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On Being an Inman 2013 Innovator Award Finalist

One of the biggest coincidences of my life occurred yesterday when, a few hours after sending a Facebook message to the late, great Joe Ferrara‘s sister, I saw a friend write that I was an Inman Innovator Award finalist. Joe was, among many things, a writer at Inman News and a huge influence and inspiration…Read More »

Zillow and Real Estate Xenophobia

Recently, in a real estate Tech Support Forum on Facebook, someone posted their opinion of Zillow’s latest TV commercial. Zillow is a powder keg for controversy in the real estate community as it is, but since the commercial didn’t make a prominent reference to a real estate agent (there was a broker sign in the…Read More »

Embracing the Changing Westchester Real Estate Market

This past Monday I was honored to moderate a panel of local industry leaders at the Women’s Council of Realtors breakfast entitled “Embracing the Change.” The panelists were Jason Wilson, manager at Julia B Fee Sotheby’s, Chris Meyer, president of Houlihan Lawrence,  Leah Caro, broker at Bronxville Ley Real Estate, Gary Leogrande, past HGMLS president…Read More »

Father’s Day 2013: The Notebook

While I am known as a guy who is never seen without a gizmo in my hand, I actually think better sketching my thoughts on a yellow legal pad. Typically, when meeting with people they’ll see my iPad, smart phone, and computer closely followed by that very old school pad and pen, and only then…Read More »

My Cell Phone is (914) 450-8883

This is one of those posts that I write for strictly therapeutic purposes, so please indulge me. Unlike some agents who keep their cell phones a state secret, mine is not. As a matter of fact, when I hear a licensee talk about how they “value their privacy” and prefer that their mobile number not…Read More »

On Do It Yourself Real Estate. FSBO, No Buyer Agent- Smart?

I have started to “vlog” or video blog, and this is something I recorded to day about an article in the Journal News on people trying to save money in real estate transactions by not using a broker. My comment on the article was as follows: You can save quite a bit of money by…Read More »

Small World Sometimes. Very, Very Small.

I am one of those brokers who vocally opposes the practice of using appraisers who do not possess local knowledge of the area they work.  I have seen too many sales scuttled by robotic, ill-informed appraisals which lack the context that local, more accurate information brings. Out of area appraisers often are less engaged, and…Read More »

Does Using Lock Boxes “Lower the Bar?”

One of the Facebook discussion groups on real estate I frequent is the aptly titled “Raise the Bar” forum where we discuss best practices and making the industry better. Because real estate is local and customs and laws vary by region, opinions often vary. Many themes resurface from time to time, among them the the…Read More »

On the Ending of Corporate Titles for Agents and Brokers

Late last month, the New York Department of State issued an interesting opinion that effectively ended the practice of brokerages giving corporate titles such as “Executive Vice President” and “Managing Director” to their licensees. It was a practice mainly done in Manhattan (and we did name a VP once in full disclosure), and became so prevalent that it almost…Read More »

Buyers: I’m Not Lying About Other Offers on my Listing

 Three times in the past two weeks, we have had listings go in bidding wars. Three times in the past two weeks, we have had buyer agents tell me that their buyer client did not believe me that they had competing bids. In each case,  those buyers all lost the house. In my own company,…Read More »

Marketing Wars in the Twitterverse

Inman News, the nominal online trade publication for the real estate industry, ran a contest last week for innovative marketing ideas on Twitter under the hashtag #MadRESkillz. It sounded like a bit of fun, and at the encouragement of Inman reporter Teke Wiggin, I offered a few of my own suggestions; I wrote about using…Read More »

The Broker’s Wife

Among the pitfalls of running a business with your spouse is the perception that the less gabby prominent or public half of the team is any less important or vital to the success of the organization. I am sure that this is the case in some businesses where the missus or hubby help on weekends…Read More »

The Wind at Our Backs

It has been weeks since I last updated this blog, and it isn’t writers block, indifference, or slow news days. I am busy. I don’t mean active, or experiencing the typical cyclical upswing of the spring season. I am busy. Really busy. I started the firm in late 2005, and it took me 9 months…Read More »

The Blind Spot in Consumer Research

We had our monthly company meeting today and discussed, among other things, how best to best help buyers in the purchase of their home. In the group discourse on what is important to a real estate consumer in 2013, the matter of consumer research was looked at critically. There are some basic truths: Brokers are…Read More »

Hear it Direct, Forwarding the Real Estate Industry

This past Wednesday I had the privilege of being one of the industry panelists at a unique real estate conference at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey called Hear it Direct. The format had group discussions with six home buyers, six home sellers, and six Generation Y buyers & sellers to discuss their experience and insights in the…Read More »

Think NAR Doesn’t Help You? Think Again.

The National Association of REALTORS is the largest trade association in the country. Most member Realtors join their association because it means MLS access, and don’t quite get the benefits of membership. This isn’t to say that everything local, state and the National associations do is right; I have been a vocal critic  of NAR…Read More »

Grand Salami

Home inspections are so important that, unlike most markets, local attorneys will not draw up contracts until they are settled. They are never a contingency of the contract in Westchester. Today we  had a home inspection on a property our clients had a recent offer accepted on, and it did not go well at all.…Read More »

“Yours is the Hardest Business I Have Ever Seen.”

Weekends are busy in real estate, so you can imagine the feeling when my head sank into the couch pillow at 6:20pm when I remembered that I had to drive to New Rochelle meet with a client I promised to see. My client is a retiree, and straight shooter as well, and our conversations are…Read More »

On Hovercrafts

I was fortunate enough to be quoted in Business week in an article entitled Why Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia Haven’t Killed Off Real Estate Brokers.  I spoke with the reporter for what seemed like a good healthy duration on where technology is taking our industry, the significance of its impact on the consumer experience and how licensees ply their trade,…Read More »

Latest Stats Out of Philly Main Line

As the data below indicate, all is well in Villanova, Pa. I don’t hold a real estate license there, but a chunk of my heart remains. Go Wildcats. —————– Box Score for Villanova win over Georgetown   GEORGETOWN   VILLANOVA   Points 57 67 FG Made-Attempted 23-50 (.460) 16-34 (.471) 3P Made-Attempted 7-18 (.389) 5-10…Read More »