Category Archives: blogging

Those old blogger interviews

blog fiesta

– Blog Fiesta, 2007. That one time we ate tacos and talked about blogging.

A decade ago, (seriously) I decided to host a meet-up for a few real estate bloggers in Colorado. I booked it in a Mexican restaurant, so I called it, “Blog Fiesta.” I created a website to promote the event, and decided to interview some of the folks that were attending. This was a full year before the first RE BarCamp.

Blog Fiesta lived beyond the event itself and became a blog about real estate blogging. Unfortunately, I had to abandon the site in 2009.

I recently noticed that I had somehow saved all the old posts from Blog Fiesta. I had even migrated them to this site. I don’t remember doing this, but hooray, they are here. The only issue is that the pictures are missing. I will get around to deleting those image errors… someday.

2007 was the year real estate blogging blew up. Since then, many of the people interviewed have moved on to other things and some of the tools people were using are out of date. Yet, I enjoyed reading through these. You might too. Tools change, but the strategies still apply today.

Here are a few notables: Continue reading

Online Mortgage Pioneer Dies at 53

I was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Warren Hitesh Myer. For those who never met him, Warren was one of the true pioneers of the online world of real estate. He probably originated the first online mortgage in 1992, and founded Myers Internet in 1995.

I moved to San Jose, CA in 2000 to work for Myers Internet, my first web related job. We sold hosted websites to real estate and mortgage companies and generated online leads through sites like BestRate.com, Loanapp.com, and MortgageFAQ.com. Applying for a loan on an SSL encrypted website seems pretty pedestrian today, but this was some cutting edge stuff 20 years ago. Warren was one of the key guys driving the adoption of online loan applications.

 - Lenderama.com, powered by Myers, circa 2001

Lenderama.com, powered by Myers in 2001

My experience at Myers Internet drove me to acquire the URL, lenderama.com. I had NO IDEA what to do with it. I just knew I had to have a professional, online presence moving forward.  For a while, lenderama was mapped to a Myers-powered mortgagefaq.com site. Later, when I returned to wholesale lending, I used lenderama as a client resource repository. In 2005, it became my blog.

In retrospect, I owe quite a lot to Warren. He was the catalyst that helped change the course of my career. I sold lenderama.com in 2009, but still feel a connection to the mortgage world through the relationships built through that site.

Over the years, I have had a few opportunities to reconnect with Warren. He was a regular attendee at Inman Connect in San Francisco and fairly active on social media. I was always eager to hear his thoughts and recently connected him with a lending/data startup in the Bay Area.

Like many habitual entrepreneurs, Warren was the single wage earner in his family and did not have life insurance. He is survived by his wife, Suki, and four step-children. Please consider donating to the Warren Hitesh Myer Memorial Fund. I would really appreciate anything you can do for them.

R.I.P. Warren Hitesh Myer.

Is ghost blogging a violation of the NAR code of ethics?

I’m slated to speak on a panel on how blogging can get you sued, (or fired) at Inman Connect this summer. I’ve been exploring topics related this week and studying up on RESPA, Copyright Infringement, and even the NAR Code of Ethics.

One business practice worth looking at in this regard is the act of hiring a ghost blogger. Specifically, to hire someone else to write complete blog posts for you, then publish them on you blog under your own name. This is a fairly common practice in the publishing world, and amung big name CEO’s. But these folks aren’t bound by the NAR Code of Ethics.

In reading the first sentence of article 12, I think this practice could be considered a breach.

REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.

Representing yourself as an expert by taking credit for advice that you simply did not create on your own is not honest in my book. I think it would be different, and completely acceptable if you credited the ghost post to a “staff writer”, or something similar. But signing you name to that work is a different story.

What do you think?