Note: Once again, if you are looking for data and graphs, this post is not for you.
So much could be said about this issue. One of the most fascinating developments to see unfold and the one theme I keep coming back to is how powerful blogging has been in shaping the mind-set of the public when it comes to the real estate market, both nationally and locally. Not only is it powerful in the psyche of the buying or selling consumer, but also to those who actively work in real estate.
For example, there has been an enormous effort within the real estate community to combat negative housing sentiment. It is understandable. But, I also think that the effort serves two purposes. First, it is to combat a deteriorating market perception for the public. Second, it is to thwart the potential fallout from within the rank and file who work in the industry.
What’s so different about our market correction today than last time?
- Access to information.
- Bloggers vs. NAR. (real estate industry unable to counter bloggers using both video and blogs)
- Bloggers vs. Newspapers.
- Bloggers breaking down data.
- Bloggers sharing news or breaking news.
Rather than have circa 1990 technology to obtain information regarding all things real estate related, today we have what I consider information overload. I can’t keep up with it myself. It’s overwhelming.
Zillow.com, for my money, was instrumental in removing the price curtain from the real estate machine. This forced an entire industry to change or adapt. While people will argue about current value accuracy or Zestimates, the compelling number of immeasurable value is the disclosure of what a property recently sold for. Armed with this information, consumers can make decisions along with their real estate agent as to how to best position offers or whether or not purchasing is best for them at a given time.
In a classic case of blogging for mind share, I see countless references by real estate agents locally and around the country arguing to “put the market into perspective, only 1 percent of all outstanding mortgages are in default.” Quite swiftly, a contrarian blogger responds, that’s “good news, because if it were more than one percent, I can’t imagine how bad things would be. Bear Stearns would be only one of scores of financial players to collapse, and who knows, maybe we will have more to come?”
If contrarion bloggers on Seattle Bubble find that the market has shifted in a positive direction, it could very well be that those very contrarions will lead the charge to a swift and meaningful recovery, one of which could rival anything we’ve seen to date.
And then, The Tim will have a conundrum on his hands. What then to do with the “bubble” part of the title.