— Harvard JCHS (@Harvard_JCHS) February 4, 2014
The “double whammy” that has Millennials fuming isn’t “just” a problem of mega-trends, like the two described in today’s Boston.com blog post: weak job prospects and lack of affordable housing options. Too often, micro-manipulations also turn real estate is an insider’s game; and games real estate agents play, like Pocket Listings and Blind Bidding Wars, add to already maddening obstacles. So, Millennials, and anyone else who cares about transparency, fairness, and the collective responsibility to house the next generation, want channel your “holy anger” into something transformative?
Let’s take a cue from the geek community, and experiment with local, peer-to-peer real estate unconferences to begin co-creating a more consumer-friendly real estate marketplace and, to the extend possible, inform policies and expand housing options.
Where should we start? Tomorrow, February 5, 2014, several groups at Harvard have invited Zillow’s CEO to offer a Question & Answer session from 5 to 6pm, at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. When Zillow hosted a similar event online with President Obama last year, Real Estate Cafe invited readers to submit question via this blog post:
Mr. President, how can we create an open, transparent, fair & affordable housing market?
http://bit.ly/SubmitQ (please share via social networks)
Should we use tomorrow’s Question & Answer to begin a series of gatherings offline and on, in Boston and beyond, to invite consumer advocates, real estate change agents, app developers, and consumers — both DIY homebuyers and homeowners — to co-mingle and potentially collaborate?
We can use content from some of our recent blog posts to seed that conversation before or after the Zillow Q&A, and invite your insight, frustrations, insights and “holy anger” as well:
Seeding C2C / P2P real estate unconferences for consumers to connect, save money
http://bit.ly/recallC2C (please share via social networks)
Millennials: Getting killed by housing costs, or killing homeownership?
http://bit.ly/REBlame (please share via social networks)
Truth telling + Transparency = Transformative savings for real estate consumers
http://bit.ly/RETruths (please share via social networks)
Will runaway bidding wars create real estate refugees in Cambridge? What would MLK do?
http://bit.ly/BidWarLab (please share via social networks)
Buy before rates rise or wait, hoping prices fall? Thank you for arguing
http://bit.ly/REBullvsBears (please share via social networks)
Speaking as a Harvard (and MIT) alum, starting a conversation at Harvard about reforming the real estate industry would be particularly gratifying because last year, our offer to provide a friendly critique of the home buying seminar offered by Coldwell Banker online to Harvard alumni worldwide was rejected. Should consumer advocates take a cue from the book What they don’t teach you at the Harvard Business School, and expose what Coldwell Banker doesn’t teach in their webinar entitled “Home ownership: Demystifying the Process?