One of my favorite things to do over a cup of coffee is to scour the web for real estate advice and stats here in Arizona.  But it’s kind of frustrating because of a lack of quality content.

It is not an Phoenix thing, it happens in any U.S. city or town where you might look up real estate for sale.

There is a huge opportunity to raise the bar in residential real estate online.  Don’t you feel it?  There is a lot of white noise.  Self-promotion posts by real estate companies, fluff articles with advice a 5-year old could give you, forced registration to see MLS listings and click-bait articles that choke your laptop with ads about that thing you Googled two weeks ago. Aaaaarghh!

The web experience could be an amazing resource for home buyers, sellers and investors.  But it isn’t.  Yet. 

I think that the big problem is that highly effective Realtors, who are good at what they do, farm out their social media experience to shops in Kiev or Manila for $50 a month because they are too swamped to stop and think about Twitter hashtags.

Conversely, newer agents who don’t yet have a book of business might take to Facebook and Twitter to blast their newest listings out to friends and family.  The “use me to buy or sell” mantra gets tired fast and provides no value to the customer.

In both cases, people are generally pretty smart and have highly tuned B.S. filters. We won’t stick around to be sold something that does not benefit us.

Both groups of Realtors are missing the point

They don’t realize that they are quietly driving away quality client relationships. The web is an ideal platform for carving out your niche and getting matched with others trying to find the exact information that you are offering.

When I started in real estate in 1997, the MLS books (like the one in the photo above) were just being phased out.  The pre-Googlian searchable web was just beginning to offer online listings to buyers.

Most clients typically came in to the office and flipped through large “phone book” type tomes.  These were published twice a month and were almost chained to the tables due to their singular value.  Buyers never took the book home.  A black-and-white listing on page 402 might have sold weeks ago before the book went to press, but there was no way to know until I called the listing agent.

The web has increased the power of the buyer, seller and agent exponentially. However, buyers and sellers are still coming to the process with basic questions about title insurance, mortgages, home inspections, property taxes and closing procedures.

These are the questions that I want to answer here.

After all, we use the web to 1) get information 2) solve a problem or 3) to be entertained.  This site will make every attempt to satisfy #1 and #2 with a sprinkling of #3.

The Arizona Report™ is my attempt to build a web resource that provides rich, educational value to home buyers and sellers here in metro Phoenix.  Hopefully, it will save you money, make you aware of things that you had never considered, and prepare you to enter a real estate transaction with your eyes wide open. 

So why publish all of this?  In my experience, informed clients know the right questions to ask to resolve their needs, recognize that inevitable road bumps in the transaction are not impassable mountains, and are enthusiastic sources for referrals.

My motivation is to create my online community, teach through my writing and to make a living in the process by connecting buyers and sellers.

Here is my commitment to you, my readers, my Tribe. There will be no junk ads, no mandatory registration and no fluff on my website.  Ever.  If you choose to subscribe for listings, I’ll never give away or sell your email address.

This will be content that you can take away and use when you buy a home, whether you seek my help or hire another agent.

Here is what I ask in return.  If you learn something here, share it with others.  Come back often to keep the online conversation going.