Seattle Bubble Commenters: Thank You!

Seattle Bubble hit a geeky milestone yesterday, with the posting of its 0x10000th comment! That’s hexadecimal—base 16—65,536 for you non-geeks out there. The 0x10000th comment was posted by Flying Ape.

In commemoration of this geeky occasion, here are a few statistics relating to the comments on Seattle Bubble.

As of the 0x10000th comment, 65,536 comments had been posted across a total of 1,852 posts, for an average of 35 comments per post. Seattle Bubble was launched on August 5, 2005, so that’s an average of 42 comments per day.

Stupid spam robots have attempted (and failed) to post 89,069 (0x15BED) spam comments, outnumbering comments by real people 1.4 to 1. And that’s just since Seattle Bubble’s move to its own domain in May 2007, meaning that the spambots (failed to) post an average of 99 comments per day. Yikes!

Top 10 most-commented posts:

  1. 2008.06 – May Reporting Roundup (330 comments)
  2. 2009.06 – May Foreclosures Up 69% from 2008 in King County (295 comments)
  3. 2008.08 – House Valuation Workshop (232 comments)
  4. 2009.01 – Official Word on Microsoft Layoffs: 1,400 Now, 5,000 Total (218 comments)
  5. 2009.07 – Are Home Price Drops Around Seattle Mostly Over? (218 comments)
  6. 2008.07 – June Reporting Roundup (206 comments)
  7. 2009.08 – Comment of the Week: Impulsive Behavior Disorder (198 comments)
  8. 2008.01 – Predictions: 2007 Revisited, 2008 Prognosticated (186 comments)
  9. 2008.09 – Breaking: House Votes Down $700B Bailout (179 comments)
  10. 2009.07 – NWMLS: Sales Edge Above ’08, Median Up 5% MOM, Down 12% YOY (177 comments)

Top 10 12 most prolific commenters:

  1. Kary L. Krismer (2,548 comments)
  2. The Tim (2,085 comments)
  3. david losh (1,596 comments)
  4. deejayoh (1,504 comments)
  5. Scotsman (1,472 comments)
  6. patient (1,190 comments)
  7. Eleua (1,177 comments)
  8. softwarengineer (1,150 comments)
  9. meshugy (929 comments)
  10. Matthew (925 comments)
  11. Ray Pepper (869 comments)
  12. Jon (782 comments)

[Update: There was a glitch in the auto-generated top ten that caused some commenters' count to be split. I have updated the list to correct for this error.]

Technically, “Anonymous” was #1 with 2,651 comments (a throwback to Seattle Bubble’s old days at Blogger.com), but since that’s not really a single person, it doesn’t count. What’s really impressive about Kary’s spot at #1 is that he only just started commenting on Seattle Bubble in July of last year, so in less than 16 months he has managed to rack up nearly twice as many comments as the next-closest competitor (not counting myself), averaging 5.4 comments per day.

And let’s not leave out the forum!

Top 10 forum posters:

  1. rose-colored-coolaid (1,976 posts)
  2. deejayoh (1,154 posts)
  3. TJ_98370 (837 posts)
  4. The Tim (790 posts)
  5. Alan (780 posts)
  6. Robroy (681 posts)
  7. sniglet (679 posts)
  8. Markor (602 posts)
  9. biliruben (573 posts)
  10. WestSideBilly (550 posts)

A giant THANK YOU goes out to everyone that participates in the discussion here at Seattle Bubble. I have learned a lot from you, and I think on the whole we have made a positive contribution to the understanding and demystifying of real estate and related economic issues in the Seattle area. I hope that we can continue the conversation for many 0x1000s of comments to come. ;^)

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

69 comments:

  1. 1
    David Losh says:

    No, thank you. This has been a great source of news and information.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. 2
    Ray Pepper says:

    I MADE TOP 10!! I MADE TOP 10!!

    Seattle Bubble truly is a great resource for Buyers and Sellers in the NW. I have referred so many people here and they love it as well.

    Instead of the usual buy buy buy mentality people get elsewhere the Bubble causes people to slow down, take a breath, and rethink their decision. Many I know went onto buy anyway and some just continue to look realizing there truly is no rush and the “bottom” will go on for many years and is not an exact day.

    Take your time friends. There will be 1000’s of Gems that will continue to flood our markets for many years. People are NOT stupid and I assure you these upside down homes are ALL coming back! Not a question of if…………..just when. We are a mobile society, it costs 10% to sell here in the PNW (5% if you educated yourself), and people cannot cover their upside down situation at close. They have NO money! Short sales will continue year after year after year until the ramifications of the Bubble is repaired.

    FIND THAT GEM AND AVOID ALL MULTIPLE OFFER SCENARIOS!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. 3

    I’ll second what David just said. There were many times when Seattle Bubble was the lone sane voice in the wilderness.
    I would have figured that I’d have made the top ten in number of comments, but I guess I’m going for quality, not quantity?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3 – Ira, you came in at #13. Actually, if anybody else is curious where they rank, I’ve posted the top 100 here.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. 5
    wreckingbull says:

    Of course the statistic we will never know is how much money was saved by listening to dirty, anonymous renters instead of seasoned, licensed, real estate professionals.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. 6
    Ray Pepper says:

    Sorry its only the TOP 10 that counts! Your out Ira!

    In fact its really the ELITE 8 that should get a Bubble Shirt!

    Thats my opinion!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. 7
    AMS says:

    RE: The Tim @ 4 – I find it hard to believe that I am #14. I took a great deal of time off, yet I am at #14.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. 8
    AMS says:

    What’s the difference between

    #2 “The Tim”
    and
    #26 “The Tim”

    Also, poor S Crow, S-crow, S-Crow, Tim, and so on, doesn’t have a chance.

    David Losh is #5 & #27

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. 9
    AMS says:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 6 – Sorry Ray, but it looks like softwarengineer should have bumped out out of the “Great 8.” He is listed at position #23 (564) & #33 (370) & #60 (216), which is clearly more than 1,100 total posts.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10

    RE: AMS @ 7
    But you just started posting, AMS. If there were a category for “most posts in a 30 day period”, you’d probably win it.
    Looking at that top 100 list, I notice a few things. One is all these names that are a blast from the past, folks who no longer post, and another is names that make the top 100 list more than once…Based on that, I think David Losh is actually number two, so in reality maybe the top two posters are real estate agents?
    Also, I’m tied for 11th, 12th, and 13th. I’m gonna make the top ten even if I have to make inane posts all day long.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  11. 11
    AMS says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 10 – I have been around for quite some time. I don’t know how to search for my first post. The majority of my posts have been within the last 6 months or so.

    (Oh, and maybe I will post just enough to keep you out of the top 10…)

    Also did you notice that your ranking is based on a small I, i?

    ira…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  12. 12

    RE: AMS @ 11
    Aha! So if you add my ira comments and my Ira comments, I am probably in the top 10. But it’s my own fault for not proofreading.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. 13
    The Tim says:

    RE: AMS @ 8 – Oh snap, good point. Looks like some of the older comments from Blogger got split or something. The list in that post is auto-generated from a plugin. I’ll update the top 10 in this post though.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. 14
    AMS says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 12 – I guess we can say that you didn’t proofread for what, almost 800 comments?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. 15
    AMS says:

    RE: The Tim @ 13 – So many people make database maintenance out to be such a simple task. Sure when a database is in good order, it seems like magic, but a good working database is no small feat.

    Switching from one system to another, such as the switch from Blogger to WordPress, has its share of rough points, and we wonder why the IRS has so many problems?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. 16

    By AMS @ 14:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 12 – I guess we can say that you didn’t proofread for what, almost 800 comments?

    Whaddaya want? i’m a real estate agent.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  17. 17

    This quickly became my favorite spot on the Internet by far. But I am surprised I’m #1 so quickly.

    I’d question the stat, however, because I think there are more than 2,500 posts by Sniglet mentioning his podcast. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. 18
    AMS says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 16 – realtr?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. 19

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17

    Your Secret Kary, IMO, is You Respond to All Bloggers More

    Ira may be #13, but he’s content to generally state his view and then bugs out.

    Which method is better? #1’s or #13’s? I think they both have merit.

    #1 shows he’s really reading our blogs and listening to us.

    #13 is content to word it quickly and let’s us make the decisions on our own.

    The Tim really deserves the pat on the back for insightful articles that we all can learn from and enjoy commenting on. Some of my best learning on this website is the pointed questions and even arguments against my blogs….keep the polite mud-slinging up, its educational for all of us, it motivates us to find new information :-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. 20
    Dave0 says:

    RE: AMS @ 9 – Also, I was surprised to see some of the old timers here not in the top 10, but alas, if you combine #11 deejayoh(776) with #15 Deejayoh(728) that puts him at #3 with 1504 posts.

    Also, #9 Eleua(793) & #32 Eleua(384) combine to make #5 with 1177 posts.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. 21
    Dave0 says:

    RE: The Tim @ 13 – I wonder if you could rerun it with it not being case sensitive

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  22. 22
    AMS says:

    RE: Dave0 @ 21 – The Tim did a hand computation for the top 12; see the above comments and correction noted in the original post.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. 23
    Matthew says:

    Anyone else miss Meshugy? I wonder what that guy is up to today and if he is still in his Ballard house checking the equity (or lack thereof).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. 24
    Cheap South says:

    It was some 2-3 years ago that I was so frustrated looking at Windermere’s site and seeing those prices. I thought that Seattle was going through a bubble like everywhere else. I googled “seattle bubble”, and….sanity!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  25. 25
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: The Tim @ 13

    “I’ll update the top 10 in this post though. ”

    No way…This is BS!! # 11 my ass!!

    You had it right!! Don’t change anything. It is what it is!

    Cry babies I tell ya!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. 26
    Matsayswhat says:

    I came to Seattle Bubble post bubble burst and what keeps me coming back (and what makes me wish I knew about this blog in 2006) is the fantastic gathering of information and great discussion. Even when I disagree with someone, I’m generally disagreeing with a well written and explained argument. That’s nice to see in these days of ticker news and inflamatory statements.

    So yeah, good job and congrats Tim :)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. 27

    One thing I’m curious about:
    How many of us were posting two plus years ago and are still posting?
    I started posting here sometime in ’07, I think. Before I started posting regularly,I lurked for a long time, and I noticed that there were a few real estate agents who popped in to state that everyone on here was crazy, and that home prices would continue to skyrocket.
    So I got attacked immediately when I started posting, simply because I was a real estate agent ( and therefore a lying sack of “chocolate”), but after a while it became apparent that my opinions were contrary to most other real estate agents.
    Now we have a whole gaggle of real estate agents who post regularly. But is that a good thing?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  28. 28

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 27 – I think it’s good to have a lot of different points of view. I wish we had more mortgage and escrow people. We probably have enough agents.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  29. 29
    AMS says:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 25 – I was the one who pointed the inconsistencies out, and I had nothing to gain–in fact, I went down a few ranks too. I guess being I was ranked so low, I didn’t have much to lose either.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  30. 30
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28 – How many agents are enough? As long as the agents post individual and interesting material, then I would personally consider each to add to the conversation. That said, when all the agents, generally speaking, chant the same message, then it doesn’t add much, if anything. It does show, however, that the agents make good parrots.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. 31

    RE: AMS @ 30 – I wasn’t trying to suggest a limit, only that we aren’t deficient in that area.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. 32
    scotsman says:

    Thanks, Tim, for the site and all of your efforts here!

    I’m sure you’ve saved many folks a lot of money by getting them to at least question the conventional wisdom that “real estate always goes up,” and in the process have saved marriages, college funds, reitrement opportunities, etc. And thank you for giving me a small soap box to shout from, joining the growing group seeking to help educate voters/consumers so that they can make more informed decisions.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  33. 33
    AMS says:

    RE: scotsman @ 32 – I’d love to see some data on how many people actually change direction. I agree that it would be a life changing, for the better, event to change direction late in the game, but so many seem to come here and buy anyway, as Ira pointed out.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. 34
    scotsman says:

    RE: AMS @ 33

    My guess is only a very small fraction of the folks who visit ever post- Tim probably has stats. But they do get to see a different perspective from what most of their friends and realtors tell them, and with luck some thought follows. Part of being free is being able to make bad choices. But bad choices are very different from uninformed or misinformed decisions, at least as I see things.

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  35. 35
    AMS says:

    RE: scotsman @ 34 – At least the buyers knew…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  36. 36
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    My two entries (#37 and #45) combined would put me at #23. =P

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  37. 37
    One Eyed Man says:

    Congratulations Tim! And Thanks, not just for all the great work you’ve done, but also for trying to be even handed and encouraging diversity of opinion. I kind of see Seattle Bubble as the intersection of 21st Century technology and the historic Public House. Now if you could only sell draft over the internet, I think it would provide a great way to monetize the site traffic. Maybe Red Hook should brew a winter ale and call it “Seattle Bubble,” –“brewed for the modern day, under employed masses who prefer to rent rather than own.” You did trademark the name, didn’t you?;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  38. 38
    patient says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 37 – Huh, who here is under employed and prefers to ent rather than own? It’s more like people here prefers to not waste money while prices are over inflated and the risk for further declines is huge. It has nothing to do with being under employed or a general preference for renting.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. 39
    AMS says:

    RE: patient @ 38 – We must remember that One Eyed Man has made it clear that he expects home ownership to generally payoff if you have a 10-year time horizon.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  40. 40
    scotsman says:

    RE: AMS @ 39

    Daft from draft?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  41. 41
    Jonness says:

    RE: AMS @ 30 – You are too funny :)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. 42

    “When all the agents, generally speaking, chant the same message, then it doesn’t add much, if anything. It does show, however, that the agents make good parrots.”

    Polly wanna mortgage?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  43. 43
    S-Crow says:

    Great blog and company here. Always a good time and always good issues to wrestle with.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  44. 44
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: patient @ 38

    My apologies patient. My comment wasn’t intended as criticism or insult. It apparently was poorly phrased to convey it’s true intent. It was ment to acknowledge the relevance of Seattle Bubble to a very broad segment of America, including just about anyone interested in buying real estate or discussing contemporary economic issues. The number of under employed has reached massive proportions, and the risk that one may personally become part of the under employed should commonly affect any large investment decision like the choice to buy real estate. And virtually everyone connected to the real estate industry from Kary to S-Crow is potentially “under employed” in the sense that transaction volume is down substantially and their livelihood is affected.

    The preference to rent phrase was apparently more than a little too criptic also. It was intended as a double entendre based both on the old line that you only “rent beer”, and a tacit acknowledgment that in the current economic environment, the smart choice has been to rent real estate for the reasons you set forth in your comment.

    I guess we can chalk my comment up as being another failed attempt at literary genius probably sadly similar to many of my prior comments.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  45. 45
    AMS says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 44 – “And virtually everyone connected to the real estate industry from Kary to S-Crow is potentially “under employed” in the sense that transaction volume is down substantially and their livelihood is affected.”

    Ok, this begs the question, what level of activity would be fully employed? Why should the peak volume be used to determine the potential for “under employment?”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  46. 46

    RE: AMS @ 45

    That’s kinda true. During the peak, everybody’s uncle and cousin and Joe Schmalooki down the street who everybody thought was retarded got a real estate license. There really was a huge glut of agents out there, many of them completely clueless.
    Volume is way down now, but so are the number of agents. I’m not suggesting that only the best survived. I know a couple of great former agents who gave it up, and I know some slimeballs still in the game.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  47. 47
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: AMS @ 39

    Just to be clear AMS, the conclusion that it probably takes at least 10 years for the buy decision to break even has always been, IMO, an acknowledgment that it is a bad time for the vast majority of people to buy (absent other non-investment related factors). I don’t know anyone who has a 10 year time horizon for their investments to break even, including real estate.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  48. 48
    AMS says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 46 – There should be some level of “normal” activity. During the height of the market, there were too many transactions taking place. We might have pulled back below normal, but that depends on how one defines ‘normal.’

    In the land of the so-called invisible hand, it’s really tough to define a normal demand or transactional level.

    I’d like, however, to make what I consider to be an interesting observation. You suggest, and I do not disagree, “During the peak, everybody’s uncle and cousin and Joe Schmalooki down the street who everybody thought was retarded got a real estate license. There really was a huge glut of agents out there, many of them completely clueless.”

    Note that during this same time there was an agent for every seller. There were some very unsophisticated agents, yes, but there were unsophisticated buyers lined right up outside these agents doors.

    Today these buyers are gone, and the agents are struggling. Part of the problem is that when there is such a surplus of agents it’s tough for a seller, or buyer, to separate and evaluate these agents.

    I can hear some of these agents now, “Times are tough, but I can concentrate my efforts on getting your home sold for big $$$$$$$,” blah, blah, blah. Of course the sellers are looking to latch on to any sign of hope…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  49. 49

    As to work level, we were extremely busy for about six months of this year. The last two months not so much. Unless you’re a part of a large team, that’s just part of real estate. The same was true of being a sole practitioner attorney. Feast or famine practically as you either scrambled to get everything done or didn’t have enough to do. It’s actually nice to not have to work 7 days a week for months on end.

    But this has little to do with the economy or market overall, and more just luck of the draw. For example, last year I went to a bankruptcy trustee Xmas party and was told by everyone that nothing was selling. At the time I didn’t have a bankruptcy listing, but I was taking two on. It didn’t sound good. But when they went on the market both had buyers within 30 days, and that was during the time that the snow was on the ground for 3 weeks. And that was also at the point in time when sales volumes were horrible.

    The point is I don’t think you can look at the market and assume how much business any individual is doing, or how any single listing will do.

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  50. 50
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 49 – It’s all about variance.

    Long ago there might have been 100 agents and 100 sales for a given length of time.

    Today maybe there are 75 agents and 50 sales for the same length of time. At least 25 agents have fewer sales…

    It could have been that 1 agent had all 100 sales before, but unlikely. However, if this were so, then that one agent has no more than 50 sales.

    What we can say, however, is that the average number of sales per agent is down, even if the number of agents is also down. In this example the agents were not reduced as fast as the number of sales.

    Next we’d need to get into the size of the sales…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  51. 51
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: AMS @ 48RE: AMS @ 45

    My use of the term “under employed” related to the subjective situation of the average individual in the real estate industry. The livelihood of the average individual in the industry declines as the total volume of business declines and they subjectively consider themselves “under employed.” In my opinion, that’s true for constrtuction workers, transactional real estate lawyers, escrow officers, and title officers as well as real estate agents and brokers.

    The concept of full employment in the brokerage business is an interesting issue. In my opinion, its an extremely inefficient industry where the average agent spends more time trying to drum up business than they do actually working for clients. I think that’s built into the business model of the old guard full service firms. How do you define terms like “full employment” and “under employed” when more than half of what many agents do with their work time is effectively just looking for more work. Is an agent under employed when they are looking for clients, or are they fully employed?

    From the standpoint of having an efficient real estate brokerage industry, I think the average agent under the current system is almost always under employed. That’s part of the reason that at some point, an alternative business model like Redfin or 500 Realty might be able to steal substantial market share from the old guard firms. I think so far they’ve failed to create the perception in the market place that they can deliver competitive service and most people aren’t willing to take the risk just to save one or two percent in the transaction. Kary says that Redfin’s sales record for their listings reflects an inability to provide full service market knowledge necessary to get the job done. To some people, there’s probably also a social stigma attached to putting a discount brokerage sign in their front yard.

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  52. 52

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 51 – I’m not sure I’ve ever identified a limited service by name in my analysis of firms which don’t do a good job selling listings, or full service firms which do a good job. What I have said is that Redfin does much more business representing buyers than sellers.

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  53. 53

    RE: AMS @ 50 – True, but I think what most people don’t realize is how lopsided the stats are. I would guess that there are a lot of firms out there where the median gross income of agents is $0.00. (Meaning that over half the agents have not had a single transaction yet this year.)

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  54. 54
    AMS says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 51

    1. I don’t think you believe that marketing adds any value. I am guessing that it’s your opinion that marketing costs are just a drag on net income. On the other side are those who suggest that marketing efforts increase net income. As far as the percentage of efforts that are spent in marketing, and sales, that depends on the industry.

    2. As far as the whole livelihood issue goes, there are those who want to return to the bubble period when they were actually making money. Surely the market volume has gone down, and we have discussed that. Thus the pie of available funds is smaller, yet the fixed costs don’t go down as quick. When you base your ‘livelihood’ on a bubble market, that’s not a good business model. I can hear it now, “But if the market could have kept growing at 15%, or 20%, per year, then everything would be fine…” Well the agents might have been ok, but what about those who were “being priced out?”

    This would be the same as if I based my next new car purchased on my last. I would have to expect the government to hand me another $4,500. I do not really think it’s going to happen. Those in the real estate industry thought the market could keep going up, with an ever increasing number of transactions, forever.

    It was a lucrative business, and they were attracted in, but that does not mean that it was a long-term support system.

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  55. 55

    By One Eyed Man @ 51:

    From the standpoint of having an efficient real estate brokerage industry, I think the average agent under the current system is almost always under employed. That’s part of the reason that at some point, an alternative business model like Redfin or 500 Realty might be able to steal substantial market share from the old guard firms.

    You were looking at this from the client side, but it might also have problems from the agent side. I don’t know what Redfin pays agents, but let’s assume it’s $60,000 a year. Agents are entrepreneurs. How many of them would give up a chance to make six figures to get $60,000 for certain?

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  56. 56
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 53 – Generally when any market contracts, those with the most experience, skill, and so on, don’t experience as large of losses. Thus those who are new, low-skilled, and so on, get kicked around the most.

    The same is true with education level. When an economy is hot, it takes in all workers, regardless of level of education. When the economy starts to contract, those with the lowest education have the most difficulty keeping up. I have not check the latest unemployment numbers, but my analysis about six months ago suggested that this basic pattern continued.

    (In other words, a doctor has the least chance of being unemployed, and a person who did not graduate high school has the highest chance of being unemployed. Those with more experience have a lower chance of being unemployed, and so on.) If you are inexperienced and dumb, you have it the worst.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  57. 57

    RE: AMS @ 56 – I’d agree with that analysis, but note that how busy an agent or attorney is doesn’t necessarily correlate too well to how good of a job they do or how much they know.

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  58. 58
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 57 – Does it correlate to experience?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  59. 59

    By AMS @ 58:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 57 – Does it correlate to experience?

    In my experience, no. There are agents and attorneys who have practiced for years, with busy practices, who don’t know what they’re doing.

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  60. 60
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 59 – If they have been in the market for years, then they have extensive experience!

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  61. 61

    RE: AMS @ 60 – Yes, but it doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. On the agent side, for example, there are agents who have practiced for years who don’t know what a legal description looks like or that it needs to be attached. On the attorney side there are a few who stumble around so badly that you actually suspect it’s a strategy (crazy like a fox is how I’ve head it described).

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  62. 62
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: AMS @ 54

    You’ve got me nailed emotionally, if not intellectually. I don’t intellectually disagree with the need for marketing. It’s a necessary part of almost any business. But emotionally, my reaction to marketing has always been pretty negative. After seeing that pitch man on TV, I can only say that the world would be a better place if they’d never invented the Sham-Wow. I’ve occassionally lost my composure and said insulting things to car sales people when they went into their closing routine. Suffice it to say I view the commissioned salesperson with at best healthy skepticism.

    But I’m serious when I say that the average real estate agent spends more time trying to get new clients than they do working for their clients. That’s why the lawyers Tim referenced over on the open thread offer to do transactions for a flat fee of under $2000, not to mention $500 Realty. When you’re in a service industry and over 50% of your costs (when measured in how you spend your available time) are marketing, it’s an inefficient business model. Obviously successful agents spend a much smaller portion of their time marketing. But most agents aren’t very successful and trying to market themselve is most of what they do.

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  63. 63
    Tyler says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 55

    Kary, when someone who is a practicing lawyer gives up being a lawyer to become a real estate agent, that tells me that agents make too much.

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  64. 64
    td says:

    I am one of those that changed direction in large part due to the information provided on SeattleBubble. We felt ready to take the plunge after living in a string of horrible rentals, and thought that maybe the drastic increase in housing cost (mortgage) would make up for the negative aspects of renting. Glad we got a little perspective here and didn’t lose our butts on a home with a heafty mortgage!

    On a side note, this site also revealed to me the ridiculous liars that are the Seattle Times and PI, and I probably save myself half an hour a day not reading their fluff. Thanks The Tim!

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  65. 65
    AMS says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 62 – As a person who reads annual reports, one item that I have an interest in is the “sales and marketing” part of the expenses. Then there is the whole issue of prepaid advertising.

    In any event, the sales and marketing, including sales commissions, often represents 10 to 20% of the budget.

    And let’s not even get started on ethics in marketing. Drug companies have a whole host of products that are advertised. It’s like the doctor doesn’t know best, or shall I say, it’s like the doctor was just given a load of samples to encourage an increase in prescriptions…

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  66. 66
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 61 – I am not suggesting an experienced attorney is a good attorney, but rather, I am making the observation that those who have been in the industry for quite some time are established, and downturns affect them to a lesser degree than the new guy, generally speaking. Of course there is that one new guy that is moving up in a big way, but that one does not make the majority.

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  67. 67
    AMS says:

    The Tim-

    I just checked your “plug-in,” and I noticed that my numbers have gone up, but Kary’s have not. He seems stuck at 2,548.

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  68. 68

    By Tyler @ 63:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 55 – Kary, when someone who is a practicing lawyer gives up being a lawyer to become a real estate agent, that tells me that agents make too much.

    It should tell you how boring practicing law is after 20 years. Lots of attorneys would agree. Also the fact that my wife was an agent helped push the decision. Absent that I would have made some other change.

    The push to get me out though was the change in the bankruptcy code. There were lots of things I didn’t like about it, but the biggest was having to have my clients sign reaffirmation agreements on their car loans to be able to keep their cars. That change is one of the greatest examples of our having the best government money can buy.

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  69. 69

    RE: AMS @ 66 – I would agree with that.

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