Angie’s List

Angie’s List Changes Business Models: Is “Free” Better for Consumers?

Et tu, Angie’s List? [Editor’s Note:  The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.] You don’t usually notice something that doesn’t happen. So, after paying an annual membership fee for Angie’s List...
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Doing Due Dilgence on Small Home Builders

Back to the Future You’d think — in an age of online everything — that it would be easier, not harder, to do due diligence on new home builders these days. Especially small home builders, who may only build a handful of homes a year, and (still) dominate the industry. Unh-unh. As recently as five years...
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Realtor Reviews on Angie’s List

Ratings Criteria:  “Quality,” “Punctuality,” “Responsiveness” If I were rating Realtors, the attributes most important to me would be things like: –Marketing skills –Negotiating ability –Legal knowledge and familiarity with real estate contracts –Honesty/Integrity –Market knowledge –Personality and interpersonal skills Now, compare the above list to the criteria for rating Realtors on Angie’s List: –Price –Quality...
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Realtor Referrals

Housing Market’s “Babysitters” I have the names of over 500 contractors in my contact manager (no, I don’t use a Rolodex anymore; I doubt anyone under 25 even knows what they are). My database includes not just inspectors, lenders, and handymen, but also painters, carpenters, electricians, roofers, masons, odor remediators (by far the best:  Dave Polley,...
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A “High Tech” Scarlet Letter

The “A” is for “Advertising” (see, “Unpaid Invoice”) Once upon a time — like in 17th century Massachusetts — adulterers had to wear a scarlet letter. Fast forward to today. Now, a vendor who buys advertising from Angie’s List and doesn’t pay for it has their Angie’s List profile slapped with this very high profile alert: NOTICE:  Non-payment of...
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Professional Painter? [Carpenter, Plumber, Electrician] Look It!

Dressing the Part In my post, “Contractor Etiquette,”  I discuss all the substantive qualities that characterize a good contractor. While substance counts, so do appearances. In fact, at least initially, when the client is forming their first impression — or deciding who to hire! — the importance of dressing professionally can hardly be understated. So, in...
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