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

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