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The Real Estate Unlist: People, places and things I’m thankful for

An inspired ode to the industry

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A new grandchild and the tragic events unfolding in Houston have me feeling overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude.

Meanwhile I have been re-reading novels by Eve Babitz, one of my favorite writers who in the 1960s and ’70s wrote about the cultural milieu of Los Angeles and touched on the topics of social unrest, wildfires and earthquakes. An entertaining and poetic acknowledgments section precedes her classic 1974 novel Eve’s Hollywood.

Babitz’s lyrical structure and this collision of thoughts and events inspired me to write about a few of my favorite things (and characters) gracing our wacky industry.

Let’s call this my 2017 Acknowledgements Unlist.


To Mary & Peter homebuyer

But also to the bank that made them a loan and to the escrow company that recorded their sale

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And to the agent and the search portal that helped them find a house

And to Richard Smith and the American flag pin on his lapel

And to the single-family house

And to Glenn Kelman and Robert Reffkin for spilling a tray of Big Gulp sodas all over the industry

And to role models Marsha Rand, Ebby Halliday and Helen Hanna Casey when the ceiling was fierce

And to the mighty — Bill Foley, Adi Tatarko, Pat Stone, Howard Lorber, Rich Barton, Warren Buffett, Lloyd Frink and Rupert Murdoch

And to the Toto toilet

And to Opendoor’s Eric Wu for the wit to use a sledgehammer

And to a life-in-full Dave Liniger with his pony-sized dog Max and ankle pistol

And to central air conditioning and to Wi-Fi

And to be Sherry Chris

And to FEMA and to flood insurance

And to the reassuring voices of Duane LeGate and Jim Walberg

And to industry writers Teresa Boardman and Sam DeBord

And to real estate’s Oprah Katie Lance

And to the front porch and the gas range

And to Hale Bob and vice versa

And to tussling with NAR

And to America’s first housing leaders Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt

And to Gary Keller and the entire state of Texas

And to raucous debates about the fate of the MLS, the plight of brokers, instant offers, commission compression, FSBOs and disintermediation

And to the 30-year mortgage

And to great expectations for Elizabeth Mendenhall

And to the condominium

And to the zillions of pillows that became Zillow

And to the final episode of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing

And to grinning at Andrew Flachner

And to the townhouse and the wading pool

And to the startup boosters Constance Freedman, Brendan Wallace, Aaron Block and Mark Birschbach

And to prophet Hank Miller, whose jeremiad against the industry put a fire under our readers

And to a 1000watt when you need it

And to bunkbeds

And to warrior priest Jay Thompson, the man with a strong heart despite sword blows to the chest

And to everyone named Victor & Sparkles

And to housing activists everywhere

And to the moment Mark McLaughlin put the Cobra GT500 into drive

And to the 4th and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

And to the inheritors Ben Kinney, Kymber Lovett-Menkiti, Sue Adler, Thad Wong, Eddie Berenbaum, Vanessa Bergmark, Shaun Osher, Chris Lim, Mauricio Umansky, Mark Spain, Mark Choey, Kendyl Young, Peter Lorimer, Laurie Weston Davis, Tiffany KjellanderPam Liebman, Raj Qsar, and Matt Beall

And to all of the disrupters, the new business models, the tinkerers and the entrepreneurs

And to the Pinecrest Diner, the Big Four, the Lambs Club, the French Roast, the KGB Bar, the Redwoods, the Box and the Beverly Hills Hotel

And to the reformers Team Diva, Rob Hahn, Debra Trappen, Tommy Sowers, Sunny Lake, Bill Wendell, Sara Sutachan, Anne Jones, Brian Copeland, Marguerite Giguere, Ryan Bokros, Caroline Pinal and Carl Carter

And to Section 8 housing and the mortgage interest deduction

And to missing Peter Flint

And to tiny homes

And to the definition of loyalty Laura Monroe

And to notorious wing (wo)men Nyda Jones-Church (to Steve Games), Greg Schwartz (to Spencer Rascoff), Lisa Fettner (to Scott Olsen), Joan Dailey (to Avi Gupta) and Paul Boomsma (to Pam O’Connor)

And to those whose first name is enough — Billy, Seth, Sami, Vija, Yaz, Blair, Errol, Peter and Celeste

And to the turnaround crackerjack Amy Bohutinsky who should be running Uber

And to those who didn’t turn a big fortune into a small one Lennox Scott, Stephen Baird, Hoby Hanna and OB Jacobi

And to the 1950s

And to the unsung: Stephanie Anton, Deidre Woollard, Cary Sylvester, Mike Ryan, Ryan Gorman, Leslie Appleton-Young, Katelyn Castellano, Amy Gorce, Diane Ramirez, Susan Yannaccone and Art Carter

And to housing the homeless

And to the everyday Realtor who saved lives in Harvey’s wake

And to Oakland, WEHO, Sausalito, UES, WPB, Palm Springs, 9th St., Carlinville and all of Illinois and most of Australia

And to Steve Murray, Jeff Lobb, Ken Jenny and a few other consultants

And to the garden apartment

And to Dottie and Dolly, if I have another daughter it will be a tough choice

And to the flacks we hate to hate Amanda Woolley, Audie Chamberlain, Kevin Hawkins and Sara Wiskerchen

And to Ryan O’Hara who keeps smiling through it all

And to Nest thermostats and Google Home

And to battle-scarred disruptor Joshua Hunt, who does not go down easily

And to your inner Ferry-self and to Tim & Julie’s clever rants

And to running water, light switches, warm floors and Mr. Coffee

And to Alex Lange for swimming with the salmon

And to the kidney-shaped swimming pool with a diving board

And to industry muckraker Greg Robertson

And to Joe Schutt, Nicole BeauchampSarita Lahoti Dua, Bob Watson, and Sean Carpenter for being everywhere for all of us

And to immigrants and their families

And to the software musketeers Jed Carlson, Grier Allen, Morgan Carey and Matt Barba

And to the loud and the proud Leigh Brown

And to the steady hands Ron Peltier, Chris Heller, Joel Singer, Marilyn Wilson, David Charron, Suzanne Mueller, Rick Sharga, Billy Jack Carter, Charlie Young and John Aaroe

And to the Weber Grill and Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish

And to the thinkers Bill Lublin, Jeff Turner, Bernice Ross, Leslie Ebersole and J. Philip Faranda

And to sidewalks, bike lanes and street lights

And to trusting Lela Richardson and Joe Rand

And to missing Alex Perriello already

And to an industry that always puts up a good fight and feeds on community generosity when its neighbors are most in need

And to you Nate Ellis, who I know would approve

And to my last list…maybe.

Email Brad Inman