Do You Know What AR Will Be?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408
https://activerain.com/droplet/4Fqq

I guess by now everyone is aware of the changes to AR. One post by Zillow, and the other by Ben Kinney.

When I am reading comments to both, they sound as if AR problem was in Trulia or Zillow.
No, folks. It is AR problem. AR, which lost its identity and became a compendium of endless Market reports and listings. Zillow has nothing to do with what AR has become.

It is obvious now that Zillow does not see any value in Active Rain. But how could Zillow see the value where we do not see it?

We can’t blame them for that. Recently, when I said that Zillow simply got AR and they do not need it, Jay Thompson from Zillow commented that this was not true, that Zillow was interested in Active Rain and very much aware…

I asked him whom of us two was hallucinating. Now we all know the answer:)

The major question remains. What the future of AR would be. Would it be as mediocre, as it's present?

I read Ben Kinney’s blog post. Over 300 comments, wow… Haven’t seen this level of interest and activity from members for a very long time. What it tells us is that mediocrity of AR in its current state (and for quite some time now) is obvious to members. Even those who kept saying all along that AR is the best thing after sliced bread…

These hundreds of comments clearly show that it is not.

I do not see much in the "philosophies" stated in Ben’s blog post. I do not understand how Ben can have two philosophies. You can have principles, and more than one, but only one philosophy. And so far we have no idea what it is. And knowing the philosophy would be great.

In capable hands

“Over the past five years, ActiveRain has been in the capable hands of some of the most innovative stewards in the business.” (See Ben’s blog).

I hope this is just PC. If this were true, people would not be so hyped about the future of Active Rain, which so many see in its past. I mean not technically, as it was crap, but philosophically.

I have been critical of AR since they ousted Jon Washburn. We got Nikesh Parekh and Market Leader running the ship, but we lost a compass... Or the philosophy, if you prefer.

So many are happy with the return of Bob Stewart. I share this joy. But it is not Bob Stewart’s AR, it is Ben Kinney’s as of July 1, 2015, and Ben Kinney’s philosophy is the key. It is Ben, who has (or does not have) the compass, and Bob will help steering the ship.

After all, Bob was helping Nicki steering the ship after they kicked out Jon Washburn, and we all sailed into nowhere…

What is beyond going independent? Who said mediocrity can’t be independent?

I am not personally concerned, as I have been living through the pathetic state of AR for years. It hardly can be any more pathetic.

But when I hear about going back to glorious days of AR, I am hearing hope.

What confuses me is that I know that original AR was not really a business model, so imagining Ben running not really a business, is an enigma to me. Obviously, he sees something there that we do not see. And what he sees is the most interesting thing.

So far I liked Ben’s promise not to turn AR into the channel for some company, or product. But even since Trulia got AR, we did not have it anyway. All this incessant promotions were before. They actually started when Jon Washburn was trying to monetize on the not so monetary concept…

Anyway, at least we now know what AR will not be.

But do you know what AR will be?

Image by Martijn.Munneke via Flickr.com
___________________

Jon Zolsky is a Daytona real estate broker specializing in condos and condo-hotels.

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Rainmaker
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The Isaacs Team llc
Washington, DC
realestateinthedistrict.com

I suggest we salute the ownership change by posting a record number of blog posts in every market on July 1st & 2nd!  : D

Jun 24, 2015 12:30 AM #96
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Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Jon, just maybe some of the "great" former members will return after the sale is complete.

Jun 24, 2015 07:59 AM #97
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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The Isaacs Team - I believe we already had quite a few of those changes, where more and more and more was point showered. Why for a change have a day of better posts?

I believe quality threshold is what we need.

I think we do not necessarily need more, but we would sure win from having better :)

Jun 24, 2015 08:29 AM #98
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Mike Frazier I doubt it, but would welcome them back if this happens

Jun 24, 2015 08:30 AM #99
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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I read a few posts on the Internet about the sale of AR to Ben Kinney. There is also another company, that Market Leader owned, Kwyk, I believe, is also part of the purchase.

What I want to say is that AR is not just a stand alone thing, that Ben is buying. he has several other companies, and, probably, sees the opportunity to enhance them/AR and make it a bit different, but stronger different.

I do not believe that he sees AR the way we see it, without knowing these possible connections to his portfolio of companies.

Can it help make AR better? That's what we all are hoping for.

Jun 25, 2015 04:20 AM #100
Rainmaker
1,694,627
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Let the count down begin- I think it will take a few months to see where we are going - but I do like your photo! 

Jun 25, 2015 09:00 PM #101
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Lise Howe - I am with you. And I like the photo, too :)

Jun 25, 2015 11:15 PM #102
Rainmaker
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Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Zillow does not care one iota about Realtors or the Realtor creed or our business. They are a web site designed to use our inventory and then sell it back to us to promote our own listings and business. They have harmed our clients by using data they have no right to publish like days on market, zestimates that are so completly wrong they are adverse to our listings, they sell packages to agents and then promote them as pros when they are anything but pros.... they misrepresent the market and they misrepresent the profressional standards of our Industry all for the mighty dollars they bring in.... its a hot mess if you ask me.  Active Rain is Realtors sharing and helping other Realtors promote themselves and increase our Business with high standards and lots of technical help... it will be good to stand together in the Fresh Rain!

Jun 26, 2015 03:49 AM #103
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Debra Leisek well, this post was not about Trulia/Zillow, my next is.

But why are you blaming them for the exactly the same thing that Realtor.com does, only making more expensive? They are also using "our inventory and then sell it back to us to promote our own listings and business"

And how many times you would run into statements made on AR, which are simply wrong, and nobody in comments would point it out simply because we want to pat each other on the back? I have had a few instances when my clients would send me a link to the post with wrong information, and ask me whether agents have any decency as there was no effort to correct wrong statements. This is the reason I am no longer suggesting that my clients check AR.

I thought we were not talking about just Realtors, but rather about agents/brokers. Being part of NAR is of no importance to me. And I believe AR was not about Realtors as much as about agents/brokers. I am sure we, as pros, know the difference.

Jun 26, 2015 04:46 AM #104
Rainmaker
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Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

 

I am not blaming Zillow but I just don’t feel they are the most important game in town. You imply that Zillow is too good for AR and I just don’t agree with that concept.  

 

Zillow’s information is consistently inaccurate. Their data is wrong, their numbers are wrong and their Zestimates are fictional.   Comparing Zillow’s hardcore well funded campaign of inaccurate information to individual AR bloggers making some mistakes is like comparing Boeing to the Wright Brothers… doesn’t wash….

 

I do agree Realtor.com sold us out too. They did that long ago and now they have FSBO’s on Realtor.com too… which I think is insulting to our industry. But with all the Real Estate web sites like Zillow and Trulia doing FSBOs they took the keep in the race attitude. None of these Folks care about my bottom line or yours.

 

Everyone gets to make their own mind up on the upcoming changes… and time will tell the story… but I for one am very happy to see only Active Rain on my blog and am looking towards a bright future sharing, learning and being part of an active group of real professionals!

 

Jun 26, 2015 05:37 PM #105
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Debra Leisek - my understanding that in the war with Realtor.com Zillow is offering MLS the datam that they do not have and which they need.

They are using public data, and then formulas to come at the valuation results that they have. Every virtual Valuation method used by MLS is practically the same.

In homogenous areas, like many in Florida their valuations are incredibly accurate.

Without them I wouldn;t be able to work foreclosures as we need quick estimates, and Zillow is where we get it.

As for Active Rain, hopefully, it would start getting back its identity. Funny, but when they really get it, if it happens, most probably Ben would sell it to a company like Zillow.

I would also like to "being part of active group of real professionals", but AR is too far from it right now.

Jun 26, 2015 10:33 PM #106
Rainer
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Marla Yost
Marla Yost Team- Keller Williams Realty - Arlington, TX
The Marla Yost Team

Changes are wonderful and hard for some people to accept....Ben Kinney will do an awesome job. 

So excited !!

Jun 26, 2015 11:11 PM #107
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Marla Yost - well, at least ben has a benefit of members' trus, this is obvious. I have no idea why, but this is a different story :)

Jun 27, 2015 01:37 AM #108
Rainmaker
630,386
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

 

That is interesting  that you can use Zillow data for valuing property. I would be out of business in a couple of weeks here!  Alaska is a privacy state. We do not publish the price of homes or land when sold.  So whatever public information they are using and their formulas to value are severely off kilter. We have tried to get them to change Zestimates even offered Appraisals so they could see actual value but they refuse to budge. They have harmed more than one seller in our area and buyers who believe their information usually have a pretty tough time buying anything till we can educate them on the actual values of home and land. But Alaska is different in many ways…so we know how to roll with the punches!

 

 

 

Thanks!

 

Jun 27, 2015 09:21 AM #109
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Debra Leisek - Are you the only state that does not makes prices of sold properties public? For me, a Floridian, this is very unusual. We have this information, and the history of values, where every sale is public.

Here it is very different from what you describe. Probably it is very easy to do in our area, especially in places like Palm Coast, which are pretty much a homogehous development with similar home in age and quality for miles in each direction.

 

Jun 27, 2015 10:41 PM #110
Rainmaker
630,386
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Honestly I dont know what other states might have in privacy laws. But I do know that Zillow is constantly mentioned by people in most states as having bad data or zestimates that are very off value.  And yes Alaska is everything from Dry Cabins to luxury Beach Condos. so it is very difficult to pinpoint us. And they cant go off tax base because in our Borough there are no property taxes up to 300,000 value if you are over 65 and it is your primary home.   However the fact they will not even try to be fair about the prices is wrong.  They will not budge even if they have a 600,000 property valued at 250,000. So it is harmful.  They will not listen to the seller, agent or appraiser...so they are presenting false date even after proof of actual value has been given to them.

Jun 28, 2015 06:56 AM #111
Rainmaker
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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jon how did I miss this post?:) love it but keep in mind what happens to people when they speak the Truth:)) Remember  what happened to Lavrentiya Beria?:))Endre

Sep 05, 2015 03:54 PM #112
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Endre Barath, Jr. - did you mean what happened to people who would tell the truth in the dark times of Lavretiy Pavlovich Beria?

Sep 05, 2015 11:53 PM #113
Rainmaker
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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Both now that you mention it...but the joke in Hungry used to be that he was executed by Khrushchev for speaking the truth i.e.: de-Stalinization.:))))))... Endre

 

 

Sep 06, 2015 04:57 AM #114
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Endre Barath, Jr. - Khruschev outsmarted Beria, who, probably, was his biggest competitor after Stalin's death. Interestingly, Beria was the only one who was against 2 Germanies. I heard other things that were very sound, as well... I believe after Stalin any of them would look like a sheep

Sep 06, 2015 12:14 PM #115
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