go now. Good luck with that.
Hey, I like to think of myself as a visionary and I have moments of inspiration, but Rich Barton has inspired millions of real estate and tech people to drive themselves harder to be more innovative. He deserves the award- period.
As I said, any award will be questioned and complained about… but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.
My second week in the business I went to lunch with some experienced agents who each gave me their advise on how to be successful as a rookie and unanimously I was told to stay away from For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers because these were people who were very different. I was told these people were mean to agents and even when they did eventually list they were difficult to work with. I asked these agents how many of them worked with FSBO sellers trying to get listings and none of them did. They all stayed away from them and worked other sources.
I saw an opportunity. I figured if these agents weren’t talking to FSBO sellers then I should. Over the years most of the listings I took have been FSBO sellers who eventually got tired of trying to sell on their own and listed with me. And I have learned to understand them, and their challenges, more and more. Most people who attempt to sell their own home do end up listing with an agent. Why is this?
To begin, almost all the buyers are working with an agent, and why not- it doesn’t cost the buyer anything for this representation- and most real estate agents won’t show FSBO homes. They don’t show these homes for a few reasons.
First, it’s much easier and effective to go to the MLS and do a detailed search of exactly what their buyers are looking for.
Second, with the MLS the agent knows they will be paid a commission by selling a home and with a FSBO they have no idea if the seller is willing to pay them.
And pride is a factor- Realtors want to support their trade.
It can also be costly to sell a home. According to the National Association of Realtors, here is how FSBO’s market their homes.
Yard sign: 63%
Newspaper advertisement: 44%
Open house: 33%
Friends / neighbors / relatives: 25%
Direct mail (flyers, postcards,etc.): 6%
For-Sale-By-Owner magazine: 6%
Source: 2004 Profile of Buyers & Sellers, (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÂ® – Research, 2004).
Some of these numbers are changing now with the internet becoming so dynamic and accepted as a marketing forum, but it can be an expensive (and tedious) task.
So where does this leave the buyer who hasn’t been able to find the right home with their agent? Many times they settle for something they don’t like as much, other times they look without their agent at FSBO properties and end up having to go through the process alone, and some times they can find a FSBO home with an agent, and then the agent needs to worry about whether or not they’ll be paid for their time.
BlueRoof can help. We have every listed property, from every brokerage- and all the virtual tours that are posted on the MLS. And we also have FSBO homes. We also allow FSBO sellers to identify if they are “Agent Friendly”, meaning they are willing to pay a buyer agent a commission if they bring the buyer.
And the service is free.
This can help the FSBO sellers by exposing their property to more potential buyers, it helps the buyer by giving them more homes to see, and it helps the agent by giving them a searchable database of homes where the seller has already agreed to pay to a commission. And to place a home FSBO a seller only needs to register (for free) with an email address. We don’t require you to committ to anything like ZIPRealty (who just started their new FSBO program) and other FSBO sites do.
When a buyer makes an offer to buy a FSBO home on the BlueRoof website- that offer is sent directly to the seller, who can then respond to the offer, which is sent directly back to the buyer. Once acceptance occurs, the offer details are sent to BllueRoof and an agent will contact both sides and ask if they would like our representation coordinating the transaction. If they do, we will help both sides all the way through closing for only $1000 total. If an agent brings a buyer to a FSBO property on our site, we will also represent that seller from offer on- for that same $1000.
In the market that Utah is in right now more people are trying to sell FSBO. Sure, most of them will probably end up listing with an agent, but until then we’ll help best we can.
There are some incredible innovations and new technologies coming into the real estate industry right now. And there are some creative and exciting people coming into the business who are helping to change the landscape of it. At the Inman Connect conference last week I really enjoyed meeting more of these people and having the opportunity to share some ideas and thoughts with them.
But there are differences between some of the new real estate models and BlueRoof. Of the most significant is that most of these new companies are tech people who are entering the real estate space and BlueRoof is a company of Realtors who are utilizing technology.
That is an important clarification to me. So what’s the difference?
Real estate, and more specifically, being a Realtor is about a few fundamental things to me. It is about protecting property rights, fighting for political issues that effect property owners, it is about agency and representation, and it is about helping people buy and sell property with confidence. And it’s about being a resource for people with regard to real estate related matters.
Being a tech company who’s earnings come from property sales and/or lead generation is not the same. Some functions are similar, but they are not the same.
It is my opinion that the influx of new technology will ultimately benefit the consumer and bring more transparency to a historically opaque industry. And frankly, the industry needs cleansing. There are too many crappy agents out there simply taking the low-hanging fruit and diluting the reputations and perceived value of good agents. Many of these agents hide behind respected industry names, but a franchise is just an independent with a familiar logo- the person is what makes the agent- not the company name. This is a topic for another blog that can devoted to it, but you get the point.
There are some pretty cool things that we’re going to be doing with our site and some new technology in the near future and I’m excited to see it happen, but at the very center of BlueRoof is our commitment to the consumer, our clients, and being Realtors.
The Department of Justice has been looking into the real estate industry to determine if fair competition exists. It started last September when the DOJ sued the National Association of Realtors (NAR) over a policy called “opt out”, where brokers could choose to not include their home listings on other brokers internet sites. The DOJ feels that some brokers might choose this route as a way to push new internet-driven brokerages out of business.
Last week congress held a subcommittee meeting entitled, “The Changing Real Estate Market” and heard different points of view about the nature of competition in the industry. As expected, NAR’s position is that there is plenty of competition in the industry and the consumer will ultimately dictate which companies survive and become successful based on their services and business model. Others argued that large traditional brokerages aren’t playing fair and create a hostile environment for anyone trying to get into the industry if they don’t conform to the traditional way of doing business. And both sides are right.
Here is how I see it-
There is a ton of competition in the industry. Millions of Realtors all competing for the same business. There are a lot of different companies with different business models and commission structures. New innovative business models (like BlueRoof) have to be strong enough to stand up to traditional brokerages, who don’t like them doing the same things for less, or even worse, doing better things.
Historically, new models have been torn apart, pushed out of business, or just held down as much as possible by brokerages and agents who don’t want their commissions eroded. I used to be in that same mindset when I was with Coldwell Banker and Prudential and GMAC.
Having competition that doesn’t like what you are doing is not always a bad thing. It drives you to be better and it can push some companies to think more creativitely- and this is good for the consumer.
The real estate industry is evolving and this is a very good thing. The consumer today is more educated about the process and wants a better value proposition. And they are increasingly demanding better service and flexible commissions and really, who can blame them?
Realtors have an important place in our society as a resource and representatives and if we focus on that I think our value will go up.
It’s listed with Christine M Ashton of M.D. Realty, LLC. Christine’s contact phone number is 801-521-8223 and her email address is email@example.com.
Her comments are:
REDUCED $5,000. Absolutely charming home for sale. There is a detached apartment included on this property. Main house has 3bedrooms and 2 full baths, the apt is the other bedroom and full bath. Jetted tub. Central Air and much more.
And the avenues is a great area to live in- close to downtown, shopping, and a lot of good restaurants. If you have any questions you may want to contact Christine.
I forgot to mention this on the blog two weeks ago and this last week I was in San Francisco all week for the conference, but Zillow started a blog carnival for real estate two weeks ago. If you are unfamiliar with a blog carnival – here is Wikipedia’s definition,
“A blog article that contains links to other articles covering a specific topic. Most blog carnivals are hosted by a rotating list of frequent contributors to the carnival, and serve to both generate new posts by contributors and highlight new bloggers posting matter in that subject area.”
Next one will be hosted by Future of Real Estate Marketing blog, look for it tomorrow (Monday).
We’ll be hosting the carnival here on our blog September 18th so watch for it then.
Thousands of people from the real estate, mortgage, title and tech fields descended on San Francisco this week for the Inman News Real Estate Connect event. I arrived Tuesday night and it’s been a blast every day (and night!).
Mike and I came with the goal of meeting some interesting people, learn, and have some fun. Mission accomplished. We’re here until Sunday, but the rest of the trip will be vacation more than work.
Some things I’ll take away from the event-
Some people are much more interesting than you think they might be- like Michael Arrington of TechCrunch who kicked off the event with a rousing presentation of where the industry is heading and some of the challenges it faces.
Redfin’s CEO, Glenn Kelman, is a great speaker- very engaging.
Some of those Canadian guys can party.
The Palace hotel needs to staff up when they host an event.
Before you announce that you have FSBO properties and MLS data on the same map- make sure your local MLS representative is not in the room (apparently we’re not supposed to do that).
Mike, the president of BlueRoof, showed me that if a girl takes you to a club and upon arriving you ignore her and hang out with other girls- she won’t like you very much (go figure).
San Francisco cab drivers can actually defy the laws of physics (and gravity) if there’s an extra $20 in it for them.
Perceived value doesn’t apply to $12 jack-and-coke’s.
The Wasatch Front Regional MLS (Salt Lake City’s) is just as control-hungry as ever.
Re/Max doesn’t have a clue about the internet’s influence on the real estate industry.
I’m leaving this event with some great ideas for BlueRoof and some new friends- what more could I ask for?