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“Consumer, Protect Thyself” with #CustomerTech, Enrich Thyself too

As our flurry of recent blog posts below attests, Real estate is the Sleeping Giant of the Consumer Movement! We tried sharing those links with the National Association of Real Estate Editors before their recent annual convention (#NAREE17) but thus far no one has developed any story ideas.  Requests to meet about our list of 10 issues / real estate consumer complaints were also brushed off by @MassAGO & @Mass_Consumer: (share via social media)

In the #DysTrumpian Era of “Consumer, Protect Myself” is #CustomerTech capable of arming homebuyers and sellers with “First Party Terms?” This hard-hitting @CBCMarketplace expose about “real estate agents breaking the rules” points to the importance of that question, and the “Pledge of Allegiance” — a set of terms designed to protect homebuyers — released on Flag Day, June 14:

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Recent blog posts, most sent to #NAREE17

In #DysTrumpian era of “Consumer Protect Thyself,” powerful DIY tool for Homebuyers (share via social media)

Will Wall Street cause Consumer Advocates to revisit Real Estate Cartel? (share via social media)

Open Letter to National Association of Real Estate Editors #NAREE17 (share via social media)

From #FakeBuyerAgents to Smart Disclosures & Information Fiduciaries (share via social media)

Castle Doctrine: Protecting real estate consumers in DysTrumpian era (share via social media)

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Steve Brobeck, the Executive Director of CFA first called real estate a cartel in 1991, and MassPIRG’s Executive Director Janet Domenitz was reelected President of CFA.  We’ve requested a meeting with @MassPIRG to background their team and get the Sleeping Giant of the Consumer Movement back on the Consumer Federation of America / @ConsumerFed’s radar screen if not the front page of the Boston Globe through their new consumer column, written by an investigative journalist with a law degree!

At Harvard

As an alum, have had divided feelings about blowing the whistle on Harvard’s involvement, but prepared a comprehensive critique of their homebuying class four years ago and more recently asked the state to take disciplinary action against Coldwell Banker for this blatant mispresentation:

In Boston

The National Association of Realtors is coming to Boston for their annual in November 2018, and / #RE2020 hopes to organize quarterly events, including unconferences or hacks, before that date. As Bloomberg reported, Real Estate is Ripe for Disruption and Boston / Cambridge can become a lab for that challenge: (share via social media) (share via social media)

Dream Scenario

This Fall marks the 25th Anniversary of Ralph Nader’s first speech on the real estate cartel, and consumers — primarily in Canada at this point — are using the hashtag #RECartel to express their anger at the industry. Can we use that anger (and maybe get Nader involved) to turbocharge new #CustomerTech tools to deliver BILLIONS in savings in real estate? That’s the goal of #RE2020, hence our desire to cohost a #Hack4REGood during @HUBweek.

This evening I can demo TransitionBank, an IntentCasting concept a four person team produced at Hacking for Good event at Harvard’s @InnovationLab ten days ago. What else should we talk about?

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VOTE (share via social media)

Posted in Blockchain, Buyer agent, Consumer protection, Defensive Homebuying, Disrupt Real Estate, Dual Agency Detective, HousingID, IntentCasting, Investigative Reporting, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Savings & Rebates, VRM

Use #WorldRefugeeDay to seed #Hack4REGood / #InnovationMinistry?


Wish I had known about the Vatican’s new StartUp accelerator a month ago when the call was still open for entries to their first group of ideas / companies. (share via social media)

Have shared the link above with High School classmates because one of SLUH’s own — Greg Burke — is at the Vatican acting as the Pope’s spokesman. Like Jesuits students and alumni everywhere, we were all groomed to be “Men for Others.” As we approach our 45th reunion in 2018, can our collective wisdom still tap into #DivineSynergy to “save the world?”

If our class created an Ideas Competition at SLUH, what would you want Greg Burke to tell the Pope, or ask the Vatican’s partners in Silicon Valley to fund?

Or is it wrong to wait for their next funding cycle or even depend on them? Real estate is a wealth engine across the world but luxury real estate is also a favorite place to launder money. Should we use #WorldRefugeeDay to crowdfund a way for #RETech to transform money laundering into refugee relief? A stunning 30% of luxury transactions in six cities in the US involve suspicious transactions: (share via social media)

If friends and family are willing to crowdfund attendance at the Economy of Communion meeting this weekend, I’ll try to seed that idea. See first seed planted with the nun who inspired the movie, Dead Man Walking:

IMG_2099 (share via social media)

What could we accomplish if we seeded #Hack4REGood events and #InnovationMinistry MeetUps across the country, if not the world? (share via social media)

Posted in #SpeculatorsWithoutBorders, ASAP: AIDS Shelter Alliance Partners, Change Agents, Crowdfunding, Impact Rebates, Luxury housing, Pope's Encyclical, RE2020, Real estate philanthropy

In #DysTrumpian era of “Consumer Protect Thyself,” powerful DIY tool for Homebuyers


In #DysTrumpian era of “Consumer Protect Thyself,” will real estate innovators step into the gap to help consumers make informed decisions? This campaign was launched today, #FlagDay and the first day of #NAREE17, to give homebuyers a powerful DIY tool: a compelling Pledge Of Allegiance they expect from their buyer agents. It’s designed to prevent conflicts of interest which means zero tolerance for dual or designated agency.

Credit where credit is due: Maureen Glasheen, then attorney at the NY Dept of State, created the original Pledge of Allegiance approximately 25 years ago; and Doug Miller, founder of updated the text several years ago. Frances Flynn Thorsen created the video magic this morning!

Sharing links here so others use:

(1) Watch video (share via social media)

(2) Print form (share via social media)

Finally, the blog post below explains why the newly revised agency disclosure form in Massachusetts is already obsolete and points to the future of #RegTech & #RETech:

From #FakeBuyerAgents to Smart Disclosures & Information Fiduciaries (share via social media)

Posted in Buyer agent, Consumer protection, Defensive Homebuying, Designated Agency, DIY Homebuyers, Dual Agency Detective, Dump Dual Agency, RE2020, Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance

From #FakeBuyerAgents to Smart Disclosures & Information Fiduciaries

IMG_1705The official minutes are now online but they reveal little about the process or substance of the revised Agency Disclosure form in Massachusetts. As cited in complaints to the Attorney General’s Office and repeated follow-up with the Mass Office of Consumer Affairs (see excerpt and image above), the mandatory form was updated by a group of industry insiders who met at the Mass. Association of Realtors.  Here’s our recap of the board meeting nearly five months ago and our vision for an “Agency Revival.”


Asked if the RE Board had received comments from the Mass. Association of Buyer Agents (MABA) and the attorney Charles Kilb, said no. Said dozens of peers at MABA had collaborated during 1992 – 1993 to shape the original disclosure, and since they could not be here because of the weather wanted to address MABA’s two main concerns:

MABA Talking Points

1. MABA called for a formal, public comment period including a public hearing, so licensees, consumer advocates, as well as buyers and sellers could comment.

There was no response from the RE Board.

2. Graphically the choice of Designated Agency versus Non-Designated Agency now appears to be the focal point of the disclosure and is misleading.  By framing the undivided loyalty of real buyer agency as a negative (non-Designated Agency), the obvious conflict of interest in the cartoon below now appears to be highest good.  Beyond user design, added that lawyers in the buyer agency community believe designated agency is act of fraud because only Agency + Loyalty = Fiduciary.

Opposing Teams

Critique as real estate consumer advocate

Moving from MABA’s talking points to my own, showed exhibitor brochures from real estate tech conferences last week in NYC to make the point that real estate vendors collect so much personal data about buyers and sellers that we can no longer wait until the first point of contact OFFLINE to discuss fiduciary duties. In fact, law schools at both Harvard and Yale are already talking about the role of #InformationFiduciary

See (share via social media)

For that reason, the revised agency disclosure form is already obsolete because disclosure needs to be made at first point of digital interaction.

Use new graphic tools, if not AI, to create next generation agency disclosure

When I tried to argue that Designated Agency had become the new anchor point for the disclosure, working group chair Peter Ruffini noted that Designated Agency did not exist in 1992 and 1993 when the original agency disclosure process created a consensus document.  Since it’s controversial “passage”  in 2005, designated agency has become the default setting for mega-brokers.

To make the existing form easier for the public to understand, recommended using explainer videos (see one created later by MABA’s President Ronald Huth) and infographics online or on the back of the agency disclosure. To my surprise, Kimberly Allard-Moccia, an industry member of the RE Board, leaned into that comment and smiled approvingly!

After acknowledging that the committee had been asked to update the form based on the existing law, pointed to the Board to the future. Informed them that the National Association of Realtors will host their annual convention in Boston in November 2018 for the first time ever and we have the opportunity to engage the industry in the process, not just updating an old form, but creating an next generation agency disclosure.

Said Massachusetts was rightly proud of the document we created in 1993 and we can once again create a disclosure process which establishes best practices. Said it’s conceivable that chat bots, using artificial intelligence, could administer an online disclosure that results in a consumer who has truly given informed consent because they’ve been led through an interactive conversation that reveals the implications of agency choices.

Chair Kevin Sears received the comments well, thanked me for insights and suggested that I work with attorney Justin Davidson from MAR to move the conversation into the future.


Sears asked the board attorney to comment on the past 10 minutes, and he said that the agency disclosure’s task had been to work within the existing context set by statute. “From my perspective as a lawyer, you did what you could; followed all of the steps.” Kilb said, “What I’m hearing here is what you might want to do in the future.”

That caused Sears to call for a motion on the revised draft of the form: “All in fair, say, I. All opposed say, no.”  The form was passed without any opposing votes.

Sears closed by thanking me for my comments and suggested I follow-up directly with attorneys Mike McDonough and Justin Davidson of MAR to explore the ideas I presented.


Pointing to new AI technology that has the possibility to automate parts of the transaction, suggested to the committee that agency duties will become more important in the future.

“If agents don’t want to be displaced by technology, they need to offer fiduciary level services. That could result in an “Agency Revival” and the disclosure needs to reflect the importance of loyalty — real fiduciary duties — not a conflict of interest that’s been papered over or agency fraud.”

Once again, board member Kimberly Allard-Moccia’s body language was that she was intrigued by the idea.

Posted in Buyer agent, Consumer protection, Designated Agency, Dual Agency Detective, Dump Dual Agency, Investigative Reporting, RE2020, Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Tech Trends

Open Letter to National Association of Real Estate Editors #NAREE17


Open Letter to #NAREE17

Greetings, members of the National Association of Real Estate Editors

As a longtime real estate consumer advocate and industry critic, look forward to your live tweets and event coverage during and after #NAREE17 this week in Denver. For those editors who invite story ideas, hope the image above or issues in the link below get your attention (or even attract interest from investigative journalists outside real estate): (share via social media)

At a minimum, invite #NAREE members, real estate regulators and others to compare CRE’s list of leading issues to those held by consumer advocates. Regrettably, real estate continues to be the “Sleeping Giant of Consumer Movement,” but after a decade of being off the radar screen, maybe that’s about to change:

Will Wall St cause ConsumerAdvocates to revisit #RealEstate Cartel? (share via social media)

If you are not interested in the story ideas but know anyone — including journalism students — who might be, please forward this Open Letter as well as contact information.  Glad to make referrals to subject experts including attorneys and at least one former regulator who can provide their perspectives on a range of issues including the mispresentation documented above.

Bill Wendel
Sent from my iPad: 617-661-4046

Posted in Buyer agent, Consumer protection, Defensive Homebuying, Designated Agency, Dual Agency Detective, Dump Dual Agency, Investigative Reporting, Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Unbundling the Commission

Will Wall Street cause Consumer Advocates to revisit Real Estate Cartel?


An article by Inman News, a leading real estate technology news site, has traditional real estate agents buzzing about a potential threat.  More revealing than the headline, Welcome to Wall Street’s housing market, is the subhead:

Investors will eat agent commissions and begin to control housing stock

As a longtime real estate consumer advocate, my fear of Zillow Instant Offer mirrors that of Barry Zigas, director of housing for Consumer Federation of America:  large institutional investors or iBuyers have the potential to “box out first-time homebuyers in some markets by purchasing with cash and removing inventory from the market.” Not just any inventory, but AFFORDABLE inventory which means they’re making it harder for ordinary homebuyers.

Zillow’s new entry is arguably a response to two other well-funded iBuyer models:  OpenDoor and OfferPad.   To date, their combined impact on the market is insignificant and their fees are outrageous — 9-12% on top of purchase prices according to 1000Watt.  Given that, is it credible to fear that a 3% market share in test markets will morph into market domination when the post real estate recession buying spree by institutional investors only resulted in 1 to 2% ownership of single-family homes?

Why fear a POTENTIAL threat from iBuyers when EXISTING non-end use buyer’s, including:

1. Small local flippers,

2. AirBnB investors;

3. Foreign buyers (aka #SpeculatorsWithoutBorders), and

4. Crowdfunding pools

accounted for 37% of sales in 2016 from according to Mark Hanson? Curiously, that’s the same percentage of condo buyers in Boston who paid CASH during April 2014.  If cash buyers and existing investors are already putting artificial upward pressure on housing prices, why no industry outrage?  If there’s already a huge problem, why not explore ways, as Inman News writes, that Wall Street involvement can “improve housing affordability?”

Not a single county in the US has enough affordable housing. If Wall Street funded innovations, like shared equity, can help change that in a way that is responsible and promotes purchases by first-time homebuyer without contributing to overheated markets, affordable housing advocates will celebrate their solutions. However, if they are simply adding to or extending speculative pressure, time to ramp up regulatory reform rather than retreating?

When it comes to regulatory reform, few organizations can mobilize coalitions like the Consumer Federation of America (CFA); and after laying low for a decade, glad they’re talking about real estate.  If the Wall St threat is really about protecting existing commissions, incumbents should know that CFA first called the real estate industry an “informal cartel” more than 25 years ago.  They underlined that position in their last white paper on real estate, which will have it’s 11th anniversary next week, June 19, 2006.  That was near the peak of the last real estate cycle, is history poised to repeat itself? (share via social media)

Call to action

We can’t predict the answer to that question but we can debate it at local offline events we call #BubbleHour or #REonTap.  We can also give homebuyers a choice of fees and rebates, as well as reactive house hunting or proactive.  As our Inman Innovator designation attests, we’ve got a long history of trying to reform the real estate industry, including an event that featured Ralph Nader and the Consumer Federation of America in 1993.  We invite change agents from Wall Street to Main Street to follow / share / join #RE2020 to deliver billions in Consumer savings by the year 2020. (share via social media)

Posted in #REonTap, #SpeculatorsWithoutBorders, Bubble Hour, Commission Reform, Consumer protection, Disrupt Real Estate, Housing bubble, RE2020, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Unbundling the Commission

Open Letter to Homebuyers / Disruptive Real Estate Innovators


Open Letter to Next Generation of Homebuyers / Disruptive Real Estate Innovators

From my perspective as a real estate consumer advocate, National Homeownership Month has begun with a step backwards but the stage is set for a giant leap forward.  First, by increasing the debt to income ration to 50%, homebuyers can MAGICALLY buy 22% more house on same income with less down.  Hopefully, that irresponsible move — which critics say is a sign the housing market has peake, will be offset by a headline in Bloomberg News that underlines our 20+ year mission:

The Housing Market Is Ripe for Tech Disruption

The process of buying and selling a home in the U.S. is needlessly inefficient. That will inevitably change. (share via social media)

There are more than a dozen academic departments and student groups in Greater Boston spanning real estate, architecture or city planning but I’m not aware of any collaborative effort. That’s where #RE2020 has an opportunity to create synergy and deliver billions in consumer savings annually that will help your Millennial peers as much as baby boomers.

RE2020’s goal is to invite new players to cocreate a new real estate ecosystem industry and build an adhoc coalition of innovators to serve a consumer movement. That means developing new tools, leveraging emerging technologies, and monetizing business models. By collaborating, real estate innovators can build on 25 years of calls for reform and startups that failed to reach their goals. That’s why already contains a section on SmartFailing which elaborates on this blog post: (share via social media)

Call to Action

Last night, a team of leaders from both the City of Boston and State of Massachusetts hosted their last of 10 regional listening sessions with small business about issues and opportunities. Three of the five breakout groups mentioned the high cost of real estate — both for businesses and consumers; and the potential drag on the state’s economy specifically its ability to attract or retain talent. The visibility of real estate issues was surprising because the listening tour was about small businesses. I nearly cheered when summary comments included a call for a real estate town hall, hence my use of #RETownHall in this tweet. (share via social media)


In private conversation, leaders in the Boston tech community agree that innovation in residential real estate lags behind other sectors and expressed interest in learning more about #RE2020. This October marks the 25th aaniversary of Ralph Nader’s first speech on the real estate cartel; and ironically the Realtors’s CEO reportedly the same word recently to describe some in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) community who resist change. So the stage is set.

Idea Starters

Beyond individual dreams and aspirations, should we brainstorm a list of Summer / Coming Projects and develop them on #RE2020? Here’s a sample of idea starters:

1. Using Ralph Nader’s model to seed a citizen-initiated real estate town hall and call for a real estate consumer Bill of Rights, perhaps while Realtors are lobbying at the Statehouse on June 14, 2017. (share via social media)

2. Plan an event this Fall as part of @HUBweek or independently to assess progress since Nader’s address in 1992. Compare spreadsheet after two-day conference in 1993 to today: (share via social media)

3. Archive 25+ years of “Best of Breed” files and turn them into a timeline / walk-in exhibit “From MLS Books to Billions in Savings: Past, Present & Future of Innovation in Real Estate”

4. Host quarterly unconferences or hacks before NAR hosts their annual convention in Boston in November 2018. We can build on our first attempt a year ago: (share via social media)

What are your thoughts, ideas, dreams — or what would you do next if you knew it could not fail?  If reviewing three decades of past efforts would help inform your vision, we can meet periodically at the #REStartUp garage this summer and your peers can combine the learning adventure with visits the beach.


Delivering BILLIONS annually in consumer savings requires viable moneysaving #RealEstate business models.  Thankfully, there are three events this week to help innovators develop, sharpen or reposition their disruptive business models.  Let’s use the MeetUp tonight to launch a new subsection of #RE2020 that focuses on developing disruptive moneysaving business models.

Business Model Generation MeetUp

Value Proposition Design Workshop: Who is your ideal customer?  (share via social media)

Posted in Commission Reform, Consumer protection, Defensive Homebuying, Discount real estate, Disrupt Real Estate, Idea Bar, RE2020, Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Savings & Rebates

Puffing the housing market: Time to pause or go proactive?


The headline above is distressing enough without using bloated list or asking prices — a stat that is meaningless so rarely quoted — to throw gas on overheated markets nationwide. Without more precise local information or insight into the economy, the article simply feeds a speculative mindset that has normalized irresponsible BLIND bidding wars in Greater Boston and beyond.

IMHO: Self-servicing fluff for the selling side of the industry, not the perspective you want from a buyer agent.

If you’re a prudent and patient homebuyer, the good news is that the Fed’s second interest rate increase of 2017 is all but certain in the two weeks. Regardless of whether there is a third in September or December, my guess is that the Summer slowdown will be reflected by stats this Fall and some sellers will regret missing the peak of the market.

Want to try to reach them now with #ProactHH or time the market by waiting? By November, we’re likely to see a repeat of the drop in pending sales highlighted in the screen grab above even without the election.

Here’s what CNBC is reporting. If wages aren’t growing, speculation or the mix of more expensive homes being sold is driving unsustainable price increases:

“The markets haven’t changed their view that the Fed is on a near-term path. It’s still 90 percent for June in two weeks. The question is longer than that. There’s seems questions about whether they move in September. It might be moved out to December, but it’s too early,” said Sanchez.

The Fed has forecast two more rate increases for this year, after its March hike, and it has also spelled out how it may begin to shrink its balance sheet late in the year.

“We have a debt ceiling showdown. We have uncertainty around policy. I was not waiting for a September hike anyway. There could still be three rate hikes this year but the Fed needs to see a lot more wage acceleration,” said Diane Swonk, CEO of DS Economics. (share via social media)

Post Memorial Day, pleased to receive price reduction alerts this morning from listing sites. They’ll be another wave of them after the 4th of July.

Time to pause of go proactive?


Posted in Bidding wars, Bubble Hour, Buyer agent, Defensive Homebuying, Housing bubble, Intention Inventory, Proactive househunting, Real Estate Bubble, Savings & Rebates, Timing the market

#RETech Roll Call: Who’s representing consumers, delivering money-saving innovations & reforms?


#BosRETech UPDATE: There are at least three events worth attending this week in #RETech, two in Boston and one beyond:

5/15-5/20/17: Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo — #NARMidYear

5/17/17: MIT’s #DesignX Pitch & Demo Night — Follow @MITDesignX

5/18-19/17: MIT World Real Estate Forum — Follow #MITWorldREForum

If anyone from #RE2020 is attending one or more of the above, would you like to debrief afterwards to develop a better understanding of trends and opportunities?

If so, what’s the best time to share updates with three real estate related MeetUps in Boston — #BosRETech, #RECALL or #DefendREBuyers?  VOTE for preferred MeetUp time or propose another option: (share via social media)



The National Association of Realtors hosts two major conferences annually: (1) A mid-year meeting in Washington, DC so they can exercise their political clout with legislative visits, and (2) A major convention in November that rotates in various locations (including the first time ever in Boston in November 2018.)

Because relatively few real estate professionals from Boston attend either event and local real estate press rarely attend, Real Estate Cafe has hosted post-event technology debriefings on and off over the past two decades. In the past, our audience was made up primarily of real estate agents, predominantly fellow buyer agents. Here’s a sample of a roundtable we hosted at Harvard’s Berkman Center during the first year of the Obama presidency in 2009: (share via social media)



With over 150 members, #BosRETech represents a broader mix of stakeholders and innovators both from would be disrupters and incumbents. If a handful of us attend one or more of the events above, iwhat would you like to know — are there specific trends, use cases, or new technologies you’d like us to look for at NAR’s Trade Expo, committee meetings, or networking privately with innovators? As in the past, @RealEstateCafe will be looking for new money saving applications and updating our existing best of breed list as #RE2020’s goal is to deliver billions in Consumer savings annually.



Would anyone be willing to help crowdfund our costs, both travel and registration fees? (share via social media)




We’ve already missed two events important events, the Consumer a Federation of America’s annual Consumer Assembly and a weekend with Ralph Nader. Still, the headline above suggests that the Sleeping Giant if the Consumer Movement is waking up. Here’s what we’ve called to the attention of regulators locally: (share via social media)

After reviewing the list above, hope real estate leaders, industry regulators as well as academic departments like MIT’s Center for Real Estate agree that consumer advocates and real estate reformers have an important role shaping the emerging real estate ecosystem that is consumer-centric. To help us cocreate that future, follow #RE2020 online or scan the working groups on: (share via social media)

Posted in #SpeculatorsWithoutBorders, Bidding wars, Blockchain, Consumer protection, Crowdfunding, Disrupt Real Estate, RE2020, Real Estate Bubble, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Savings & Rebates

#RECALL: Crowdfund effort to organize homebuyers, reform real estate

Breaking News: Legislature tables bill to disclose real estate commissions

In an age of transparency, the real estate cartel still plays by their own rules: commissions are tied (some would argue price fixed); offers are submitted in BLIND bidding wars, mega-brokers routinely engage in conflicts of interest, brokers hide pocket listings so they can collect double commissions but deny consumers basic rights (see language from bill in Colorado):

“[C]onsumers should be legally entitled to clear disclosure of the cost of the service for representation real estate agents”

Isn’t it paradoxical that transparency only goes in one direction in real estate? You won’t believe what predatory / predictive real estate business models know about your personal data and how they violate your privacy.


Significantly, 2017 marks two 25 year anniversaries for real estate consumer advocates:

1. On October 28, 1992, Ralph Nader delivered his first speech on real estate; and (share via social media)

2. On December 2, 1992, real estate was called the “Sleeping Giant of the Consumer Movement” (12/2/92)

That’s why attending a Master Class for Citizen Action with Ralph Nader, which is being called a “once-in-a-lifetime weekend of learning and planning for action,” would be an extraordinary opportunity! (share via social media)

If you were among the 170+ people who commented recently on an opinion in the Boston Globe about Boston’s Broken real estate market, you know that’s true. You might even be wise enough to know that the real estate market is dangerously overheated again, which is why we’ve advised homebuyers to sit out the Spring market. That means there’s not enough money to meet regular expenses; not to mention these important upcoming events:

5/1-4: VRM Day / Internet Identity Workshop, Computer Museum in Silicon Valley;
5/11-12: Consumer Assembly hosted by Consumer Federation of America, DC;
5/17-19: Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo also in DC; ; or
5/18-19: MIT’s World Real Estate Forum here in Cambridge, MA.

Over the past 20+ years, Real Estate Cafe has self-funded those trips and hosted debriefings after attending real estate tech conferences around the country. This year, real estate consumer advocates are working closer to home. In recent weeks, we submitted at list of 10 issues to the Mass. Attorney General’s Office and a request for regulatory enforcement to Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs. (share via social media)

To make progress, real estate consumers need a mobilization strategy; that’s the goal of attending the “master class” with Ralph Nader. In exchange for your financial assistance of at least $50, you’ll be invite to a small group debriefing; or private meeting if you stretch to $100. If you can double that, let’s collaborate on something special — a RECALL RoadTrip, #REonTap (Real Estate on Tap), or Defensive Homebuying seminar — to expand our coalition of real estate consumer advocates and educate / empower consumers.

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It’s unlikely that any homebuyer will be dragged out of an open house but it IS likely that the industry will face its own United Airlines crises in the future. Which issue will trigger a headlines like these from 2008?

Consumer Vigilantes / Memo to Corporate America: Hell now hath no fury like a customer scorned

New York Times:
Feeling Misled on Home Price, Buyers Sue Agent


If we develop enough momentum, let’s explore an event this Fall to mark the 25th anniversary of Ralph’s first speech on real estate. He warned change agents that buyer agency would be coopted; and regrettably, Nader was right. It’s time to right that wrong. (share via social media)

Uncertain times invite collaboration and cash flow constraints require crowdfunding; can you help?  If so, please contact @RealEstateCafe or donate to one or both of these campaigns: (share via social media) (share via social media)

Posted in #REonTap, Bidding wars, Consumer protection, Crowdfunding, Defensive Homebuying, Dual Agency Detective, Homebuyer Clubs, RE2020, Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance
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