Hot Search Term(s): “Realogy Bankruptcy”;
“Firing Your Realtor”

Note to Readers: no, it’s not your imagination — I’ve been off-line for a few days. Family trip to Chicago; taxing foreclosure deal (that came to naught); and ramping up a new blog design (details to come).

Question: What do parents (combined age: 95) of 3 kids (combined age: 19) say after driving to and from Chicago for four days?

Answer: TGIM (“Thank God it’s Monday).

Enough catch-up . . .

One of the fringe benefits of a being a frequent blogger — the last few days notwithstanding — is that, in conjunction with my site meter, I can tell what key terms people are surfing for.

(Just in case you’re concerned about your privacy: I can’t tell the visitor’s identity, but only such things as the name of the visitor’s service provider, the time and length of their visit . . and the search words that brought them to the blog.

So, just like radio stations can tell which songs are popular and which aren’t, blogs can tell which posts are attracting attention, and which aren’t.

Out of some almost 300(!) posts the last six months or so, the far-and-away most popular is Coldwell Banker Burnet Troubles.

Clearly, there are lots of people out there speculating about the company’s future — so much so that my post has become one of the half dozen or so most frequently read on the subject. (Full disclosure: in the blogosphere equivalent of “being famous for being famous,” blog posts that attract attention then draw attention for drawing attention — very circular.)

To recap, Realogy is the parent company company of Coldwell Banker Burnet, an Edina Realty competitor, and is loaded with debt even as the recession whacks revenue. Not quite as bad as the problems facing the now-bankrupt Chicago Tribune or Minneapolis Star Tribune . . . but close.

Tough Market . . Rocky Relationships?

Winning the title of most popular “up-and-coming” blog post? Something I wrote last month titled, “Firing Your Realtor.”

In a challenging market — and this certainly is one — more Sellers are taking multiple price cuts; more listed homes are expiring, unsold; and more Buyers are looking at more property, and taking longer to make offers. All those things can stress relations between Buyers and their Realtors, and Sellers and their Realtors.

So, clearly, unhappy clients are seeking online advice about when — and how — to find the exit.

Last item: I didn’t even know that the Star Tribune had something called a “Netlet” — an online-only guest column — until they ran one of mine.

And I didn’t even see it until a week after it ran (and two weeks after I submitted it).

Both of which just underscore the paper’s declining business fortunes.

The piece was called “Who are Obama’s Air Traffic Controllers?” In it, I made (I think) the rather obvious and unassailable point that, sometimes it’s important for top government leaders (President, Federal Reserve Chairman, etc.) to tell key constituencies “no” — and be willing to take the political heat for it.

Ironically, I was the one who got the “heat” — in the form of multiple “flames” (critical, if not abusive, email criticism).

For the record, I am not a Reagan apologist, a defiler of the environment, anti-labor or anti-union, against air traffic controllers, in favor of gargantuan deficits, etc., etc.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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