Tag Archives: facebook millionaires

Infinite Face Time

Congratulations everyone. Break out the noise-makers and party hats. Pop the champagne corks. Time to get giddy. Today is the first day of the rest of our real estate lives.

Yep. Gird those precious listings. Zip those zip forms. Charge those super-keys. Gas up the car. Grab a six-pack of red bull. Get revved up and ready to go. Time for business!

That weary, post-bubble, post-apocalyptic, address for distress, dystopian meltdown and miserable excuse for a marketplace we’ve been slogging around in for the last five years is coming to end. And all things real estate – at least in our sandy little beachhead along the broader shores of the Silicon Sea are about to change.

Facebook’s long-awaited, highly-anticipated, massively-touted IPO has arrived. And not a moment too soon – as the Fed’s optimism about a full-blown recovery has waned a whole lot more than it has waxed in recent months.

We’ve been titillated by a steady stream of apocryphal anecdotes about Mr. Zuckerberg & Friends since FB first announced last year. CBS Nightly News airing reports about the impending Peninsula housing boom. The San Jose Merc beating the drum with a barrage of headlines.

Private bankers rolling out the red carpet on random street corners in Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Offering home loans to every 25 year old, dressed in jeans and tee shirt, wandering down University Avenue. Credit crunch? Difficulty qualifying? Not if you’ve got FB stock options for collateral. Can you say Super Jumbo Loan?

Supposedly anything with four walls and a roof within hailing distance of FB Headquarters has gotten snatched up with proper number of multiple-offers and overbids – befitting a white hot real estate market. Meanwhile, the Greater Bay Area Agent Grapevine is growing thicker with epic tales about fantastic sales and soon-to-be-stunning deals.

Here in Santa Cruz, we are sitting pretty. Occupying the tip of a desirable archipelago stretching southward from the heart of Silicon Valley. A welcome island lifestyle – just a short latitude adjustment away. Ready, willing and able to sign on to the Facebook phenomena and reap the rewards of the growing social network.

Local Agents have been poking each other behind the scenes for months now, trying to figure out who might have shown a beach listing or two to a prospective Facebook buyer-type. There’s been a number of reported sightings and fanciful rumors reminiscent of the good old days when it always seemed like Tom Selleck or Tom Cruise or Madonna were being spotted looking at pretentious homes or grabbing snacks at some unpretentious local institution like Piggy’s Market.

Is it a thousand Facebook millionaires? Or a million Facebook billionaires? I get it mixed up. All I know is that there are a lot of them. And their ranks seem to be growing quickly in my imagination. Almost as fast as the number of people logging on to Facebook.

Last Monday we saw the 2nd leg of the Amgen Bicycle Tour come across the Summit and race through Santa Cruz County. This Monday, I’m going to go up to the Summit again to watch as Facebook frenzy comes streaming over the hill and kicks the next wave of the buy cycle into high gear.

In fact, I’m going to share a little secret. Monday afternoon, a flash mob of a thousand local Realtors is going to show up at the Summit Shack on Hwy 17. They’ll form the largest-ever mass-human thumbs-up symbol that the Guinness Book of World Records has ever seen.

The Goodyear Blimp will circle overhead. A Google Earth Satellite will capture it all from space like a brave new meme for the entire planet. We’ll all instantly download the image on our I Phones and post it to our Facebook Pages. A resonating thumbs-up will sweep across the world like the ripples of a pebble dropped into an inexhaustible well.

Facebook. What’s not to like?

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List Local. Think Global.

I’ll try to hurry this along. Sellers out there don’t have a lot of time for idle chit chat. They’re busy primping, painting and prepping their homes for the crush of Facebook millionaires about to overwhelm the marketplace and make real estate feel all warm and fuzzy and magically 1999-ish again.

 

Remember? IPOs. Stock Options. An endless supply of money falling out of the sky like manna from heaven. Swarms of 30-somethings wandering house to house. Millions of dollars of what felt like “found” money, burning holes in their jean pockets. Competing with each other to play beach-blanket–bingo and push our ocean view prices up.

 

Now, more than a dozen years later, way post-tech and way post-housing bubbles, there are new signs of life. Everyone is getting addressed up. Poised with plenty of expectations. Asking the proverbial question: “How do we get us some of that?” As in – a Silicon-induced altered-estate of mind riding a new wave of mojo and moolah.

 

Funny thing… the revolution that transformed the market of the 90’s, also transformed the way real estate works. And although we all want the dough, some still seem slow to catch on to the altered the landscape and how Buyers actually Buy.

 

Here’s an exercise for those currently selling a home: Google your address and zip code. Get one of your kids to do it, if you have to. Hit search. See what comes up.

 

Say hello to the global village. An instant tower of babel that kicks into gear the second your listing gets loaded on the MLS. From there it’s downloaded through the wormhole-like portals of cyber-space. Distributed to the far reaches of the globe.

 

Look at your screen. There’s your home. Wave to yourself on Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Movoto, Realtor.com et al. Check the satellite view. See if you were nude sun bathing in the backyard, the day it circled overhead and snapped the picture.

 

The feed doesn’t stop there. It keeps moving. Places like the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC and the DuPont Registry. You name it. Your home is a home away from home on thousands of search engines – cranking 24/7/365 – driving it directly by the eyes of tens of thousands of prospective buyers – primed for virtual drive-bys.

 

More than 90% of buyers and agents looking for property in Santa Cruz are using the web as the source. And most Sellers would be shocked at how many homes get deleted from consideration because they lack virtual curb appeal. Buyers zoom past with short attention spans. Quick reactions. Thumbs up or thumbs down. Until… something catches their eye and engages their attention. Then they switch gears. Suddenly they want as much information as they can get.

 

Sellers – stop worrying WHERE your property is being marketed. If it’s on the MLS, it is already everywhere. www. means the whole world is watching. Time to adjust your world-view.

Your home is a home page. You home’s setting is a web site. Your views are everyone’s views. If you want to obsess about something – how about: WHAT do buyers see when they take that first virtual drive-by of your home page?

Does your custom home even have a custom home page? A website commensurate with your remarkable setting? Sellers spend lots of time and $ staging their homes with interesting contents. Do their Listing Agents stage home pages with the same eye for quality content and interesting detail? Or are most Sellers just getting another version of the ten cent tour?

On the web as in real life, homes don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. What’s going to move that next generation of Facebook Millionaires? More great place looks and more likes online. Make sure your Agent is spending real time and real money in the virtual world.

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