Blog Archives

Disrupting real estate: What’s Pope Francis got to do with it?

Calls to disrupt residential real estate have echoed inside and outside the industry the past year, but no change will come close to the impact of climate change.  The Pope’s encyclical — On Care for our Common Home — begins with the environment but

Posted in Consumer protection, Disrupt Real Estate, Housing Justice, Impact Rebates, Luxury homes, Mlllennials, Pope's Encyclical, RE2020, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance, Spiritual Home

10 trends pointing to Group Housing, Intentional Communities too?

“It’s definitely a case of going back to the future,” one of the advocates Co-Living told NPR, but there’s a lot more than technology that brought them together. Here’s a top of the head list of 10 MEGA-trends pointing to

Posted in "We" companies, Co-Living, Creative class, Crowdfunding, Group housing, Homebuyer Clubs, Idea Bar, Intentional Communities, Market trends, Spiritual Home

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

Mobilizing spiritual & pyschological safety nets for those facing foreclosure / financial instability

Comment posted on Cardinal Sean’s blog, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Dear Cardinal Sean, I am so pleased to read that the Planning Office for Urban Affairs is “beginning work to help people facing foreclosures who may be at risk

Posted in Foreclosure Prevention, Foreclosures, Spiritual Home

The Art of Change

Self-taught artist, Chris Brown, sketching incoming-President Barack Obama, the week before his Inauguration. Chris began drawing at age six, and his love for art can be seen from the images in this video. The Real Estate Cafe is eager to

Posted in "We" companies, Change Agents, Creative class, Do-it-yourself, Spiritual Home

Billions in savings: Will real estate consumers extend a helping hand?

GiveahandIt’s Christmas 2007, and I am visiting extended family in St. Louis, my beloved boyhood home. Missouri is the "Show Me" state, so it’s a fitting setting to ask how much money have real estate consumers really saved since McKinsey & Company predicted that industry restructuring could deliver $30 billion in annual savings ten years ago?

Last week, BusinessWeek’s real estate blog, Hot Property, reported that home buyers and sellers paid $55 billion in commissions in 2007, down $13 billion from the peak in 2005. They attributed the decline to falling sales and noted that consumers paid $19 Billion more than 2000 "largely because of the surge in home prices during the boom."

What caught my attention was an estimate that "‘for sale by owner’ sellers saved almost $9 billion in home value that they otherwise would have paid to real estate agents." That figure is just shy of the $10 billion in savings from real estate brokerage commissions predicted by McKinsey & Company in January 1998.

How much more money did home owners save by using a flat-fee MLS listings services in 2007, AND how much more money home buyers receive via real estate rebates?

My guess is that those savings also exceeded $1 billion in 2007, and will grow in the future. As a "Change Agent," my question is whether home buyers and sellers are willing to share some of those savings with charitable causes? (Think "pay-it-forward" meets real estate savings.)

ChangeAgents‘s goal is to create a voluntary coalition of money-saving real estate business models and to invite their clients to share fraction of their e-commerce savings with local, national, and international causes of their own choice. Here’s one example of a "community commission."

If you’re part of the new generation of real estate companies delivering billions in savings, or if you’re hoping to sell "for sale by owner" or receive a real estate rebate check in 2008, would you like to join our conversation about ePhilanthropy & Cause Marketing in real estate?

Please let us know what about your own dreams for 2008 and a better world.

Posted in "We" companies, ASAP: AIDS Shelter Alliance Partners, Change Agents, Commission Reform, Do-it-yourself, Fee-for-service, FSBO: Best Practices, FSBO: For Sale By Owner, In the News, Market trends, Savings & Rebates, Spiritual Home, Unbundling the Commission

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

Newsweek coverstory: In Search of the Spiritual

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9024914/site/newsweek/page/1/

Posted in Spiritual Home
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