Matrix Blog

Adventures in Media & Marketing

[The Housing Helix Podcast] Stuart Elliott, Editor-In-Chief, The Real Deal Magazine

August 20, 2009 | 12:01 am | | Podcasts |

I had the pleasure of interviewing Stuart Elliott, the Editor-In-Chief of The Real Deal Magazine. Together with Publisher Amir Korangy, The Real Deal pushes out a lot of content on the residential and commercial real estate markets in New York City and South Florida, making their publication a must-read.

Check out the podcast

The Housing Helix Podcast Interview List

You can subscribe on iTunes or simply listen to the podcast on my other blog The Housing Helix.


[Interview] Holden Lewis, Reporter,, Mortgage Matters Blog

August 5, 2009 | 12:01 am | Podcasts |

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[Over Coffee] Morning Quote From The Real Estate Front

July 31, 2009 | 1:23 pm | |

Well, it’s still morning in LA.

Real Deal Magazine publisher Amir Korangy and Editor Stuart Elliott finally get their due with a page 1, column 1 story in the LA Times yesterday. It covers their history and what its like to cover the New York housing market.

There was a market related quote in the article from one of the top New York City commercial real estate brokers, Bob Knakal, of Massey Knakal in Manhattan that got my attention. Here’s how he described the current commercial real estate market.

“It’s as if you had both your arms hacked off and you were bleeding all over the place,” Knakal says. “But then the bleeding stopped and you feel a little better. You still have your arms hacked off, but everything is relative.”

That’s brutal honesty – literally.

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[Interview] Alison Rogers, Author, CBS MoneyWatch Columnist, Real Estate Agent

July 24, 2009 | 6:40 pm | | Podcasts |

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[HuffPost] Mad “Housing Bottom” Is A Jumbo Problem

June 25, 2009 | 4:15 pm | Columns |

The Huffington Post approached me to write blog posts about the housing market periodically. I post weekly or as inspired, not necessarily in that order.

It would be great if you could it within your heart to become a fan (actually select a “become a fan“) and make comments on my HuffPost musings if inspired.

Here’s my first foray into this bit of extracurricular activity called:

Mad “Housing Bottom” Is A Jumbo Problem

In late August of last year, Jim Cramer, a la CNBC Mad Money, predicted the housing market bottom would be reached by the third quarter of 2009. A week later, the prediction was fine-tuned in his widely read magazine article, selecting June 30, 2009 as the official day the housing market would find a bottom…[continue reading]

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[86’d] Up A Notch In Power Poll

June 3, 2009 | 11:45 am | Public |

The New York Observer, and it’s heavy coverage of New York City/Hamptons real estate released its annual (and obviously highly scientific research of an empirical topic):

The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate

After a year of hard work burning the midnight oil seven days a week, I was able to move up one position to 86. Goal met. Life is good.

It’s not clear how a real estate appraiser became one of the most visible real estate icons this side of Dolly Lenz, but when the media-savvy, Web-connected Mr. Miller speaks, New York listens. His market reports are like a quarterly Super Bowl.

Hey, I’m the only appraiser on the list.

Ok, back to work.


[Social Networking+Real Estate] Diving for Wisdom from a Panel of Green Pearls

May 20, 2009 | 9:25 am | Public |

About a month and a half ago, I participated in a panel discussion on social networking held by Ryan Slack of GreenPearl.

Allie Herzog of Quinn & Co. who was the moderator, posted an introduction to the panel discussion at the GreenPearl event – the video clips are available online. The series is surprisingly informative, despite my participation.

If you’re interested in learning about the topic, I feel pretty strongly that it’s worth listening to even, even if the weather is nice outside and you do have a life.

[Conspicuous Consumption is A1] Manhattan Housing Slump Hits NYT Front Page

April 9, 2009 | 9:45 am | | Public |

Last week we released our Manhattan Market Overview for Prudential Douglas Elliman which outlined the fall correction and emergence of a new market. Apparently this topic continued to resonate and was worthy of a front page New York Times article. Josh Barbanel wrote a harsh, but good one: Housing Slump Hits Manhattan.

Apartment prices have once more become the talk of the town in Manhattan, but this time the talk is of uncertainty and falling numbers. While brokers say they are seeing more activity lately, especially from first-time buyers taking advantage of lower interest rates, housing analysts are predicting a prolonged slump in prices and sales that could last as long as four or five years.

Hey who was that housing analyst they referred to? I think I know him? This is my 9th time on A1 (but who’s counting?) and it’s always a thrill. My last time I thought it was 9, but it was only 8 – good grief this is shallow – ok, I’ll stop.

In Manhattan, real estate is more than a spectator sport and was the last or one of the last US housing markets to see weakness. High end is expected to feel more pain and first time buyers and sub-million dollar sales are the big story at the moment.

Jonathan J. Miller, an appraiser who prepares quarterly reports on Manhattan, said the market could continue to fall through this year and next, especially if credit remained tight for most buyers. After that, he said, it could take several more years to work through the excess inventory.

Both inventory and “shadow” inventory – the newly constructed or converted housing units ready for sale but not offered yet – probably in the neighborhood of 6k to 8k units.

The article ended with this thought:

Mr. Miller said that during the last big real estate downtown, when studio apartments were so cheap that he considered buying one on a credit card, people thought the luxury market would never come back. “Conspicuous consumption was out of vogue in 1991,” he said. “The market was back by 1997 or 1998.”

In other words, so many market participants characterize these periods as “forever” when they’re really not – housing is cyclical so get on with it.

GreenPearl’s Real Estate Social Marketing Panel 4-7-09 6pm

April 6, 2009 | 12:51 pm | | Public |

I never thought to myself, gee, I’m going to go out and do some social marketing/networking, like it’s a New Year’s resolution. It just sort of happened and I am not sure how or why, but it’s here and it is powerful – and it is fun.

I began the blogging thing with Matrix and Soapbox back in 2005 and then expanded into:
and now podcasting at

Frankly, I have no plan other than to try to push out good content with my persona attached to it.

Ryan Slack – founder of GreenPearl, invited a group of social networking types (don’t see myself as one, but I am I suppose) to a fun forum tomorrow night – moderated by Quinn & Co.’s digital media manager, Allie Herzog – at the M1-5 Lounge at 52 Walker Street, Manhattan. I am excited about the group and plan to take (mental) notes.

  • Doug Heddings, Senior Vice President Elliman, top broker and viral video guru
  • Rick Rochon, Founder, social advertising expert
  • Rob Hahn, Vice President Marketing Onboard Informatics, interactive marketing pro
  • Phil Thomas Di Giulio, Co-founder, Twitter master, guerrilla marketing expert

There are some seats available – to attend, you simply register here.

[Fence Sitting] Loose Lips, Not In Sync

April 1, 2009 | 12:32 am |

As I invested a lot of time watching the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament this weekend (in 2nd place going into the Final Four!), CBS showed the same 6 commercials over and over and over again. One of those was the “Fence Sitters” ad by NAR. The above commercial accomplished what it needed to – buyers are on the fence waiting to make a decision and NAR is there to help. Fine.

However, the strange thing about the commercial was the narrator’s lips. They were out of sync with the video. I swear. The quality of this version is poor, however, so it is hard to tell.

The commercial was shown so many times I became an expert on its contents. Apparently it is assumed that sports fans love repetition just like the athletes do when training so the same ads can be shown over and over during sports shows or programs and we lemmings just bob our heads

While tortured through a mind numbing do loop of these handful of commercials all afternoon I reached out through Twitter and Facebook and get feedback from others trapped in the same plight – a resounding agreement with my observation was returned.

By the way, do producers and clients of these things sit and watch the final cut?

I am not trying to bash NAR here – they are trying to help their membership with this ad series, which has clarity and is actually pretty good for a trade group.

Those lips though – they were out of sync – which pulls so much irony out of me from past NAR transgressions from their various chief “economists”, I fear I may have no more irony left. Still, as a trade group NAR seems to be on the right track as of late.

[Media Behaving Badly?] Despite Bad Dunk, Housing Market Could Probably Care Less

March 26, 2009 | 12:58 am | |

Ok, so we always need to blame someone because it lets us off the hook and it can make the issue more tangible. In the world of housing, the biggest target of blame is generally the media. I hear this at most real estate functions.

  • The media distorts the negative aspects of real estate
  • The media doesn’t look deep enough into the housing market in order to explain what is wrong with it
  • The media scares buyers away
  • The media hype kept me from making that sale last month

Really? No, really?

  • The media caused me to drop my entire Oreo cookie in my glass of milk.

Ok, not really. I just threw that one in there. I’ve always been bothered by this positioning besides the negative energy (whining). Is the media part of a big conspiracy?

I am not an apologist but were the media blamers complaining about the housing market hyperbole when it was on the way up?

I’ll say this – some reporters get stories wrong and some real estate agents don’t sell houses. Yet does media error and hyperbole actually make an adverse impact? Even create an asset bubble?

Here’s another way to look at the issue as presented in Catherine Rampell’s Economix post:

The media — especially as embodied by Jim Cramer — has been accused of starting, perpetuating or inflating bubbles. A new study looks at the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s and declares otherwise.

News coverage tended to increase around public offerings but there wasn’t a noticeable impact on stock prices. The same could be applied to the most recent asset bubble: housing.

Yes, the media basically behaved badly, but its bad behavior did not appear to have much influence.

View early draft of research paper: THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN THE INTERNET IPO BUBBLE.

And don’t forget to blame the weather too.

[Recovery Signage] It’s All About Branding

March 5, 2009 | 1:22 am | |

Like the Starbucks logo that steers you to a warm tall -not small casi cielo (my fav), the recovery needs a brand. Brand, brand, brand.

WSJ’s Real Time Economics Blog caught my attention.

The logo is likely aimed at giving Americans evidence that stimulus program is working. That is as long as it’s not associated with the Depression, but with recovery.

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