Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Friday, July 31, 2009, 7:20 PM
About a week ago, doormaninNYcity started to follow me on twitter and I found the tweets quite fascinating. This anonymous feed of information reminds me of the old days (4 years ago) when Property Grunt and Brownstoner burst on the blogosphere scene – they were anonymously written sites that gave readers fantastic insights (still are).
A few days ago doormaninNYcity wrote this tweet:
An appraiser came for a resident when I buzzed the resident asked if he can wait 5 min he wasn’t ready, the appraiser said no & left.
Think about that for a second – for the appraiser to leave because he couldn’t wait 5 minutes must have meant he budgeted five minutes for the inspection and would be late for the next one. Depending on the size of the property, 30 minutes should be the bare minimum time spent in the property.
This has got to be one of those appraisal management company appraisers who have the real estate industry up in arms about the poor quality appraisals.
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Sunday, May 17, 2009, 11:56 PM
Ok, not really.
I don’t normally do this (I actually do but not as a post and I am trying to promote some empathy for my efforts so cut me some slack) but I would love to get my Matrix and The Housing Helix readers help get the word out about The Housing Helix podcast.
The Housing Helix is now ranked #82 under the category “Investing” in iTunes and I’m actually beating some podcasts offered by Businessweek, Morningstar and MarketWatch – but that’s not good enough.
My podcast is also listed as “New and Notable” in the iTunes store on both the PC and iPhone versions – but that’s not good enough.
All I ask is (gotta a pen?):
- Rate the podcast (5 seconds)
- Write a review (60 seconds)
- ReTweet on Twitter after each weekly release (1 second)
- Link out to it on your blog if the topic interests you (take as long as you want)
I’ll bet you’re feeling better already.
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Monday, May 11, 2009, 12:45 AM
With 10 podcasts under my belt, it was time to start doing interviews on The Housing Helix Podcast.
Who better than Lockhart Steele, the mad genius sans snark behind the Curbed Network.
Check out this week’s podcast.
You can subscribe on iTunes or simply listen to the podcast on my other blog The Housing Helix.
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Monday, August 25, 2008, 10:37 PM
Since the new iPhone and it’s 2.0.2 software came out, I have been lovin’ the new apps that have entered the fray. The power of GPS allows blending data and location into a nice neat package. And endless array of possibilities.
One of my favorites of the just released: the Trulia iPhone app (disclosure: I have been on Trulia’s Industry Advisory Board since its inception). But it’s not just for the iPhone.
I got a demo of the beta when I was at Inman Connect SF last month. I have to say, unequivocally, that the app is even better than “more cowbell.” Actually it’s incredibly easy to use, allowing me to see what is for sale in the immediate area, drilling down to property details and what open houses are available (inside joke: thanks so much for not calling them “open homes”). It also enables viewing the Trulia voices feed specific to the location.
Keep it simple, make it powerful.
In fact, I’ve really been iPhone App happy lately. I was turned on to two other apps by my friend Andrew, that I find myself using everyday (aside from “iSaber“) called Jott and Evernote. Awesome.
Proud father moment: My teenage son was out with a bunch of his friends and one of them pulls out an iPhone, exclaiming, “hey guys, check this out!” and began brandishing iSaber with it’s Star Wars sound and light effects. My son looks at the kid and deadpans, “yeah, my Dad uses that one.”
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Sunday, July 15, 2007, 4:04 PM
Here’s a clip of the Connecticut to New York leg of Rudy and Joe’s Sellsius powered Blog Tour USA on July 2nd.
Its a clever way to spend the summer in an RV, driving across America. I remain insanely jealous of their adventure. As my kids would say, its pretty random which is a big part of why its so cool. Not only that, but they have the opportunity to speak at length to their colleagues at each stop – all of which represent the best real estate bloggers out there. However, I’d love to get a report from Joe and Rudy to get an understanding on whether or not they are at each other’s throats being in such close quarters together all month. Somehow I remain optomistic that all is well.
Here’s the map of their adventure.
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Thursday, May 24, 2007, 9:15 AM
Sequoia Capital provided $10M in financing which will allow Trulia to go to the next level of their vision of becoming the “go to” place for real estate listing searches.
By partnering with the real estate industry, Trulia helps consumers find information on homes for sale using custom search criteria such as price and number of bedrooms to market trends and neighborhood data at the hyper-local level.
This is already well underway with 1.5 million monthly visitors to Trulia.com and a growing suite of tools for consumers to use. They have remained steadfast in their focus on the quality of the data coming in to enrich the consumer’s experience on the site. They will be able to expand staffing for technology, sales and marketing to further their efforts in a big way.
Incidentally, Sequoia Captial, as an associated brand, says a lot about their belief in Trulia’s success. A who’s who of Silicon Valley success stories come from Sequoia. From the press release:
Sequoia Capital provides startup venture capital for very smart people who want to turn ideas into companies. As the “Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs”, Sequoia Capital’s Partners have worked with innovators such as Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bob Swanson of Linear Technology, Sandy Lerner and Len Bozack of Cisco Systems, Dan Warmenhoven of Network Appliance, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, Jen-Hsun Huang of nVIDIA, Michael Marks of Flextronics, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen of YouTube, Steve Goldman and Sujal Patel of Isilon Systems and Dominic Orr and Keerti Melkote of Aruba Wireless Networks.
Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen, co-founders of Trulia, invited me to join their industry advisory board in 2006 when the endeavor was less than a year old. It was an easy decision because I was a big fan before they approached me. I remain in awe of Trulia’s rapid growth and continue to be impressed with the clarity of their vision, their reliance on teamwork (yes, “Internet” provides the “I” in teamwork) and the talent of the people that work for them.
Here is the official Trulia announcement in their blog.
More fun to come.
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 10:38 AM
Redfin, the alternative to full service real estate brokerage companies, got a great public relations plug yesterday in a 60 Minutes segment Chipping Away At Realtors’ Six Percent: Lesley Stahl Reports How Realtors’ Commission Fees Are Under Assault
Hi-tech innovator Redfin goes up against National Association of Realtors. I ask this question yet again: Who is really handling NAR’s PR? Good grief. Even Wal-Mart has done a better job digging itself out of its pr hole as of late.
Competition is good for the industry, and innovation is even better. Redfin seems to be having success in their market and have ambitious plans to roll out their concept nationwide.
Its getting tougher For NAR to argue for the 6 percent commission as an industry when home prices have risen a lot more than that and services haven’t changed that much. NAR continues to put itself in the hot seat with no end in sight.
Redfin may have the math right, but I wonder whether the basis for the commission calculation is really apples and apples. In other words, with a non-traditional house marketing plan and some of their agents doing 8 deals a week, will the ultimate home sale be as high as that achieved through traditional channels?
I sincerely doubt it. I doubt that the average sales price achieved by Redfin will be as high as the average achieved by the traditional way of marketing a home so the saving money argument seems moot…for now.
The tangible market exposure for the property with Redfin is less (I know Redfin is inferring less exposure via NAR, but I don’t agree), but over time, and with continuing acceptance of new methods to sell homes, it may evolve into value parity. This new marketing concept won’t go away so traditional brokers need to take note.
CBS 60 Minutes “Hi-Tech Real Estate Moves In”
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Friday, May 11, 2007, 9:21 AM
Trulia has launched a new feature set to compliment their already robust listing search engine, providing marketing opportunities to agents and useful ground level information to consumers. They continue to provide tools that enhance the experience, rather than cramming things into the search engine window. Yuck. It seems that only yesterday Trulia was in beta. Its come of age with more than 2M listings and nearly that many monthly users.
Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the Trulia experience, aside from the power of the engine and tools, is the interface. Clean, simple and powerful. Thats one of the reasons I accepted their invitation to be on their advisory board last year. Sami, Pete & Co. are very focused on making things simple but powerful (I guess thats why I am also a Macintosh nut). There is more coolness to follow.
The summary of the rollout on the Trulia Blog should be up soon. Some of the highlights are described below:
Trulia Voices Perhaps the most innovative enhancement, which was in the works for a long time, is the Trulia Voices feature. Its an eBay – like experience which allows users to ask questions and provide answers, get rated and seek out experts. (light bulb turns on) Agents have the opportunity to become known as experts in their particular market, which is what angents are really trying to do in their own blogs, but benefit from the high influx of traffic that Trulia generates. Web 2.0 thats actually useful.
Trulia Trends This is something that is near and dear to my heart because it gives real estate junkies the ability to slice and dice locations. Sort of the Rolling Stone Magazine album chart for real estate. You can look at the strongest and weakest cities in terms of median listing price, ranked by popularity, changes by price and search requests. This is using the monthly data generated in the monthly Trulia Trends report that I helped develop. Neat stuff.
TruliaStats The widgets that Trulia provides the users are powerful. These aren’t new but are really cool and leverage the power of the search engine to your own web site. Being a fan of charts, the TruliaStats widget is my favorite.
Ok, enough of the lovefest. Back to work.
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:35 PM
One of the pioneers of listing mash-ups on the web, Trulia.com (disclaimer: I am on their advisory board) has decided to make their API available to the public. Its basically a way to tie in their search (ie listing) data for your own use. Here’s the summary from Trulia and more tech stuff from Tech Crunch.
They had their own interoffice competition which came up with a bunch of demos, two of which were posted on their web site.
Openness a great idea and I think there will be a treasure trove of uses that will evolve with this API by opening the proverbial can of worms.
My favorite of the demos created in this effort (I repeat: demos) was Plot or Not. In this application, different data sets within the Trulia domain are compared to see if they actually correlate, although it may not be a matter of cause and effect.
The screen shot I showed was (I think) pretty obvious. Average household income does correlate to average listing price.
Trulia assures me these demos were created for entertainment purposes only (they obviously know me too well).
Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Thursday, January 25, 2007, 12:22 AM
I have been barely restraining myself to keep from talking about Apple’s upcoming iPhone release in June. I could ramble on about all the problems I am having with my Treo, how the Palm OS abandoned Apple (so by definition, Palm is cool anymore), but I restrained myself until now.
The crew at Flipper Nation likes to tell us all about how many people watch their clips (I do) but more significantly, Steve Jobs of Apple, used Flipper Nation as a sample of cool content to be viewed on the iPhone.
Finally, a real estate connection can be made to the iPhone and therefore a worthy post for Matrix. I am counting down the days until its released in June!
See the Apple Announcement.
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