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Posts Tagged ‘Zillow’

Carnival Of Real Estate [Week of October 2, 2006]

October 3, 2006 | 6:00 am |

[In this week’s Carnival, Matrix makes the top five selection of submitted posts over at YoChicago and luckily avoid getting sick on all the cotton candy I ate in the process. More details below.]

What is a carnival?

Here’s a great carnival Q & A. Its basically a a bunch of blogs that take turns displaying the favorite posts of the group each week. Carnivals can vary by topics and of course and the most relevant to Matrix readers is the Carnival of Real Estate.

This week’s host: YoChicago blows a lot of wind our way so we can read the best posts submitted by carnival members.

Next week’s host: Bloodhound Blog will do more than walk the dog to host the carnival. Click on the button below to get more information on how to join, host and submit posts to the carnival.

Carnival of Real Estate


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Carnival Of Real Estate Enters The Matrix

September 25, 2006 | 12:01 am | |

As I watched my turn get closer and closer to hosting the Carnival of Real Estate, I thought it was amazing how much great content is being pushed into the public domain every week through the carnival. In fact, carnival participants simply ooze creativity and new ideas. Simply look at last week’s carnival post at BlueRoof.com Blog to get an idea of what I mean.

I started getting post submissions early last week and by Sunday I had a lot of reading to do. Although the carnival hosts are expected to post only their favorites, I thought to myself, how can I do that? So I decided to provide a top ten list and then everyone else. I excluded a few get rich quick posts and those who seemed to be more interested in selling something or extra posts from those who submitted more than one.

I am finding that some of the most active and insightful posts this week have been provided by real estate brokers. Its interesting to me because its been my impression that real estate brokers were somewhat late to blogosphere party as a profession but now they really get it and are rising in numbers quickly.

So its no wonder there was a lot of discussion about Redfin this week. I think that a weaker housing market sort of forces the real estate brokerage community to rethink the status quo. Thats really refreshing and I found myself adding links to my blogroll.

The Matrix Top 10 List

  1. Everybody’s Going Local [Future of Real Estate Marketing]. Joel Burslem provides a very insightful look at the trend toward local web sites to deliver real estate related information.
  2. What Housing Bubble? [The Property Monger] looks closely at population trends.
  3. 16 Words or Less [Agent CEO] reminded me of the axiom less is more. I tend to fail miserably being concise but if someone leaves me a voicemail longer than 16 seconds, I tend to delete it.
  4. Crackdown on Relisting Homes [Altos Research]. Altos crunches the numbers. Relisting is simply wrong.
  5. Kicking the Tires on Housing Futures as a Predictive Tool [True Gotham]. Doug Heddings deals with one of my favorite topics, housing futures.
  6. Google and Zillow [Real Central VA]. Jim Duncan tells us that broker _marketing will become less and less a component of a Realtor’s core competency. Representation will._
  7. Cease and Desist [Real Estate 2.X] gives us a good chuckle and a whole new way to name our blogs.
  8. Dual Agency: Using the Seller’s Agent as Your Buyer’s Agent [Searchlight Crusade] addresses awkwardness and multiple loyalties which are commonplace.
  9. Would the Founding Fathers Have Founded an MLS? [Charlottesville Area Real Estate Blog] concludes that restrictions on listings are better than an open system.
  10. For real estate promotion, the business card form factor is a tiny little workhorse [Bloodhound]. Glenn says its all in the cards.

Here are the rest of the posts submitted in no particular order but are all a good read:

Market discussion (surprisingly quiet this week)

Raising the bar on the real estate brokerage profession:

Broker ethics and “get rich quick” schemes

Mortgages and Refi Strategies

New brokerage business models

Buyer and seller advice

Defies categorization

Thanks to all of those who submitted posts. Great stuff. Don’t forget to check out YoChicago, next week’s host for the Carnival of Real Estate.

Its now 10:30pm EST on Sunday. I’ve got to get some sleep – going to be on CNBC’s Morning Call live at about 10:15am on Monday for 5 minutes with another guest. Should be fun.


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Trulia Power Panel Plays Hardball With Darts

September 22, 2006 | 6:59 am | | Public |

Having two posts about Trulia this week is almost as bad as the Zillow launch when every blog on the planet (including Matrix) posted about them until everyone became physically ill.

With that riveting insight out of the way, I was asked to participate on a “Power Panel” where a diverse group of industry experts, insiders and watchers will periodically come together to share their perspective on real estate issues facing consumers.

The premise of the panel is to predict the results (or make a wild guess) of a pending data release (in this case, NAR’s existing home sales) and give some quick thoughts about it. The comments about the stats were of most interest me.

This exercise reminds me of the Wall Street Journal’s “Darts versus Pros” where a group of experts picked the direction of a portfolio of stocks and were are up against a journalist, who simply threw darts at a stock index table hung on a wall. It usually went about 50/50 but it could get ugly.

I hope I don’t embarrass myself on Monday when the results are posted, but then again, you should see me play darts.


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Trulia To Launch Upgrade Yet I Still Can’t Get Into Stanford Grad School

September 21, 2006 | 10:05 am | |

Although I never went to Stanford Grad School, you’ll probably be just as smart by visiting the major upgrade to Trulia, which is being launched this Monday, September 25th. (Ok, I went to high school with someone who went to Stanford and its quite clear I will never be that smart.) Seemingly everyone involved in Trulia went to Stanford, so perhaps thats why their logo still says its in beta – they are studying for finals?

I got a demo of the new version yesterday in my office by CEO Pete Flint and VP Sean Black and I was impressed. Since I was first approached by Trulia last year before their New York launch, I have provided aggregate market data for them since then because I was intrigued by their product. I still am. There are a lot of listing mashups out there, but maps are last year’s news – everyone has them now.

Their new idea is to integrate public record, listing and enhanced mapping features to help drive traffic to the broker listings. It doesn’t cost the brokers anything and with weakening market conditions, demand for free products like this will likely increase.

One of the other more visible real estate sites out there is Zillow, who just released “Z2” which is a completely different product than Trulia.

Zillow is a pricing tool to give the user the estimate for a specific property using public record sources. Zillow added a new feature this week which allows property owners to modify public record features of a property since its hit or miss whether public record will capture accurate amenity features. My house is missing 2-bedrooms and about 1,200 square feet (I know I put them somewhere), but the value of my house seems ok for some reason. I still have high hopes for Zillow but not untill they get more consistent coverage to be relied on. When thats perfected, I think that the Zestimates will take you to the general realm of market value but will need to be fine tuned by a real, hopefully live, person.

My nephew in Ohio relied on Zillow heavily recently in understanding pricing in their area and used it for a reality check when they negotiated a home purchase. However, my in-laws’ house in Michigan is a tract housing subdivision and is valued at less than 20% of what houses we know recently sold in the past year.

Zillow seems to be saying now that they are a starting point for pricing, not the replacement for a professional to interpret the results.

Trulia is a listing aggregator that combines broker listings, with mapping technology and public record infomation and sales in the area to allow the reader to narrow down their choices and get comfortable with what values are and what is available for sale. In other words, the reader is put to work to understand the market and therefore owns the result. A really interesting feature of the new upgrade is the data that shows the amount of reader traffic that visits a specific neighborhood in order to gauge the amount of consumer interest in it. In other words, what is “hot.”

These are new features provided by their press release:

  • Trulia.com Interactive Heatmaps dynamically search your city to see which neighborhoods and zip codes are hot and which not!  Consumers can search user behavior trends, median sales prices, average listing prices and more for every major city and every neighborhood across the country.

  • Trulia.com Comparison Tool searches data on over 60 million homes so you don’t have to.  It works like this: you find a home you like, Trulia.com finds comparable ‘for sale’ and ‘recently sold’ homes to help you understand how your house stacks up, you make better real estate decisions.

  • Trulia Neightborhood Spotlight helps you answer:  is this neighborhood popular?  How do average prices in this neighborhood compare to the city?  What about the quality of schools and crime rates?  Which homes have the most bathrooms!?  All that information is here.

Here are some interesting mapping features:

Web Traffic Heatmap

Click To Expand Image


List Price Heatmap

Click To Expand Image


Sales Price Heatmap

Click To Expand Image


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Carnival Of Real Estate [Week of September 18, 2006]

September 18, 2006 | 6:16 am |

[Matrix is hosting the Carnival of Real Estate next week! (September 25, 2006). Trust me, its a great way to read some great posts on real estate topics of the day and not get sick on cotton candy.]

What is a carnival?

Here’s a great carnival Q & A. Its basically a a bunch of blogs that take turns displaying the favorite posts of the group each week. Carnivals can vary by topics and of course and the most relevant to Matrix readers is the Carnival of Real Estate.

This week’s host: BlueRoof Blog keeps a roof over our head so we can read the best posts submitted by carnival members and stay dry enough to submit a post to Matrix next week, who takes a turn at the carnival ticket window.

Next week’s host: Matrix gets a chance to host the carnival. Click on the button below to get more information on how to join, host and submit posts to the carnival.

Carnival of Real Estate


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Carnival Of Real Estate [Week of September 11, 2006]

September 12, 2006 | 5:20 am |

[Matrix is hosting the Carnival of Real Estate the week of September 25, 2006. Its a great way to read some great posts on real estate topics of the day and not get sick on cotton candy.]

What is a carnival?

Here’s a great carnival Q & A. Its basically a a bunch of blogs that take turns displaying the favorite posts of the group each week. Carnivals can vary by topics and of course and the most relevant to Matrix readers is the Carnival of Real Estate.

This week’s host: Real Estate Tomato throws ketchup at the best posts submitted by carnival members and thats a good thing.

Next week’s host: BlueRoof Blog who gives the Utah perspective to posts submitted.


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[Matrix Zeppelin Series: Readers Write] Perception, Substitution Principles, Apples To Apples, Timing, Sidelines, Dis-intermediate Or Impractical

September 8, 2006 | 5:35 am |


We are now in post-Labor School Is In Session Mode and Matrix readers are showing it. This week we had many well thought out points of view on a whole range if issues. There were a few readers that stayed after school to finish them:

  • Falling prices do not spur sales—stabilized and rising prices do. Most people did not buy stock when the market was falling? If they did it was only because their “perception” was that the fall was temporary. Slowing of housing sales tells me that the current “perception” is that prices will continue to fall.

  • There is a definite distortion in Shiller’s graphic, but I think the error is in the gov’t inflation numbers. Ever since Greenspan instituted the “substitution principle” in the inflation gauge we have had a false reading of true inflation. I think inflation since 2001 has been so under-reported, that by using the official numbers, we are seeing this skew in Shiller’s graphic. Looking at real world examples where I live (central Florida), housing is up 110% since 2001, milk has gone from $2.20 to $3.40/gallon, and we all know what gas prices have done in the last 5 years. Even Disneyworld tickets have gone from $40 to $67. About the only places I have not seen major price increases would be automobiles and consumer electronics/computers, but those are from production efficiencies. I imagine most of the HELOC growth has been because people are needing the extra income to keep the same lifestyle they had in the ’90s because incomes have been flat while inflation has been much higher than reported.

  • If you want to know what the long term average annual price change was over the last few years as a whole then the OFHEO data is good. If you want to know what the average price change was during the most recent 12 months only you will not find that in the OFHEO data. This is becuase OFHEO uses same house data for determining their index – using the recent transaction compared to its prior transaction years ago. Apples to apples but measuring long term averages – not recent movement. A home bought five years ago and sold recently will show a positive average annual gain – even though it has declined during the latest period. The OFHEO HPI is essentially a rolling average of many years of price movement.

  • Market timing is inextricably linked to the efficient market hypothesis. The EMH states, quite simply, that it is impossible to outperform the market. Why? Because the market is all-knowing, an asset is always perfectly priced based on all known information. All market participants share the same information and no single player has any advantage. Market timing is a perfectly valid concept in an imperfect market, especially in those markets where information isn’t equally shared among all players (an information asymmetry exists). A single participant who receives advanced notice of information will most certainly have an advantage over the other market participants. Information assymetry in the real estate market is just one of the reasons that it is an imperfect market. Keep in mind that real estate is a radically different asset than stock. While the stock market is far from being perfectly efficient, it is most certainly more efficient than the real estate market. Don’t forget that insider trading is a form of market timing. Does it work? Yes, albeit not legal. While I don’t believe it possible to “time the market” in a traditional sense, I do believe that the price of an asset will revert to it’s fundamental-driven mean when both overpriced and underpriced.

  • While I agree that many are on the sidelines, I disagree as to why. I don’t feel people are not purchasing because they fear prices MAY fall, people are not purchasing because prices have NOT fallen. I am one of those buyers on the “sideline” and I’m not trying to time for the bottom. But I am looking for price reductions as I feel prices are overly inflated. (That being said I do plan to stay in any home I purchase for a minimum of 10 years.) So I feel that this doesn’t mean I’m trying to time the market. I’m just waiting for the inevitable and I think others are as well.

  • I sell real estate now, but I was in the business of design and Web development for years. There is a old saying and a glib truth in selling and buying design services: “you can have it good, cheap and fast; but you can only get any two of those at a time.” I think that applies across many industries including real estate services. There is certainly evidence that technology can change things. The ability for it to dis-intermediate an industry, as the expedia/zillow guys did to travel agencies, is possible, but also quite rare. I’d ask you if the customer has actually benefited from it? Are air fares significantly cheaper because of it? I haven’t noticed; and it now costs my time to find the best fare and route. Discount on-line stock brokers did not put the full service ones out of business. The smart ones that offer real knowledge and guidance are still around. Amazon did not kill Wallmart, Ebay has not replaced Christies, and Yahoo did not see Google coming. There is room in the market place for multiple business models. The perception of value is what’s important. The big lie in all of this is that people are led to believe that they are getting the same services for less. What’s missing from the Redfin service proposition is any claim that they will work to get a seller the highest price possible. That’s what brokers actually do. Their model is based around doing it cheaper not better; and you generally get what you pay for. The caricature of the overpaid, lazy real estate broker is spin that serves Redfin and others who would like us to believe it. Like the title of your post implies Jonathan, as an industry, full service practitioners and the NAR could probably do a better job at communicating.

  • I might be able to market-time the cost of housing, but I can’t market-time things such as losing my job, getting a new job, having a baby, terrorist attacks, parents dying, getting divorced, having a mental breakdown, or inheriting wealth. It may not be impossible to market-time housing prices, but simply impractical.


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Carnival Of Real Estate [Week of September 5, 2006]

September 5, 2006 | 10:06 am | Public |

[Matrix is hosting the Carnival of Real Estate the week of September 25, 2006. Its a great way to read some great posts on real estate topics of the day and not get sick on cotton candy.]

What is a carnival?

Here’s a great carnival Q & A. Its basically a a bunch of blogs that take turns displaying the favorite posts of the group each week. Carnivals can vary by topics and of course and the most relevant to Matrix readers is the Carnival of Real Estate.

This week’s host: NuBricks is able to bark out the best posts submitted by carnival members all the way from Europe.

Next week’s host: Real Estate Tomato who will determine once and for all whether tomatoes are to be considered a fruit or a vegetable as well as select the best posts for the carnival.

Carnival of Real Estate


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Finding Matrix

August 30, 2006 | 6:52 am |

What are people thinking about these days when it comes to real estate?

Here’s a list of search terms on Google that triggered someone to come to our site this week presented in order of frequency. Its pretty myopic but still interesting to me since I can see how people end up at Matrix who probably aren’t familiar with it.

REALOGY
cartus
matrix
homevestors
zillow
real estate acronyms
real estate economy
michael shvo
matrix real estate
real estate jargon
unusual homes
real estate lingo
experian mortgage trigger leads
matrix housing futures
housing bubble
unusual house plans
shvo
baghdad real estate
housing bubble blogs
unusual properties
overpriced housing markets
9/11 5 year anniversary
matrix miller samuel
luxury market
housing index matrix
housing cycles
cme housing futures
zoning and building regulations
bubble bust
philadelphia “real estate”

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Carnival Of Real Estate [Week of August 28, 2006]

August 29, 2006 | 6:12 am | Public |

[Matrix is hosting the Carnival of Real Estate the week of September 25, 2006. Its a great way to read some great posts on real estate topics of the day and not get sick on cotton candy.]

What is a carnival?

Here’s a great carnival Q & A. Its basically a a bunch of blogs that take turns displaying the favorite posts of the group each week. Carnivals can vary by topics and of course and the most relevant to Matrix readers is the Carnival of Real Estate.

This week’s host: The Landlord Blog throws the darts at the best posts submitted to them by carnival members.

Next week’s host: NuBricks who will squeeze the carnival in between new property development news & off plan launches.

Carnival of Real Estate


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Carnival Of Real Estate [Week of August 21, 2006]

August 23, 2006 | 7:11 am | Public |

[Matrix is hosting the Carnival of Real Estate the week of September 25, 2006. Its a great way to read some great posts on real estate topics of the day and not get sick on cotton candy.]

What is a carnival?

Here’s a great carnival Q & A. Its basically a a bunch of blogs that take turns displaying the favorite posts of the group each week. Carnivals can vary by topics and of course and the most relevant to Matrix readers is the Carnival of Real Estate.

This week’s host: Pine Needle Lawn pops the balloon by providing best posts submitted to them by carnival members.

Next week’s host: The Landlord Blog who will not sit passively and generate income after selecting the best posts.


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Carnival Of Real Estate [Week of August 14, 2006]

August 14, 2006 | 12:01 am | Public |

[Matrix is hosting the Carnival of Real Estate the week of September 25, 2006. Its a great way to read some great posts on real estate topics of the day and not get sick on cotton candy.]

What is a carnival?

Here’s a great carnival Q & A. Its basically a a bunch of blogs that take turns displaying the favorite posts of the group each week. Carnivals can vary by topics and of course and the most relevant to Matrix readers is the Carnival of Real Estate.

This week’s host: Brownstoner is getting his turn on the carousel this week by presenting what he feels are the best posts submitted to him by carnival members.

Next week’s host: Pineneedle Lawn who will use their Land-o-lakes perspective to select the best posts of the week.

Carnival of Real Estate


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