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[The Housing Helix Podcast] Ben Jones, Founder, The Housing Bubble Blog

January 6, 2010 | 1:11 pm | | Podcasts |

In this podcast I get to speak with Ben Jones, founder of The Housing Bubble Blog. With a background in business, economics, and accounting, he’s been a prolific blogger/analyst of the housing bubble and crash since late 2004 and is considered the go to reference source for bubble conversation. His site continues to draw a rabid readership who come there to lurk, exchange ideas, vent, call out spin and identify those in the real estate industrial complex.

In 2009, Mr. Jones was recognized by Inman News as one of the 50 most-influential people online in real estate. He also owns a property preservation, management, and investment company in Northern Arizona.

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.

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[Interview] Ben Jones, Founder, The Housing Bubble Blog

January 6, 2010 | 11:30 am | | Podcasts |

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[Interview] Rob Hahn, Managing Partner, 7DS Associates, Blogger Notorious ROB

September 2, 2009 | 3:03 pm | | Podcasts |

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[Interview] Sami Inkinen, Founder, COO of

August 3, 2009 | 12:50 am | | Podcasts |

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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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[The Housing Helix Podcast] [Interview] Alison Rogers, Author, CBS MoneyWatch Columnist, Real Estate Agent

July 24, 2009 | 3:09 pm | | Podcasts |

I had a fun time interviewing Ali Rogers of CBS MoneyWatch where she writes a column Ask The Agent. She’s a very smart chronicler of issues related to housing. A few years ago, she authored a book: Diary of a Real Estate Rookie to good reviews and wrote a column for Inman News for three years of the same name. She is also into the Twitter thing and is a successful real estate agent.

I often tell her – she’s no “Rookie”.

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.

A Lot Of Professionals Are Crackpots

April 13, 2009 | 12:01 am | | Podcasts |


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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.

[Inman Connect] No one is living in tents…yet

January 15, 2009 | 2:36 pm | | Public |

Here’s a quick video snippet of the last two panels of the 2009 New York Inman Connect conference which is always a great time. I was invited to speak at the main session for the last panel of the conference.

The Real Deal magazine parsed out some of the conversations, specifically from Dottie Herman and moi.


Editorializing The Real Estate Hype

January 13, 2009 | 2:10 am | |

In the current issue of Crain’s New York Business, there was an editorial on the hyping of real estate. I thought it was pretty good, especially ’cause I was named as the voice of reason.

If the top 10% of transactions (those for more than $3 million) were excluded, Manhattan apartment prices were flat for the past two years, notes Jonathan Miller, the appraiser who is the savviest observer of the local residential market. In fact, Mr. Miller has been pointing out for most of the past year that the activity in the most expensive segment was distorting the average price and that the decline in the number of transactions spelled trouble. He always insisted that Wall Street bonuses drove the market, not international buyers.

The concept for sharp-minded people:

Live by the sword,
die by the sword

My observations of real estate professionals in housing markets as they begin to weaken seems to go like this:

  • Over hype the positive
  • Spin, misdirection
  • Denial
  • Disbelief
  • Passive acceptance
  • Jump on the bandwagon
  • Over hype the negative

Many agents are doing a better job in relating to the current environment, but there are still stragglers.

I had an agent come up to me last week after I spoke at the Inman conference on Friday and asked

why do you paint the market so “negatively”? How can you possibly know what the numbers really are?

Good grief.

I’d like to consider myself a “neutral observer.” I got beat up in 3Q 05 and again in 1Q 08 when we had significant evidence of weaker conditions. The punishment often came from top agents, who perhaps had more to lose? In each case our results were status quo after acceptance of the new market was realized – usually 1-2 quarters later.

Change can be hard to deal with.

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[Quadrillions In Indebtedness] 4Q 2008 Manhattan Market Overview Available For Download

January 8, 2009 | 2:25 am | | Public |

The 4Q 2008 Manhattan Market Overview that I author for Prudential Douglas Elliman was released on Tuesday.

Other reports we prepare can be found here.

The 4Q 2008 [data]( and a series of updated [charts]( are also available.

All in all, well over 100 media hits covering the report (that we know about, but who’s counting) without a formal press release. Apparently there is interest in the Manhattan housing market.

An excerpt

…At the close of the prior quarter, there was significant turmoil in the financial markets and unprecedented intervention by federal government agencies. The bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and insurance giant AIG, the investor run on the money market Reserve Primary Fund and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, marked a significant change in the Manhattan housing market as well as the US housing market. The fourth quarter was characterized by a sharp decline in contract activity and a downward correction in contract price levels. Sales contract activity showed evidence of a decline in activity of 40% to 75% compared to the same period last year. Contract price levels showed an average decline of 20% from August 2008. As a result of the 45-60 day lag between contract and closing date, a decline is anticipated in both the number of sales and closing price levels in the first quarter of 2009…

In 2005, I began posting the links of the coverage of each report to see how each media outlet reports the market using the exact same data. I find it to be an interesting way to look at how this information is interpreted and presented.

The media coverage of the report was provided here as they were released (in no particular order). The headlines selected below provide an interesting media perspective of the report contents since every outlet was working off the same information. I didn’t include all the wire stories from AP, Bloomberg or Reuters.



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[iTrulia] Getting Mobile With Luke Skywalker, Etc.

August 25, 2008 | 10:37 pm | |

Since the new iPhone and it’s 2.0.2 software came out, I have been lovin’ the new apps that have entered the fray. The power of GPS allows blending data and location into a nice neat package. And endless array of possibilities.

One of my favorites of the just released: the Trulia iPhone app (disclosure: I have been on Trulia’s Industry Advisory Board since its inception). But it’s not just for the iPhone.

I got a demo of the beta when I was at Inman Connect SF last month. I have to say, unequivocally, that the app is even better than “more cowbell.” Actually it’s incredibly easy to use, allowing me to see what is for sale in the immediate area, drilling down to property details and what open houses are available (inside joke: thanks so much for not calling them “open homes”). It also enables viewing the Trulia voices feed specific to the location.

Keep it simple, make it powerful.

In fact, I’ve really been iPhone App happy lately. I was turned on to two other apps by my friend Andrew, that I find myself using everyday (aside from “iSaber“) called Jott and Evernote. Awesome.

Proud father moment: My teenage son was out with a bunch of his friends and one of them pulls out an iPhone, exclaiming, “hey guys, check this out!” and began brandishing iSaber with it’s Star Wars sound and light effects. My son looks at the kid and deadpans, “yeah, my Dad uses that one.”

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