RE Connect Happenings

  • Zillow’s new message to real estate professionals: buy an ad on Zillow! Jeff Somers writes about what president Lloyd Frink has been explaining at the conference: "We’re calling it EZAds – and it’s pretty simple – an easy, online way for individual agents and other real estate professionals to buy and customize ads on, targeted to specific searched ZIP codes. The ads show up on ZIP code-specific areas throughout the site, including map pages and home detail pages. With millions of people visiting Zillow each month, most being homeowners (86% of Zillow users own a home) plus buyers and sellers (54% plan to buy/sell in the near future), EZAds will be a lot more targeted than a flyer or traditional offline advertising. And we think you will find pricing a lot more affordable, too. When creating your ads, you can choose the ZIP code, what your ads will look like and where your ads will link to."
  • Glenn Kelman of Redfin and Allan Dalton of made some fireworks in a battle about reduced commissions. Kelman blogs about how it went, from his point of view: "The moderator, Brad Inman, asked if Redfin had faced opposition from the industry; we said yes, acknowledging that sometimes we’ve made it worse for ourselves by stoking the controversy. Brad asked how Redfin could do better at negotiating a $2-million deal in the Berkeley Hills than a superstar agent: we told him we could do $40,000 better (but not that coherently). The battle was joined. Allan and I wrangled over whether we could cost the customer more by screwing up the deal. I said the most basic premise of Redfin’s business is that we have to be the best, not the cheapest. It was an aspiration that seemed to settle Allan and the crowd; it’s something we all understand. Then Redfin antagonized everyone by saying that what’s wrong with the industry is the commission structure that pressures agents to pressure clients, and the desk fees that pressure brokerages to recruit more agents than the market needs. If we don’t reform ourselves, and take out all the sales baloney too, people will come to hate real estate agents the way they hate tobacco companies or Big Oil. Then it was over. Many people afterwards congratulated me, for nothing in particular, which was very kind. The floor cleared, and I started to chat with a New York board member whom I rarely see but was eager to impress. "How’d you do?" he said. A Hamptons broker with a magnificent head of hair and a Bluetooth embedded in his ear interrupted us to say, confidently and happily, that I had bombed."
  • Sellsius has photos and video of nearly everything, and word that the next fronteir for Zillow is rentals, possibly to be followed by commercial.
  • There is an official blog of the conference.
  • Doug will be speaking at two blogger’s roundtables this afternoon. Starting at one, you can also see the vaunted TrueGotham mini parked at the entrance to the Marriott Marquis. The first fifty to visit Jen at the mini will also be given free copies of that most precious of items for a New York City conference-goer: a Zagat’s guide to the city’s restaurants. UPDATE: Not true! The mini is not there! We had arranged with the hotel ages ago to park the car there, but at showtime the people from Inman wanted thousands for the privelege, so, alas, it’s off. We’re hoping to work out a plan B. Stay tuned. UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Jen has secured a spot for the mighty mini outside Starbucks on 47th and Broadway. Go see her for your 2007 Zagat’s guide complete with a crisp $20 bill to help pay for that next lunch or dinner! Take a right out of the main hotel entrance, and you’ll see that mini at the next corner.
    TrueGotham mini by Douglas Heddings
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