An inspired ode to the industry by Brad Inman September 6th, 2017.
A new grandchild and the tragic events unfolding in Houston have me feeling overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude.
Meanwhile I have been re-reading novels by Eve Babitz, one of my favorite writers who in the 1960s and ’70s wrote about the cultural milieu of Los Angeles and touched on the topics of social unrest, wildfires and earthquakes. An entertaining and poetic acknowledgments section precedes her classic 1974 novel Eve’s Hollywood.
Babitz’s lyrical structure and this collision of thoughts and events inspired me to write about a few of my favorite things (and characters) gracing our wacky industry.
Let’s call this my 2017 Acknowledgements Unlist.
To Mary & Peter homebuyer
But also to the bank that made them a loan and to the escrow company that recorded their sale
And to the agent and the search portal that helped them find a house
And to Richard Smith and the American flag pin on his lapel
And to the single-family house
And to Glenn Kelman and Robert Reffkin for spilling a tray of Big Gulp sodas all over the industry
And to role models Marsha Rand, Ebby Halliday and Helen Hanna Caseywhen the ceiling was fierce
And to the mighty — Bill Foley, Adi Tatarko, Pat Stone, Howard Lorber, Rich Barton, Warren Buffett, Lloyd Frink and Rupert Murdoch
And to the Toto toilet
And to Opendoor’s Eric Wu for the wit to use a sledgehammer
And to a life-in-full Dave Liniger with his pony-sized dog Max and ankle pistol
And to central air conditioning and to Wi-Fi
And to be Sherry Chris
And to FEMA and to flood insurance
And to the reassuring voices of Duane LeGate and Jim Walberg
And to industry writers Teresa Boardman and Sam DeBord
And to real estate’s Oprah Katie Lance
And to the front porch and the gas range
And to Hale Bob and vice versa
And to tussling with NAR
And to America’s first housing leaders Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
And to Gary Keller and the entire state of Texas
And to raucous debates about the fate of the MLS, the plight of brokers, instant offers, commission compression, FSBOs and disintermediation
And to the 30-year mortgage
And to great expectations for Elizabeth Mendenhall
And to the condominium
And to the zillions of pillows that became Zillow
And to the final episode of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing
And to grinning at Andrew Flachner
And to the townhouse and the wading pool
And to the startup boosters Constance Freedman, Brendan Wallace, Aaron Block and Mark Birschbach
And to prophet Hank Miller, whose jeremiad against the industry put a fire under our readers
And to a 1000watt when you need it
And to bunkbeds
And to warrior priest Jay Thompson, the man with a strong heart despite sword blows to the chest
And to everyone named Victor & Sparkles
And to housing activists everywhere
And to the moment Mark McLaughlin put the Cobra GT500 into drive
And to the 4th and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
And to the inheritors Ben Kinney, Kymber Lovett-Menkiti, Sue Adler, Thad Wong, Eddie Berenbaum, Vanessa Bergmark, Shaun Osher, Chris Lim, Mauricio Umansky, Mark Spain, Mark Choey, Kendyl Young, Peter Lorimer, Laurie Weston Davis, Tiffany Kjellander, Pam Liebman, Raj Qsar, and Matt Beall
And to all of the disrupters, the new business models, the tinkerers and the entrepreneurs
And to the Pinecrest Diner, the Big Four, the Lambs Club, the French Roast, the KGB Bar, the Redwoods, the Box and the Beverly Hills Hotel
And to the reformers Team Diva, Rob Hahn, Debra Trappen, Tommy Sowers, Sunny Lake, Bill Wendell, Sara Sutachan, Anne Jones, Brian Copeland, Marguerite Giguere, Ryan Bokros, Caroline Pinal and Carl Carter
And to Section 8 housing and the mortgage interest deduction
And to missing Peter Flint
And to tiny homes
And to the definition of loyalty Laura Monroe
And to notorious wing (wo)men Nyda Jones-Church (to Steve Games), Greg Schwartz (to Spencer Rascoff), Lisa Fettner (to Scott Olsen), Joan Dailey (to Avi Gupta) and Paul Boomsma (to Pam O’Connor)
And to those whose first name is enough — Billy, Seth, Sami, Vija, Yaz, Blair, Errol, Peter and Celeste
And to the turnaround crackerjack Amy Bohutinsky who should be running Uber
And to those who didn’t turn a big fortune into a small one Lennox Scott, Stephen Baird, Hoby Hanna and Obi Jacobi
And to the 1950s
And to the unsung: Stephanie Anton, Deidre Woollard, Cary Sylvester, Mike Ryan, Ryan Gorman, Leslie Appleton-Young, Katelyn Castellano, Amy Gorce, Diane Ramirez, Susan Yannaccone and Art Carter
And to housing the homeless
And to the everyday Realtor who saved lives in Harvey’s wake
And to Oakland, WEHO, Sausalito, UES, WPB, Palm Springs, 9th St., Carlinville and all of Illinois and most of Australia
And to Steve Murray, Jeff Lobb, Ken Jenny and a few other consultants
And to the garden apartment
And to Dottie and Dolly, if I have another daughter it will be a tough choice
And to the flacks we hate to hate Amanda Woolley, Audie Chamberlain, Kevin Hawkins and Sara Wiskerchen
And to Ryan O’Hara who keeps smiling through it all
And to Nest thermostats and Google Home
And to battle-scarred disruptor Joshua Hunt, who does not go down easily
And to your inner Ferry-self and to Tim & Julie’s clever rants
And to running water, light switches, warm floors and Mr. Coffee
And to Alex Lange for swimming with the salmon
And to the kidney-shaped swimming pool with a diving board
And to industry muckraker Greg Robertson
And to Joe Schutt, Nicole Beauchamp, Sarita Lahoti Dua, Bob Watson, and Sean Carpenter for being everywhere for all of us
And to immigrants and their families
And to the software musketeers Jed Carlson, Grier Allen, Morgan Carey and Matt Barba
And to the loud and the proud Leigh Brown
And to the steady hands Ron Peltier, Chris Heller, Joel Singer, Marilyn Wilson,David Charron, Suzanne Mueller, Rick Sharga, Billy Jack Carter, Charlie Young and John Aaroe
And to the Weber Grill and Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish
And to the thinkers Bill Lublin, Jeff Turner, Bernice Ross, Leslie Ebersole and J. Philip Faranda
And to sidewalks, bike lanes and street lights
And to trusting Lela Richardson and Joe Rand
And to missing Alex Perriello already
And to an industry that always puts up a good fight and feeds on community generosity when its neighbors are most in need
And to you Nate Ellis, who I know would approve
And to my last list…maybe.
RealScout could save you time and energy in converting leads
- RealScout notifies the agent in real-time as buyers search for properties.
- The Boutique Real Estate Group has been using RealScout instead of the MLS portal since March.
- RealScout personalizes the platform to the agent and office according to needs.
When it comes to lead conversion, The Boutique Real Estate Group in Orange County has moved on from MLS to RealScout, a San Francisco-based software company that makes connecting with buyers as simple as a text message.
“I can do anything I want standing in line at Starbucks if it has to do with a real estate…”
Qsar referred to the current MLS as archaic in its ways of communicating directly with clients. The process of logging in and checking messages only through the MLS portal became a tether, he says, prohibiting engagement. With RealScout, agents are notified immediately of interested parties.
What is RealScout to the buyer?
How it benefits different offices depends on the location. For Los Angeles, and more specifically The Boutique Real Estate Group, the criteria chosen caters to the demographic. In learning what buyers are looking for, RealScout is able to build a profile and inform them of other homes that offer similar amenities.
Once buyers find what they are looking for, they are then able to narrow down the search through the criteria: high ceilings, floor plans, and other details unique to each buyer. This information is also passed along to the agent, helping them secure the relationship.
“The common use cases are when the agent invites the client to use RealScout,” Andrew Flachner, president, and co-founder of RealScout, said. Another entryway is through Zillow, which Qsar said has a direct impact on building a relationship.
Through API integration with Zillow, buyers can connect directly with agents. If during the search they click on a page featuring The Boutique Real Estate Group, users are automatically entered into the agency’s RealScout database and begin receiving notifications according to their search criteria.
What is RealScout to the agent?
Converting leads from online sources is not easy. It’s hard enough getting your face and name seen, much less turning someone’s query into a sale. Through the buyer notifications, which are property listings based on prioritized criteria, RealScout helps to bridge the trust between agent and client.
“They can count on the info from RealScout and your happy, smiling face is what they’ve seen all the time,” said Erica Boisvert, realtor and operations manager at Boutique. “You’ve already got that trust.”
Flachner, who used to be a real estate agent, said that RealScout was developed out of necessity. When he was showing houses, he says his clients wouldn’t demand something like an exact square footage number because they are not robots. Instead, they describe how a cul-de-sac would be a safe place or how a backyard for the kids would nice, which is the criteria that he wanted to implement in RealScout.
“I wanted software that emulated what a good real estate agent is and helps me, almost like a superpower,” Flachner said.
The criteria for each location is different. Flachner said he has come across a buyer searching for a beachfront property that was able to see the surf break, which is not a common criterion in Seattle. Instead, criteria there features options for vicinity to Microsoft’s bus station.
“The answer is, agents, helped us form these criteria,” he said. “We don’t normalize across the country.”
Solution Leverages Data-Driven Insights, Collaborative Tools To Identify Best Homes for Each Client
Corona del Mar, California – May 5, 2016 – The Boutique Real Estate Group, Inc. (www.TheBoutiqueRE.com), a luxury residential real estate brokerage focused on brilliant design, beautiful marketing and luxury services, has extended its tech-forward business advantage with RealScout, a powerful solution that empowers brokers and agents to generate more offers in less time.
The Boutique Founder Raj Qsar said the addition of RealScout to the firm’s already extensive technology portfolio has empowered agents to generate more business and build stronger relationships through a variety of innovative features that foster collaboration and client engagement.
“RealScout takes the guesswork out of the real estate experience by providing critical, timely market intelligence that uncovers the best opportunities for each customer,” he said. “It offers uniquely targeted, data-driven insights and other tools that help our agents and clients work together in identifying the best homes based on lifestyle and feature preferences.”
Tech-enabled collaboration and marketing are at the core of The Boutique’s value proposition. Founded in 2013 and with agents serving Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside counties, the brokerage has mastered virtually every element of the luxury real estate buying and selling listing experience, with in-house creative design services, professional staging, architectural photography, cinematography and film production, world class social media, internet optimization, cloud-based transaction management, and global listing syndication. The firm was a finalist for the 2014 Inman News Innovator Award for “Most Innovative Real Estate Agent” and the 2015 Innovator Award for “Most Innovative Technology.” Furthermore, Qsar was named to the prestigious SP200 recognizing the “200 Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate for 2016.”
RealScout is an agent and broker-branded web and mobile platform that has facilitated billions of dollars in residential real estate sales by empowering agents and their clients to find the right homes through the use of highly detailed information extending well beyond MLS data. In addition, unlike conventional, third-party Web portals – which often disengage consumers from their agents – RealScout facilitates collaborative search within a broker and agent-branded environment.
“We were introduced to RealScout through a group demonstration and our agents were so enthusiastic about its capabilities that we decided to jump onboard almost immediately,” Qsar said. “It allows you to have an ongoing conversation with your client through the platform, and it is exceptionally easy to use for all parties.”
“Many real estate technology companies have tried to replace the role of the real estate agent, but RealScout is built around the exact opposite philosophy,” said RealScout Founder and CEO Andrew Flachner. “Everything we do at RealScout is based on the belief that agents’ local neighborhood knowledge and residential real estate transaction expertise, augmented with the right technology, provide clients the best advantage when making the most important financial decision of their lives. Raj and his team immediately understood the value RealScout could bring to their organization, and it is rewarding to see The Boutique build upon its success through our solution’s innovative features which help their agents generate more offers in less time.”
About The Boutique Real Estate Group
The Boutique Real Estate Group (TheBoutiqueRE.com) is a boutique real estate brokerage founded in Orange County, California, that focuses on brilliant design, beautiful marketing and luxury services. The Boutique has created a culture that spurs collaboration, technology and social media with a unique marketing approach. This design and tech-forward approach has earned The Boutique Real Estate Group accolades and awards worldwide: 2016 SP 200 “Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate,” 2015 Inman News Innovator Award Finalist nominee for “Most Innovative Real Estate Agent,” 2015 “Top 33 People Changing The Real Estate Industry,” 2014 “Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage,” 2013 and 2014 “Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders in the USA,” and 2014 “Real Estate Video of The Year.”
RealScout (realscout.com) is the brokerage and agent-branded home search platform that empowers agents and their clients to find the right home faster. RealScout supports the competitive needs of brokerages and agents by helping them work in concert with their clients throughout their property hunt. Home buyers receive exclusive personalized property matches based on their specific lifestyle and feature preferences. Agents have visibility into buyer activities to best meet evolving client preferences, boosting client loyalty and facilitating informed, data-driven decisions that generate more offers in less time.