The following is a roundup of real estate-related blog posts from around the Web:
Database tower of Babel
If the databases Roberta Murphy uses to gather the names, addresses and property preferences of her clients could talk to each other, "I could be the supreme Yentl of real estate in Southern California — or the whole world," she says in Luxury Home Digest. Like Pat Kitano, who recently complained that customer relationship management (CRM) systems can’t port in contact info from social media sources such as LinkedIn and Facebook, Murphy says the only way to move data from the many databases she’s used over the year, such as Top Producer, to her new 1ParkPlace account, is "one by one, keystroke by keystroke." Murphy sees an opportunity for someone to make "a modest royal ransom" by solving the problem. "If software could be written that would encompass not only basic information, but also our real estate client’s search parameters and wine preferences, the world’s real estate crisis might be solved."
—Luxury Home Digest
The power of snail mail
If taming technology new and old can be a headache, Rudy Bachraty of Trulia Blog has rediscovered the power of snail mail. A letter from Ken Stampe, retail sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, made Bachraty sit up and take notice. "We had both seen each other, i.e. our avatars, in the real estate blogosphere before but never really connected," he relates. "How unsocial is that?" The two met in person at BloodhoundBlog’s Unchained real estate marketing event in Phoenix, and Stampe followed up with a letter. "When I found a letter from my new friend in the mail, my eyes lit up. A letter? For me? From someone I met through real estate networking in the blogosphere? Get out of town. I was so impressed by the gesture and the content of the letter that I told everyone at the office about the gesture. Let’s just say there were a few oooh’s and ahhhhh’s. Nevertheless, they were just as impressed as I was." Sounds like sometimes, the time it takes to dash off a quick note — and the 41 cents for postage — might be a worthwhile investment.
Sold on comfort food
What’s more visceral than opening the envelope of an old-fashioned letter and reading a message written on a piece of paper that you can hold in your hand? How about "a twisty looking pastry," suggests Jason Hanson, writing on Bigger Pockets. Running behind to a meeting with a seller, Hanson made a run through a grocery store bakery section to grab something to make up for it. "He took the pastry from me, we walked into his kitchen and I ended up doing the deal with him," Hanson writes. Of course, the pastry didn’t make the deal happen by itself, but the seller did bring up a week later how much he’d appreciated the gesture. Another reason to bring food to the seller is because it will lead you to the kitchen table, Hanson says. "You want to sign the paperwork (remember it’s always called paperwork, never a contract) for the deal at the kitchen table," he advises. "For many families the kitchen table is a ‘happy place’ where people sit, chat, relax and enjoy each others company — it is their comfort zone. You want the sellers to be relaxed and in a familiar setting when you sign the paperwork." Hanson thinks it’s so important to end up there that if the seller starts off somewhere else with your pastry, you should ask them if they mind sitting down at the kitchen table. Hmmm … wonder how this works with clients who are trying to lose weight or who are particular about what they eat?
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