"The only difference between this stock at $15 and $8 is the announcement of the investment in infrastructure (and those who are making trades not based upon information, but rather pure speculation)."
You need to do your homework... really. I love reading posts from people like yourself who don't understand the industry. I know other brokers/agents here do as well.
Did she give you a referral gift? That's the sign of a good Realtor that knows how to build a business.
"I didn't sell my house (at all), but she sold a house for one of my co-workers because I gave out her email address and said that the CMA was really well prepared. I will say that it was a 1 bedroom condo that sold for under $100k, so I don't imagine she broke the bank on it. Assuming she's still in the business I will use her to sell my house when I do decide to sell."
I've heard different numbers in different areas, but this article has someone claiming it's near 80% per year (they seem to be discussing agents, not Realtors specifically):
"In other words, the turnover rate for new agents is high. 'I've been told the drop-out rate in the first year is close to 80 percent," said Jesperson. 'You have to be very committed and ready to work full-time.'"
Obviously different areas and organizations will see different numbers, but I've heard that it's a very competitive business so a lot of new agents drop out of the race (often times thinking they'll come back to it).
I didn't sell my house (at all), but she sold a house for one of my co-workers because I gave out her email address and said that the CMA was really well prepared. I will say that it was a 1 bedroom condo that sold for under $100k, so I don't imagine she broke the bank on it. Assuming she's still in the business I will use her to sell my house when I do decide to sell.
I've posted here before about Internet leads, which is what SOLD provides. I generate between 20-30 a week on my own site which I refer to other agents for a referral fee. I count on these agents to close deals or I don't make any money either. I've been through many Realtors trying to find ones that know how to work Internet leads. Some expect that the lead is ready to write a contract and if not, won't do any more follow up. SOLD's lead management back-end is decent but an Internet lead is an Internet lead and sometimes, you luck out.
"I think there are two problems here. First, you seem to completely ignore that the vast majority of real estate agents who start one year, aren't around the next year."
I'm not sure where you get this info. I'm on the Board of Directors for a Association of Realtors with over 3,500 members. I get a report who drops every month and it isn't that many. The majority happen around the time when you have to pay the annual NAR dues but even with that, our membership isn't changing that much. Even if they don't pay the NAR dues, they are still a real estate agent just not a REALTOR.
Did you sell your house thru the Realtor that provided you the CMA? Or did she waste $150 on your lead?
Thanks rain and boston for some adult conversation. You raised some good points and offered some knowledge.
I might chirp in as I am a realtor and work primarily from internet leads and have abundant experience as to quantity, quality and process required to move them forward.
I'm only comparing one aspect of the company to Microsoft and that is the image of the company to the user. Most tech people (especially those that post on the forum here) HATE Microsoft. Even with other (and for the most part better) alternatives out there, people still use the product.
"They aren't upfront in saying that the vast majority of their subscribers never close one deal off their leads and don't renew."
I think there are two problems here. First, you seem to completely ignore that the vast majority of real estate agents who start one year, aren't around the next year. Second, most of the agents who sign up with them are new agents, so if they have a big churn rate it probably has more to do with that than anything else.
I've heard mixed reviews. Considering there are more than a million realtors and only 15k Housevalues customers, that's a pretty big pool. Obviously on this board we're only hearing from agents who didn't close deals. I signed up for a CMA last year and the agent who gave it to me had been a subscriber for a long time and was frustrated that she couldn't get more leads because they were sold out in the area. Maybe the leads are better in some areas than other, maybe some people are better at using them. I don't know. That leads me to another issue, which is, the reason earnings were still good but they didn't add a lot of net subscribers might be good attrition. In other words, it doesn't matter how many new subscribers they have if they sell enough of their product to existing customers.
"As for the portals, what do you think would happen to the stock if MSN said they were dropping Homepages tomorrow? My guess is little to no change."
Actually, I think it would hurt the stock dramatically. It's a big deal, playing with MSNBC (which is the largest online news site in the world) is playing with the big boys. Microsoft does their research, they don't just pick anyone for stuff like this.
"Don't know how they'd change their business plan to be consumer focused. What would a consumer pay for? $10/month to view old listings from Homes and Land magazine? Without agent sponsership, they couldn't use any of MLS listings and Homepages would go away very quickly. Nope, we're seeing the best this management team can come up with other than a form on a website."
I'm talking about advertising models which focus more on the consumer (not a subscription program). In other words, moving from selling leads to selling advertising on their portal, or a mixture of both. Again, this goes to my question... insiders have had tons of opportunity to sell, but only the venture capitalist has since November. If what you're saying is true, that the management team doesn't have a plan... why haven't they sold their shares?
"They were lucky the real estate market stayed hot when they were building their business and there were a lot of new Realtors looking for a gold mine. That's no longer the case. Any bad news at earnings and this stock will drop even more."
I agree with this wholeheartedly and have been saying it for a long time. The fact that this company depends so much on new agents that a change in the way the industry works or a slump could very adversely affect the company. That's the only reason to watch, if the company comes up with a reason for me to believe they could weather a storm, I'd buy it. Otherwise, I'll pass.
Added another 4,100 shares short at $7.74. i am so utterly convinced that this one trick pony will not survive that i am putting a portion of my earnings to add to my short position as the weeks/months pass by. i'm into it pretty heavy right now, but am 100% sure that sold is extrememly overvalued at at 200mm market cap. a bunch of kids are running this gimmick company...and they are cashing in on huge salaries and excercised options (did you see how much the ceo excersised? Yowza!).
they were no doubt hoping their stock price could stay over-inflated for a while longer, but the bubble burst big time back in february. i love it.
have you guys ever spoken with one of their "sales reps"? they sound like they are 17 years old!! absolutley no professionalism whatsoever. they even use the slang lingo that teenager's use today. it's pretty hilarious, really. just more evidence that this company is a total joke.
with the excpetion of the occasional dead cat bounce, this stock is absolutely going down much much further until fianlly, it is delisted. watch and learn.