A Carnival - defined as a period of public revelry involving processions, music, and dancing. So far this year, in the real estate world, it seems like most who work in this business have very little to revel about. Notwithstanding however, this past weekend represented the official start of summer, which of course is something to revel about, especially for those of us living in cold climates. So, in keeping with the carnival spirit and in celebration of summer, I'm proud to host CoRE 96, by theming the celebration with some of the most spectacular carnivals across the globe.
The Brazilian Feel Good AwardProbably the most famous carnival in the world, and although the country has problems, the people of Brazil sure know how to feel good about themselves, let their hair down and party, party party; they never seem to stop and they seem to have this uncanny ability not to let their problems get the best of them.
So with this in mind I wanted to present the very first "Feel Good" blog carnival award to Poppy's post at the Zoomf blog. Poppy describes herself as a woman, who can "make shoes relate to pretty much anything" and did an excellent good job in showing us how the success of online shoe store Zappos can be related or transferred to an online real estate business, by focusing relentlessly on customer service. Here's an excerpt:
In a perfect world, consumers (of any good or service) would get fantastic service all the time. Sometimes, it’s not until things get tough for the providers that the service gets attention. We’ve been living in a world where agents don’t need to answer that ringing mobile or upload a picture of that apartment, the property market’s been booming with sales practically completing themselves. If there’s ever been a time to start looking at customer service it’s now. With all the anxiety surrounding the market at the moment, people aren’t so quick to sign on the dotted line. Take it as an opportunity to shake up the way you deal with clients, be the estate agent who’s presence is felt on the internet through blog posts and twitter feeds rather than featuring in I hate X Agent forums. According to Plebble.com the organisation with the worst user ratings in this country is not BT, British Gas or the government, it’s an estate agency. Estate agents get a lot of unfair criticism, there are plenty of agents who work very hard to build a positive brand, but there’s also plenty of rotten eggs which taint the industry’s image as a whole. If you’re an offender, do your clients and your business a favour by addressing the issue of customer service, and then let satisfied customers do your advertising for you.
The Venetian Masquerade AwardProbably the most mysterious carnival celebration in the world, the Venice carnival is famous for the use of masks and masquerades. So in keeping with the masquerading spirit of the Venetian carnival, I'd like to present the Venetian Masquerading Award to Ray at Money Blue Book. Ray's article outlined his list of the Top 5 Most Overrated Careers and Jobs and most naturally, being a real estate agent came in at position two, right after lawyers who unsurprisingly claimed the number one spot. Ray felt that the ease and simplicity of entering the real estate field is one of the key causes of the real estate profession’s current decline and by extension the housing bubble:
Because it’s so easy to become a certified real estate agent, the barriers to entry are very low. As a result, real estate agents are everywhere and there is not enough real estate business to go around. Especially in this real estate downturn, agents are finding themselves faced with dwindling business opportunities and diminishing commission fees. Furthermore, with the growth of online housing listing sites like Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate, and the surging popularity of do it yourself resources, the importance of having a real estate agent will continue to decline and gradually phase out. With the growth of online real estate blogs and finance sites, it’s getting much easier for ordinary people to buy and sell their own house or property without the assistance of a professional real estate agent.
The New Orleans Resilience AwardMardi Gras (or "Fat Tuesday") carnivals take place all over the world, but none more famous than the Mardi Gras celebration in the city of New Orleans. Especially since Hurricane Katrina, when the city was practically destroyed, New Orleanians got together in 2006 to prove to the world that the city was still alive and kicking. It's with that spirit in mind that we would like to present the New Orleans Mardi Gras Resilience Award to Everything Finance, who submitted sound advice in their Foreclosure Solutions post, highlighting two simple things you can do to stop the proceedings and save your home from foreclosure.
That's it for this week's carnival. Thanks to everybody who submitted posts, all of which are linked to in the "Recommended Reading" section of this blog. And special thanks to Drew at Zillow for giving me the opportunity once again to host. Hop on over to Trulia for next weeks carnival and enjoy the rest of the week ... and make the most of the sunshine!