Using wikis to empower “do-it-yourself” homebuyers & sellers

Recafe_wikimenu_1"When it becomes time to make ideas real, wiki lets us keep playing while we work. Wiki is how we turn discussion into documentation, rap-session into planning-session, and meeting into collaboration–online."
James Carlson Director, Bucketworks

Exciting to read that the innovative folks at RainCityGuide in Seattle, one of the best real estate blogs in the nation, are also experimenting with wikis; but it appears we may be approaching the collaborative power of wikis from different starting points.  While RainCityGuide will be looking to fellow real estate professionals to collaborate on content, The Real Estate Cafe is looking to real estate consumers, both homebuyers and sellers.

On and off over six months, The Real Estate Cafe has been quietly building a "menu of wikis" with four to five main areas.  A snapshot of the current version of our main page, which is still password-protected, is shown above (click on image for larger view) or read text on the link below.  If you’d like in see where we’re headed or explore collaborations, or just selling your own home "for sale by owner" in Massachusetts and want to learn more about the steps in the process — wiki-style, email

If you’re wildly excited about wikis, maybe we’ll see you here in Cambridge, Massachusetts for WikiMania 2006.  Today (March 30, 2006) is the deadline for submitting a proposal to host a workshop or tutorial at this year’s Wikimania.

Maybe RainCityGuide and The Real Estate Cafe (and potentially others?) can collaborate on a workshop comparing how real estate professionals and consumers on both coasts use wikis to meet their real estate needs.  Should be interesting to watch if this particular opportunity is really ahead of it’s time as Dustin at RainCityGuide speculates:

"Another idea I have is almost definitely ahead-of-its-time, but could be interesting, is that anyone selling a home is free to create a webpage that describes their home on It will cost you nothing but time, and if you are creative enough, it might get you some interesting publicity."

MENU OF WIKIS (preview of, currently password protected)

1. FSBOWIKI members, let’s create a FSBO
resource center and coauthor a step-by-step knowledge-base and so
thousands of people selling their own homes "for sale by owner" in
Massachusetts can save money and save lives.

Steps in the "For Sale by Owner" process

Use this forum to continue drafting Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights;

Invite participants in the yearlong
Intelligent REdesign series to to use these resources or to add to them
as they prepare their own proposals;

Develop a comprehensive
knowledge-base documenting anti-competitive policies and business
practices in Massachusetts and across the country;


The goal of this
Wiki section of the wiki was originally to collaborate on testimony for
the DOJ / FTC hearing in October 2006. Now, it’s ongoing goal is to
invite real estate consumer to join real estate consumer advocates and
real estate change agents from around the country to inform the
government’s ongoing legal proceeding against DOJ / FTC the real estate

Posted in "We" companies, Change Agents, Do-it-yourself, Inside The Real Estate Cafe, Real Estate Blogs: Best Practices, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Social Networking, Writing tools

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