Category Archives: US Market

All a Twitter

Happened across a great article that Steven Swanepoel tweeted about earlier today.

Got me thinking.

It talks about the future of Twitter, more in terms of its use for business/brand owners.

It reported about a company that had recently launched a new add series with a major Twitter component, as an integral part of a multi-million dollar ad campaign.

Starbucks put up posters in six major US cities, then asked people to go out and find them, and upload a pic to Twitter as soon as, the first 5 to win a Starbucks Coffee Card with $20 free credit.


The expensive Starbucks program launched on or about the 20th May 09.

The angle was to tap in to the power of social media, and I suspect hope a bit of viral was going on in the background concurrently.

Caution might be required though, as it can go the other way too….

I’ll let Softpedia explain…..

Social media is firing back at major businesses again and this time its Stabucks’ turn to take the heat. The coffee shop giant wanted to use the power of twitter in a new multi-million dollar campaign. Filmmaker and liberal activist Robert Greenwald however saw this as an opportunity to promote his latest documentary criticizing Starbucks’ unfair labor practices and union busting.

According to,

filmmaker Robert Greenwald who has done a short video critical of the way that Starbucks treats employees, entered the Twitter contest as a way to get out news about his new film.

In the real world as Web 2.0 heads towards 3.0 this is the way that transparency will play out, even more business visibility and all things associated with it. If you are thinking of utlizing social media in a business sense you must be also aware that the world is getting to be a smaller place each day. And for Real Estate in this part of the world?

And for the buying public this has got to be a good thing. There is no 6 degrees of separation when it comes to Twitter? Go here to read the full article Steven tweeted earlier.

My take on it, at least from a NZ Real Estate perspective, might be……

You’ll notice the QR Code on the above sign (highlighted by green arrow)

Now with all these new model phs Telecom on their XT Network and Vodafone are releasing, many have the facility to take a photo of a QR Code and immediately take your mobile phones browser to the desired web location.

Could be as simple as….

Tweet to all followers

the first person to spot one of “XXX” Real Estates signs with a QR Code on it needs to upload it to Twitter / or email to company….for prize. (in 140 chars obviously) Or if all your QR Codes are on a white background – “first person to spot a yellow or orange one” – heck they could always snap the QR code and it itself could direct them what to do next.

Heck with today’s technology it wouldn’t even be hard for the uploader to be then automatically taken to a site that tells them they are the winner of a T-Shirt / Coffee Card, CD/DVD or so. And anyone else taking the same snap (aka “too late”) and uploading after the first person or going to the www site on the QR Code would see “sorry you missed out – ABC Citizen has just beaten you” – then capture their details so that next time a competition is run, and broadcast on the radio for example, Twitter users registered or followers might get a 5 minute head start on the radio add or similar.

Really the possibilities are immense.

The QR Code would only need to be printed on waterproof label paper, and in that way could be frequently changed.

While selling the home the code would take the interested buyers direct to the listing and details, while once its sold, the sticker could be changed to then redirect to a competition, or even other new “avail for sale” listings very similar to this sold one.

Its just a matter of time before we will start to see these 2D/3D type barcodes popping up everywhere.


Update reply to comments below

Stewart – I hope it really gets picked u here soon

Pete – although this – – is taking it a bit extreme with no other words at all on the sign there are quite a few other - – examples – – around the globe where folks are doing it now. In OZ, at least in Brisbane the local newspaper has been trialling it in competitions for youngsters in their Sunday Pull-out section.

Pete in an earlier post I actually pictured an example in commercial real estate from Oz, you might want to check it out.

These has been a couple of mentions – here in – – NZ, and some interesting ones –, but no where near the mass use Japan has had for years now.

Licensed to sell

This past week one of the biggest tech things to hit the newswires was the wave.

Google looks to be onto another winner, and well they should be considering the core of their development was the brothers based in Sydney who concentrated their original efforts on an thing called Google Maps, but it seems we’ll have to wait some months for the real conclusion.

Even MS got into the act with BING (“But Is Not Google”)

You can’t help but notice that many trends from overseas, probably more specifically in equivalent OECD places like the States, the UK and Australia usually permiate, in time, their way down under to “Middle Earth”.

Why, even I remember as an ambitious young Kiwi, after an overseas trip circa 1980, what a cool wallet those Californians had invented that just zippered open via a Velcro mechanism.

Everyone I showed it to in Auckland back then wanted one.

Then 6 months later everyone seemed to be showing an absurd fasination with US baseball style caps.

In my previous post, I mentioned about how exciting it was to see transparency, in a Kiwi equivalent situation.

Here in NZ, well actually in August this year  (you may have seen the positions for committee members advertised in this weekend’s papers) we will have a new government sanctioned umbrella authority overseeing all RE in NZ.

The 2009 pics displayed here are from a Florida training institution.

Ok, the shots are from a Real Estate training organisation in Florida, but should it really be as easy as the graphics depict?

Suggest to study in your spare hours to gain a licence so that you can sell someones most important asset…….?

Maybe explains why there are such wild fluctuation in RE Agent / Realtors over the last 10 years in the US, cumulating in ridiculous examples like in California where at one time this decade nearly 1 out of every 50 residents was a real estate agent.

Where is Nelson in just released May 2009 Property Report

Yesterday the May 2009 Property Report was released by

Continuing in almost a similar vein to last month, Nelson again shows some interesting results when compared to many other parts of the country.

GRAPHIC – NZ Property Report – May 2009

Nelson had the second highest increase in asking prices tracked in the April 2009 report, and continues in that pattern in May 2009 by being just outside the top 5 at number 6, out of the 19 reporting regions.

GRAPHIC – NZ Property Report – May 2009

In commenting on the critical factor of Inventory levels (after all supply & demand has such a bearing on price) the report displays that Nelson is one of 4 regions whose tightened supply swings the market sentiment towards the seller side.

The report said as much

At the other extreme the areas with the lowest levels of inventory are Wellington with 16 weeks, Taranaki – 20 weeks, with Nelson and Otago with 23 weeks apiece.

And in pointing out a tightening of available for sale properties the writer goes on…

Areas representing the tightest market in respect of current inventory as compared to long term averages would be Nelson, Wellington and Canterbury.

So when compared to May 2008 the amount of new listings was down by 182 or 29%.

One could say the displayed data, is consistent with continuing to validate our reasonably stable local Real Estate market, one that does, like it has for many decades (see here – further next paragraph), continues to display the sort of data set that is concordant with a location being a buyers desired choice when it comes to a place to call “home”.

If you would like to conduct a bit more research to see what I am talking about re Nelson standing out for many decades now in price history data, head on over to MOTU, go here to read or download “The Ups & Downs of NZ House Prices”.**

Gander at the Tables starting on Page 20, (especially Table 1 and 11-12) and just see where Nelson sits when equated to the rest of the country, and you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about.

And after watching Trulia CEO Pete Flint on this Forbes video interview, you just know that what is doing by providing this monthly report (& like many REINZ reports, for free unlike others) is increasing exactly the sort of real estate transparency talked about in the interview, and the sort of info / data that increasingly US first time home buyers are demanding.

** Hall, Viv; John McDermott and James Tremewan. 2006. “The Ups and Downs of New Zealand House Prices,” Motu Working Paper 06-03.

Will she do $1,000,000 from Real Estate over 12mths?

Following the methods outlined the bestselling author Gary Keller’s book “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”, a Realtor (US speak for a Real Estate Agent) is looking to achieve an audacious goal.  By using his methods and following the plan Sarah Bandy hopes to generate one million dollars of revenue in a 52-week time span.

A particularly interesting component in this quest is her take on taking advantage of Web 2.0 methods.

From her web site….

Each week viewers will be able to tune in at to learn her methods, celebrate her successes, and follow every step of the way on her daring and exciting new journey.

Sarah has said she will be incorporating and using “Web 2.0” methods, encompassing Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to promote her show and help to accomplish her goal.


And you think you’ve got problems?

Just sliced $50 million off the asking price of your home?

No I didn’t think so either.

Thats the sum that has been slashed off Leona Helmsleys estate property in Greenwich.

Originally listed on the market for USD$125m, and after a drop to USD$95m last October, is it now available for the bargain price of USD$75m.

But at least Trouble is ok, don’t forget he got USD$12m in Leona Helmsleys will.

In slightly related older news, this price drop follows on from The Donalds slight price reduction on his old Palm Beach, Florida mansion where against an asking price of USD$125m he got USD$95m from a Russian billionaire. (On Forbes Billionaire list, the new owner, Ryolovev is #59 with estimated worth of USD$12billion)

IMAGE 1 – 21-04-09

IMAGE 2 – New York Times 23-04-09