There has been a lot of talk about an NAR controlled "MLS 5.0" and whether it's good or bad for the RE industry – agents, brokers and consumers alike. Saul Klein wrote a post about its pros and I wrote a post about its cons.
So what do you think?
It is an honor to announce that the Virginia Association of REALTORS® has accepted me into the Virginia Leadership Academy, Class of 2009. This is a huge honor because only 22 members across Virginia were selected.
In addition to being focused on providing clients with the best possible service as their Loudoun County Real Estate Consultant and REALTOR®, I'm also focused on being involved on the local and state (and soon national) level. There are a lot of changes and improvements that need to be made within the real estate industry for the benefit of real estate professionals and consumers alike. The Virginia Leadership Academy will open up many doors that will enable me to be a part of making those changes.
The Washington Post ran an article in their Real Estate section today entitled "Making Connections – Web 2.0 Creates New Ways For Agents, Home Shoppers To Find Each Other." The article on "Real Estate Agent Hunting 2.0" talks about how more and more home buyers and sellers are using the internet and social media/social networking to help find and connect with a real estate agent that works best for them.
With the rise in use of "Web 2.0," platforms such as personal real estate blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Trulia and others are becoming a valuable tool in helping consumers find and learn about agents. Consumers are "interviewing" agents online prior to interviewing them in person to determine whether the agent is a good fit for them or not.
Blogs and social networks help determine things such as an agent's credibility, real estate knowledge, track record and personality. These are all key components in the decision making process a consumer goes through when choosing an agent to work with.
Here's what Bob Carney's client had to say in the article:
"I'd been told to never pick a Realtor out of a hat, but I feel like Bob was recommended to us out of the comments on the Internet," she said. "I just remember reading Bob and going 'Oh, yeah. He's the one.' "
And here's what my clients had to say:
"It came down to these other two agents. I didn't know anything about them," Shields said. Bogdanovic "was the only one you could get a personality from."
Helping consumers get a better idea of an agent's professional as well as personal experience and personality is why there are widgets for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Trulia and others on the side of many blogs and profiles (including this blog and my profiles). Another useful tool is an agent's About Page on their blog(s).
Though there is no substitute for interviewing an agent in person, consumers can get a good idea of an agent's track record, experience, skill set and personality through their online presence and what search results come from "googling" their name. This will help determine whether they even want to take the time to interview them in person in the first place.
The article features people such as Bob Carney, an agent and blogger in Frederick; Steve Schultz, senior director of product and business development for Yahoo Real Estate; Jonathan Washburn, CEO of ActiveRain, Frank Borges Llosa of Frankly Realty and FranklyMLS.com and myself. It's flattering and an honor to be included in the same article as them, all of which are very respected and have "been around the block" when it comes to real estate and social media.
Links to my profiles/about page:
After months of meetings and work by the Dulles Area Association of REALTORS® (DAAR) Technology and Communications Committees and various other DAAR staff including Ben Lizik (programmer), the new DAAR web site is up and running.
The overall focus of the new site was to create greater engagement and communication amongst Realtor® members, the public and the media. Much like any blog, you are able (and encouraged) to leave comments and opinions on the site regardless of whether you’re a Realtor® or not.
The new site’s layout and design incorporates some of the latest RE 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies and functionality.
Providing the latest and most relevant information, data and statistics regarding Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince Williams counties will be the content-focus moving forward.
The site will be undergoing additional tweaks and we will be adding functionality to the site over the next few months. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please let us know – we’d love to hear your take on things.
Did you dread your commute to work this morning? Feel like you wasted valuable time sitting in traffic? Notice your commute is getting longer and longer? Forbes feels the same way… Forbes named Washington, DC as the number 7 worst city for commuters. That’s even worst than Los Angeles who came in at number 9.
Forbes says that the reason for the ranking is mainly because most of the workers in Washington, DC commute from the Virginia and Maryland suburbs. Forbes reports that 15 percent of commuters take over an hour to get to work, the second highest rate in the country. Forbes also reports that drivers in this area spend 60 hours a year stuck in traffic and only 26 percent get to work in under 20 minutes – the worst rate in the country.
Though we’re "out here" in Loudoun County, VA, don’t think that we’re immune to the growing traffic problem. If you were around Loudoun County just 5 years ago, you’d know that traffic has gotten much worse despite the expansion of roads and building of overpasses and exchanges.
Despite the worsening traffic problem, public sentiment, rising gas prices and the fact that mass transit would help this problem, we’re still having a hard time getting the Dulles Metro Rail Project approved and funded.
Why is that? Maybe it’s because those in Richmond don’t care because they don’t have the same problem.
The Washington Post ran a story on "Luxury Foreclosures" yesterday. It featured several local real estate agents, including myself. Check out the Washington Post article here or the Loudoun Extra version here.
For information about foreclosures/bank-owned properties, check out LoudounForeclosures.com.
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