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2010-04-01 15:49:08

Can You Believe It Is Already April 1st?

(Editor's note: Here it is. Saul's annual April 1st report to the masses. ;-0)

Hi everyone,

Can you believe that the First Quarter of 2010 has come and gone!

Here is the latest news in the Real Estate Industry this April 1, 2010:

Real estate author and coach, Bernice Ross, is ecstatic over the acceptance by the most sought after keynote speaker in the country for Bernice's 3rd Annual AFIRE Conference - Awesome Women in Real Estate. The speaker for this all-woman conference None other than Tiger Woods himself. Tiger will speak on "Using Social Media To Develop Relationships."

Google, eBay, Redfin Joint Press Release:

Google, eBay and Redfin, have teamed up to change the world of real estate brokerage. Capitalizing on Google's brand recognition and the fact that Google is used by some 85% of all web users in the US, this new venture will be called "Google Real Estate."

The intent of this new venture is to become the dominant provider of real estate transaction and brokerage services to the public, first in North America, and then the rest of the world. This is new territory for Google, attacking such a large vertical on such a grand scale. Google CEO Eric Schmidt said "the industry is ripe for streamlining and cost cutting. New technologies will replace much of what is currently handled by the real estate labor force of today, the agents and their brokers. This will squeeze much of the cost out of a real estate transaction, and this is good for consumers. Of course, we are always looking to hire top notch real estate professionals at Google Real Estate."

Part of Google's role in the venture is to globally socialize the message that Google is the only place in the world to go when you are looking for information about real estate, and when you want to buy or sell real estate.

"Just think of the opportunities that will incubate around this new way of marketing one's home," said Google Founder, Sergey Brin, "The current Broker-Agent-Consumer relationship will change in ways never before thought possible, with, in some cases, artificial intelligence software providing fewer errors on average than the most seasoned agents and brokers.and because of social media, with a public ready to accept new and more convenient ways of doing business, we see that 95% of all real estate transactions will be administered online by 2015."

"It is a leap of faith for all of us," said Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin. "Will Google have the reach to socialize consumers that they all should advertise their homes for sale on Google We are counting on it." Real Estate Services of Choice for Google Real Estate will be offered through Redfin's unbundled brokerage services and professional packages, handling all parts of the transaction at the push of a button and the speed of light.

Can eBay scale "No problem," said e-BAY CEO John Donahoe, "we have actually been working on this for over 2 years now. We see great opportunities to improve the customer experience and reduce costs for real estate buyers and sellers at the same time." Donohue continued: "eBay has also added a major community component to our transaction with the acquisition of RealTown the oldest, largest, and most well respected real estate online community.

Google's brand and reach, eBay's transaction applications and experience, and Redfin's positioning as the number one online brokerage service model make this a compelling teamusing the strengths and assets of each company to bring about the paradigm shift the real estate industry has been dreading since Bill Chee's famous "lion over the hill" speech back in 1993.

In another move that will rock the real estate industry, Microsoft announced the purchase of control of Move, Inc., the home of the Official Website of the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR). NAR approved transfer of control of the REALTOR.com domain to Microsoft, which immediately announced it would begin to charge MLSs $2.00 per listing per month for basic display on the REALTOR.com site. Steve Balmer, CEO of Microsoft said: "How else do you monetize something like this" This is yet one in a number of those "scandalous NAR deals."

NAR expects the number of REALTORS® to drop from over 1 million this April, 1 to less than 175,000 by 2014, as many of the services currently provided by REALTORS® will be provided by a smaller and smaller core of professionals who know how to maximize the accumulation, manipulation, and dissemination of property information.

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Meg Whitman, candidate for governor and CEO of e-BAY, announced today that if elected, her plan for economic recovery would include the creation of a California/eBay partnership, the entity to be called the California-EBay Real Estate Transaction Partnership (CERTP). CERTP would provide the only state approved real estate transaction platform. All services associated with the sale and transfer of real property would be required to utilize California-EBay Real Estate Transaction Partnership transaction platform or face steep fines and penalties. The unique platform would be developed and maintained using eBay technology expertise. Fees would be generated from the surcharge administered when vendors to the transaction participate in a transaction. Candidate Whitman indicated one of her first appointments will be a consumer advocate as the Commissioner of Real Estate - top on her list is Brad Inman best known for his ability to keep NAR in check (Brad's one of the few outsiders to ever gain access to the NAR secret War Room in the basement bunker of the Chicago headquarters).

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NAR Certified e-PRO Trainer Joeann Fossland attended the 3D viewing of Alice in Wonderland and was shocked to see the Mad Hatter wearing two of Joeann's original hat creations. Joeann is working with noted copyright attorney Brian Larson to reach an amiable resolution without having to resort to litigation.

And that's the way it is, Thursday, April 1, 2010.

Saul and John

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