Seattle Housing

As a bit more of additional followup to my previous posting, I’ve found some behaviors really interesting around sales, real estate, and financing. Some personalities (or lack thereof if you want to look at it that way) seem to be drawn to the low bar to entry of these markets as it stands currently.

What happened to many of the laid-off pilots after the end of 2001? Many became real estate agents.

How about the sediment from the dot bomb washout? More real estate agents.

Everything was gravy for people selling houses in the last few years due to large margins of profit for sellers and the greed for easy “houses never lose money” investments for buyers. Every housewife or salesman was getting into it to some degree. Every guy with a friend in the finance business was brokering loans.

These days, as everyone knows now, are quite over.

What I find the most interesting about the current age of real estate is that the old days are not going to come back. Not ever. Markets evolve and become more efficient. You need to embrace them or be left behind.

I believe that these high margin sales people will get a bit of a reprieve from online social networking in that they will be able to capitalize on those who are online and use it socially, but not familiar with it enough to find tools to find the most lean deals.

I find it amusing when juvenile mentalities are so commonplace in consumer facing business. I don’t begrudge them for looking for the easy money, but I do for thinking that they are entitled to it. For example, calling other business models sluts.


Even better is people who define themselves, their entire persona and image, as an incarnation of a sales pitch. Since I’m seeing one person in particular all over the place online, I’m going to use him as a specific example. This guy is on every social networking site he can find and posting egotistical diatribe comments on other peoples blogs and speaking at length in public threads in ways that is seemingly inconsistent with his other postings.

Where am I going with this?

My point is that even though people such as Gene commit themselves to substantial amounts of time spent online beating the bushes for clients and making online friends that may generate leads. It is a losing gambit in, I predict, the mid-term. Discount brokers like Redfin (which bears the brunt of the hate) and ZipRealty, to name a couple, are going to collapse the market in short order based on their economic advantage amongst the savvy online demographic. Look at these polls for example. Discount agencies such as Redfin will be under legal attack for a while, which makes sense that some businesses are avoiding this conflict for now. The market steamroller is moving forward and there will be a lot of losers in the real estate market for those who do not position themselves well and soon.

Frankly I love it when people who are fans of Ayn Rand talk about how they are entitled to wage without effort. They also tend to have no personality as it is all tied up into a public image of being a successful sales juggernaut. From the commentary that I mentioned earlier, I think that provided an interesting insight by linking to this article about bias. I understand and appreciate the appeal of self-interest in self-promotion, but not when it is overdone to the point where it becomes your identity. This makes people boring and makes their opinions questionable as it speaks to me of flaws in their judgement.

I spoke to the CEO of CondoCompare this week which, as it appears to me, is looking to be purchased by one of the large national brokerages. He didn’t really seem to appreciate where I was going with my theories about how discount brokerages are going to collapse the market and make it more competitive. Since his business works as a supplement to the current full-service realtor model as an added referral relocation fee, he really isn’t invested in the conflict and doesn’t have to care. I was still a bit surprised that he was not familiar with the market of similar companies working in his space, however.

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