“This is like deja vu all over again.”
— Yogi Berra
Due to this week’s scheduled Carnival of Real Estate host going MIA, yours truly raised his virtual hand (or was I smacked in the back of the head?) and offered to host the Carnival this week — this despite the fact I hosted just a month ago.
I’m not sure what I was thinking. This is not an easy thing to do in any given week. Just to make it more difficult, let’s throw in some exceptional happenings such as a goofy Redfin Manifesto release, a major upgrade to Zillow, and a holiday weekend.
And if all that’s not enough, I’m going to go out there and slaughter the “rules” of the Carnival…
(How’s that for a “hook”? Betcha’ keep on reading…)
In addition to all the buzz and activity in the real estate world, this was also the week of the greatest golf tournament on the planet — The Masters. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to ponder a Carnival theme this time around. It was either going to have to be chocolate bunnies, or The Masters. Now I love chocolate bunnies, but I happen to believe that Augusta National is the greatest golf course ever built, and The Masters is the greatest tournament in golf. So without further ado…
(If you don’t know golf, all the following golf metaphors are good things. Oh, there’s plenty of bad in golf. I play championship level bad golf. But what’s used here is done to indicate nothing but goodness.)
Craig Higdon of Investment Property Insider pulls out the Big Bertha and splits the fairway with a post on Commercial Real Estate Investment Decisions. I’ll freely admit that commercial real estate is not my forte and that I found this interesting. It also isn’t all that much different from residential real estate in a lot of aspects.
Nina at Queercents sticks a seven iron within 2 feet of the pin with her view on impound/escrow accounts. While this may not be earth shattering insight to the real estate professional, it does offer good explaination and sage advice for the real estate consumer.
Craig Schiller drains a 40 footer — nothing but the bottom of the cup. Writing at HOME STAGING, Rants & Ravings he tells us that staging could very well be considered an advertising fee and therefore be used in the calculations of gain (or loss) on the sale of a home, hopefully letting the tax man get a smaller piece of the pie.
Michael Dawson, of the Time and Money Group, knocks the Secretary of the Treasury into the deep stuff with a honest and interesting look at some aspects of the subprime aftermath.
Amy Fontinelle blasts out of the bunker and holes out with a great consumer primer on closing costs. Any agent will tell you that a LOT of folks don’t understand closing costs, and posts like this help everyone. Personal Finance Advice is a great blog that should have been added to my reader a long time ago.
Jonathan Greene, Real Opinionated guy that he is, plunks a lob wedge off someone’s forehead and gets a great bounce, knocking some sense into said spectator. His marketing ideas will be a similar moment for many. Jonathan, we want a photo of the billboard!
Maureen Francis up there at MIOaklandCounty eagles the long par 5, penning the title of the week with “Peeing Dogs Do Not Sell Homes“. The title is great, the content is even better. Funny, yet not. Some true-life real estate advice for the “Sell Lords”. Not just in sunny Motown, but everywhere.
Jonathan Dalton, just down the road at Dalton’s Arizona Homes hits a hole in one with his post on divorcing commissions. Spurned in part by the Redfin Manifesto (my words, not Jonathan’s) and responses to it, JD provides interesting insight, as well as linkage to a couple of well known pro’s. Don’t skip the link to Jonathan’s own post on the Redfin “Bill of Rights”.
The Rules of Golf are very specific. And they are very clear (assuming you have a copy of the Rules handy. They are quite lengthy and virtually impossible to memorize. Succinct writing they are not). The rules of the Carnival of Real Estate on the other hand, are not so specific. In fact, one could argue there are no rules, only “guidelines”.
Those guidelines do clearly say though that there should be only one submittal per person, and one post per blog address for multiple authored blogs.
I believe however, that the founding fathers of the Carnival of Real Estate intentionally used the word “guidelines” and not “rule” because they wanted the hosts to feel free to exercise a little creativity, to stretch the guidelines when the situation warranted it.
And I think the situation this week warrants a little (or not so little) bending of the rules.
Zillow annouced earlier this week the release of “Z5” — a new, and in theory improved, version of their popular real estate web site. If you have *anything* to do with real estate and the Internet, you couldn’t have missed this announcement or the subsequent buzz. Check this chart from Technorati showing the number of blog posts tagged “Zillow”:
Can you tell when Zillow rolled out Z5? That’s a lot of interest in Zillow’s announcement.
Where am I going with this?
Simple enough question…
All of the entries this week were great, but what Greg Swann and Brian Brady did at Bloodhound Blog this week was more than just make a great putt, or get a hole-in-one. What they did wins major tournaments. Their work on the changes at Zillow truly shows what can be achieved in this medium we call weblogging. Mainstream media reporters should be seeing work like this and noting the light at the end of the tunnel — and for them that light is an oncoming train. This is powerful stuff folks. And if someone gets perturbed at me for twisting the rules of the Carnival and picking them as winners, oh well. So be it. Won’t be the first, or last time I’ve irritated someone here.
I break these rules and pick these posts not to irritate my fellow real estate weblogger’s, but to show what I thought was the best of what the week had to offer. If you read these posts, listen to the podcast, and read and “watch” the interaction of the blog commenters, then I think you’ll clearly see that this series of posts was without question the best of the best this week. You are of course, welcome to disagree. If I went out of bounds (see how I worked in another golf term? Clever ‘eh?), feel free to let me know.
Here are the Bloodhound Zillow Posts:
Zynergy: They searched for a house, but they found you by Greg Swann
Next week’s Carnival of Real Estate will be hosted by the fabulous Renthusiast. If you are interested in submitting an article to the Carnival of Real Estate, please do so!
And I suppose any mention of The Masters written on (or at least started on) the final round Sunday wouldn’t be complete without sending out a congratulations to Masters Champion Zach Johnson.