Quarterly Report 2012
As has become our custom at RealTown®, we bring you the latest breaking news in the Real Estate Industry every April 1. Remember, you heard it here first…
On-Star announced today that it is entering the real estate lockbox business. It will be the first to offer a lockboxless home access service. Referred to as the “un-lockbox,” it is predicted that this service will revolutionize the way real estate professionals work and how homes are shown, and, eventually, even replace the need for what we now refer to as licensed real estate professionals. The functions and services provided by both agents and brokers is under attack. How will a lockboxless service work? After a simple registration and Personal Identification Process (PIP), buyers will be able to drive to the homes in which they have an interest, and On-Star will open the doors remotely upon their arrival. Real estate professionals will be able to meet their buyers at the listing locations, or even send them on their own. This will eliminate lost lockbox keys, access cards, and the “sharing” of one key or card by several REALTORS® (Not a common occurrence, but it does happen).
An accompanying service provided by Clareity Security, will be audio and video surveillance to insure security of the possessions in the home. These services will first be offered to individual agents and brokers and it is anticipated that MLSs will follow with enterprise level contracts. There was no comment from the current lockbox industry leaders, Supra and Sentrilock.
Gregg Larson of Clareity Consulting is trying to figure out how tokens can become part of this service, which will be available in North America on April 1, 2013.
On-Star plans to offer yet another follow on service in 2014. This service will be will provide trained personnel, referred to as Real Estate Escorts (REE), to meet prospective buyers at the property and escort them through the home. On-Star says their new services should eventually eliminate the need for real estate licensees and is endorsed by the American Bar Association. An ABA spokesperson is quoted as saying: “these services will clear the way for universal contract services offered by attorneys, instead of REALTORS®. We will finally be able to get real estate agents out of the business of writing contracts and practicing law. This will be a financial bonanza for the legal profession.”
The National Association of REALTORS® CEO, Dale Stinton, announced today that he is retiring and moving on to a new career as a professional wrestler with the WWE . The new NAR CEO will be Brad Inman, who will take on not only the CEO position with NAR, but will also take over the responsibilities of Frank Sibley, current NAR Senior V. P. Communications/Conventions. Frank will be moving on to take the position of CEO at the National Association of Rocketry (one of the other NARs.) Brad Inman is not a new comer to organized real estate, having worked for The California Association of REALTORS® in the 1970s. “It is like a dream come true” stated Inman, founder of Inman News Real Estate Connect. An excited Brad went on to say “Next to New York, Chicago is my next favorite city!”
Speaking of Chicago, Russ Bergeron, CEO of Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) has resigned to take control of his new start up real estate portal, YAZULIA (http://YaZulia.com) . It was also announced today that MRED is suing Mr. Bergeron for copyright infringement and unauthorized and uncompensated use of the MRED listing inventory. http://YAZULIA.com, looks suspiciously like the MRED site.
With a star studded YAZULIA Board of Directors featuring David Charron, Art Carter, Carl DeMuz, and Diane Riggerio. YAZULIA.com is bound for an IPO in the early 2013.
Surprise relocation – After 30 years practicing law in Hawaii, followed by 12 years Internet Crusading in San Diego, RealTown Director John Reilly has decided to relocate to Saskatoon, Canada. In an exclusive interview, Reilly noted that his dermatologist insisted he seriously reduce his exposure to the sun. Reilly also confided that for many years he envied the fact partner Saul Klein was able to fly to Saskatoon two times every month while Reilly had to stay in sunny San Diego. It was too much to handle. Reilly will be leaving as soon as he obtains his green card. Mrs. Reilly would not return our phone calls for an interview.
Saul Klein and Walt Baczkowski announce the launch of their new side business, Who-T-WHO Taxi service. Who-T-WHO uses GPS and data analytics to determine trends in cab pick-up locations. They then position cabs to insure that a cab will be there to pick you up in two minutes or less, or you ride for free. It is anticipated that a large, new segment for these services will be prospective home buyers, searching for property without being escorted by a real estate professional.
Zillow is particularly interested in adding a “call a cab” button on each listing appearing on the site. Spencer Rascoff, Zillow CEO announced today that Zillow is now the exclusive real estate industry partner of Who-T-WHO Transportation, INC. “Walt and Saul have done it again. The real money is in cab fares. We all know that most people look at real estate and don’t buy. Zillow anticipates adding hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue once the cab service is fully integrated into Zillow.”
Call 1-800-Who-T-WHO (1-800-946-8946) After April 1.
And that’s the way it is, April First, 2012.
Saul and John
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