The hard copy is finally out for Unique Homes Luxury Magazine. It's their 40th anniversary so I am giddy they interviewed me for this special ginormous issue. You can find me on the last page called "In Closing". Here's a read-able copy I had posted earlier.
I just want to take a moment and reflect on a marvelous 2011 at Habitat For Hermanity. Traffic has tripled since last year! (It seems I finally found the right mix of humor, celebrity design & housing.) I am super flattered for all the media attention & speaking opportunities that have come my way. But most of all, I am so thankful for you all who visit my little corner of the universe for their dose of Hermanity.
My resolution next year is to find the right TV project. What's yours?
Mo'nique does Beyonce!
*** I've been a fan of Mo'niques since her stand-up days to The Parkers to her talk show! But the sweet smell of success ain't all rosy, in fact it's down right smelly. She is suing her landlord because her $22,000/mo rented house reeks of dog poop.
***While other young starlets blow their Benajamin's on clothes, cars & parties, Selena Gomez spent her 1st Hollywood paycheck more wisely. She paid her family's rent! Kids, take a lesson!
***Von Dutch tycoon (of mid 2000's trucker cap fame) lists his LA house for $6.9M. Gee, that's a lot of caps.
***Curbed rounds up the Best & Worst Celebrity Sales of 2011. Like the general population, some did good and for others, it was a bloodbath!
Quick, everyone who is in a delayed escrow now, bust out with your iPhone and make a music video! Trust me, it will work. Just ask these clever and musically talented buyers who were waiting FOREVER for their loan to close on their new place. Despite high credit scores & perfect buyer profile, Bank of America kept stalling and stalling on closing their loan. So, at their wits end,this couple made a little music video (more like a video plea) to get BofA to take action...and guess what? It went viral and Bofa followed thru!
Watch & find out! Thank you once again to my friends at KODAK for the fantabulous prize. My fans appreciate all your support and I love using my Hero Printer! Here is a special link KODAK gave me specifically for my fans: www.kodak.com/go/redeal.
For my next contest, follow me on www.twitter.com/hermanity and bookmark my Giveaway page. Happy New Year!!
Call me a hater, but I am not sure how I feel about this. The Out NYC is a self proclaimed gay hotel that just launched. It boasts 105 rooms, 70,000 sq ft & 11,000 nightclub called XL & much more. It's sleek and all (if you are into that template modern steel look), but conceptually it feels like a throwback to another era of identity politics. It's 2012. This would have been revolutionary in the 1990's, but now it just seems like chasing the "gay dollar." I suppose it will appeal to certain factions. On the other hand, maybe I am just a latent homophobe!
Kids never cease to amaze me! Check out this insightful little girl who rants and rails against how toy marketers are sexist! Girlfriend breaks it down better than any Media/Business/Women's Studies professor I ever had!
You know, children are more sensitive to design & color than we give them credit for. For all you new parents out there, better think twice before genderizing your new baby's room with pink or blue....you'll never hear the end of it, if they are anything like Riley (you should be so lucky!) Stick with yellow.
This is to die for...literally! I've recently discovered via Jezebel fellow videoblogger Caitlin Doughty of Order of the Good Death. Not unlike myself, this L.A. mortician brings a breath of fresh air to her profession. So funny, self deprecating, smart and accessible. Check out her video series "Ask A Mortician." Muah!
In this video, she takes a stab (haha!) at being a real estate agent, giving a tour of Hollywood homes belonging to dearly departed stars from Michael Jackson to Marilyn Monroe. If I ever drop dead, I'd love Caitlin to embalm me. That way, I can chit chat with her. (Hey, stranger things have happened!).
There are special considerations when selling a condo! When you are hocking your goodies out there, a lot of it is preparation (H). Watch my latest video for eHow.com.
Real estate agent review sites (Don't roll your eyes!). I know, I know. They are indeed a dime a dozen, but one site has been getting a lot of attention this year. Mountain of Agents has stood out from the crowd due to their clean design, video capability, iPhone app, and perhaps most of all because its founders are not real estate agents, but consumers who got scarred working with the wrong agent.
Real estate guru & my gal pal Maya Paveza vouched, "Mountain Of Agents allows me to be present in a “for consumer, by consumer” environment that they are more likely to trust." Really? So I set out to see what all the fuss was about. (I'm nosy like that). I grill Mountain of Agent's creator Michael Becker about how he got burned, if there are any limitations to the site, and what he has to say to his critics.
Founder & Nice Guy Michael Becker
Hermanity: Your site says, "Mountain of Agents was born out of the founders' frustration around the home buying/selling experience." What exactly happened to you that you don't want to happen to other buyers/sellers?! Inquiring minds want to know!
Becker: Like most people, we used a real estate agent that was referred to us by a close friend. We made the mistake of not researching the agent first. From the start it was clear that we were not a priority. Ignoring our phone calls and dropping the ball on buyer inquiries quickly became a nasty habit. We watched the neighborhood prices plummet as the months passed, and missed out on being able to pull the trigger on a few properties we really loved.
Six months later, we made the tough call and fired our agent. We then began our online research, and were shocked at how difficult it was to find any reputable, objective information on real estate agents in our area. Most of the resources were cluttered, unusable and completely biased. After lots of research, we did eventually find a stellar agent who knew the area well, was trustworthy and had our best interests at heart. He sold our old property and got us into a new one—dare I say—almost painlessly. We thought to ourselves, “Was this how it was supposed to be the first time around?” After the dust settled and we were in our new home, it still troubled me that there were no simple, un-biased resources out there for consumers. I asked myself, “What could have made this process easier for us?” I then set out to design, develop and launch the Mountain of Agents directory as an objective resource for consumers to find, research and rate local realestate agents.
Clients see Agent Maya Paveza's ratings!
Hermanity: Consumers search for agents by zip code on the site. Right now the number of agents is manageable but one day when thousands and thousands of agents (knock on wood) are signed up on your site, how will a consumer filter out the possibly hundreds of realtors that pop up in their zip code? Can they search by language or speciality?
Becker: Adding additional features and filters is a great idea and we’ll address those modifications as the need arises. In the meantime, real estate agents can future-proof their listing from getting lost in the—ahem—mountain of agents on the site by reserving the zip codes they market to. You’ll get a persistent featured listing in one of the top two spots in search results no matter how many agents are listed in your area.
Clients Connect via Facebook
Hermanity: Your site directly addresses agents: "We know how you feel about real estate agent rating sites, so we keep it positive." What is your response to haters who say there is no way for a consumer to share a non-positive experience about an agent on your site?
Becker: The way I look at it, agents with a poor track record or shoddy
history probably aren’t going to join a site where they can be openly rated. There are plenty of other forums for expressing your experiences in a written format, so I didn’t see a need to create another Internet bash fest.
I know how agents feel about real estate rating sites, so I wanted to make sure that our ratings system would only allow positive, cumulative feedback. The more positive ratings you obtain in each of the six categories, the more likely it is that a consumer will contact you. This way, the only negative aspect of getting rated is not having as many positive ratings as your local competitors.
For more Q&A with Mountain of Agents, click Read More ===>