A Quick Plug
Tune in to our new episode! Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Bill Wendel and Joyce Searls about where tech meets real estate, and how intentcasting could improve the market.
Last week we veered away from our usual topics a bit to talk about real estate markets and how they may benefit from intentcasting, discussing ideas born out of Doc’s work (and others) from project VRM at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
We hope you’ll listen to the whole episode, but this quote from Joyce Searls is the heart of the issue that we cover in more detail.
I just want to wind back to this thought where bill was talking about the institutional buyers, the iBuyers. And, and what I've been saying is it's like the family farm movement with that family farms sold out to agribusiness.
And it, that was the way that agriculture became big ag, but before that agriculture in the U S was all family farms. And my fear about residential real estate is that these are our family farms now. And what will happen next is that the iBuyers will come in and they'll be agricultural type giant conglomerates. So it'd be residential real estate, giant conglomerates that buy and run, and we then have to, you know, get our housing from the, the equivalent of big ag.
So the reason I really care about it is because I have been a small landlord and I've been a small homeowner. And I really think that there's so much power to having your own agency and your own way of, of, you know, running your own business, your own show, even if you have a job at a corporation, but if you own some, a duplex or something that you are as a small landlord, you have a sense of agency. So why real estate really resounds with me in this is like, let's not do what happened with big ag to the American dream, the actual American dream, which is, you know, owning your own home.
So I wanted to just start with that. And then now I can stay a little bit about what we're we're doing with this on our Customer Commons non-profit, building something called the byway, which is the alternative to the web. The web is the highway. Remember the information highway that Al gore talked about? Well, the information highway turned out to be basically your choice of big tech, you know, your choice of platform you can be on. You have full agency as long as you're, you know, selling on eBay or selling on Amazon or, or you're driving for Uber or whatever.
So the, the big platforms have, have captured in the same way that I was talking about with big ag have, have captured tech. Now let's just use the internet to take the byway, which is kind of like, you know, the back roads of America. So it's the back roads of tech so that I can just connect with whoever it is. Maybe I want to sell my house, I'm getting ready to sell my house maybe, or my parent is getting ready to sell. And there's a lot of work that needs to be done.
But if I have the availability of connecting with, you know, locals in my community who might be interested in buying my house, if I can connect with them directly without the giant industrial system that is industrial real estate, then I might really have a very satisfying transaction and have the right outcome for what I want. And I believe that the baby boom generation, which Bill really spends a lot of time talking about is ripe for this. We're like, we want to do the right thing for the next generation.
And so why if we... Not saying everybody's going to do it, there's plenty of people that will do it the way, whatever way that is out there to be done, but have have an alternative. . .
The idea is, is that, that my platform, my machine is my platform so that I could have an algorithm that runs on my data and the runs on what I'm concerned with and my financials and my ownership, and that I would have an algorithm, which would work on my personal data and help me to figure out what I should do, and that I could buy this from an independent app store. It doesn't have to be an app store that's run by Google or apple. And it would be an app of my own, an app for me.
So that's why we called it a palgorithm like personal algorithm, but also my buddy. And, and that it, it reports to me. So it's not out there, you know, giving information to some larger platform.
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This Week’s Reading List
Real Estate Cafe / reVRM Minifesto — Idea starters to kick-start conversation about VRM's potential role in the residential real estate industry
Ralph Nader on Twitter: "Absentee giant corporate control over local America expands relentlessly. Latest are huge firms like Blackrock buying hundreds of thousands of houses for speculation purposes. Fight absentee corporatist domination. Support the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. @ilsr -R" / Twitter
Pacaso Is Turning Houses Into Corporations : Planet Money : NPR — On a sleepy cul-de-sac amid the bucolic vineyards and grassy hills of California's Sonoma Valley, a $4 million house has become the epicenter of a summer-long spat between angry neighbors and a new venture capital-backed startup buying up homes around the nation. The company is called Pacaso. It says it's the fastest company in American history to achieve the "unicorn" status of a billion-dollar valuation — but its quarrels in wine country, one of the first regions where it's begun operations, foreshadow business troubles ahead.
Bill Wendel on Twitter: "Stats below reveal need to replace Active MLS listings with new metric - owners who #Intend2Sell or #IntentionInventory DEC = good month for price reductions, expired listings & to interact #P2P w/ owners planning #LifeTransition in 2022 DM re #ProactHH https://t.co/Tgvjs9S6nM https://t.co/1KkusoNPpz" / Twitter — #BidWarBacklash: 20 yrs ago, Feds report "Housing Starting to Weaken“ cautioned: "Housing values dropped 8% on average during last recession in 1991. Not only could it happen again, ..it could 'happen rather abruptly.'" Instead of bidding #100KoverAsk, willing to #TimeREMarket?
In Case You Were Unclear What the US Government Thinks of NAR... - NotoriousROB — In light of yet another intervention in a private lawsuit by the Department of Justice, this time in the REX v. Zillow case, a few things should be clearer. One, the Department of Justice really doesn’t like it when NAR uses the 2008 Consent Decree as any kind of a shield for any kind of a rule. NAR has done this in Moehrl, in Sitzer, and now in REX and in all three instances, the DOJ went out of its way to file a Statement of Interest telling the judge that the DOJ in no way shape or form approved any NAR rule or policy.
Stay safe out there! Until next time!
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