There’s always something to howl about

Oh, good grief, not another one! “Stealth” real estate start-up is long on promises, short on details

If Groucho Marx were to come back to us as a hen, aghast but still sardonic, what would he (she?) do? Peck around in the dirt, no doubt.

Comes next a “stealth” start-up called, which promises “to fundamentally change how customers find & move into their next home.”

When words mean almost anything they mean almost nothing, but “fundamentally” ought to mean a lot. For this promise to come true, I’m thinking people will need to find their homes by divination and move into them by teleportation. Realty may yet disappoint.

But: Mortgage woes be damned, the world does seem to be crawling with doofuses with dough. If you’re facing foreclosure, come up with a scam by which millions of insomniacs will search for homes they can’t afford in towns they don’t live in while exposing themselves — no, not to children — nor even to aghast, sardonic hens — but to thousands of pay-per-impression ads. Where before you were a deadbeat, 90+ days late, now you can be a Web 2.0 real estate entrepreneur, a stylish flash in an already over-crowded pan.

Goofy logo? Check. Jaw-dropping offices? Check. Radical chic media cachet? Check. The only thing missing from the “real estate space” is practical experience selling houses…

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6 Comments so far

  1. Will Farnsworth August 24th, 2007 6:48 am

    Short on details, yes, but they would be competing with RedFin and BuySide in the SF Bay area, so they will need to have some way to differentiate themselves. Assuming that ROOST will simply charge less than their competition is too easy, though, especially if the perception that RF and BS don’t close much to begin with. Perhaps they have something else in store?

    I think at the very least it goes to show that the payoff from a successful net-based RE agency is so huge that ROOST probably won’t be the last one to hatch.

  2. Rebecca Levinson August 24th, 2007 7:49 am

    Hmmm..interesting that you note “A Web 2.0 real estate entrepreuner, a stylish flash in an already crowded pan”; Many of these startups are founded by real estate agents themselves, some of whom have been in the business well before the internet egg was hatched.

    Rebecca D. Levinson-

  3. Eric August 24th, 2007 12:15 pm

    With synergy like that… consider the whole paradigm shifted!

    Sites like this are the beer foam of the corporate world. All fluff, no flavor.

  4. Eric Blackwell August 25th, 2007 12:26 pm

    IMO what it boils down to is this:

    Does the customer want to buy a house online? (Nope not yet.) They are still and I feel will be for a long time to come nervous about turning over that large of a tranaction to an entity over the ‘net.

    Does the customer want to search for homes online? (Yes. Ding! Ding! Ding!) There is ZERO doubt of this. This saves them the most time and the most money.

    Do they want to connect in near real time with an agent to help them with more info? YEP.

    The RFs and Roosts of the world are still quite a bit about the Fluff and not really about the substance.

  5. Toby Barnett August 27th, 2007 10:06 am

    It seems that a lot of business people are smelling the stink of death of the various mls’s but if there is going to be a shift it will have to take more than r/e search feature and some advertisments.

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