More Bed Hopping with the Competition

  1. Matt Goyer, of Urbnlivn fame, just accepted a position at Redfin. I wonder if he’ll keep up urbnlivn, or quit in favor of the Redfin blog like Rob. Just reading that article about Rob reminds me how much things have changed in the past six months…
  2. Anthony Allan put together a nice post on five steps to Realtor nirvana.
  3. Tim shows the Seattle Bubble is more popular than Rain City Guide! And wants a front-page link from RCG in the same post! I like Merv’s approach to giving site stats better (i.e. keep me out of it!) πŸ™‚
  4. Meanwhile, the classic over-achiever (who happens to be a damn good writer) follows Tim’s lead today and shows me up by taking my idea (list of 10) and doing it better
  5. Niki let me know about the massive updates that he just unrolled at HomeThinking. He’s got a pretty comprehensive database of sold listings and my understanding is that he is attempting to get people to review agents for as many transactions as possible. It might sound unintuitive for agents to support a site that allows users to comment on them, but Nike (and Mike of Altos Research) seem convinced. Niki also mentioned a bunch of interesting features including a GeoRSS feed of his data so that it can be syndicated far and wide.
  6. I also noticed that HomeThinking is syndicating Real Time Pricing Trends from Altos Research in selected markets. Here’s their chart for Seattle:
  7. Prices for SEATTLE

  8. Osman writes about an interesting “green” development in Aurora, CO that would “encompass nearly 3,000 housing units, 1.7 million SQFT of retail, and 2.8 million SQFT of office space” if fully built out!
  9. Remembering Katrina.
  10. Google now allows you to download and print out old books that they’ve scanned from some of the nations largest libraries. Very cool. Not only that, but they recently introduced a news archive search that has scanned 200 years worth of news. Wow!
  11. Not only is Noah is off enjoying a trip in Europe at this moment, but he should be officially mawwied by now. Congratulations!

36 thoughts on “More Bed Hopping with the Competition

  1. Allan’s five steps to success are a fantastic read, and they can be applied to almost every profession. It is a shame that I see so few people in any profession actually following them.

  2. RE: Seattle Bubble. I didn’t know we were having a popularity contest.:-) What is missing from everyone’s chart is: “does my blog drive business to us?” It thrills me to have exponential growth because of what we provide that consumers find interesting but, if it doesn’t drive business to us…I should find something else to do.

  3. Merv,

    You’re right that people have been hesitant to talk about business from blogging. My take is that agents simply have very little incentive to talk about how incredibly effective blogging has been at generating leads. πŸ˜‰

  4. I don’t consider it a “popularity” contest per se, since as I said in my post, RCG and SB are really targeted at totally different groups of people.

    Since our “target markets” are quite different it’s not really fair to directly compare graphs like this, but I enjoy some good-natured competition.

    It’s also worth mentioning that I don’t have any business associated with my blog, so the question Merv posted above β€œdoes my blog drive business to us?

  5. Tim,

    You’ve definitely been successful in my book. My opinion is that anyone poking holes in my ego (as you successfully have done!) is doing us all a favor. Keep up the great work! And definitely keep competitive. I would want it no other way! πŸ™‚

  6. I’m confused. I followed the link and “Tim Ellis” of the Bubble Blog says “his wife” wrote an article on RainCityGuide. Is Tim the escrow guy the same Tim as the Bubble guy? I thought one was Tim Ellis and the other was Tim Kane.

  7. Ardell,

    I’m not positive, but I think they are two different people. πŸ™‚

    Both Tim Ellis (The Tim) and Tim Kane write for the bubble blog. Tim Kane is also a contributor to RCG. In reading the bubble post I think you are referring to, I noticed that Tim Kane wrote that article under the name “S Crow”. I’ve noticed that Tim Kane likes to shake things up a bit, so that would likely explain his numerous pen names. πŸ™‚

    Does that help?

  8. The Homethinking overhaul was a good effort, but ultimately I think Niki has strayed too far from their original focus, which was and should be finding and ranking Realtors… I find their new map with all the property listings distracts from that goal. I do love the Altos Research data though!

  9. FYI – I love what Altos is doing, except it reminds of the quote usually attributed to Mark Twain “there’s lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

    Zillow says the median price of Seattle real estate is about $436K.

    Altos Research says the median price is about $479K.

    And Caffeinated Software’s NWMLS database says the median price for a single family home in Seattle is $499,500.

    So many cool charts, so little good data.

  10. Don’t worry, I’ll keep up blogging about new construction and urban stuff on my own blog. Though I am looking forward to being able to talk about new Redfin product developments on the Redfin blog! πŸ™‚

  11. Ardell,

    Dustin’s explanation is correct. Tim Kane posts on Seattle Bubble under the name “S Crow.” All of his posts have a dashed outline box around them, in addition to the usual “posted by S Crow” at the bottom of the post. If I had more than two contributors, I’d likely move to a format similar to RCG, with the poster’s pic at the top of the post eliminating any question. I’ve been thinking maybe I should add the “posted by” part just under the headline for additional clarity. I appreciate you pointing out the confusion.


    Thank you for the kind words. I respect all the hard work you’ve put into making RCG what it is, and I look forward to the continued success of RCG and SB.

  12. Indeed, Robbie, indeed.

    What real meaning does a “median price” have in a city like Seattle? It’s the middle. Umm so what? There are thousands of homes for sale. How’s your neighborhood? What’s your price range? Is there a lot on the market? Are they moving quickly? Is Microsoft (or Zillow) hiring?

    The price chart always grabs the headline, but to the real data hounds, it’s ultimately unsatisfying. We use dozens of metrics to bring understanding to a market. It narrows our target customers a bit, but feeds our soul better πŸ˜‰

    btw. here’s a prediction for you. In the next few months you’ll see the zillow chart crest as its data catches up to what’s happening now.

  13. Mike,

    If you use NWMLS data in your stats what permission do you have to sell the data (i.e. in your reports)? Does anyone who signs up for your service have to have a download agreement with the mls? We have customers who would be interested in your service.

  14. Robbie and Mike,

    Actually if you connect “median average housing type” to “median average price” it happens to work, at least at the moment in Seattle and on the Eastside. That the median price doesn’t fit what you personally want, doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit the median housing decision…just not your decision of what you want to purchase.

    If you want “starter housing” as in a condo at $175,000, that would be below the median. If you want a starter townhome or single family attached dwelling, then you would at or below the median. If you want a great condo or townhome or a starter detached single family home, then you will be at or above the median, with the sky the limit.

    So if the median prices is $436,000, then yes, you can get a nice townhome on either side of the Lake, and that is a median house type choice. “Median housing type” is not a four bedroom single family home, it s a townhome or single family attached or starter single family detached.

    So just match your median price to median type and it makes more sense.

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