Rain City Radio: A West Seattle Story

I really enjoyed today’s conversation with Tracy Records of the West Seattle Blog.  Tracy shared a ton of great stories with us and I learned a ton…

Click here to listen to the entire interview!

And below are some links to some of the things we discussed:

We covered a lot of great topics in the interview including her perspective on the elements of the media that has fundamentally changed.  As someone with 25 years experience in the traditional media space AND a successful local blogger, her perspective was fascinating!

Click here to listen to the entire interview!

*Note: If you’re wondering why this post looks different then when it was originally published, I didn’t like the outline that I originally provided, so I changed it around a bunch.

No Public MLS Site?

I just received an email that says, “San Francisco, CA – December 1, 2006 – The San Francisco Association of Realtors will remove public access to its MLS site as of January 1, 2007.”

It’s actually an advertisement of some kind suggesting that without the Public Access Site provided by the MLS, every broker will need their own, now more than ever. Robbie…Galen…there’s a heads up for you.

I thought NAR required that every MLS have a “Public Site”, albeit a crappy one. Anyone know if that rule changed?

10 Great Reasons NOT to use WordPress…

As many of you know, I’m normally a huge fan of using WordPress (in both the hosted and self-hosted formats), but tonight I’m not feeling so generous…

  1. WordPress blogs can be hacked! (If you came here yesterday, then you know what I mean!)
  2. It’s open-source with no one to call when your site goes down, especially not on a Sunday night of a three-day weekend.
  3. Even if you do find someone who could help, they will likely blame your problems on lax security (and they’re probably right)
  4. After hours of backing up, reinstalling, and general complaining, you may not know what security lapse you made (i.e. they could be back tomorrow!)
  5. Should your site ever get hacked, expect that it will occur while you’re on a two-day rafting trip on the beautiful Kern River!
  6. Moving photos and other files between servers and hard-drives (while trying to move fast and keep an organized filing structure) is a pain.
  7. Your site might turn out to spend a day displaying anti-Semitic remarks (OUCH!).
  8. Despite the “1-step” updates advertised by the WP crew, updating a WP blog is a pain and no fun, but obviously important, and will never be forgotten again!
  9. There are some groups you just don’t want to be associated with.
  10. BTW, if something looks fishy on the site, please let me know. I’ve deleted and reinstalled every file I could find and I’m sure I missed a few details! (The sidepanel on the wiki comes to mind, but I’ll have to wait until another day to fix that issue!)

Thanks to everyone who sent me a note alerting me to the hack! It’s awesome to find out just how many people are looking out for RCG! 🙂

Required Reading…

Another list of 10:

  1. Worth reiterating: Polly’s comments should be required reading for all agents (including the comments within the post about her comments! 🙂 ).
  2. Claudia Wicks lets us know about this “genealogy” site geared toward homes instead of people… The site includes maps, photos, etc.
  3. Also, are press releases still valuable? A quick search on Claudia shows that a recent press release she put out about being one of the Top Woman Real Estate bloggers dominates the coverage of her name on a google search. Fascinating.
  4. Artemi just emailed me to let me know that he just released a major upgrade to his real estate search site for England. The features that stick out for me are the simplicity, the tags for each property, and the natural language search (like the fact that the site also pre-fills in the search box with relevant tags). Great stuff…
  5. Interesting to read Jim’s perspective on the new website he is building with Ubertor. From what I’ve seen, the website definitely suffices as far as websites go, but if I was searching for an agent, I’d say his blog does a much better job selling himself.
  6. Searchlight had a follow up to their renting is for suckers article that describes some reasons a person should not buy a house. I can’t tell if they read my comment, but they clearly addressed some of the issues I brought up.
  7. Joel gives some insight into the art of being good enough
  8. And then follows it up with news that Prudential is jumping on the Zillow API bandwagon.
  9. My take? Here are the ingredients for housingmaps style publicity: map. geocode. data1. data2.
  10. Jim’s worth noting column reminded me that I really wanted to mention DataPlace at some point. I saw a presentation of this tool at Where2.0 and was very impressed with the massive amount of neighborhood, demographic, socio-economic, etc. data that the Fannie May Foundation has manage to squeeze into their interface (and it is all free!). To give an overview, check out the massive amount of mortgage information available for the Seattle-Bellevue area or better yet, check out the map that I was able to easy build on post on my site of home ownership rates in the area:

Swiss Real Estate Map Search Tool

I really like some of the search options available on Immobilien-Suche, a Swiss mapping site.

Granted, I speak no Swiss whatsoever, (Now we need a universal translator!), but this site is quite easy to figure out.

Swiss Real Estate Search

So here are some of the things I really like:

  • Sliders
  • Sliders for Price, Rooms, and Size
  • Sliders with Statistics for Price, Rooms, and Size

Sliders, sliders, sliders! They are so easy to use! I wish more real estate search sites had them!

Ajaxian and Gregor Rothfuss have some more highlights of the search tool including:

  • tighter integration between list view and map (just mousing over a list item to show it’s location)
  • histograms for the search terms to give you a quick idea what the spread in prices is, for instance
  • shows matches in context (public transport, shopping etc)
  • leverages the superior map quality from endoxon
  • allows you to take notes for each object
  • shows you new matches for your search since your last visit