The First Quarter of 2011 has Officially Ended
Time flies! It is once again the end of the first quarter, and here is the latest news in the real estate industry -- April 1, 2011.
In a Confidential Memorandum leaked to RealTown today, it was revealed that Google will be entering the world of real estate sales and marketing, going to the extent of creating an online real estate brokerage. Let there be no mistake, Google is in this to win said Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder.
We will soon find out. In addition to the Search Box on the Google homepage, Google is adding two new boxes. One will say “List your home for sale for Free, why pay a REALTOR” and the other will say “Find a Home.”
The Confidential Google Memo indicates that Google will charge $25 per property entry and allow only one entry per property. Entries will remain on the Google Real Estate Site for 30 days. Each subsequent re-entry will cost $15 per 30 day period. “The requirement to reenter properties every 30 days, plus our community policing capability will serve to keep the data as fresh and accurate as data contained in the real estate industry’s Multiple Listing Services (MLS)” said Google co-founder, Larry Page. When asked how he came up with the idea and design, he said that when he and his wife were looking online for their last home, he searched “MLS concepts” on Google and found a white paper by Saul Klein, on RealTown.com, a real estate community, education, and resource site. That paper is entitled The MLS of the Future. Google is also now negotiating to purchase RealTown, the oldest and most respected online real estate community site, for a reported 150 Million from the current owner, Yardi Systems, Inc., but there are other entities interested in RealTown as well and all companies declined to comment.
The New Google Real Estate site will include document handling and storage, online signature capability, and even artificial intelligence applications to help consumers through the many pitfalls of home purchasing and sales. Consumers will be able to choose from three different levels of “transaction intelligence.” Experienced home purchasers who have used different REALTORS® in different transactions and who have beta tested the new “Googlelegence” system marvel at how true to life the experience is. Said I. Lovett of Austin Texas: “it is amazing…I used the lowest level transaction intelligence level and it was exactly like working with the worst REALTOR® I ever worked with! Of course I should have expected it because it only cost $449. I would recommend that if you are new to this, use at least the middle level, preferably the top level.”
For those who want the help of a professional, they will be referred to the new real estate brokerage arm of Google Real Estate known as Google-Broker, or Go-Broke for short. This entity will be headed up by industry veteran Steve Ozonian. A unique capability, only offered through Go-Broke Agents, is the YouTube3D Explore, the latest in virtual showings of property. “If you are like most people, you don’t even have to be there any more to make the biggest decision of your life.”
The new Google real estate eco system is everything imagined and needed to advertise, market, show, view, negotiate, finance and close a real estate transaction, providing choices every step of the way…at the push of a button, at the speed of light. The entire real estate “eco-system” will include areas for agents and consumers to make comments on the properties available for sale, as well as two different Agent Rating Systems. Consumers will be able to rate agents in one section, and agents will be able to rate agents in the other section. All transactions will take place in “the cloud” and Google expects it to be the dominant player in this space in 3 years, handling over 50% of all residential real estate transactions from start to finish.
Also leaked to RealTown today, as if in response to the Confidential Google Memorandum, the top executives of three leading real estate listing portals – Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia, met privately with Mark Zukerberg, founder of Facebook to create a strategic plan to counter this monster move by Google.
After obtaining clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Anti-trust Division, agreement was reached on the consolidation of the three real estate portal companies into a new corporate structure to be called RealZilia,Inc. No, this is not a Japanese Horror Movie. RealZillia will be the “Real Estate Channel” on Facebook. Facebook is also said to be interested in RealTown, the oldest and most respected online real estate community site… RealTown declined to comment.
Spencer Roscoe(formerly CEO of Zillow) and Sami Inkinen(formerly President of Trulia) will be the “Twin Heads” of RealZillia, responsible for strategy and execution. Errol Samuelson is leaving Realtor.com and returning to Canada, the birthplace of Top Producer, to take the CEO position at Realtor.ca. Says Errol, “it’s great to be going home and back to a country where there are actually sales, MLS is trademarked, and where no one is interested in the Mortgage Interest Deduction…Fannie who?!”
In light of declining membership, The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) announced a new category of membership today, Homeowner. Homeowner Membership will be priced at $49 per year and NAR estimates 50,000,000 members in this category by 2014. NAR has long been the “Voice for Real Estate,” with its efforts benefiting not only real estate professionals, but also homeowners in its battle against the continuous assault on property rights and benefits. Now, homeowners will be able to contribute to the fight.
Breaking News... Bob Goldberg has left his position as Senior VP Market at NAR to follow his dream of being a folk singer. He is changing his name from Bob Goldberg to Bobby Goldbergsboro and releasing his new single, Baby the Rain Must Fall (his rendition of an old hit). He is feeling that the name change will give him the boost he needs to make it big. RealTown has already received an inquiry by the agent of none other than “The Boss” who is interested in going on the road with Bob…I mean Bobby.
In a surprise announcement, real estate visionary Stefan Swanepoel is leaving his position as Author & Speaker at RealSure, Inc to become the Master Game Warden in the Serengeti plains of East Africa. Stefan, author of the recent best seller Surviving your Serengeti, came to this decision after completing his own What Animal Am I quiz and realizing he was a Graceful Giraffe after all.
Vendor Alley blogger and industry old timer Greg Robertson is creating a new blog, Vendor Runway, which will feature all the companies about to take off, or crash. Look for the next industry success story (or failure) on Vendor Runway.
Brad Inman said July will be the last Inman Connect– why? Brad states that all the technology tools that can be invented have been invented. Asked what he will do in retirement, he says he will sit back and try to figure out what those guys at RealTown have really been doing all these years.
Marc Davison, Brian Boero and Joel Burslem of 1000wattConsulting are changing their name and their (up to now) very successful brand. After the last few years, they finally figured out that 1000 watts is not enough power to shine the light of effectiveness, efficiency and profit in this industry. And to shine the light into the future will require that they become 1MWattConsulting. That change is effective today, April 1, 2011.
And Finally, InternetCrusade® announces, after 16 years, that the Crusade is over. “Our original mission was to get the world connected” said Saul Klein, one of the founders of InternetCrusade®. “It was the name of our early live seminar programs, Getting Connected.”
“We succeeded in our mission!” adds John Reilly, another of the InternetCrusade® founders. “Everyone is now connected and the need to get people connected to the Internet and communicating online no longer needs our push.” Happily, the original cast of players are all alive and well – Saul, John, Jack Harper, Mike Barnett, Terri Murphy. Saul and John have the next Crusade in sight, so stay tuned!
And that’s the way it is on April 1, 2011.
As many of you know, Saul has been entertaining us with his April First posts for a number of years now... Here are a few from years past. Enjoy!
Seven Creative Ways to Get Your Listings Sold
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