Can consumer education wake “sleeping giant of consumer movement?”

Video Consumer Ed - 5 Core Values

In December 1993, Gail Shaffar, then New York Secretary of State, warned the Consumer Federation of America that “real estate is the sleeping giant of the consumer movement.”  Her warning — unheeded by policy makers — has been vindicated by the worst housing bubble in American history.  Property values have fallen back a decade, creating victims in one in three households upside down on their mortgages.

If residential real estate brokerage practices are outside the scope of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and state regulatory real estate boards are dominated by real estate brokers, who will fill the regulatory void and deliver consumer education and long-overdue reforms?

Proposal:  Seed “Consumer Revolution” with consumer education

As the 20 anniversary of the Consumer Revolution in Real Estate (a two-day event organized by our founder in April 2-3, 1993) approaches, The Real Estate Cafe would like to work with fellow real estate consumer advocates nationwide to conceive and co-teach a series consumer seminars — ONLINE and OFF.  In Boston, we’re asking, once again, if it’s time to host an “unconference” for DIY home buyers and FSBOs (see idea starters on The Real Estate Cafe’s blog).

The Real Estate Cafe’s recent blog posts — http://bit.ly/RERights & http://bit.ly/PrivRE — have pointed to 2012 as the Year of Customer Activism.  So, we welcome the opportunity to identify and involve fellow real estate “change agents” to educate and organize tech-savvy homebuyers and sellers to:

1.  Realize billions annually in consumers savings, and
2.  Prevent another the boom / bust cycle that decimated home equity for millions of households.

More than a consumer revolution, that’s a moral imperative.  Do you agree?  What courses would you like to see The Real Estate Cafe and others offer this Spring?

Want to save money by selling “for sale by owner”?

If this trend is true, we’d like to reverse it by making our FSBOs on Steroids class in variety of formats, including small group seminars offline, webinars or on demand online, as well as one-on-one presentations at local cafes or in your own home. Preview a sample of slides, and let us know when and where you’d like to learn more.

Preview "FSBOs on Steroids"

FOOTNOTE: For historical context in 1993, the early days of buyer brokerage, read NYTimes article entitled, When the Broker Works for the Buyer

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