December 2007


Just thought I’d give a plug to 2 books I read over this holiday break…

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Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody – by Fake Steve Jobs (Daniel Lyons)
I’m a big Steve Jobs and fake Steve Jobs fan. Here’s a taste…

“sometimes i feel like a great chef
who has devoted his entire life
to monastic study of the art of cooking
and gathered the finest ingredients
and built the most advanced kitchen
and prepared the most exquisite meal
so perfect, so delicious, so extraordinary
more astounding than any meal ever created
yet each day i stand in my window
and watch ninety-seven percent of the world
walk past my restaurant
into the mcdonald’s
across the street.”

The second book I read was

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Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life – by Steve Martin

Steve Martin is always been one of my favorites. It’s a autobiography of his early life doing stand up, and gives great insight to the creative process.

Funny fact, did you know that Steve Martin’s dad was a REALTOR in Orange County? He was actually president of the Newport Beach Association of REALTORS.

He talks about his relationship with his father in an article written for New Yorker magazine in 2002. If you have kids, or your parents are still alive it’s a must read.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Troy first tipped us off about this a couple few of days ago.

Saul is a great guy and has had a lot of keen insights towards the industry. I know a lot of people will be rooting for him in his new postion.

But does he realize today in Saskatoon it’s mostly cloudy and 10 degrees? 10 degrees Saul, 10!

Saul Klein To Head Point2 Technologies
by Blanche Evans

Technology allows Saul Klein to run Internet Crusade while on the road three weeks a month. Now it can help him run Point2 Technologies as well.

Point2 first got on residential real estate’s radar with free websites for agents and free uploads to the site’s “NLS,” a national MLS-type search feature for consumers.

But free isn’t a compelling business model, even though the company boasts 165,000 subscribers to free services from over 85 countries. So the five investors at Point2 cleaned house of about 10 percent of its workforce, including upper management, and is starting over with a veteran of the real estate industry at the helm.

What’s not known is how many agents are paying Point2 for upgrades to their free websites. Klein guesses about 80 percent, but if the company were really doing that well, it would be outperforming Realtor.com, the undisputed king of the free-to-upgrade agent/broker lead generation business model.

That aside, Klein says Internet Crusade and Point2 Technologies have enjoyed a strategic partnership for over a year. “We know them,” he says, and he’s very comfortable with the company’s prospects.

Point2 got its start with Caterpillar providing the company with a means for equipment owners to post their heavy machinery for sale online. The model was scalable to real estate, but right now the field is crowded with “free” listing uploads.

How Klein plans to make a difference, he says, is:

people – staff is most valuable resource and of course, customers

customer service

revenue – finding opportunities within the company for creating packages and new revenue streams

alliances – within the industry of brokers, other companies
Klein says he will reduce his road schedule for 2008 and divide his time between Saskatoon, San Diego and his speaking engagements. He starts the first of January.

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Have you checked out Realty Times lately? They have been sporting a new look, with videos running on the top of their site. The site is still very agent centric with tons of content, which I’m sure why it’s still so popular with agents. This gives it a more “how to” vibe than the “gloss” of Inman.

Because of this, targeted banner/text ads (selling to agents) I’ve run on Realty Times have typically performed better than ones on Inman News.

The other great thing about Realty Times is Blanche Evans. She is the Editor and one of the best real estate writers out there. Check it out and judge for yourself.

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Inman is reporting that Brendan King and Jeff Tomlin tendered their resignations to Point2 along with other senior managers. By my count that would be 8 people leaving at the same time. REliberation has some interesting comments from customers.

According to the Inman article it stated that King “…disagreed with the strategy and direction going forward, so I decided to move onto different opportunities,”

Something tells me there is a lot more to this story.

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Here’s a recap of some of the events that happened in the world of real estate vendors in 2007.

1.3M NAR members

VendorAlley.com blog launched to give real estate vendors a new voice in the world!

This gave Mike Wurzer inspiration to start his own blog which is presently the hottest site on MLS in the industry.
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Everyone from move.com went to work for cyberhomes.com

Errol Samuelson named president of realtor.com
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Alan Dalton retreats to his basement, picks up a soldering iron and begins work on secret project. -Does anyone ___ing care anymore?

Realigent shut their doors. – There is a god.

Most agents stayed away from franchise trade show everything.

Dominion Enterprises acquires eNeighborhoods for $_____

CDU?

RE/MAX took it easy on the intercoastal
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Jim Naccarato, Bob Rucker, Jack Johnson say goodbye.

MLSNI?

iPhone launched! (I still love mine, what about you?)

California MLS Alliance (10 MLS Providers, 150K+ brokers and agents, 2.5M active and off market listings -Boohya!)

FNRES (cyberhomes) and AOL hold hands.

Black Magic Voodoo Lounge Inman After Party. – My head still hurts
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We toured wineries after the Inman Conference
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What’s up with ________? I still don’t get how they are ever going to make money.

Rick Sherwood makes a move, Jerry Haan leaves and Bob Morse is plucked.

Jerry Meyer retired

FBS lands a big one! Get ready Arizona!

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree at Rapattoni.

eNeighborhoods beats the competition and signs Realogy.

Vegas Baby Vegas!
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The Frontier Hotel was blown to bits while Gregg Larson and few friends partied the night away
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1.X NAR members?

When I look back at 2007 I see it as a big transition year. It was the year that we realized that the market had turned. We saw consolidation on the rise. All companies played a bit of musical chairs. NAR fought the media, the media won.

While I’m a bit apprehensive about the coming new year of one thing I am certain. This industry is full of a lot of bright and talented people. I’m looking forward to seeing you again next year, swapping stories and celebrating your successes.

So 2008 give us the best you got! One thing is for sure, I’m going to be there.

Bring it!!

Happy Landings Everyone!

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This is a little late, he actually got nominated last month but they made it official at the recent RETS meeting in Miami.
Congrats Dan!

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Evel Knievel
(1938 – 2007)
“There is no king, no prince, no president, no athlete … nobody that has lived a better life than me.”

I have an autographed picture of Evel making his famous jump at Wembley Stadium hanging in my office. What he symbolizes to me was best said in a famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt.

Teddy Roosevelt – To the Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly…who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Happy Landings Evel!

Gizmodo had a nice recap you can read here.