2000 Bloggers

I saw myself in a “puzzle” of faces here and there around the internet. Apparently you can add your blog, but I didn’t put mine there, so someone must have “entered me”.

Not sure where it originated. I’m still tracking it back.

It is an amazing display of blogs! and the photos are interactive so you just click on a face and you get to that person’s blog. Very cool.

If I can find the original source I’ll come back and edit this post. I recognize a few of the faces. It doesn’t look like 2000, but I guess it grows and grows until it reaches 2,000.

If anyone has any info on where this came from, and how my face got there :), please let us know.

http://www.trade-pals.com/2000-bloggers.asp this is the name on the link. I’ll go see what “trade-pals” is. Looks like it could be something like MyBlogLog.

Looks like it is Tino Buntic, just a whacky dude 🙂

Permeating Self-Promotion

Here’s a few stories from around the real estate blogsphere I found interesting…


Phil is obviously have some fun in Boise, although others may find his anatomy of a listing he won’t take more relevant to recent RCG conversations…


Jonathan sends out a blogger’s prayer and some really nice words about RCG.. Thanks!

Fortunately, I ran into Ardell DellaLogia, her blog, and the Rain City Guide. Between her advice and her blog, and the larger Seattle based blog to which she contributed, I got a sense of what a blog could be – articulate, meaningful, educational. And that’s what I decided I wanted and what I’ve strived for, with mixed success.


The xBroker is clearly and definitely over-the-top. Yet, despite the self-promotion that permeates all of his posts, I really like this guy. In emails and blog posts, he’s come across as someone who is definitely informed and wants to communicate his knowledge… There’s definitely a there, there…


Tech alert: Greg Linden turned me on to a very interesting post by Google’s Steve Yegge, where he looks at the management of Google through the lens of the Agile programming philosophy. The story would have been good enough, but then Microsoft’s Dare Obasanjo made it better by comparing the ideas to the (failed) management structure at Enron… All three posts are worth reading (but make sure you have some time!).

Time for some sleep!

At around 8pm, I woke up from a late afternoon nap to see that Ardell still had over 30 posts to write and I got a worried… So I took a Newcastle out of the fridge and started writing. I figured that should it become necessary, I could pass along a few extra posts to Ardell… (Greg’s not the only one with a competitive streak!) But she obviously didn’t need my help as she has just made it to 100 on her own! Awesome stuff!!!

Congrats to both Greg and Ardell… You’re both amazing.

However, because I hate to see things go to waste, I’ll go ahead publish the mini-blog posts I was going to pass along to Ardell. My intention was only to write a few “filler” posts, but…

1) I believe Greg when he says he could hit 135 in one day… The man in an animal!

2) Speaking of jobs! Give this man the full-time job as the Open House blogger… With articles like this fun one on an whimsical (artist) house and timely articles like this one on the number of NWMLS price reductions. Steve has come a long way in a few weeks since he asked me how to get some traction to his blog.

3) I steal a lot of “Rain City” traffic, so here’s my chance to give back:

  1. Rain City Video (local video chain)
  2. Rain City Rocks (rocks and minerals)
  3. Rain City Grill (yum)
  4. Rain City Dogs (dog walking)
  5. Rain City Hearse Club (car)
  6. Rain City Choppers (bikes)
  7. Rain City Shwillers (125% punk by volume)
  8. Rain City Yoga (hot!)
  9. Rain City Story (a personal blog)
  10. Rain City Studies (website design)

4) Greg points out this post on the Trulia Blog… Considering all the work that Sami and Pete have done to bridge the gap with the broker community, I’m surprised they let that post slip through…

5) In search of a snippet

6) Kris turns a strange day into a great 12-step program for blogging… However, note that most 12-step programs try to ween you of addictions while Kris is trying to give you one. You’ve been warned.

7) Review of the Bloodhound Blog… Nobody, and I mean nobody, feels more comfortable calling real estate B.S. when and where he sees it. With a fluent style, a quick wit, and a massive quantity of writing under his belt, the man has become addicting.

8) How to discuss Marlow’s recent post about Trulia’s expansion without sounding self-serving??? I put together a Excel spreadsheet that examines not only how many listings each service has, but also how many “accurate” listings each service has for one zip-code (98117) in Seattle. The results highlight a bunch of interesting things like (1) Redfin’s zip-code search is broken (i.e. a search on 98117 returns results for other zip codes like 98203 and does not return all the homes that Redfin has with a zip-code of 98117), (2) Realtor.com is missing more than a few Windermere listings (I was surprised when Marlow mentioned this, but the results pan out), and (3) Trulia has a long way to go before they are comprehensive. If someone wanted to take this data and add one more zip code in some other part of the country, I’d love to post the results. Maybe a Bay Area agent can take this on since all the sites in question have operations there!

9) One of the things I most admire about Ardell is that she focuses on the service (and then delivers a rebate). While it Bill’s approach makes for great blog posts, focusing on the “discount” doesn’t work for me.

10) I still haven’t made sense out of what it means to be part of a “Christian Real Estate Network”, but the guy does some great real estate blog posts… I like his latest on ways to learn about your competitor’s website is another doozy… although he does miss out on the most obvious trick, which is to use technorati to see who else is linking to them!

11) Interesting to see the competitiveness of the rental market

12) I’m not sure who, but someone once said… “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That’s the theme for these blog posts!

13) However, I must give credit to Jim for his excellent post on “why blog?”

14) Jay makes a bunch of valid points when he says it is time to “raising the bar” on becoming a real estate agent… Since stricter requirements would serve to keep out additional competition, I’m assuming that most successful agents would agree.

15) Tom echos this point, andapplauds the Governator’s move to require more education for California agents

16) Merv continues to deliver with his price trend analysis… If you’re looking for good ways to display real estate data start with Merv!

17) Then go check out Mike’s Altos Research blog because he makes price trend analysis easy…

18) While just about anything is possible, tracking my net worth based on my home’s zestimate and MyYahoo stock tracking performance is going to far for me… and then making a button for the whole wide world to see? No thanks!

[photopress:realty_blogging_book.jpg,full,alignright]19) The real estate blog marketing book is available for pre-purchase on amazon… I spoke to these guys while they were writing the book and will be curious to read it!

20) Thinking of amazon wish lists… This four bedroom home in Malibu is currently on the market

21) They are easy enough to find, but Hanan alerted me to this ironic clip of Bush

22) “Seller will pay 6 months of mortgage payments“… (I’m all for good incentives, but is this loan fraud?)

23) The Inman Blog follows up on Trulia’s post where they asked a few real estate professionals to predict the August numbers… It seems no one really knows what’s going on, and if they do, they sure aren’t letting you know in a blog post! 😉

24) As usual, if you want the real scoop on the numbers, turn to Jonathan.

25) The group at Inman also wonder if the people over at Freddie Mac have their pulse on the Latino culture… I’m not holding my breath.

26) Jonathan is also wondering where are all the foreclosures… interesting stuff. I think there are a lot of bubble bloggers that are ampted up and ready to pounce should these trends ever change. I wonder how long they can keep up their intensity before their bubbles deflate… 🙂

27) Speaking of numbers… Peter over at the Business Week blog does an excellent job explaining one example where housing numbers have been so obviously manipulated

28) I always like reading a blog posts from Sandy, but I just wish that she kept her posts short-and-sweet as oppose to long-and-infrequent.

29) Joel points out an unorthodox use of Zillow’s data… I haven’t looked through their API documentation, but do they insist that you add their name/logo when you use their data? How about refelcting them in a good light? Interesting stuff.

30) Now that they clog up our inboxes, real estate leads are a legitimate business [link removed]… On any given day, I literally get 100s of spam and my guess is that over 3/4 or them are real estate related. Thank you google for putting together such a good spam filter. I wouldn’t be able to handle the email I get to my blog email account with the filters on Outlook… I think I would just give up on email!

31) Elizabeth Razzi says that we should get to know the neighborhood before we buy a place. Not exactly brilliance, but it serves as a good reminder that there really are some intangibles that require more than an aerial view of a property!

32) Cherokee is looking for information on the Snoqualmie area… Pak gave one answer, but I’m sure there are others who could help! 🙂

33) The Seattlest gives hogwash a rave review as a fun for the whole family.

Hogwash – An Improvised Tall Tale For Small Children
Runs Saturdays at 2 p.m. until October 28, 2006
Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE (University District)
$10, Reservations – 206-297-1767

34) I like Rory’s approach: “I assert that a Real Estate Agent’s expertise and professionalism should be visible in their service and knowledge of the housing market and inventory. Their expertise should never be based on a carrot and stick ploy to drip feed clients MLS information.

35) Do you get comfort knowing that the home of the NAR president is lingering on the market? 🙂

36) If you’re curious, I’m going by the code name “tyr” in the Inkling Market set up by Keven Boer. At this point, I’m down… It seems more and more people are voting for Greg… Will a last minute spurt of posts from me help out???

37) The title may be a mouthful, Creative agreement may enable advantageous use of otherwise unavailable homesite, but Marlow points out a great example of the benefits of getting creative!

38) Welcome to the neighborhood

39) When Shaquille O’Neal makes a $1B real estate investment, that’s a great story!

40) Claudia lets us know about the renevotations that hurt!

41) David organizes another fascinating (and colorful) post on the connection between home life and healthy aging

Seattle Beaches Offer Unique Views

Today’s theme? Fun with real estate!

  1. Marlow provides a list of entertaining stories about hijacks (along with some good-natured teasing about the high PubSub ranking or her PI blog!)…
  2. Glenn thinks that we should change the title of Seattle Eric’s post because we’re not being fair. “The original post should be corrected out of fairness to make it clear that we use the same feed as every other Internet site…” Considering his praying mantis reference (and his defense of the reference), his comment makes today’s list because it gave me the best laugh of the day.
  3. Realtor.com, Jan 1997: “If you’re ready to find a home, browse through more than 517,000 homes presented by 112 participating REALTOR® Multiple Listing Services in 41 States.” (Lots more early corporate websites…)
  4. I had a blast at MindCamp2.0 and am thinking of flying up for 3.0.
  5. Is there room for two dog-related real estate blogs?
  6. Glenn Roberts points us to a great story about the Yes Men. These guys convinced conference organizers that they were legitimate HUD officials who wanted to make an announcement about the future of New Orleans’ public housing. Following a speech by Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin, the HUD official announced a complete reversal of policy. Ali G would be proud.
  7. Promoting a real estate blog is tough stuff. Luckily Hanan is constantly throwing ideas our way… (includes an informative link on why no one is reading your blog!)
  8. Seattle beaches make the news! It’s not news, it’s fark!
  9. A great sense of humor make Maureen’s blog a lot of fun to read… (Her subtitle being a great example: “This is not the best blog in Columbus Ohio! This is a blog about what is best in Columbus…”). Her latest article letting us know that Columbus, Ohio is rainier than Seattle is much appreciated!
  10. Made me think of of the insufferable bastard:


Flowers from a "fan"

[photopress:flowers.jpg,thumb,alignright]I received these flowers today with this note: “Thanks So Much For All Your Help. Despite Your Protests and Warnings I Went Ahead & Formed A New Santa Cruz Chapter Of The Ardell Fan Club. (& I’m President) :-)”

Since we never know what the flowers look like that we send by phone, I thought I’d post them here with my thank you, so he can see what was sent. They will get better every day as the gladiola open.

Anna’s probably thinking the same thing I did when they arrived. Hey, I can bring them to the Open House on Sunday because they match the rug in Anna’s basement LOL

To the President of my Santa Cruz chapter…that’s ARDELL (bold and all caps) I know you are an “engineer” type who has sworn off ALL CAPS…but I must insist 😉 Branding, as Dustin says.

Inman News and St. Joseph

[photopress:St_Joe.jpg,thumb,alignright]Dustin, Glenn Roberts and I received an email yesterday from Bill over at The Real Estate Cafe, about an Inman News article on the use of St. Joseph statues to sell real estate, and a comment I made on it. Dustin didn’t know about the practice, which is fairly well known around the Country, so I thought I’d shed some light on why, how and when the statue is used in the real estate business, from my personal perspective.

Many years a go I had a wonderful client who was losing her home. She had started her own business and had used her home as collateral for the business start up expenses. Her husband had a good job, they were doing well financially. She was not behind on her mortgage payments. They had lived in their home for a very long time with their now grown daughter and little poodle. But the lien against the house for the business bankruptcy was causing them to lose it.

The woman was so beside herserlf, because she caused it. She was a dynamic person. So when she approached me rather sheepishly one day with a request, I was a little surprised at her quietness and hesitancy. She said, “I really need your help with this and I don’t know how to ask you to do this. Someone told me to plant a St. Joseph statue in my back yard upside down and all will be OK. I wouldn’t have any idea where to get one, since I’m Jewish, and I thought you might be able to do that for me. I know it’s a lot to ask of a real estate professional, but since you’re Italian…I thought…”

While Bill over at The Real Estate Cafe, and many Catholics, are up in arms over using St. Joseph in this manner, I didn’t hesitate to jump into my car and find the little plastic statue shown here. I didn’t know there were actually “St. Joseph kits” designed for this purpose. I just went to the same place I might buy rosary beads and they knew right away what I needed. I went back to the house. It was one of those houses that appraised at $185,000 but the owner “had to have $205,000”. When I first listed it I didn’t know why they were selling it, or let’s say I wasn’t buying their story that they were just downsizing. I didn’t know why they HAD to have a certain price.

The owner wasn’t present when I performed my little ritual for the first time of “planting St. Joseph on his head in the yard”. Needless to say it worked. The owners received the price they had to have from a buyer who loved the house. It was one of my favorite sales, as the woman came home every day at lunch to vacuum. This was in the days when agents called the office for an appointment and no one in my office would speak with her. They thought she was difficult, I knew she was distressed. I asked her to remove the blue tablecloth in the kitchen and replace it with a white one. An hour later there was not one white table cloth, but two, so that if it got dirty she could quickly lift off the top one. She worked like a dog to get top dollar, I came up with the spiffiest flyer anyone had ever seen and she and I, together with St. Joseph, accomplished the objective that seemed near impossible.

The bankruptcy attorney cut the commission down at the last second and my office manager was freaking out. She even went to the closing where the bankruptcy attorney, she and the other agent were duking it out. I stayed outside with my clients while they where fighting, and assured them that it was one of my favorite sales, regardless of what happened in there. It was truly a pleasure to have known them and to have helped them in their dark hour. I never contacted them again because I knew I was part of a memory they should never have to revisit. “Follow up postcards” from me would have been painful reminders of a time they wanted to put behind them.

While Bill is upset over the fact that there are some agents who order St. Joseph statues in bulk like business cards, the custom of burying St. Joseph to assist in the quest of real estate pursuits goes back to at least the 1500s, when St. Theresa of Avila buried a St. Joseph medal. They needed some land for a Church and St. Theresa buried a St. Joseph medal in a plot of ground that was perfect, but they could not afford, and of course they did eventually raise enough money to buy the land with St. Joseph’s assitance.

St. Joseph is “the worker”. He’s the symbol that any pursuit backed by one’s sincere desire and hard work is achieveable. For many years after he helped my clients, I had this little statue (right side up) where ever I worked. When I had too many closings all at the same time, I would lay him down and put a little felt blanket over him and tell him it was time to rest. St. Joseph and I performed some great miracles together and he was my guiding force my first few years in the real estate business.

We haven’t heard about this custom for quite awhile because it has been a seller’s market. But based on Inman News giving the custom some attention recently, it looks like St. Joseph may be making a comeback. To Bill Wendell at The Real Estate Cafe, try not to think of all of the agents buying 100 statues at a time and using it as a “gimmick”. Think of my lovely story, and how St. Joseph, while standing on his head, brought some comfort to some very nice people in need of his gentle touch.

New Book – Must Read!

Editor’s Note: I’m excited to introduce Seattle Eric as a new contributor on RCG. It must be six months ago that I first approached Eric to see if he would be interesting in coming on as a contributor because I really liked the writing style he demonstrated on his blog about life as a Seattle real estate investor. Now that he’s bitten the bullet and switched to a career as a real estate agent, I’m even more excited to have him on board!

For my first post on the RCG, I’d like to promote my new book, which so happens to also be a topic of much interest recently. All proceeds will benefit…well..me.


(available while supplies last….shipping and handling extra…)

KIRKLAND – Classic Car Show!

[photopress:57_vet.jpg,thumb,alignright]Nothing makes me weak in the knees like a Classic Car Show! I used to be able to tell a Corvette, through the end of the mid-years, just by looking at it. This 1957, year of the “fuelies” model is one of my favorites to look at, but a ride in a 1967 Corvette is unforgettable!

This Sunday, July 23, 10 a.m to 4 p.m., don’t miss the Classic Car Show in Downtown Kirkland. To get in the mood, click on this link to Legends Car Club, the event’s sponsor.

The Five-Minute-a-Day Habit

[photopress:brazilsoccerhead_small.jpg,thumb,alignright]It’s been a while since we did a plug for David’s AHI blog. His blog is insightful, fun and for the price of only a few minutes a day, you can learn a lot! I don’t know how he does it, but he manages to write a quality article every day and they are almost always at the high level of today’s article on the relationsip between the World Cup, the world’s future, and affordable housing.

(You can learn more about David from this RCG interview!)

Timing is Everything…

On the Friday before the long-weekend I was handed a DVD from a friend at Move with only a basic overview. (He said something to the effect of “just watch it… it was produced by homestore in the dot com days and a bunch of office decorations and inside jokes will make a lot more sense…”)

[photopress:home_movie.jpg,thumb,alignright]Well, back in the dot com days when I was an engineer in a relatively boring industry, the people at Move (then known as HomeStore) were obviously having a lot more fun… Seriously, having a lot more fun is the only way to explain the “Chris Smith