4realz Roundtable @ 1pm PST: How Appraisal Rule Changes will Affect Real Estate Professionals

[Update: you can now listen to the show below]

I’m downright excited about today’s show!

The plan is to dive into how the Cuomo/Fannie Mae/OCC appraisal rule changes are going to change the mortgage brokerage industry…. and affect real estate professionals in general!

So far, I’ve confirmed that Jonathan Miller of the Matrix will be joining us in addition to the usual suspects at the Roundtable!   I’m excited and hope you’ll follow this link at 1pm today to join the conversation!

UPDATE:

What a great conversation!   We had Jonathan Miller, Rhonda Porter and Jessie Beaudoin at the roundtable today along with a great crew of people listening in and chatting.

Just some of the topics we discussed included (1) an overview of the new regulations, (2) how the changes will affect loan originators and (3) what types of policies should we be looking at to really fix the problems within this segment of the industry.

Thanks again everyone for taking part.  For everyone else, you can listen to the show here:

[podcast]http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-20339/TS-128181.mp3[/podcast]

Localism2.0 Launches

I got an early tour of the next version of Localism and I like much of what I saw… It’s a clean design that will give real estate agents plenty of opportunities to promote themselves (including by buying and/or creating new local communities). My guess is that this release will be very popular within the ActiveRain community.

Here’s my main criticism: When I put my consumer hat on, the purpose of the site doesn’t jump out at me at first glance.  As a new user going to Twitter, I know what I’m suppose to do (i.e. answer the question: “what am I doing?”). As a new user going to Facebook, I know that I’m there to connect with friends and family.   With localism, I’m asked to “go hyper local”… but I’m honetly not sure what that means… and it’s not particularly compelling when I get there since, as a consumer, there’s not a lot of ways for me to interact on the site… yet.

So here’s the good news.   The ActiveRain team mentioned that (1) they did their SEO homework and they’re convinced these sites will rank really well (only time will tell) and (2) they’re working hard to add more consumer interaction points (text, photo and video upload for non-ActiveRain members).   Assuming that at least some of the communities starts to get some serious traffic and the agents involved start to get some leads from the site, then I think they’ll have another winner on their hands.

ActiveRain Launches Outside Blogs

And a few folks from the 4realz community got to test it out early.   My new “outside” blog is at http://tyr.activerain.com/, but if I was feeling really savvy, I would have given it my own domain name, (as in http://4realz-on-ar.com/ ).  It’s pretty cool that they offer this as a free service since even sites like wordpress.com, which has lowered the barrier pretty darn low, charges $10/year for this service.

My only real knock against the set-up so far is that the available “themes” are pretty limited and require that you put your photo in the right sidepanel… not exactly something I want, but it likely will appeal to agents.

As Brad says in this AR post, this service has been a long time in the making… And Brad might not know just how long considering Jon talks about being inspired to create this type of feature after attending one of my seminars from Feb ’07 in this Sellsius blog post!  😉

(Also interesting in that it looks like Roberta Murphy probably coined the phrase “outside” blog in a follow up comment of that thread!  If you haven’t seen the thread recently, it’s definitely worth checking out.)

Matthew Ferrara just left an interesting comment about Realtor.com Home Values…

…that reminded me of this video from the previous head of REALTOR.com:

[Ferrara’s comment]

“…Instead of just copying everyone else, maybe REALTOR.COM (and by extension, NAR) could make some decisions based upon market realities. And the reality is that Zillow (and other similar tools) are really inaccurate because the “conditions” on the ground are always so fluid that “estimates” based upon “market data” which is always stale because of “time” are really bad education for consumers. REALTORS should know better. Many consumers buy homes “regardless” of their estimated market comparable – and many sellers are able to sell for higher (or can’t sell nearly the same as a computerized estimate) because of all sorts of NON estimated items – like poorly performing schools, local tax changes, crime, etc – NONE of which can be accurately reflected by a computer. Only by REALTORS who keep up with “the full marketplace” of issues that impact homes.

If I interpret this right, Ferrara thinks that realtor.com should not offer such an AVM product, but should instead focus on helping real estate professionals educate consumers on  the fact that AVMs aren’t worth the digital real estate they’re printed on…

My guess is that Ferrara has his pulse on the finger of most realtors and they’d love to hear this… but at the same time, Zillow has single-handedly changed the public’s expectations.  Consumers now expect free home valuations when they go online and if they don’t get it from a realtor, they’ll go elsewhere…

Inman News is on a roll

Congrats to Joel, Glenn, Kris and Teresa!

Social media manager Joel Burslem has been promoted to vice president of content at Inman News and deputy editor Glenn Roberts Jr. has been promoted to managing editor.

Inman News also recently strengthened its editorial team with the addition of two new columnists, Kris Berg and Teresa Boardman, and will soon announce other new columnists.

A fascinating conversation about NAR/DOJ…

I really want to thank the industry titans who participated in today’s podcast:

As well as all the people who listened in and provided wonderful chat commentary throughout the podcast. There were so many great names that showed up that I can’t wait to get many of you on future podcasts!

I thought if I gave us a half-hour we’d be able to cover the subject completely… but with the crew above, we were flying along after an about an hour when I decided to pull the plug in order to save some energy for next week! 😉

And if you missed the live call, don’t worry, you can still catch all the recored action here:

That was so much fun, I know we’ll do that again… Hopefully soon! 😉

Live Podcast: What does the DOJ/NAR Settlement mean to REALTORS?

I’m totally excited about the live podcast that is set to go live in a few hours!

Earlier today, I was at an caravan event with a large group of REALTORS… When the agents found out I was an internet guy, many of them kept asking me for insight into the settlement between the DOJ and NAR and how it was going to affect their online business. However, like many of the agents, I have more questions than answers, so I decided to use this opportunity to put together a podcast where some great guests can talk through the implications of the settlement.

With that background, I’m extremely excited that the following three guests have agreed to take part in a 1/2 hour roundtable discussion at 4pm (PST) today:

The podcast will be streaming live at TalkShoe and I encourage you to join in the conversation live!

Initially, I’m only going to have the mics turned on for the guests to cover the basics, but assuming that we have some time beyond that, I’m looking forward to opening up the mic to others on the line (That means you!).

And if you have some specific questions you want to be sure get addressed, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to work it into the agenda! Hope to hear from you at 4pm!

UPDATE: