One of the more annoying things I see as standard business practice – (not just) in the appraisal profession – is listing client names in a report or brochure without permission as a point of credibility.
In fact one of the larger commercial appraisal companies is famous for including in its boiler plate “An appraisal company is measured by the clients they serve” followed by pages and pages of client names. It’s not illegal or frowned upon but I’ve always seen the practice as a weak argument for quality and perhaps a borderline breach of client confidence when its so excessive.
Yesterday I was sent a screenshot from a page on PropertyShark (a data service I absolutely love) that lists a bunch of appraisal firm logos as their customers. The presentation includes my firm and it is clearly presented as an endorsement.
I certainly do this myself as it pertains to a media outlet quote or by touting government agencies that rely on our analysis.
I guess I’m really thinking aloud here – wondering if there is a protocol that should be followed when using your client’s names as a form of marketing. Or am I just whining about working indoors when its so nice outside?
I need to hear from Joe, a marketing maven that would set me straight.
For a housing market obsessed by real estate coverage, residents of New York City are like drug addicts being given heroin (or like an appraiser being giving perfect sales comps) by the sheer volume of real estate market coverage.
But that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. The appraisal profession has entered the media fray by name in major publications.
A few months ago the Wall Street Journal announced they were expanding their news coverage to include the New York metro area to compliment their national coverage. They expanded their staff and made a commitment to a new section called Greater New York and includes local real estate market coverage.
Within WSJ’s new Greater New York section is a page devoted to real estate. Among one of the daily features is a section called “The Assessor” which includes a graphic and some factual housing tidbits. One of the early names under consideration for the feature was “The Appraisal” but eventually became “The Assessor” (same diff).
The New York Times added a weekly column: “The Appraisal” by Christine Haughney, a former real estate reporter for the Sunday real estate section and a current New York (Metro) section reporter, she provides weekly buzzworthy real estate articles of substance.
While the appraisal profession remains a mystery to many (including me), the coverage of real estate certainly doesn’t.
Well, that’s my appraisal of the situation, anyway.
Earlier this week, Scott Forcino, Joe Ferrara’s close friend and business partner told me that Joe is very sick. Joe has an aggressive malignant brain tumor. He is in a hospital ICU undergoing treatment, chemo/radiation and he has a speech pathologist. I think the symptoms became more serious in the past month.
Although I am married to a cancer survivor I still only have a small inkling of how tough this must be for Joe and his family.
Join Friends of Joe Ferrara
It took me a few days to collect my thoughts on Joe. A lot has been written about this unfortunate situation over the past week – which is completely awesome and shows how much we love Joe – its all been said better than I ever could. A special thanks to Jay Thompson for leading the effort to get the word out to help Joe and his family.
Donate to Joe’s Medical Expense Fund!
Right now we can all help Joe by donating what you can to help out his family from the incredible medical costs they are facing. Please help.
I will only think positive thoughts about his health and his future.
I first ran into Joe back in the prehistoric days of real estate blogging circa 2005-2006 when I started. A formally trained lawyer, he was a fountain of ideas in the social media space and along with Rudy Bachraty, they co-founded Sellsius Real Estate and began cranking out content on their Sellius Blog. He embellished a bit too.
My first interaction with Joe was after he made a presentation in Atlantic City, I blogged about their real estate concept here on Matrix and quipped that the bad link on their logo was probably a good sign of their focus on content quality rather than bells and whistles. Joe sent me a nice note commenting on how the bad link had been fixed and the relationship began.
He has been a fixture at Inman conferences and other social media gatherings, genuinely happy to help people find their way in an easygoing style.
I have to chuckle about his Blog USA tour back in 2007. I was the first stop on his cross country RV trip from Boston via New York to the San Francisco/Inman Connect conference. He and Rudy were supposed to arrive at my house at 9pm but didn’t get there until much later, 2am I think – they didn’t want to wake me so they slept in the RV in my driveway. We did a 6:30am video interview of me walking around my house – a bit surreal but fun. Next door to my house the movie Revolutionary Road was being filmed and we asked the film crew on the way out where Kate and Leonardo were – LOL. We took the RV from Connecticut to Manhattan – right to the front door of my office building – Joe promised door-to-door service – and then took off for California (the long way). A month later – as I walked into the Inman Conference in San Francisco – I happened to walk next to their famous Blog Tour USA RV and smiled in amazement – they made it!
Last October I interviewed Joe for my podcast, The Housing Helix. It was a fun conversation – and as usual, he was full of ideas. Please have a listen.
We’re pulling for you Joe!
In reference to my New York Times quote this weekend by Vivian Toy – Bidding Wars Resume:
Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, estimated that two-thirds of the roughly 4,000 [8,389] apartments for sale in Manhattan are priced too high for the current market.
“So,” Mr. Miller said, “you have this weird situation right now where you have above-average inventory, but people are fighting over the ones that are priced correctly.”
(I’m not sure where the 4,000 number came from because Manhattan 3Q 09 showed 8,389 but the specific amount is irrelevant.)
The difference between a bidding war of two years ago and the current market is the irrational nature of bidding wars back then – it was all about “winning.” The market today is about obtaining value – with prices having fallen an average of 25% since pre-Lehman.
Also, there is a larger disconnect between buyers and sellers than a few years ago as measured by the lower pace of sales. There was a reprieve this summer when sales surged, but listing inventory is still above average levels and a higher level of listings are priced above market level leaving purchasers fighting over a smaller selection.
Although this is anecdotal, I do believe that there are fewer bidding wars that occur above list price than we saw a few years ago.
When my friend and bigger than macro Big Picture blogger Barry Ritholtz refers to me as “Our man Jonathan Miller drops the truth bomb” I am confident I nailed the current state of bidding wars.