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Why you shouldn’t care if your coach isn’t a top producer.

Originally written on December 29, 2010 and published to

A tale of two quarterbacks:

Mike was a solid high school quarterback, but considered undersized
once he moved on to college. A hit from another player almost killed
him and his career as a quarterback quickly came to a close. Mike
became a coach. He started as an assistant coach in the college ranks
and eventually made it to the NFL where he worked as a quarterback’s
coach, an offensive coordinator and finally, a head coach.

John was a superstar quarterback in high school and college. He was
the first player drafted in the Quarterback Class of 1983 and ended
his career as the winningest quarterback in NFL history, and MVP of the
back to back World Champion Denver Broncos.

Throughout most of John Elway’s best years in the NFL, Mike Shanahan
was his coach.

Personally, I don’t care if the people who coach me are top producers.
I want them to be top coaches.

The unsung heroes of RE BarCamp.


RE BarCamp SF, 2008

Eight years ago, my friend Andy Kaufman decided that it would be a good idea to bring BarCamp to real estate. BarCamp is an unconference, or a conference without speakers and agendas. I’ll tell you right now that I wasn’t sold on the idea of bringing this radical concept to real estate, but felt that, at worst, a couple dozen of us would get together one day before Inman Connect SF, drink some beer, and geek out about real estate. So I was in.

I helped Andy with the event by promoting it online. I created, and started drumming up attention for the event. Because I was a very public part of the original crew that helped organize the first RE BarCamp, many people give me more credit than I deserve for the event. Lots of people helped to make the first event a success and even more people helped to turn the event into a worldwide phenomenon Continue reading

Will NAR’s bold moves with pay off?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for my family. We are in the process of moving back to Chicago, and I haven’t had much time to write. Last week, the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors met to approve “historic” changes to their agreement with Move Inc, to operate Inman News provided good coverage here.

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 1.05.07 PMBasically, will be able to display non-listed rentals, new construction properties, and some distressed properties. Basically, idea 3 from my prior post. I’m a proponent of moves like this.

NAR definitely paid a price to make this happen. is no longer the members-only club it was a week ago. The site is now offering about the same member benefit as offers every real estate agent, REALTOR® or not. What will NAR receive in return?

These changes should help improve traffic, but will they be enough to regain the lead among real estate portals? I’m skeptical. It would be interesting to know what the BOD’s expectations are, which leads me to a question I would love your input on.

What result should NAR expect from Move Inc, now that it has “let soar?”

Furthermore, will Move be able to deliver? The BOD’s decision is definitely a step in the right direction, but at best, they are playing catch-up. Trulia and Zillow have robust rental, new construction and distressed property programs in place. Move’s incorporation of New Home Source listings will likely make them a leader in new construction listings, but by how much? Meanwhile, Zillow is still meeting consumer demand for things that remain taboo for the REALTOR® family (agent ratings, Zestimates, FSBOs…). If NAR is expecting Move to regain the lead in traffic, they have their work cut out for them.

Only time will tell what will happen, but I think NAR will have some interesting decisions to make in the near future. Should the association bet on their horse to win, place, or show? If Move can’t deliver, the next special BOD meeting could be about a partnership with Zillow instead.


The REThink – disconnect

In perhaps, the greatest introspection the National Association of REALTORS® has conducted in their history, the association spent the better part of the last year reimagining their future. I applaud the REThink project, and its findings. Strategic Planning Committee Chair Shannon Williams King, who was a force of nature in making it happen, should be commended. The report will help guide the association in forging strategic policy and keeping them relevant.

However, (you knew the ‘however’ was coming, right?)

introspectionOne of the the most popular ‘crazy ideas’ expressed was the notion to ‘take back and upgrade it to compete with other national aggregators.’ That’s a tall task. Here’s an idea that’s a little more realistic, ‘take back or upgrade it to compete with other national aggregators.’ See the distinction?

Unfortunately, what few members understand about the current partnership between NAR and Move Inc to run is that NAR, a member driven organization, cannot be expected to compete with consumer driven organizations unless it’s members are fully committed to making serious concessions that are currently taboo. What kind of concessions? If NAR were to take back, here are a few things members would have to accept: Continue reading