October 03, 2008
How will the Bailout Bill impact home buyers & sellers? txt your answer
If you're unable to join us at the TweetUp tonight at TogetherInMotion, One Broadway in Arlington, text your response to our Wiffiti board so anyone online or at the TweetUp can read your perspective.
July 17, 2008
If airlines have fare sales, should real estate agents? Part 2
Poking fun at the current cover story in Barron's Magazine, "Bottom's Up: This Real-Estate Rout May Be Short-Lived," Bill Apgar of the Harvard's Joint Center for Housing predicted, "There will be 10 articles a month [like that] until we hit the bottom, and the last one will be right."
When will it be the right time to buy? That's what all The Real Estate Cafe's clients are asking. Some of their house hunts began two years before the market peaked, and are now into the third year of falling prices. Nearly 50 of our active buyers have looked at more than 1,000 MLS page views. Twenty-one have looked at more than 1,000 MLS pages in the past year alone, but only four of them have paid any fees to The Real Estate Cafe.
Unlike listing agencies who represent sellers and charge 5% to 6% commissions, or dot.com start-ups that are venture funded, The Real Estate Cafe pays it's overhead almost entirely from hourly consulting fees paid by clients. With so many buyer waiting out the housing bubble, those fees have slowed to a trickle. Now, after 13 years, we need your financial support.
We constantly look for ways to help you save money, by learning more about the housing bubble and the latest technologies. Today, for example, we attended a seminar on State of the Nation's Housing and a Foreclosure Prevention Workshop. This weekend, we'll participate in PodCampBoston (for the third time.) Next week, we'd like to participate in two real estate technology conferences in San Francisco: REBarCamp and Real Estate Connect.
To do so, we need to raise $2,000 to $3,000 quickly. You can help us, help you save money by selecting one of the following special offers:
Money-saving offer #1: Fare sale
Repeat the Fare Sale we used successfully in 2007 to get two to three clients to prepay $500 to $1,000 in exchange for 1 to 3 hours additional work for FREE. Email for details.
Money-saving offer #2: Experiment with monthly fees
Introduce an optional monthly subscription fee. If you agree to pay $250 per month, we’ll slash our our consulting fees, normally $100 to $150 per hour, to $50 per hour for five hours—that’s a savings of 50% to nearly 70%! Like frequent flier miles, hours you prepay accumulate and you can use them any time you like. Email for details.
Money-saving offer #3. Attend educational seminars
Host a technology debriefing after our trip to San Francisco to share best money-saving tools and tips from the two real estate technology conferences. We would like to host two events, one for buyers and the other for FSBOs ("for sale by owner") within 10 days of the conferences at TogetherInMotion, One Broadway, Arlington, MA. $49 per household, per event. Email for details.
Finally, your best savings opportunity may already be part of our normal menu of fees & rebates. For example, one of our $3,000 flat fee options enables you to buy down our hourly consulting fee from $150 per hour (without retainer) to $75 for 40 hours - that's a 50% savings before payment of any performance bonus. (Contact us for more details on this option and others.)
We encourage buyers to wait for the housing prices to correct, but don't wait to take advantage of these savings opportunities. Once we raise $2,000 to $3,000, they'll be gone.
10:25 PM in "We" companies, Bubble Hour, Client Feedback, Fee-for-service, FSBO: Best Practices, Housing forecasts, Inside The Real Estate Cafe, Price trends, Real Estate Bubble, Savings & Rebates, Tech Trends, Timing the market | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
May 09, 2008
How can we improve our money-saving Menu of Fees & Rebates?
It's been more than a year since we updated our Menu of Fees & Rebates, so we'd like to invite home buyers to meet in person to discuss possible improvements. Our current options are shown above (click on arrowheads in outline for more detail) and on our wiki.
- We offer three basic options: traditional commissions with limited rebates, hourly fees with full rebates, and flat fees with performance bonuses
- Our most popular options include a 100% rebate of the buyer agency commission included in the sales price.
- Our hourly fees range from $75 to $125 per hour depending on the size of retainer prepaid (or $150 per hour with no retainer or minimum fee).
- Limited availability: Flat fees start at $3,000 plus performance bonus. Each performance bonus is negotiated individually to motivate us to help you maximize saving (see map of savings totaling over $1 million).
- We're also willing to work with a few buyers on a 1% fee option, some restrictions apply.
- Finally, you can propose your own fee / rebate, particularly if you are selling "for sale by owner" and would like us to represent you as a buyer. That way you can maximize savings both buying and selling.
Our ideal is a mix of fees -- hourly, flat fees, and traditional. If you select option 3.3 and prepaid $3,000 in the next few days, we'll cut our hourly rate by 50% for the first 40 hours. We're pushing this special offer so we can attend the National Association of Realtors mid-year convention next week to identify the best new money-saving tools and trends for home buyers and sellers.
Should we host a series of webinars or meetings off-line to discuss the benefits of each fee / rebate, and to help new clients decide which money-saving option best meets their needs? We can meet on short notice at a local cafe or in the privacy of your home. We're also eager to begin meeting at TogetherInMotion in Arlington, MA so working parents can talk over food while their kids play. Please contact us for additional information.
03:54 PM in "We" companies, Client Feedback, Commission Reform, Do-it-yourself, Fee-for-service, Inside The Real Estate Cafe, Savings & Rebates, Social Networking, Unbundling the Commission | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack
February 28, 2006
Chat about Jan. 2006 home sales in Boston / Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors is expected to post January sales statistics to their web site sometime around noon today. To help make sense of them, The Real Estate Cafe is hosting four chats through the day which the public can join as a guest (if you are unable to see any graphics when you enter the chat room, try clicking on the link below):
Bubble Hour #1: Noon to 1pm
Bubble Hour #2: 6:30 to 7:30pm
If there is interest, we'll do this one in person at Borders Bookstore Cafe @ CambridgeSide Galleria tonight or maybe tomorrow. Please RSVP in advance so we can make that decision.
Bubble Hour #3: 8:00pm to 9pm
We anticipate the largest number of participants for this Bubble Hour, including a special guest from one of that state registry of deeds who will share some statistics for February, three weeks ahead of the Mass. Association of Realtors release their own.
Bubble Hour #4: 11pm to midnight
We have a number of people who house hunt just before heading to bed so to accommodate them, we'll host one more bubble hour today
We've already begun posting some content on line, and invite your comments and questions here or in the chat room. One note of caution: overall market statistics, like those being released today by the Mass. Association of Realtors, are often too broad to translate into meaningful information at the local level. That's one of the reasons chat participants with different perspectives --- both geographically and with respect to their opinion about the housing bubble -- are welcome. (As always, you can also call our reader line to record your own sound bite: 617-876-2117 for potential use in a future podcast.)
April 30, 2005
PAYing our clients for their opinions
The Real Estate Cafe is redesigning it's main web site and we'd like to invite our clients and others to comment on some DRAFT text. Would the following three keywords and positioning statements make you want to work with us rather than one of our competitors?
The Real Estate Cafe partners with it's do-it-yourself, tech savvy clients and rewards them with unrivaled commission rebates. You can also pay for our services "a la carte" on an hourly and flat fee.
Knowledge is power and The Real Estate Cafe teaches its clients how to "beat the system" through educational seminars, blogs on important topics like the real estate bubble, and peer-to-peer communication through it's unique "Tipping Policy" where we PAY YOU for your opinion!