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#ImpactREbates: Can we crowdfund social good out of real estate rebates?

.@ImpactHubBOS @edXOnline Look forward to learning more re #uLab, link moneysaving #realestate biz models to #SocialGood via #ImpactREbates — Bill Wendel (@RealEstateCafe) September 7, 2015 Historically, September has been a big month for Real Estate Cafe, and this year a

Posted in "We" companies, ASAP: AIDS Shelter Alliance Partners, commission rebate, Crowdfunding, Impact Rebates, Pope's Encyclical, RE2020, Real estate philanthropy, Real estate rebates, Savings & Rebates

Bidding War Cluster Bomb is homebuyer’s new Killer App

Tired of losing bidding wars, innovative DIY homebuyers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the few cities in the world to have it’s own Peace Commission, are using the Social Enterprise Conference at Harvard Business School today to leak information about

Posted in ASAP: AIDS Shelter Alliance Partners, Bidding wars, Creative class, Crowd financing, Crowdfunding, Idea Bar, Real estate philanthropy, Social funding, Test kitchen

Wanted: “Loving Thoughts, Thoughts on Love” to celebrate Valentine’s Day online & off

On and off over three decades, I’ve invited friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day by sharing their favorite thoughts on love.  This year, I’d like to extend the invitation to anyone worldwide who’d like to explore how we can use social

Posted in "We" companies, Creative class, Digital Playgroup, Do-it-yourself, Eternal Home, Idea Bar, Real estate philanthropy, Spiritual Home, Valentine's Day

All Saints’ Day debate: Should sellers bury St. Joseph statues?

Wsj_stjoe_mostforwarded
Earlier this week, a
friend sent an article from the Wall Street Journal about burying St. Joseph statues entitled, "When It Takes a Miracle To Sell Your House."  As show in the image above, the
story was the MOST EMAILED link on the Wall Street Journal, five
rankings ahead of Google’s new G-Phone.  Amazing, and amazingly
misguided IMHO.

Over the past few years, I’ve blogged repeatedly about the practice (click on "Continue reading" below for links).  In 1998, my initial objections were stated in a well-researched article, which journalists may find worth reading, entitled, "Beyond Superstition: Doing Justice to the ‘Just Man’."  Nearly a decade later, I created an interactive map called "St. Joe 2.0:  Geography of Faith" where anyone who believed in the practice could document their prayer experiences to St. Joseph and others could propose alternative spiritual practices.

Then
after a Catholic conference on Social Justice was canceled in Boston
for lack of interest, my blog posts became more pointed: "Social Justice for Real Estate Dummies."

Unlike NPR’s Talk of the Nation which kicked off their program "Selling Your Soul to Sell Your House" with an interview about St. Joseph, the Wall Street Journal told their audience that some Catholics are offended by
the practice of burying St. Joseph statues upside down because they
believe it is superstitious.  Some Catholic bookstores objective to
selling the statues for the same reason.

For years, I’ve thought about offering a "St. Joseph Statue Buy-Back Program."  An employee of one local religious book store expressed an
interest in exchanging statues for coupons to buy books which would give real insight into Catholic teachings.  My recommendation, on this celebration of All Saints’ Day, would be The Saints’ Guide to Happiness.  (The author, Robert Ellsberg, was a classmate at Harvard and is the son of Daniel Ellsberg.)

Looks like the WSJ blog post is generating some heated discussion.  I’d love to invite anyone who wants to take a more positive approach towards "reinventing" this misguided devotion to St. Joseph to consider
our fund raising campaign for AIDS orphans or to propose their own ideas to the honor patron saint of the Catholic church and Social
Justice.  Isn’t it time sellers, real estate agents, and the press do justice to the "just man"?  Your comments are most welcome here or on our wiki.

Posted in In the News, Real estate philanthropy, Spiritual Home

Bono in Boston to challenge real estate industry to join (Product)RED?

Nextgen_redgrave_v1_2
Where is real estate’s Steve Jobs? a leading real estate industry guru wrote yesterday, asking who real estate consumers can trust.

IMHO, a single visionary is
unlikely to emerge and less likely to transform the trillion dollar
real estate industry than the collective actions of like-minded innovators. In the
absence of a formal coalition, maybe an outside influence, perhaps a
world-class celebrity, can help push the industry past a tipping point.
At least that’s my hope with Bono’s keynote speech tomorrow at the
mortgage bankers’ conference in Boston.

A Reuters headline says he’s simply there to lure mortgage brokers
to the event, but it’s more likely he’s there to challenge the real
estate industry to get involved in (product)RED or create their own
AIDS related fund raising campaigns. That was the subject of this blog
post seven months ago:

Creating a real estate version of (product)RED

Regardless of what Bono says tomorrow, any change agents — or home buyers and sellers — who are interested in building a voluntary,
industry-wide coalition to help real estate consumers save money AND
SAVE LIVES are invited to use
these resources as idea starters for their own cause marketing and fund
raising ideas:

Posted in "We" companies, ASAP: AIDS Shelter Alliance Partners, Change Agents, Commission Reform, Million Dollar March, Real estate philanthropy, Savings & Rebates

Gates call for “creative capitalism” stirs real estate philanthropy dream

After delivering his challenge today at the Harvard commencement, wonder what Bill Gates would think of the viability and fundraising potential of "Discount brokerages band[ing] together" to raise funds for AIDS orphans?

We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism—if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. …

If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world.

This task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort to answer this challenge will change the world.

Could start-up funds from the Gates Foundation seed a coalition of money-saving real estate business models, which could collectively capture a fraction of the estimated $30 billion dollars real estate consumers will save annually to save lives?  Here’s my own real estate philanthropy dream. What’s your response to Gates’ call for "creative capitalism?"

Posted in ASAP: AIDS Shelter Alliance Partners, Change Agents, Million Dollar March, Real estate philanthropy, Savings & Rebates
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