About Dustin Luther

As the Director of Engagement at Dun & Bradstreet, Dustin heads up content, event and social media teams. In addition to managing Rain City Guide, he also manages Dun & Bradstreet's B2B Insights and plays hard on his personal blog. You can find me on Twitter (@tyr), Facebook (dluther) and Google+ (+Dustin Luther).

Small Business Funding Event Coming to Seattle

1236729_558062194229624_1577621121_nHey RCG Community!  I’m super-excited that I’ll be returning to Seattle for an Access to Capital event that Dun & Bradstreet Credibility is hosting this Nov 12. The event is all about helping small businesses get the money they need to grow their businesses.

We’ve been running these events all over the country (Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta) and they’ve been crazy successful events in terms of helping get small businesses funded… (No kidding, tens of millions of dollars of funding have come out of our first three events!)

544538_557687417600435_2047497257_nI realize that this isn’t a “real estate” specific event, but from my experience a lot of people in the real estate community are looking for funding and/or know business owners who would love to be able to fund their growth. Specifically, I’ve met and heard stories from many real estate investors at previous events who are looking for innovative ways to fund the purchase of investment properties… and know that most Realtors are active in their local business communities.

At the one-day event, we will offer two main things:

  • Access to Lenders: At previous events we’ve had dozens of representatives (typically 50+ people) representing over 20 different lending organizations, and I’m sure we’ll have a similar turn out in Seattle.   Best part, before the event we will work with attendees to schedule one-on-one meetings with their choice of lenders.
  • Funding Education: We’ll have panels, spotlights and speakers that will get down-and-dirty and show you how to prepare your business to get funded.

1229872_557686864267157_1862403206_nIt’s worth noting that the lenders who show up represent the full-spectrum of options for small business owners.  In the past, we’ve had representatives from large banks (Wells, BofA, etc.), representatives from community banks, representatives from alternative lenders, crowdfunding organizations, venture capitalists and more.  Most people are blown away by the number of options that they have!

Obviously, I’m hoping that the RCG community can represent well at the event, so I’m giving you’all access to a Super-Early Bird ticket!

A bit of serendipity…

At our Chicago event, I made all kinds of friends and have loved seeing multiple companies take off.  But one guy in particular has been hitting home runs left-and-right with his BBQ’d Productions company.  He recently announced that through connections he made at our event, he’s not only gone on to get funding through an innovative small business program offered by Sam Adams:

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 2.43.18 PM

But it gets better!  His business is even getting featured on an upcoming bottle of Sam Adams!

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 2.47.02 PM

Anyway, I tell this story, not because it’s a “success” story from a previous event, but rather because I think it highlights the importance of taking chances for entrepreneurs.  Kris took a chance on the event… met up with some great people… networked, networked, networked… and is making great things happen!  I’ve become a firm believer that one of the keys to turning the economy around is helping more of these innovative entrepreneurs and I feel super fortunate that D&B Credibility is organizing these funding events to do just that!

1229993_560128970689613_980300401_nNow’s your chance to take a chance!

Sign up for a ticket while they’re discounted on top of Super-Early Bird Specials! (note: we haven’t started to do any real marketing around this event yet… but it will come and it will be big!  I’m only pushing this out early because they let me and I love that I can offer something great to the RCG community!)

And of course, let me know if you have any questions!


Jillayne Schlicke Made Inman’s 100 Most Influential List!


A huge congratulations to our very own Jillayne Schlicke on making this year’s list of the 100 Most influential Real Estate Leaders!

Here’s how they describe her:

Jillayne Schlicke is a researcher, writer and educator who advocates that real estate and mortgage industry professionals maintain a high level of training and ethical standards. As CEO of CE Forward Inc., Schlicke teaches continuing education courses and conducts convention workshops and keynote presentations for the real estate and mortgage industries. She’s also the founder and executive director for The National Association of Mortgage Fiduciaries, which seeks to help the industry prepare for the emergence of fiduciary duties by raising ethical standards, creating a framework for industry …

Lessons from the Foxhole: A Nevadan Takes a Stab at Seattle’s Real Estate Future

joe salcedo[Editor’s Note: I get asked all the time if people from outside of Seattle can write for Rain City Guide and I always say no… I really like keeping RCG as a “Seattle” thing. However, recently Joe Salcedo of the Reno Real Estate Blog reached out to ask if he could publish a one-time post on RCG about his experiences with the Reno, Nevada market and the insights it might provide to the Seattle community… and I bit. I’ve published the article below. Enjoy! ~Dustin]

In August of 2005, our real estate market crashed.   It’s been five years and we’re slowly trying to get back on our feet.  I’m here to share some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way; the prodigal brother, if you will.

I started with a blank page.  One weekend after, baffled and fascinated and my curiosity violently piqued, here’s what I found out about your market:

  • If you waited until Seattle home prices went down in July 2007 (before you realized the market was having problems), you’re going to be at least one year behind.  Check for other signals. Home prices take too long to reveal itself profitably.

In Feb 2006, less than a year after the Reno real estate market crashed, I called an emergency meeting (coupled with other factors like plunging housing starts and declining home builder stocks) after being greeted by this chart:
Reno Home Resales
Yes, all markets are local but we all came from our mother’s womb.  Like a bearish stock market pulling down three out of four stocks with it – (both weak and strong companies) – majority of real estate markets fall with the general market.   Follow the home builder sector group in the stock market (Investor’s Business Daily tracks it every Monday). Check housing starts and building permitsto see a glimpse of the future:
Housing Starts Chart

  • For potential sellers: Consider cutting your losses short.  If you’re barely making it with house payments (perhaps using borrowed money just to make it) and hoping that the market would change soon, perhaps it’s time to think about making some tough decisions.  Distressed properties tend to pull home prices down further (see: notice of trustee sale graph below.)

If you’re comfortable with your mortgage payment (you bought a house on or before June 2005) and moving is too painful, it’s ok to stay; just know that based on present real estate conditions, it may take a few years before your house will appreciate from the price you bought it.

Percentage Home Price Change

Notice of Trustee Sale by Month Chart

(From SeattleBubble.com)

  • Short sales and foreclosures are like a mysterious disease that defies normal market cause and effect.  Inventory could be down, demand up, but price still down.  This has been happening in our market since 2007.

And like your resident queen, the author has made premature bottom calls by not taking into account the “black swan

Are you ready for BuzzRE???

Next week, I’m helping to organize an internet marketing educational event and I encourage everyone interested to set aside next Thursday to join us!  For the BuzzRE event, we’ve lined up some of my favorite educators in real estate marketing including:

edgefieldIn addition to the great lineup of speakers, there’s going to be ample opportunities to learn from and network with hundreds of agents from the Pacific Northwest, many of whom are leaders in internet marketing.

It doesn’t matter if you’re want to learn about SEO, SEM, blogging, conversations, tools, or any other online marketing topic, the experts will be there and you just need to join us to take part!

Details for location and much more are on the BuzzRE website, but here’s a few key stats:

Cost: $25

When: June 2nd: 6pm – kickoff party
June 3rd: 9am – 5pm (with after party till 11pm)

Where: McMenamin’s Edgefield
2126 S.W. Halsey St.  Troutdale, OR 97060
(Just 10 minutes east of PDX)

More info: http://buzzre.com/

Registration: http://ticketsoregon.com/event.php?event_id=537/

We ran another BuzzRE event in Orange County a few weeks ago and it was so much fun. So many great people and so much great feedback, which has really helped guide this event in Portland!

Are you going to be there???  Let us know!

Let us know if you’re going to be there!  Either here or on Twitter!  (The hashtag to connect on twitter is: #BuzzRE).  And just a few of the Seattle folks I’ve noticed mention they’re going to be there include: Linda Aaron, Galen Ward, Darin Persinger and Scott Thomas

So much fun and let me know if I can add your twitter handle to the list!

[For those interested in a trip down memory lane… I had conversations with another real estate old-timer not too long ago, and we look back at the Las Vegas NAR event in ’07 as the kick-off point for real estate conversations on Twitter…  Back then, we were all trying to figure out if there was anything behind the hype of Twitter, and it seemed to me that the best place to figure out if it made sense was at a conference where we could use the tool to better connect.  With that in mind, I posted a list of real estate folks with Twitter accounts who would be attending NAR so others could follow along and connect with us. While the list started off small (I published the list with only 5 twitter profiles: JeffJoelJessicaKeith and Myself), I remember that by the end of the week, I was connected to over 50 people on Twitter who I’d met at the conference…  and I like to think that the background real estate conversation on Twitter that was sparked at NAR ’07 has never really died down!

Anyway, I was reminded of this story as I posted this list of a few folks from Seattle joining us at BuzzRE and realizing how these small lists of people sometimes blossom into unpredictable and amazing conversations!]

I hope to see you in Portland next week!

Join us at the HomeQuest Social Media Summit Next Week

David speaking at Real Estate Connect NYC '10Hey real estate professionals! I’m super excited to be taking part in the HomeQuest Social Media Summit next week in Portland…

I’m going to be speaking about creating and promoting your content… but more interestingly, the HomeQuest team has also lined up:

I know all three of these guys well and can tell you without a doubt that these are three of the smartest guys in online real estate.

This is sure to be a great event with lots of great learning (did I mention it’s free???).  You can register here!

And if you’re planning to attend, let us know in the comments. Maybe some folks from the Seattle are would like to carpool down!

[photos courtesy of Dale Chumbley of the Clark County Real Estate Blog, who always brings #thefun and will almost definitely be joining us next week as well!]

Twitter on a Real Estate Blog?

Over the slow Christmas weekend, we added a new feature to RCG and it generated so many interesting conversations on Twitter, that I thought I’d bring the conversation to a blog post.

The new feature is the Twitter widget on the sidebar. Here’s a snapshot:

Picture 5

The current implementation shows all the tweets from this Twitter list: @tyr/rain-city-guide, which takes all “original” tweets from current contributors plus “replies” to others on the list.

The type of feedback I *though* I would get from the other contributors was: “awesome! More Seattle people reading my tweets!” but instead, the reactions were somewhat more tame… with initial reactions being along the lines of Ardell’s reaction: “I have lots of fun on twitter and say things inappropriate for RCG.”

However, the contributors were kind to me and seem more than willing to play this out a bit, but now it’s time for feedback from the rest of the community… Here are some of the options I see for including Twitter on RCG going forward:

1. “Do Nothing” option. i.e. keep “as is”

2. Show all replies from contributors. If I add each author individually to the backend of the plugin (instead of use a Twitter list), it should include all their replies so the feed would include more people and not look like “RCG contributors talking to each other.” (However, if you check out my twitter feed, you’ll see that I talk with people from all over the country, so it will add a lot more noise to the list. Ditto for Ardell)

3. Remove the Twitter feed from RCG. (Kevin Tomlinson voted for this option when he said: “@ARDELLd mixing mediums ain’t the way to go. imo

4. Include larger Seattle community. I could use a much more general list (i.e. more than just RCG contributors).  I’ve created a bunch of “Seattle” lists associated with the Rain City Guide Twitter account. We could modify one of these lists and include the updates from anyone on one of these lists, the benefit being the feed wouldn’t just show RCG contributors talking to each other, but the negative being there’s likely to be a lot more “noise” in the updates as more people are contributing to the feed.   As someone in the RCG community (yes, that’s you if you’re reading this!), would you be interested in being on the list???

Do you have a better option?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best way to bring Twitter into a real estate blog!

Join us this Friday for a Tweetup at Elysian Brewery

Elysian BreweryI’m going to be in town this week and thought it would be fun to organize a tweetup this Friday at the Elysian Brewery in Capitol Hill… and you’re invited!

More than likely, there will be more than a few real estate folks, but everyone is invited to join us.  Here are the details:

  • Date: Friday, October 23, 2009
  • Time: 4:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Location: Elysian Brewery
  • Street: 1221 E Pike St.

And while there’s no need to RSVP, I would love to know if you’re planning to show up!   You can either leave a comment, or use the tweetup and/or Facebook invites to let us know you’ll be there as well as invite others:

The RCG meetups of the past have not only been a blast, but I’ve always ended up meeting great people.  In particular,  I’m thinking of the Ballard one where a huge number of people who became contributors showed up, and the last-minute event we put together with Sami Inkman of Trulia when he dared show up in Seattle (Trulia definitely didn’t have many supporters among agents back then!).   There was also the meetup last January, which I totally missed out on.  (Don’t let that be you this time!)  🙂

I’m sure we’re going to have a fun evening and hope to see you there!

Are you going? REBarCampSeattle and more…

logoThere are a ton of great Seattle real estate events in the near future with RCG contributors playing a huge part, so last week I asked RCG contributors to let me know which events they were going to be participating in and I thought I’d give a quick summary…

REBarCamp Seattle, 9/8 (tomorrow!):

  • A gathering of passionate real estate professionals. A casual, open, and fun way to learn about cutting edge real estate marketing ideas.
  • RCG Contributors attending include: Rhonda Porter, Ardell DellaLoggia, Galen Ward, and Cortney Cooper

SCKAR Event, 9/22:

  • How how to use Social Media panel discussion with Rhona Porter, David Gibbons and Matt Heinz.  Moderated by Claudia Wicks.

Lenders Connect (WAMP), 10/5:

  • 18th Annual wholesale lenders conference
  • Rhona Porter, Jillayne Schlicke (speaker)

REbarcamp Bellevue, 10/6:

  • Rhonda Porter (organizer!), Ardell DellaLoggia

Washington State Association of Realtors Convention, 10/12 & 10/13:

  • Jillayne Schlicke (speaker)

Also, if you check out the event conversation on FB, you’ll see that there’s also a variety of courses being taught by RCG contributors in the near future!

And If you’re gonna be at any of these events, let us know to look out for you!

Retweeting RCG just got easier

backtweetsI was at an tweetup last night with some great guys who run social media strategies for some pretty hefty newspapers and one of the tools they recommended I look into was BackTweets WP plugin

I like to think of myself as ahead of the social media curve, but I hadn’t played around with the BackTweets much, but after just a few hours of use, I can tell I’m definitely going to be able to enjoy how easy it makes following twitter conversations around websites… and in the case of RCG, around RCG posts.

To try it out the new tool, you only need to click on the button that says “retweet” that’s at the top-left of every RCG blog post (just under the title!).

Geek’s Guide to Seattle and More…

seattle geek guideI’ve been having a lot of fun playing on RCG’s Facebook page lately… Some of the stories I’ve been linking out to include:

If you have an event or a seattle-related post you’d like to see featured, let me know!