The Zillow-Trulia Merger Could Radically Reduce America’s Realtor Population – but I doubt it!

As a realtor, I use both Trulia and Zillow.  These sites provide web exposure and occasionally generate weak leads causing me to wake up early, or work late to show a house to an unprepared buyer.  This merger means little to me beyond creating the convenience of only having to monitor one site.  If someone is relying on Zillow then they should expect a laundry list of irrelevant listings and many hours wasted.  Realtors scrutinize the housing market; isolate the the top 20% of homes; then cater the transaction specifically to the client.

The process follows the Pareto Principle, commonly known as the “80-20 rule,” which was introduced by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1906.  The theory suggests that 20% of the input creates 80% of the result.  For example, in general, 20% of your customers represent 80% of your sales; 20% of your workers produce 80% of your revenue; 20% of your time produces 80% of your results; 20% of you errors contribute 80% of your problems. http://betterexplained.com/articles/understanding-the-pareto-principle-the-8020-rule/

Bottom Line: If you wouldn’t buy a house off Craigslist then you shouldn’t buy a house off Zillow/Trulia

http://www.businessinsider.com/consequences-of-a-zillow-trulia-merger-2014-7

The Zillow-Trulia Merger Could Radically Reduce America’s Realtor Population

Editor’s note: On Monday, Zillow agreed to purchase Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock. This recent column nailed the significance of the deal.

If Zillow and Trulia join forces, could they take over the industry?

The real-estate selling industry will need to concede, either formally or informally.

Informally, we have already given up.

We are not a union and there is no real leadership among realtors. We are independent contractors spread all over the map, literally and figuratively, so trying to get us to rally for the cause will be met with indifference.

Many of us already think Zillow could be a big improvement for the business.

Let them spend the big money of advertising. We’ll contribute our share in exchange for specialized leads — consumers drawn to our own listings or those looking for a local expert in our target areas.

How will it evolve?

The Next Phase

1. Realtor.com-Move Inc. makes a wimpy attempt to compete by spending half of the advertising money being spent by Zillow-Trulia to attack their inaccuracies (campaign currently underway). If you want a chuckle, here’s an example:

2. Corporate real-estate companies join forces with Zillow (also underway).

3. Local MLS companies do nothing.

Zillow and Trulia will continue to dominate the headlines for the next few months, and Realtor.com will be forgotten by consumers.

The local MLS systems don’t have to die — they just need to be irrelevant or a duplicate. Our local Sandicor MLS is faster and more accurate than the listings on Zillow, but does the consumer really NEED listings updated every 10 to 15 minutes? Realtors might, but not the consumers — they are on auto-notifications and will get the new listings soon enough (the frenzy is over, reducing the need for speed).

Can we all coexist? Yes, but Zillow has shown a killer instinct and has loads of VC money behind it. I think they will pursue all angles — and here’s the one that will divide and conquer the realtor community.

The Kill Shot

Previous attempts by Realtor.com and Redfin to produce an agent-rating or -ranking site was met with vigorous opposition from realtors. Why? Because most realtors don’t want their sales history out in the open.

But the successful and powerful agents stand to benefit greatly — the same ones who can and will pay Zillow the big money for advertising.

It is a natural fit for Zillow to buddy up to the top producers and get them to help promote their new agent-ranking site.

The cabal will be shattered.

The local associations of realtors and the MLS companies who have feasted on having realtors paying dues regardless of production will suffer — and should die off completely if 20% of the realtors are doing 80% of the business. They can’t survive an 80% reduction in dues.

When consumers see that their agent-friend down the street hasn’t sold a house in six months – they will hesitate. The Zillow advertising will encourage you to select one of their top producers instead (the ones paying for advertising).

It should clear out the realtor population within a year or two, and turn upside down the local associations, MLS companies, and the top-heavy big corporations who own real estate franchises.

Realtors won’t really need a brand — Zillow will be the brand.

With Zillow-Trulia getting all the eyeballs, and realtors on the receiving end of those leads, Z-T would be smart to cater to the top producers. The momentum would shift rapidly as success stories appear on Zillow ads too.

I’ve been paying about $500 a month to each of the three portals.

Realtor.com: no calls or leads.

Trulia.com: unqualified leads.

Zillow.com: Listings get high traffic early, and I get calls looking for an agent in the area. It’s the kind of results that realtors want, and I’m already convinced that I can reach the consumers and sell homes using Zillow only.

The future is here, but I’m not sure it will get cheaper.

Yesterday, a Zillow rep called to offer me some exposure in another local ZIP code that was about the same as I already have. I pay $550 a month now, and the new but similar package offered $850 a month.

Zillow might keep the cost of commissions right where they are.

MILLION-DOLLAR URLS: The Most Expensive Domain Names Of All Time

And to think: http://www.LukeBuchanan.com went for $9.99 in 2013!

MILLION-DOLLAR URLS: The Most Expensive Domain Names Of All Time

It is estimated that more than 500 URLs have been bought and sold for $1 million or more.

We scoured domain name resource DN Journal and put together a list of documented million-dollar, domain-only sales. Some have been squatted on for 20 years and have only recently traded hands.

Not surprisingly, sex- and gambling-related domains are some of the biggest money makers.

Check out the most expensive domain names of all time >

NOTE: Web businesses have other assets and are not domain-only sales, so they were not eligible for this list. For example, Insure.com was bought for $16 million as a fully-operating, profitable company. DN Journal reports only the domain names sold after 2003 because prior sales are not verified by credible sources. 


MM.com — $1,200,000

MM.com — $1,200,000

mm.com

Date sold: July 2014

MM.com was sold for $1.2 million through Sedo in July 2014. It was purchased by Hangzhou Duomai E-Commerce Co. Ltd, a company behind other domain names Game.com, JZ.com and 4.cn.

eBet.com — $1,350,000

eBet.com — $1,350,000

eBet.com

Date sold: October 2013

A man named Rick registered eBet.com in 1996 and held onto it until September, when he agreed to sell the domain.

“Network Solutions contacted me on August 29th with a $50,000 offer. I did not think anything of it, as I get these all the time,” Rick wrote on his blog. “I countered at $1.8M and went about my business. On September 3rd voila the buyer comes back at $1MM … So I think, how to get that number where I can live with and at the same time they can live with. So I counter at $1.35MM and that was my final offer. I hear nothing until the following Friday. September 16th. They accept the offer!”

Cameras.com — $1,500,000

Cameras.com — $1,500,000

Year sold: 2006

Cameras.com attracted the highest bid in the live domain auction conducted by Moniker.com at the recently concluded T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East Conference in Hollywood, Florida,” The DN Journal wrote in 2006.

“The winning bidder, Sig Solares (the CEO of Parked.com), wasted no time ponying up the $1,500,000 due, making that domain the first from the live auction that we have seen change hands.”

Russia.com — $1,500,000

Year sold: 2009

Sedo.com brokered the deal back in 2009. Paley Media, based in Seattle, sold the pricey domain off.

Tandberg.com — $1,500,000

Tandberg.com — $1,500,000

Year sold: 2007

“Tandberg Data, a leading global supplier and manufacturer of backup and archiving solutions, decided to take the cash offer for Tandberg.com from Tandberg, a leading global provider of visual communication products and services with dual headquarters in New York and Norway,” The DN Journal wrote at the time of the sale.

The deal was actually completed in December 2006 but wasn’t made public until early 2007.

Ticket.com — $1,525,000

Ticket.com — $1,525,000

Year sold: 2009

Ticket.com raked in a lot of cash for Afternic.com when it was sold off in October 2009. BuyDomains brokered the transaction.

DataRecovery.com — $1,659,000

DataRecovery.com — $1,659,000

Year sold: 2008

Minnesota’s Associated Computers Inc. sold the domain to ESS Data Recovery on Feb. 1, 2008. ESS had been trying to buy the domain for a long time.

Auction.com — $1,700,000

Auction.com — $1,700,000

Year sold: 2009

Auction.com was rumored to be selling for even more money — $2.5 million. But it came in at $1.7 million after being purchased by Real Estate Disposition Corp.

Dating.com — $1,750,000

Dating.com — $1,750,000

Year sold: 2010

Dating.com was acquired at the at DOMAINFest auction in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in May 2012. The next-highest domain name to go at that auction was Boardgames.com, for $450,000.

Fly.com — $1,760,000

Fly.com — $1,760,000

Year sold: 2009

Travelzoo spent big bucks on Fly.com in January 2009.

Seniors.com — $1,800,000

Seniors.com — $1,800,000

Year sold: 2007

It was a big 2007 for a man named Page Howe. He sold two domains that year for seven figures. Besides Seniors.com ($1.8 million), he sold Guy.com for $1 million.

37.com — $1,960,800

37.com — $1,960,800

37.com

Date sold: March 2014

37.com was sold for $1.9 million during a private sale in March. The domain was purchased by Chinese gamemaker 37Wan.

Computer.com — $2,100,000

Computer.com — $2,100,000

Year sold: 2007

In October 2007, Computer.com cleaned up at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. / Moniker domain name auction. WallStreet.com was almost sold for $3 million there, but it didn’t “meet the set reserve prices,” according to DomainRich.

114.com — $2,100,000

114.com — $2,100,000

114.com

Date sold: July 2013

114.com was sold privately for $2.1 million in mid-2013. It was bought by a Chinese company.

KK.com — $2,400,000

KK.com — $2,400,000

Date sold: November 2013

KK.com was sold through the Moniker/SnapNames brokerage firm for $2.4 million in late 2013.*

*An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the domain was owned by the Castello Brothers. 

Youxi.com — $2,430,000

Youxi.com — $2,430,000

Youxi.com

Date sold: March 2014

Youxi.com (which means “games” in Chinese), sold for $2.4 million in a private sale in March 2014. It was purchased by Gamewave Group Limited.

Investing.com — $2,450,000

Investing.com — $2,450,000

Year sold: 2012

Forexpros.com bought Investing.com in late 2012 for $2.45 million. It was the largest domain sale of the year.

Social.com — $2,600,000

Year Sold: 2011

Moniker brokered a deal to sell social.com for $2.6 million in July 2011.

CreditCards.com — $2,750,000

CreditCards.com — $2,750,000

Year sold: 2004

ClickSuccess L.P., a firm that sells financial tools and products online, purchased CreditCards.com in 2004. It was the biggest domain-only sale in years. Casino.com was part of a massive $5.5 million deal in 2003, but its sale included a number of other assets.

Shopping.de — $2,858,945

Shopping.de — $2,858,945

Year sold: 2008

Unister GmbH purchased the domain to go along with its portfolio of other destination sites, including Auto.de, News.de and Kredit.de.

Candy.com — $3,000,000

Candy.com — $3,000,000

Year sold: 2009

G&J Holdings purchased Candy.com for a sweet $3 million in 2009. Toys.com outdid that earlier in the year, though, when it was bought by Toys”R”Us for $5.1 million.

Vodka.com — $3,000,000

Vodka.com — $3,000,000

Year sold: 2006

A billionaire in Russia who founded the country’s largest vodka maker purchased Vodka.com for $3 million in December 2006.

Sex.xxx — $3,000,000

Sex.xxx — $3,000,000

Date sold: June 2014

Sex.xxx is the most expensive .xxx domain name. In June it was sold for $3 million through ICM Registry. Barron Innovations bought it as part of a larger $5 million deal with ICM Registry that includes more than 40 keyword domain names.

Whisky.com — $3,100,000

Whisky.com — $3,100,000

Whisky.com

Date sold: March 2014

Whisky.com was sold by Castello Cities Internet Network in a domain-only sale, and it was purchased by Michael Castello 19 years ago, in March 1995 when it cost nothing to obtain.

“I had the original registration in March of 1995, and I registered it for free,” Castello wrote in DN Journal. “I always liked Scotch whisky, but the real reason I registered Whisky.com was because of the Whisky a Go Go night club in Hollywood. I always enjoyed “The Whisky”, with its musical heritage and scene where the likes of The Doors and Janis Joplin played. Years later, I even offered Whisky.com to the owner’s son and he told me he didn’t need it since they already registered WhiskyaGoGo.com. That rejection would prove to be good for me.”

MI.com — $3,600,000

MI.com — $3,600,000

Mi.com

Date sold: April 2014

China’s Xiaomi purchased MI.com in the biggest domain sale so far in 2014 during a private sale. It’s said to be the most expensive domain name purchased by a Chinese Internet company, and Xiaomi intends to use it to make its brand name easier to remember.

IG.com — $4,700,000

IG.com — $4,700,000

IG.com

Date sold: September 2013

Igloo/NetNames helped sell IG.com for almost $5 million in September 2013. It was purchased by London’s IG Group; it was previously owned by Brazil search engine iG.

Medicare.com — $4.8 million

Medicare.com — $4.8 million

Medicare.com

Date sold: May 2014

eHeathInsurance.com paid $4.8 million for Medicare.com earlier this spring. It paid $4.3 million in cash and “forgave $0.3 million in receivables from the seller,” who was “an existing business partner with eHealth,” DomainNameWire reports.

Clothes.com — $4,900,000

Clothes.com — $4,900,000

Year sold: 2008

Zappos coughed up almost $5 million for the domain Clothes.com. Now both are owned by Amazon.

Toys.com — $5,100,000

Toys.com — $5,100,000

Year sold: 2009

Toys”R”Us paid just over $5 million to have the powerful domain name, just months before Candy.com was acquired for $3 million.

Slots.com — $5,500,000

Slots.com — $5,500,000

Year sold: 2010

As TechCrunch pointed out at the time of the sale, that is more than $1 million per character.

Diamond.com – $7,500,000

Diamond.com - $7,500,000

Year sold: 2006

Odimo.com handed over the domain to an online jewelry retailer, Ice.com, in a private sale for one of the priciest domain name swaps of all time.

Porn.com — $9,500,000

Porn.com — $9,500,000

YouTube

Year sold: 2007

At the time of its sale, Porn.com was the biggest all-cash transaction for a domain name and the second-largest domain sale behind Sex.com’s million exit. Moniker helped sell the domain to MXN Limited.

Fund.com — $9,999,950

Fund.com — $9,999,950

Year sold: 2008

Clek Media brokered a deal that few people believed was real: Fund.com was purchased in an all-cash deal in 2008.

Sex.com — $13 million

Year sold: 2010

Sex.com entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest domain-only sale in history. Escom LLC sold it to Clover Holdings Ltd.

Taylor Swift Wrote An Op-Ed In The Wall Street Journal, And It’s Filled With Fascinating Insights

http://www.businessinsider.com/taylor-swift-wsj-op-ed-2014-7

I found this synopsis, by Business Insider, of Taylor Swift’s recent WSJ Opt to be surprisingly fascinating. She discusses the role social media has played in shaping the music industry today; however, unlike many critics, who believe the industry is a dying art, she points out the changes that have already occurred and highlights the steps necessary to succeed in an ever evolving industry.

Entertainment More: Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift Wrote An Op-Ed In The Wall Street Journal, And It’s Filled With Fascinating Insights

Joe Weisenthal

Jul. 7, 2014, 5:09 PM

Taylor Swift

Larry Busacca/Getty

Superstar singer Taylor Swift has just published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the music industry in the era of social media. And though the idea of Swift publishing something on the stodgy WSJ edit page is inherently amusing, it would be a mistake to just ignore it, because the piece is filled with fascinating insights.

For example, we didn’t realize before that the celebrity autograph is all but dead:

I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento “kids these days” want is a selfie.

And people in entertainment are getting jobs because of their Twitter followings:

A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers.

And in fact, this is likely to be the future of all big deals:

In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.

The YouTube era is forcing artists to be more creative with their live performances:

In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online. To continue to show them something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me.

Something that many people might not realize is that the notion of discrete genres is dead. Everything’s mixing with everything:

Another theme I see fading into the gray is genre distinction. These days, nothing great you hear on the radio seems to come from just one musical influence.

And while album sales are going to be tough to come by in the future, there’s still a huge opportunity in musicians who can form a relationship with fans:

I think forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise. No, I did not say “shock”; I said “surprise.” I believe couples can stay in love for decades if they just continue to surprise each other, so why can’t this love affair exist between an artist and their fans?

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/taylor-swift-wsj-op-ed-2014-7#ixzz36sz9Ucx5

Ousted Tinder Cofounder Sues For Sexual Harassment, And She’s Using These Nasty Texts As Evidence

Ousted Tinder Cofounder Sues For Sexual Harassment, And She’s Using These Nasty Texts As Evidence

This text exchange is LEGENDARY!!  Justin Mateen certainly shows poor character in these texts and he sends a reprehensible message that he is a total D-bag.  I am curious to see how a judge and jury will respond to the villain portrayed in these texts, and to what extent it will hurt him in court.

GOOD NEWS FOR HINGE!

Ousted Tinder Cofounder Sues For Sexual Harassment, And She’s Using These Nasty Texts As Evidence

tinder whitney wolfe

Getty Images/Michael Buckner

Whitney Wolfe is suing Tinder for sexual harassment. She says she cofounded the dating app when she was 24.

Whitney Wolfe and Justin Mateen cofounded dating app Tinder. They dated on and off for a year. Then they broke up.

When the break up turned ugly, Wolfe says she was called things such as a “slut” and a “liar.” Now she’s suing Tinder for sexual harassment.

In 2012, dating application Tinder was born in a Los Angeles IAC startup incubator, Hatch Labs. It was a pivot from a customer loyalty startup, Cardify, that failed to gain traction.

One of the Cardify team members, 24-year-old Whitney Wolfe, took the idea for Tinder under her wing. She says she came up with the name of the app and initially promoted it on college campuses. She was given a co-founder title.

Then, her direct manager and fellow co-founder, Justin Mateen, allegedly took a liking to her. The pair dated in February 2013 and dated on and off for the remainder of the year. Wolfe says her relationship with Mateen ended for good when he became “verbally controlling and abusive.” The way he acted after their break up allegedly forced her to resign from the company.

Now, Wolfe alleges she was sexually harassed by Mateen and CEO Sean Rad during the majority of her employment at Tinder. She claims they revoked her co-founder status because five founders was “too many” and because she’s a woman. Further, Mateen allegedly told Wolfe it was “slutty” to be the co-founder of a “hook up” app like Tinder.

Mateen allegedly told Wolfe it was “slutty” to be the co-founder of a “hook up” app like Tinder.

“Mr. Mateen tried to justify the situation by saying ‘Facebook and Snapchat doesn’t have girl founders, it just makes it look like  Tinder was some accident,’” the lawsuit states.

At the end of 2013, when Wolfe and Mateen ended their relationship for good, Wolfe says the sexual harassment got much worse. Mateen allegedly sent scathing, jealous texts. When Wolfe complained to Rad and Match.com CEO Sam Yagan, she says they didn’t care. Eventually she says she was forced to resign.

Texts in the lawsuit paint a nasty, jealous breakup between Wolfe and Mateen that would be difficult to stomach outside of the work place, and absolutely inappropriate between co-workers.

IAC has suspended Mateen in light of the texts. Here’s the company’s statement on the lawsuit:

“Immediately upon receipt of the allegations contained in Ms. Wolfe’s complaint, Mr. Mateen was suspended pending an ongoing internal investigation. Through that process, it has become clear that Mr. Mateen sent private messages to Ms. Wolfe containing inappropriate content. We unequivocally condemn these messages, but believe that Ms. Wolfe’s allegations with respect to Tinder and its management are unfounded.”

Here’s what transpired, as told through Wolfe’s texts…

(Tinder has not responded for comment)

Here’s the start of the controlling-sounding texts, sent from Justin Mateen to Whitney Wolfe.

Here's the start of the controlling-sounding texts, sent from Justin Mateen to Whitney Wolfe.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

“I will shit on him in life,” a jealous Mateen allegedly texted Wolfe about a new guy in her life.

"I will shit on him in life," a jealous Mateen allegedly texted Wolfe about a new guy in her life.

Scribd

More insults from Mateen allegedly followed.

More insults from Mateen allegedly followed.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Mateen went on to mock Wolfe and said he had “horrible judgement” for dating her.

Mateen went on to mock Wolfe and said he had "horrible judgement" for dating her.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

He allegedly made racist comments about guys she was involved with after their breakup.

He allegedly made racist comments about guys she was involved with after their breakup.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

And allegedly accused her of being a social climber with “Muslim pigs.”

And allegedly accused her of being a social climber with "Muslim pigs."

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

The jealous rant continued…

The jealous rant continued...

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

And when things continued to be bad, Wolfe started making legal threats.

And when things continued to be bad, Wolfe started making legal threats.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Mateen allegedly threatened her not to sue, or else he’d “bark back like a psycho.”

Mateen allegedly threatened her not to sue, or else he'd "bark back like a psycho."

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Wolfe was called a liar.

Wolfe was called a liar.

Scribd/Tinder

And a coward during work hours.

And a coward during work hours.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Wolfe allegedly told Mateen she was feeling harassed by him.

Wolfe allegedly told Mateen she was feeling harassed by him.

Tinder/Scribd

And pointed out that he was (allegedly) threatening her.

And pointed out that he was (allegedly) threatening her.

Scribd/Tinder

Mateen didn’t agree.

Mateen didn't agree.

Tinder/Scribd

Wolfe told Mateen that her personal life wasn’t his business anymore, because they broke up.

Wolfe told Mateen that her personal life wasn't his business anymore, because they broke up.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Insecure break-up texts continued.

Insecure break-up texts continued.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Mateen continued to allegedly badger his ex about a guy from a trip to Aspen.

Mateen continued to allegedly badger his ex about a guy from a trip to Aspen.

Tinder/Scribd

The controlling-sounding texts continued.

The controlling-sounding texts continued.

Tinder Scribd

More drama and jealousy.

More drama and jealousy.

Tinder/Scribd

Again Wolfe wrote that she was feeling harassed.

Again Wolfe wrote that she was feeling harassed.

Tinder/Scribd

So she escalated the situation to CEO Sean Rad.

So she escalated the situation to CEO Sean Rad.

Tinder/scribd

Sean, seeming to sense a potential lawsuit, didn’t want to talk via text.

Sean, seeming to sense a potential lawsuit, didn't want to talk via text.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Wolfe’s stock hadn’t vested yet. Rad informed her that if she quit, she wouldn’t get the unvested stock (which is typical at a startup).

Wolfe's stock hadn't vested yet. Rad informed her that if she quit, she wouldn't get the unvested stock (which is typical at a startup).

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Rad encouraged Wolfe to email him her resignation.

Rad encouraged Wolfe to email him her resignation.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

“Your employment continuing is likely not an option at this point,” Rad allegedly told Wolfe.

"Your employment continuing is likely not an option at this point," Rad allegedly told Wolfe.

Tinder Lawsuit/Scribd

Wolfe was not pleased. Now she’s filed a lawsuit.

Wolfe was not pleased. Now she's filed a lawsuit.