News at 11 is Too Late: The REALTOR® Report

Title Insurance with Mid-Atlantic Settlement Services

I have continuously been intrigued by a blog post penned by the inimitable Seth Godin in January of this year.  In that post called "Time to start a newspaper", he suggests that real estate brokers ...wait for it..... start a local newspaper.Reporter

Last night I witnessed a variation on this theme:  Some local real estate professionals (myself included) help to break a story that we couldn't get any information about from the "real" news sources.  Maybe not "break," but at least inform others as to what was going on.

It all started about 8:30 last night when I noticed helicopters flying around my rather rural neighborhood and shining lights in people's backyards (mine included).  "Rural" might be an understatement.  Where I live, police helicopters don't just start flashing lights on people's houses - ever.  This was exciting stuff!

Here's the timeline:

8:43 PM:  I simply tweet "Helicopters circling my neighborhood. What gives?  Did some cows have a gang fight?"  (I know, hilarious.  You didn't know you were getting a comedy routine when you started reading this, did you?) I follow that up with a tweet giving more information provided from a Baltimore County Police Department phone call.

At 9:19 PM, local real estate agent Zach Hosford provides more detail here, telling us the exact neighborhood where the suspect lives and fleed from.

At 9:44, I get an email from a neighbor who has a police scanner.  I post portions of that email to Posterous here.

At 11:06, Zach closed the story via Twitter by letting us all know, "he's apprehended everyone sleep tight!"

It started with a simple tweet, and within a few hours the story ended with the news that an armed suspect was taken into custody.  All broadcast in the public space.  I suppose anyone has the ability to do this, but aren't real estate agents who are armed with strong local networks and the ability to get and disseminate information superbly able to?

Photo credit: sskennel


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Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Derek:  Seems like just about anyone these days are "armed" with the ability to disseminate information. Sounds like it was exciting stuff ... glad all is well and no cows were taken in.

Oct 23, 2009 01:26 AM #1
Karen Singbeil
Royal LePage Access Real Estate | Associate Broker | Personal Real Estate Corporation - Sicamous, BC
Living In & Selling Shuswap : Sicamous | Mara Lake

Hi Derek, This is one of many stories I have heard like this on twitter , yes your so right we have the means to get the story out and I feel it will soon snowball as it is just at the tip now!  

Oct 23, 2009 01:37 AM #2
Derek Massey
Mid-Atlantic Settlement Services - Hunt Valley, MD

Thanks for the comments, Kathleen and Karen!

No cows were injured during the course of these events. :)  Yeah, I guess everyone has the tools to share local info quickly.  I just think real estate agents are equipped even better than most as you all are (typically) the eyes and ears of your community. 

Oct 23, 2009 02:27 AM #3
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Hmmmm, are you certain no cows were hurt? I remember that night & the back & forth, plus Zach and I talked about it on the way to REBarcamp DC! I was of course laughing at the north county folks since I hear helicopters on a semi-regular basis being right at the intersection of 2 major highways, a few streets over from multiple hospitals, and not far from a jail... :-)

Oct 30, 2009 12:56 AM #4
Derek Massey
Mid-Atlantic Settlement Services - Hunt Valley, MD

OK, for the record it wasn't JUST the helicopters flying overhead.  It was the spotlights in my front yard!  But otherwise, yes... us North County folks make for good stories.

Oct 30, 2009 01:29 AM #5
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