Paul's Stories

Stephen Baird, president and CEO of Baird & Warner Real Estate, which claims to be the oldest real estate brokerage in the U.S., hopes he can pass the firm on to the sixth Baird generation. Whether Baird’s daughter, Abigail, 30, or his nephew, Wyllys, late 30s, end up succeeding him at the helm of the Chicago-based firm when he’s ready to go will depend on their competence, not just their blood. Baird, 62, took over the firm from his father, John, in the early ’90s at around age 40.

Nov 6

Zillow Group is inviting hackers, coders, designers and engineers to dream up new real estate software at an all-night “hackathon” at its San Francisco offices, Nov. 6 – 8.

Nov 4

Near my studio apartment in the not-yet-up-and-coming neighborhood of West Oakland, California, sits a bus bench with an ad featuring just the words “#FASTAGENT” in black lettering on a white background — nothing else. Its bold design began grabbing my attention earlier this year.

Nov 4

It’s Tuesday morning. Real estate agent Michael Friedman is wearing a tie, nice slacks and monk strap shoes, polished so their rich umber brown shines golden. This morning, he’s bantering light-heartedly with two of his well-dressed agent colleagues at The Grubb Co., Ed Kuo and Dana Cohen, as the glowing San Francisco Bay Area light pours in behind them from the floor-to-ceiling windows behind their desks in the company’s offices in Oakland’s upscale Montclair neighborhood.

Nov 3

Four years ago, Dallas real estate agent Scott Carlson won a listing that he said carried a “dark energy.” That’s when Carlson turned to Jay Quinn, a Washington, D.C.-based energy healer who helps real estate brokers and agents improve the atmosphere of problem homes that spark negative feelings in some people.

Nov 3

Clinch, maker of automatic marketing videos, joined the growing field of firms offering portals, brokerages and agents the ability to feature dynamic videos on listings in their search platforms by signing up Chicago-based brokerage Dream Town Realty in February this year.

Nov 2

Homesnap Pro, an MLS-integrated real estate agent productivity mobile app, is piloting a new product that allows agents to market their listing wins with Facebook ads. The app knows right away when an agent posts a listing or sells a home because it’s tied to MLSs in the 18 markets where it’s currently available.

Nov 2

Southern California real estate agent Yvette Thomas is offering a $750 rebate to homebuyers who work with her. The offer comes through crowdfunding startup BoostUp, a savings platform that allows homebuyers to crowdsource their down payment from friends and family and stack additional money from real estate brokerages, agents and lenders in the form of rebates.

Oct 2