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Sad Day in Portland Real Estate Blogging

Apparently people know me better than I know me. There’s another Portland real estate related blog that makes that clear and is so derogatory and uninformed/hateful that it can’t be left without comment. For those of you that think you know me but have never met me I’ll make the same offer here that I made over there:

I’m happy to have coffee/beer with any of you so you can get to know me (including the site owner who is anonymous). I’ll pay for the first round so if you want to leave it won’t have cost you anything more than your time. If you think I am blowing sunshine up your skirt about real estate at the end of it that is your right but until then you have no right to belittle me and my family here though I know some of you will.

If you don’t believe that real estate is personal and believe that your Realtor is out for nothing but the dollar you will/might get screwed. You are entrusting someone with a life altering transaction. The real estate industry brought much of the ill will on itself but don’t take it out on me unless you know me. INTERVIEW YOUR REALTOR AND ASK FOR REFERRALS! Ask tough questions of the person before putting life changing decisions in their hands whether it be doctors, lawyers or Realtors. If your Realtor relationship begins with a call from a sign in a yard and then an offer on that property, you have an issue. We won’t represent a buyer for a listing we have even though it is legal to do so (and lucrative). We refer it to someone else. Dual agency on resale homes should not be legal but it is. How many Realtors will tell you that? Barriers to entry and license maintenance in real estate too low; yes. 100+ past clients didn’t attend our holiday party to throw a drink in my face. Have I loved and been loved by every past client? No, unfortunately. Have I done my best to prevent that? I feel like I have but my perception may not have been their reality.

If you don’t want to work with me the feeling is probably mutual but if you have something to say at least say it here with some modicum of respect.

20 Comments on “Sad Day in Portland Real Estate Blogging

  1. There must be another blog that I don’t know about. Not that I visit many: yours, Clint’s, Outsider’s and CR. What are you talking about?

  2. Even we blog participants get attacked in the anonymous realm of the blogosphere, sometimes cruelly. You are more public and often participate in the controversial aspects of real estate so make a visible target. You really can’t let it bother you.

    Real estate agents/brokers, whatever, are the face of what is going on right now. Do you read the papers? Do you have a grasp on the economic debacle we’re involved in or are you that optimistic to think it’ll all pass with little or no effects? Even though you are an honest person you have to accept that the group you belong to has led us down a path that is looking more and more like a ruinous one. You have put yourself out there as a target. And perhaps unfortunately, your intellect makes you run your blog in a style that is uncharacteristic for a realtor-owned blog. Most realtor blogs are not conducive to discussion and don’t entertain any bubble talk. They’re simply one-sided advertisements. You obviously like the controversy and interaction with those who are dismayed by the reality of the situation we’re in.

    I think maybe you’re a strong-willed, opinionated person who wants to take a jab in the eye of the bubble bloggers. That would be understandable and something I would probably do if I was in your shoes. But then you have to expect that some will strike back, made easier by the anonymity of the blogosphere.

  3. Naysayer, I hear you but I have to strike out in order to be striked back upon. Instead I’m the recipeient of I don’t see where I have ever jabbed in the eye of the bubble bloggers.

    You have put yourself out there as a target. And perhaps unfortunately, your intellect makes you run your blog in a style that is uncharacteristic for a realtor-owned blog. Most realtor blogs are not conducive to discussion and don’t entertain any bubble talk.

    When I started blogging, and even now, I don’t want to be a target of uninformed ill will. Your comment implies that I should be applauded not attacked for running a real estate blog that is not all rosy. Debate doesn’t bother me, meaness does.

  4. Charles, hang in there. I love the blog. Don’t always like some of the comments, but so it goes in the blogging world. Like Naysayer, I feel you have to expect some sniping or blaming of the current real estate market, if you wish to blog. Do I feel you, or your wife, are personally responsible for it? No. But like many things in life, it is so much easier to lump everything together and blame a group. So some people will.

    Your desire to be very open about real estate will prove to be beneficial in the long run. I find it sad that many other RE agents don’t wish to go down this path.

  5. Charles, thanks for keeping this a mostly open forum. As Naysayer says that’s unusual in the Realtor Blog world. Also have to agree with Naysayer’s comment about how a lot of people are going to blame Realtors for this mess. In your particular case, that’s probably not a fair thing, but you are seen as part of that same profession. And the tough times are only getting started.

  6. To add to what I said, think about the dotcom bubble. If there were brokers still pumping internet stocks while the house was burning, they were disparaged too. The stock analysts who were found to be shilling stocks weren’t looked upon too favorably either. They used their insider, expert status to pump stocks and thus make more money for their firms knowing full well that things were going straight to hell.

    I think RE agents are being seen the same way now. There was an interesting, very comprehensive and slick marketing product put out by John L Scott in Seattle recently that was heavily promoting this as a perfect time to buy, despite the uncertainty and instability in the housing market. Sure, the Northwest may be a little better off but they made it sound again, like if you didn’t jump in NOW you were going to lose big. I think people resent that kind of aggressive promotion with no acknowledgment of reality.

    Look at the pharmaceutical companies. How many people do you talk to that resent and dislike those ubiquitous ads for lifestyle drugs? Sure, the drug companies want to help people, alleviate their discomfort. But most people see through that and know that big pharma’s real motivation is making money. Do those drugs get over prescribed and often to the wrong people? Yes.

    Did people get coerced, chided or otherwise cajoled into buying houses they couldn’t afford? Are they now threatening to take down our economy and are demanding a bailout? Yes. And who was there at the front lines urging them on? No, no one put a gun to their heads but no one forced anyone to buy WorldCom right before they folded either. That doesn’t help the image of the people who were promoting it.

    And you’ve been praised for keeping the forum open. Isn’t having the integrity to allow open debate (within reason) worth the occasional insult written about you somewhere on the blogosphere? Like someone else said, it will benefit you in the future in being seen as more of a realist in this profession.

  7. >>Did people get coerced, chided or otherwise cajoled into buying houses they couldn’t afford? Are they now threatening to take down our economy and are demanding a bailout? Yes. And who was there at the front lines urging them on? No, no one put a gun to their heads but no one forced anyone to buy WorldCom right before they folded either. That doesn’t help the image of the people who were promoting it.<< I dont get this nonsensical view against RE agents. If you are putting 20% as a downpayment and taking a loan for 30 years with the attached consequences if you dont make monthly payments, it is you who is ultimately responsible for the decision; not the RE agent or the bank or the government. this is what any sales job is about; the RE agent is not dictating house prices; (s)he informs you of recent market data/trends and tells you what would be a fair price based on it. You are not held at gun point to buy/sell a house; just like a car salesman could not sell you a Porsche when all you could afford is a Camry. Where is buyer's responsibility here?? Tell me one line of business where sales are made by showcasing the potential negatives of the product(s) being sold? the fact that Charles and Jenny maintain a blog to let you vent you anger at realestate (for whatever reason you may have) does not mean they should be blamed in any part for the stupidity of the ARM buyers, derivative funds, job market or inflation due to spending of our goverment on unnecessary wars.

  8. Who the heck put 20% down in the past 5 years?

  9. Tell me one line of business where sales are made by showcasing the potential negatives of the product(s) being sold?

    Can’t have it both ways. If agents want us to believe they care so deeply about our well-being then they should discuss the downside of this market and the dangers of taking out loans you can’t repay. If, as you say, it is ethical to hide the negatives to achieve a sale then the caring agent scenario goes out the window. If one is going to promote themselves as an expert advising the purchaser, whether it be houses, stocks or televisions, then that expert should look out for their client’s interests. If not then they’ll simply become used car salesmen as they’re no better.

  10. daycare
    realtors and brokers have been selling over-valued homes to a trusting and uninformed public. the antipathy is going to get much worse as real estate prices continue to collapse nationwide.

  11. realtors and brokers have been selling over-valued homes to a trusting and uninformed public.

    1)Personal Responsibility.
    2)Due Diligence.
    3)Self Control.

    /Not A homeowner

  12. Charles – I disagree with almost everything you have written on this blog and, in general, have little respect for the real estate industry as a whole, brokers, agents, bankers, etc.. But you do a good job with your blog and attract many intelligent posters (excepting myself, of course). I wouldn’t let a little meanness bother you. it could get a lot worse.

  13. I thank Charles for giving us this forum. I’ve been disappointed with the local press who have sugar-coated the issues. Consumers who don’t know how to find info like this and other blogs are really left in the dark.

    This debate over the inflation of housing costs unfairly slams realtors as at the center of a complex process that’s entangled several sectors. If we’re looking at housing inflation, then also look to the Fed who lowered interest rates so low as to make it possible for lenders to sell no-interest rate loans, etc. Blame mortgage brokers and mortgage executives (like those at WAMU)who were handsomely rewarded for making loans that were risky but profitable at the time. Blame those who securitized all those loans, blame the rating agencies for never adequately assessing the risk (which had it been noted would have raised the cost of loans at the consumer end). Blame average sellers who decided to sell when the market was high and blame buyers who didn’t have the wisdom to refuse to pay for overpriced property.

    Naysayer mentioned the dot.com boom and pharmaceutical companies. I think it’s a fair comparison. How do we reconcile ourselves to the fact that a lot of decent people work in those sectors? Can we be critical of the sector while recognizing that decent people may work within it who are trying to bring a positive ethic to it?

    Again, Charles, thanks for being open to discussion.

  14. nothing has any meaning but what you give it, so lighten up,everyone and enjoy that you have a house. 67% of the world would love to own their own “paradise” we call a home. i am just thankful that there is any information available from all you fine people, and i thankyou for that! all points of view are valid because all people are valid, so just keep typing the truth and we viewers will keep deciphering and concluding what we wish…peace,you all

  15. Throughout history fundamentally honest people have participated in terrible abuses by just doing their job.

    Do they share the same blame as those who carried out abuses?

    Of course not.

    Do they share some blame.

    YES!

  16. 1)Personal Responsibility.
    A capitalist society depends on accurate asset valuation (e.g. regulatory oversight).

    2)Due Diligence.
    Realtor MLS monopoly makes due dilly irrelevant.

    3)Self Control.
    Similar to 1) and a larger societal issue.

    /Also not A homeowner

  17. Quick note about posting comments: your email address is not required to comment. The email field appears in but is not required. Some who have chosen to use their actual email address have been flamed to their personal email accounts based on their postings. If you want to put something in the field such as fdad@frgre.com, that is fine too.

  18. This is the only blog I know of that shows email addresses.

    Why do agents get all of the backlash on the market and appraisers get none?

    Sure we have some bad guys in this industry just like doctors, dentists and mechanics do as well. I have told clients they shouldn’t buy or shouldn’t sell. I am sure Charles has done the same.

    These are opinions. Even Time magazine had an article that said Ignore the Headlines. I don’t agree with NAR’s take right now as they sound a little to optimistic.

    There is a guy who predicted that the Dow would reach 10,000 or some milestone like that. Everyone called him a fool until it happened. Then he was a genius and sold books. Then he said the Dow would reach 20,000. Many listened to the “genius” and now he is considered a fool.

    This is all a guessing game and the end is not as obvious as many of you would imagine.
    Some of you will be right and some will be wrong. Just like everyone who invested in the internet was a genius and Warren Buffet was a fool.

  19. Hi there,

    You have no idea who I am but I know you! Not “personally” but through your wonderful blogs! I feel like I have truly gotten to know you and your wife very well by reading your daily posts and you have helped inspired many of my own.

    I am constantly floored by how many people read your blog, how high in the searches you pop up with ANYTHING Portland and Real Estate related. I give you kudos friend. My blog is tiny stuff compared to yours but I hope to someday be up there like you.

    I feel that you write with passion, heart and the truth. If people cannot handle that, they should not be blogging! That is what blogging is all about people, your opinion! I am a firm believer in “if you have something to say, say it to my face.” People who do not follow that virtue are going to face a lot of un-happy human beings in their near future.

    I gotta ask you, how do you do it?! How do you always have such interesting posts to write about? How do you always appear first? How do you have hundreds of people leaving you comments? I love the entire concept of “blogging” and applaud you for staying true to your blog and your Business.

    Keep up the good work! I would be thrilled to by the first round for you two, any day. 😉

    One of your biggest fans and comrade in the Portland Real Estate market,

    Parvaneh

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