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There’s always something to howl about

Attention Brad Inman: I don’t want your dipshit “most influential” citation again this year, either, but it is beyond obvious that I am by far the most influential voice in the on-line world of real estate.

Let’s start with some music, just to set the mood:

So: If you run in the wrong circles, these are the kind of “arguments” you can expect to hear about me:

  • Greg Swann is mean.
  • Greg Swann is rude.
  • Greg Swann is vulgar.
  • Greg Swann is angry.
  • Greg Swann is cynical.

Here is an argument you won’t hear anywhere, except possibly at BloodhoundBlog:

  • Greg Swann is wrong, and here’s why…

You won’t hear the latter argument for two reasons: I don’t take positions I can’t defend with an impervious impenetrable invulnerability. And: If I should happen to discover that I have been wrong, generally I will be the first person to figure that out and I will announce my error to the world immediately.

What explains all the ad hominem arguments cited among the first set? You figure it out.

These are the kinds of games that some folks are running while making these persuasively useless claims about my character:

  • They piss and moan to each other about me behind my back.
  • They campaign with each other to try to damage my interests.
  • They pester contributors here to try get them to abandon BloodhoundBlog.

In each of these cases, I think they’re doing me favors — which assertion will probably just piss them off more. People who run in mobs don’t like me, and I don’t like them. Anything dominating personalities can do to recruit those folks to their own side of the table can only save me time in the long run.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this song summarizes my position on this kind of behavior — along with every other kind of behavior:

Recent events have made it more than obvious that I am by far the most influential person in the wired world of real estate. People are wasting irreplaceable hours and days of their lives obsessing over me, topping each other with tales of how ardently they don’t pay any attention to me.

Why would this be so? Again, you have to figure this out on your own, but my take is that they know I’m right and yet they don’t want to be right.

Witness:

What does hating Greg Swann pay? It pays just as much as every other form of TwitBook time-wasting, as it happens, but it may turn out to be even less beneficial in the long run. There’s no destruction like self-destruction.

Just so you know: All of this means this much to me: It is instructive and eye-opening to me to watch these displays of mass cowardice, and commenting in this way affords me an opportunity to help other people learn how to resist what they might think would be an intolerable social pressure but which is, in fact, about as interesting and threatening as a cloud of gnats. To that extent, at least someone is getting something out of this mishegoss.

Meanwhile, the bald-headed big baby of real estate, Brad Inman, is putting together another list of “real estate’s most influential people,” a list I have been cited on before — which citation I always renounce.

How much more rust can collect on the irony? This year’s “most influential” will consist mainly of TwitBook time-wasters — self-anointed, self-promoting “leaders” of the TwitBook time-wasting fad. In consequence, Brad Inman will be just that much closer to destroying real estate representation. This may not be his goal — what conscious goals do big babies have? — but this is the end of his road, even so.

Which is just that much more reason to denounce the list now, and to renounce any mention of me made on it later.

What does it actually mean to be “influential” in an endeavor run by a criminal cartel? Ask Frank Serpico. Ask Galileo. Ask Socrates.

Am I claiming a false grandeur for myself by comparison? Perhaps so. But it sure looks to me like I’m earning it.

But don’t ever forget the Unchained Manifesto: You never have to take shit from morons.

And just so there’s no doubt, let’s get Tom Petty to remind us, once again, what it means to be Unchained:

Related posts:
  • Twenty-five most influential bloggers? Influence upon whom? Toward what objectives? Or: Why collectivism makes my skin crawl
  • Who is the most influential real estate weblogger in the RE.net? Beyond all contest or doubt, it’s Dustin Luther
  • Unchained melodies: Real Estate’s 50 Most Inconsequential Online

  • 53 comments

    53 Comments so far

    1. Chris Johnson November 9th, 2010 10:42 pm

      I love you being you, about 85% of the time.

      I believe you’re mentally ill 15% of the time.

      I don’t mean these as insults.

      I’ll post a soaring melody in a bit. A song that’s been playing all day through the tedious motion graphics edits that I’ve been stumbling through.

    2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Real Estate Feeds, My REALTY. My REALTY said: Attention Brad Inman: I don’t want your dipshit “most influential” citation again this year, either, but it is b… http://bit.ly/95jpn2 [...]

    3. Greg Swann November 9th, 2010 11:16 pm

      > I believe you’re mentally ill 15% of the time.

      Simply another fallacious ad hominem argument. You’ve offered no rational dispute to the claims I’ve made, but you’ve added another entry to the lexicon of mob mindlesssness: Another irrational justification for people to pretend to themselves they are rejecting arguments they can’t get out of their heads.

      This post is simply an expression of the exposition of exuberance and indomitability I made Sunday. If you plan to argue with me, you should argue with me at the fundamentals.

    4. Chris Johnson November 10th, 2010 12:14 am

      Oh, sure. The basic arguments are sound. Those you generally get right, or almost right.

      My argument was that by picking on Jay Thompson et. all about things that don’t matter…you diffuse your effectiveness.

      I’m not sticking up for Jay, I skimmed his post, and it didn’t seem like he was “crowing,” but perhaps he edited it after the fact. Picking on him and acting like a sandlot bully makes it tough for people to approach you.

      It has never done me much good to let on that I think I’m smarter than the people I encounter.

    5. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 12:26 am

      > It has never done me much good to let on that I think I’m smarter than the people I encounter.

      Good grief. Well, they’ll never guess it now.

      Your speech comes straight from the mouth of Peter Keating. You can’t shout me down in your head. That’s the problem.

      Doesn’t matter. I’m right, and I’m winning. The more they act up, the more they prove my case.

      In any case: I’m going to keep my own counsel, thanks and then some.

    6. Chris Johnson November 10th, 2010 12:55 am

      It’s hilarity that you falsely ascribe ad hominem to me and then retort with an untrue analogy/straw-man combo.

      I don’t dispute most of your ideas (I’ll prove with case studies that being on TwitBook has bankable value, and that the methods taught by the twit book crowd are indeed worthless).

    7. Greg Fleischaker November 10th, 2010 5:06 am

      Isn’t it possible to be both right and wrong at the same time? And just because you may be right on one subject, does that automatically mean you are correct on every subject? Perhaps it is your tone that is off and not your reasoning.

      As I write this comment, I see the note above my comment box: “Leave A Civil Reply”. I believe my reply is quite civil, not at all in keeping with many of the posts I read here. You don’t have to curse to be uncivil.

    8. Teri Lussier November 10th, 2010 5:49 am

      I would never in a million years write a post like this. I find it shocking. It makes me very uncomfortable. I’m not sure I agree with it but I don’t know what I disagree with because this post is almost too disturbing to read.

      I often find what you say shocking, and disturbing, too. Sometimes you write the most beautiful, inspirational, glorious words. Sometimes you write absolutely hilarious essays. Always you make me think but I don’t know that any of that matters. I love you for never censoring yourself due to my (or anyone’s) unique sensibilities and I love you even more for never wanting me to censor myself for you, this place, or anyone else. Speak your mind. Own your words. Take your hits. But always, always, be yourself.

    9. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 7:35 am

      I said:

      >> They piss and moan to each other about me behind my back.
      >> They campaign with each other to try to damage my interests.
      >> They pester contributors here to try get them to abandon BloodhoundBlog.

      You said:

      > Perhaps it is your tone that is off and not your reasoning.

      Is it your argument that a mob of angry people is morally justified in trying to censor me and to damage my business interests because they don’t like my tone?

    10. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 7:41 am

      > Speak your mind. Own your words. Take your hits. But always, always, be yourself.

      I love it. Those words should be enscribed on mirrors.

      This was a very fun post for me to write, but we had a huge day all around yesterday. I showed with three parties, wrote a contract fro the third, unsnaggled an appraisal issue to get a house set to close next Wednesday, and Cathy closed a monster, one we’ve been worrying at for months. It wouldn’t matter to me if I had to dig soda cans out of dumpsters to earn my living, but the reality of my life is that I work only with people I like, respect and admire — quite a few of them millionaires. I’m sorry so many people are angry at me, angry enough to behave atrociously, but none of it makes any difference to me. I press on regardless, and I get where I’m going.

    11. Jessica Horton November 10th, 2010 7:44 am

      Greg:

      Not that you really care, but do you know what I see when I read this post?

      I see a person who deeply loves the real estate industry. I see a person who believes very strongly in freedom, property, privacy and doing things right. I see a person who longs to help people escape from the prison of their own thinking.

      I also see a lot of frustration. I sense some real pain too.

      Greg, very few are willing to see what you see–even when it is right in front of them. Very few are willing to swallow the truth that you often pour…a persons hypocrisy burns going down (esp. when you’re drinking a double, like me!) :)

      Now, I’m the last person who has the right to throw any stones, but I would like to say this: A deluge of arrogance begins with a small drop of self-importance in our own minds. Don’t place yourself in a position of weakness by overestimating your own strengths.

      Quod me nutrit me destruit.

    12. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 9:17 am

      > I also see a lot of frustration. I sense some real pain too.

      Untrue. I’m having a great time, always. If you have a question about me, feel free to ask. I conceal nothing.

      > Don’t place yourself in a position of weakness by overestimating your own strengths.

      I have nothing to gain or lose. I hate to see people behaving in this way, but, as destructive as it might be to their own egos, it impacts me not at all. That much is funny to me, and we’ve been through this exact same dumbshow — what? — five or more times now. People who can learn from experience will do better. Everyone else will be right back in this same place ten or fifteen months from now.

    13. Jim Klein November 10th, 2010 10:13 am

      >>>How much more rust can collect on the irony?

      Take it from a lifelong Michigander—even you can’t imagine.

      Jessica offered…

      >>>Don’t place yourself in a position of weakness by overestimating your own strengths.

      A person may overestimate his instantiated strengths, but it is impossible to overestimate his potential strength on any matter relevant to the Splendor he lives. We are each Atlas in this regard.

      Personally, I think that next to those stupid signs the fed put up in Arizona, they should add one about Greg…

      “Warning! Human on the loose!”

    14. Brian Brady November 10th, 2010 10:13 am

      I figured out which version of that song influenced you when you wrote this, Greg. It wasn’t Pearl Jam. Their melodic cover, by a band uncomfortable in the limelight, just doesn’t feel like you.

      I love the Cash cover but it sounds lonely and unsure; I don’t sense either in this post

      Clearly, you’re soaring (which has nothing to do with the delusions of the mentally ill) when you wrote this so it has to be the original. You picked the Superbowl 42 version, which is significant because Tom Petty performed,(at the event which is THE fusion of culture, sport, and entertainment) the same way he wrote it (clean and decisive).

      *************************************************

      If you’re an investor, home buyer, or home seller, Greg Swann may be the most influential real estate broker you’ll ever meet. If you read his linked proof, he explains that the game is rigged against you, exposes two flaws in the compensation model, and disproves the theory that FourSquare is somehow gonna sell your property. Oh, he offers practical solutions, to tilt the field to your advantage, when hiring a broker. Those solutions will be the most influential factor, about the way you transact real estate, for the rest of your life.

      If you’re an industry reader, consider this:

      There are about five influential companies in the online RE game- HomeGain, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and CraigsList. Two of those companies have partnered in a business venture with Greg Swann. 3 of those 5 companies sent executives to Phoenix, to speak at a Greg Swann conference. 4 of those 5 companies’ CEOs have commented on Greg Swann posts, soliciting honest feedback about the product or service they offer.

      To those of you who bray about Greg Swann’s “mean-spirited” presentation, pointed at the results of an NAR-sanctioned instructor, I ask where your objections were when a similar question was directed at Greg Swann, in the Spring of 2008 (then wondering if he was “qualified” to teach at Unchained).

      Greg Swann is a discomfiting man because he challenges you, what you’ve been taught, and what you are (or aren’t) doing. He does so directly which exposes the lies you’ve told yourself. Rather than embrace that shortcoming, you subordinate your self-loathing to the comradery of the mediocre, aligned in the certitude that “Greg Swann MUST be wrong because, well…he’s not syrupy”.

      THAT makes Greg Swann incredibly influential.

      ****************************************************

      Greg, I think you owe Brad Inman an apology. He’s been the only guy who consistently recognizes that you are one of the most influential people in this space- and he has the guts to say the unpopular to the mediocre.

    15. Jim Klein November 10th, 2010 10:32 am

      Ditto Brian on the RE biz. This is like watching a Rand novel come to life. She surely had this much right—people despise the good for being the good.

      If some computer programmer would write, “Greg, you’re an idiot because line 352 in your code should read…” well, that might carry some value. Instead the disagreements are all about the principles Greg’s got perfectly correct. Not much value there, I’d say.

      When a person spits on Greg for the grandeur of his ego, they are spitting upon the fact that an ego can be so grand. IOW, they are spitting upon themselves.

      No wonder there’s so much hate in the world. Who could stand such a view of himself?

    16. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 10:32 am

      > Greg, I think you owe Brad Inman an apology. He’s been the only guy who consistently recognizes that you are one of the most influential people in this space- and he has the guts to say the unpopular to the mediocre.

      Now this I agree with, not so much for your reason, but simply because I use Brad Inman as an punching-bag for everything I think is evil and wrong in the real estate industry, which is not entirely fair to him. If we got rid of the NAR, Brad Inman would just be around, that’s all.

      Here’s a unifying theme, something I should develop in a post:

      When Inman News attacks real estate representation, the implication is that buyers and sellers actually have nothing to gain from an agent. This is the same argument made by the bubbleheads, and by the Realty.bots, at bottom.

      When the NAR promotes churn in the real estate market, the implication is that buyers and sellers actually have nothing to gain from working with a real estate agent. Churn is simply a jobs program for Realtors the NAR itself views as being useless in a free market.

      When the TwitBook librarians tout wasting time online, their official argument is that TwitBook is the new Sphere of Influence. But the Sphere of Influence argument itself implies that buyers and sellers actually have nothing to gain from working with a skilled real estate agent. A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse, and a good TwitBook buddy is all you need to guard your interests.

      These are all insanely stupid arguments, but it’s hard to fault people for making them. Realtors are willing to talk about anything except getting good at this job — not just good at marketing or prospecting, but good at delivering the goods — finding the right house, negotiating the right deal, nursing the transaction to get it to close — delivering full satisfaction every step of the way.

      Real estate representation is an immensely valuable service — but who would know that when all anyone can talk about is how useless Realtors are?

    17. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 10:38 am

      > You picked the Superbowl 42 version, which is significant because Tom Petty performed,(at the event which is THE fusion of culture, sport, and entertainment) the same way he wrote it (clean and decisive).

      I’m sure I’ve told you this: Tom Petty has hundreds of letters from people who, when being pressured into making an intolerable choice, found the strength to stand firm in the words of that song. That is what art is for.

    18. Brian Summerfield November 10th, 2010 11:49 am

      > Greg Swann is right about the National Association of Realtors. It is a vicious conspiracy against consumers by real estate brokers. By drafting and lobbying for legislation promoting “churn” in the real estate market, the NAR was the sine qua non culprit in the collapse of the global economy.

      OK, I’ll bite. Do you really want to argue that NAR was the central culprit of the global economic collapse?

      Let’s say we fulfilled your wildest dreams, and made NAR vanish from 2000 to the present day. Do you really believe that opportunistic politicians, clueless ratings agencies, mismanaged GSEs and, perhaps most importantly, Wall Street institutions that were trying to manufacture dizzying profits via fantasy finance could not have managed to create a housing bubble without us?

      On a totally unrelated note, Tom Petty sucks. I only listen to his brand of middle-of-the-road dad rock when I really need to get some shuteye.

      (Full disclosure: I am an employee of “the NAR,” but all of this is my personal opinion. Especially that bit about Tom Petty. I’m sure many people who work here like him.)

      Brian Summerfield
      Online Editor
      REALTOR Magazine

    19. Keith Dobbs November 10th, 2010 11:52 am

      Greg, several years ago your posts were filled with hope and excitement. Today, you become less and less relevant to our industry with every flame post and comment you make. Some arrogance and anger showed through in your writing back then, but at least you were relevant.

      It may be difficult for you to see the change, but here is at least one way: Look above the comment input box. It says “Leave a civil reply. (Flame comments and all keyword spam will be deleted.)” That was written by the same man who just called somebody a dipshit in the title of this blog post. Surely you can see the amazing hypocrisy there right?

      I miss the old Greg.

    20. Greg Jarvis November 10th, 2010 12:10 pm

      Attracting eyeballs doesn’t make you influential. The reason you’re seeing a spike in page views is not because you are debating some issue of importance, rather, we are entertained by you. We come to this blog for the same reason we would watch Jerry Springer, except here we can at least feel like we’re working.

    21. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 12:29 pm

      > Do you really want to argue that NAR was the central culprit of the global economic collapse?

      The NAR cannot simultaneously insist that it is the most powerful lobbying group in real estate and then escape the blame for the mess it made in the economy. From the CRA to the GSEs to the Fed, the NAR was the sine qua non factor in the destruction of trillions of dollars of wealth.

      > Let’s say we fulfilled your wildest dreams, and made NAR vanish from 2000 to the present day. Do you really believe that opportunistic politicians, clueless ratings agencies, mismanaged GSEs and, perhaps most importantly, Wall Street institutions that were trying to manufacture dizzying profits via fantasy finance could not have managed to create a housing bubble without us?

      You’re guilty of two specious arguments:

      The first is kind of a convoluted tu quoque: If the NAR hadn’t mugged the world for the temporary benefit of real estate brokers, someone else would have. As with all logical fallacies, stipulating the claim does zero damage to the original argument. Whatever might have happened in the imagination, what did happen was that the NAR wrote and lobbied for a vast array of legislation that, taken together, caused the housing boom, which in turn resulted in the current housing bust.

      Second, you assume that if the NAR did not exist, nothing else would. The NAR’s crimes did not originate in the year 2000, but in 1914 and before, when it undermined the right to work — via occupational licensing laws — on its path to undermining property rights. It is certainly true that Rotarian Socialism is a villainy created by many villains. But the NAR led the way to catastrophe then, as now. Had a true defender of property rights risen up to resist the Rotarian Socialists of the Progressive era, things would be very different now.

      When you say, “Yeah, but,” by the time you get to the comma you have already conceded the entire argument you are affecting to dispute.

      There is no possible doubt that the greatest agent of evil in our body politic today is the National Association of Realtors.

      I salute you, though, for having the guts to take on the question in public. If the Grand Poohbahs of the NAR had your kind of courage — and assuming they’re just ordinary good-hearted babbits and not knowing exponents of the kleptocracy — I could set them straight in no time flat. The longer they wait to correct the defects in their thinking, the worse things will be for all of us.

    22. John Kalinowski November 10th, 2010 1:20 pm

      Is it most influential, or most confrontational?

      My comments on your posts have never had anything to do with whether you are right or wrong. I think you have very good ideas that could change our industry, and perhaps the world. My point is that your method of delivery is difficult for most anyone to swallow, which is where you’re missing the chance to be influential.

      Challenging ideas and concepts, and even individuals is one thing. But to personally attack an individual like Jay, a guy who hasn’t even mentioned you, seems a bit much. To also go after his individual agents, calling them names when you really know nothing about each person is again offensive to most. Yes, that may be the way you function and you may not care what people like me think, but it is also why your excellent ideas may never become truly influential.

      Are you really influencing the industry in any great way, or do you just have a bunch of curious onlookers who enjoy the show? Outside of the few members of the Bloodhound pack, is anyone really doing anything to change or implement your concepts? If not, how is that influential? Your ideas are valid, and most would make sense, but if you really want to change the world and have real influence, you need to work on the people-skills component of the presentation (my opinion, of course).

      Confidence, exuberance, bravado, and a general state of indomitability may be positive traits, but constantly rubbing it in your readers’ faces is a turn-off to most, even those who may generally like you and agree with your concepts. At some point, they will just change the dial and go on with their lives and you’ll miss your chance at being any sort of influence in their lives. You’re trying to be influential, but at the same time you’re coming across as the dominating personality you dislike so much.

      If you follow two of the world’s most famous investors, Warren Buffett and his partner, Charlie Munger, you’ll know what I mean. If Charlie had been the front man all these years, most people would have ignored the two and they likely wouldn’t have made the influence they have on the investment community. There’s a reason Warren is out front. It’s because people enjoy reading and hearing what he has to say, and the way he presents their ideas and concepts. If Charlie wrote it, I can imagine most of it would go nowhere.

      The truly influential people in today’s world didn’t get there by putting down others and constantly saying how superior they are to the rest of the world. You won’t see Steve Jobs or Bill Gates writing a 20 paragraph manifesto about how incredibly influential they are. Nor will they write blog posts about those who criticize them and their ideas. They do one thing; they show up and perform. And what happens? In true Seth Godin style, people join their tribes and change the world.

      You my have the best ideas in the world, and be completely right in your concepts, but if you stand in your underwear every day on a busy street corner in New York City, and shout your ideas as loud as you can, making fun of those who walk by and telling them how great you are, will you really influence anyone? I’m sure lots and lots of people will appear every day to enjoy the show. A few may debate your points, and a small percentage may join you, but most will just shake their heads and go on with their lives.

    23. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 1:42 pm

      > A few may debate your points, and a small percentage may join you, but most will just shake their heads and go on with their lives.

      Did you read the post, John? So far we have two sorts of arguments against me:

      1. Still more ad hominem characterizations.

      2. The implication that people are morally-justified in trying to censor me and to damage my business interests because they don’t like my tone.

      What evil actions will the mob be allegedly morally-justified in taking if I should piss them off even more?

      Are these positions you actually want to take? Is the world that results from that kind of thinking one you want to live in? What will you do when the mob turns on you?

    24. John Kalinowski November 10th, 2010 1:48 pm

      Honestly, just trying to help. If your goal is to be truly influential, I don’t see you getting there with your current tone. It’s obviously your blog, and your choice, and in that regard I guess ultimately my opinion doesn’t really matter. Unless you want it to.

    25. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 2:08 pm

      > If your goal is to be truly influential

      It’s not my goal, it’s a statement of fact. That’s the point: I have gotten inside the heads of a lot of dominating personalities and their hangers-on in the RE.net, and they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to shout me down inside their own minds — and from there trying to silence me in reality.

      I don’t consider this a positive outcome, but it is so nevertheless. As I said, I’m interested for two reasons: To watch how it plays out, and to teach other people how to resist that kind of social pressure.

      As I pointed out on Sunday, you have never met anyone like me before. Instead of telling me again and again how wrong I am, you might pause to reflect on what I’m getting right: With nothing other than my own solitary voice, I have taken on the world: The entire online philosophical conversation about real estate is a reaction to my positions.

      This is not happening in an open, honest, straight-forward way, but it’s hard to see how it could: The other side, writ large, is a criminal cartel. In order to agree with me — thus relieving the awful pressure they feel inside their own skulls — the people campaigning against me behind my back would have to renounce crime.

    26. Jim Klein November 10th, 2010 2:14 pm

      FWIW John, I thought that was a very good comment, particularly on the point of how to influence people. Of course, I don’t know if being influential is really Greg’s goal, so I don’t know how relevant it is to him. Frankly speaking, I don’t really care. That’s Greg’s business, not mine…I have more than enough goals myself, to keep me busy.

      The one thing you’ve got wrong IMO is that Greg is trying to say “how superior [he is] to the rest of the world.” I read him as exactly the opposite, and I think that’s obvious. Just to take the recent point of indomitability, I don’t think he was trying to express that he’s indomitable and everyone else isn’t. The point is rather that ANY person is indomitable in this fashion and that if Greg is unusual, it’s because he recognizes this truth.

      And he’s right about that, period. Everything else about domination, whether emotional or physical, follows from that. And so do our social interactions, whether in a business sense or a political sense.

      That’s the substance and everything else is style. You can argue about what style produces better results but considering that the fundamental principles are evaded by nearly everyone, and have been for thousands of years, I’d say that it’s clearly not a question of style but rather a stubborn and habitual refusal to integrate the substance.

      Further, I’d say that using the style as an excuse to evade the substance is nothing but exactly that—an excuse. And in the end, it’s a huge disservice to the person using that excuse, since he is denying himself the value of such important truths. If there’s anything more important to an individual than knowing the facts about himself–his nature–then I for one can’t imagine what it is.

    27. John Kalinowski November 10th, 2010 2:28 pm

      Greg & Jim – You’re both missing the point. I’m not arguing the message or the substance, just the delivery.

      Like Greg Jarvis said above; It’s all just Jerry Springer if people miss the substance because of the attacking and demeaning style. Lots of eyeballs, but no real change.

    28. Brian Brady November 10th, 2010 2:32 pm

      “You’re both missing the point. I’m not arguing the message or the substance, just the delivery”

      With much respect John, I suggest that you may be missing the point. If you measure influence in throngs of back-slapping fans at the AAR convention, then Greg ain’t got it. If you measure it by the organic growth of consumer-friendly business practices, practiced by people who digest it here, its unparalleled online.

    29. Jim Klein November 10th, 2010 2:43 pm

      >>>Greg & Jim – You’re both missing the point. I’m not arguing the message or the substance, just the delivery.

      I missed that point? I wonder what not missing it would look like!

      >>>Like Greg Jarvis said above; It’s all just Jerry Springer if people miss the substance because of the attacking and demeaning style.

      Oops…slight misstatement. They don’t miss the substance because of the style. They miss it because they choose to use the style as an excuse to miss the substance. That would be on them, of course.

      >>>Lots of eyeballs, but no real change.

      Yeah well, a lot of this isn’t new. Epicurus had as gentle a style as one could have, and people have been evading his truths for thousands of years now. Rand was no piker and to this day, even most self-proclaimed Objectivists choose to evade her messages.

      A person can use whatever excuses he chooses not to see a fact, but the fact still doesn’t change.

    30. Brian Brady November 10th, 2010 2:44 pm

      “I think you owe Brad Inman an apology.”

      I was more goofing than not. It is pretty cool that he won’t take you off that list, though.

      “Real estate representation is an immensely valuable service — but who would know that when all anyone can talk about is how useless Realtors are?”

      True. This is the overarching theme of BHB. We do valuable work, for what is perceived as high pay. If Greg’s post about the other Phoenix broker proved anything, it’s that 97% of the Phoenix real estate brokerages are on the thin ice of profitability.

      Worthy customer questions to answer: How much? Why? Can I get it cheaper? Why shouldn’t I get it cheaper?

      Those answers are what we’ve been spending time answering here (better than the industry hacks do), for four years.

      Less agents (who read BHB) are having problems answering those questions. In fact, I think they’re charging more than they did 4 years ago. That’s influence.

    31. John Kalinowski November 10th, 2010 2:47 pm

      Where is the “organic growth”? That’s my point. If only a tiny percentage pay attention to the delivery style enough to benefit, then aren’t they the actual back-slappers, in the irritating locker-room-jock-with-a-snap-towel way? If the message irritates the majority and doesn’t make it’s mark, are you really “the most influential voice in the on-line world of real estate”?

      Again, I’m not attacking Greg, I’m trying to help, but I guess it will continue to fall on deaf, and stubborn, ears. His message would reach many more and the “organic growth” would be exponential, if he didn’t speak in a tone that makes most people squirm. Again, his choice.

    32. Brian Brady November 10th, 2010 2:58 pm

      Summerfield: “Do you really want to argue that NAR was the central culprit of the global economic collapse?”

      Swann: “The NAR cannot simultaneously insist that it is the most powerful lobbying group in real estate and then escape the blame for the mess it made in the economy. From the CRA to the GSEs to the Fed, the NAR was the sine qua non factor in the destruction of trillions of dollars of wealth.”

      Me: WTF? Y’all are at it again!
      http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11082010_nar_credit_policies.asp

    33. Jim Klein November 10th, 2010 3:04 pm

      This is getting afield, but it’s one of my favorite topics and so I’ll indulge.

      >>>If the message irritates the majority and doesn’t make it’s mark, are you really “the most influential voice in the on-line world of real estate”?

      Greg already explained this. His memes get stuck in people’s minds and they have to actually do things to evade them. Once again, what they do is not on him; it’s on them. This is the meaning of “influential,” and you are confusing it with “accomplishing particular results.”

      >>>I’m trying to help…

      This is not a soup kitchen and there are no starving children here. If you take nothing else from Egoism, take this…there is only one person on Earth that you can help in this fashion.

    34. John Kalinowski November 10th, 2010 3:09 pm

      @Jim – You can keep your Egoism.

      And why don’t you include a link with your name?

    35. Brian Summerfield November 10th, 2010 4:02 pm

      Greg: While I really enjoy your writing and agree with you about a lot of things, I believe your characterization of NAR as a vast, all-powerful conspiracy is hyperbole (although I don’t dispute that we have an effective lobby).

      And the “trillions of dollars” of wealth destruction was not caused by NAR, but rather by financial “innovations” dreamed up on Wall Street — such as CDOs and CDSs — that attracted way too much capital to risky, opaque, overvalued and ultimately unsustainable investments. I wrote about this in more detail in a review of Michael Lewis’ The Big Short:

      http://theweeklybookscan.blogs.realtor.org/2010/08/10/the-big-short-wall-streets-role-in-the-housing-boom-and-bust/

      Don’t get me wrong: I’m not out to blame the collapse on the free market. If anything, the big investment banks should have been allowed to fail (again, my personal view) for their poor management of risk and capital.

    36. Jim Klein November 10th, 2010 4:10 pm

      >>>@Jim – You can keep your Egoism.

      Duh. And you, yours. Like it or not, you’re an egoist every time you lift a forkful of food to your lips. I just extrapolate, that’s all.

      When you manage to ingest something and nourish another person, please get back to me. I promise to be impressed.

      >>>And why don’t you include a link with your name?

      Because currently, being influential is not a priority of mine. But I’ve got a thousand score of posts and comments out there, if you’re really that interested. Don’t misunderstand…I enjoy helping others; I’ve just got much higher priorities right now. Plus, I only want to help those who want my help; the others can go crazy all on their own!

      Did you have anything else?

    37. Jim Whatley November 10th, 2010 5:17 pm

      “Never explain — your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”

      Elbert Hubbard quotes (American editor, publisher and writer, 1856-1915)

    38. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 6:32 pm

      > “Never explain — your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”

      Love it.

    39. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 6:46 pm

      > I believe your characterization of NAR as a vast, all-powerful conspiracy is hyperbole

      I didn’t say that. I said the NAR was the sine qua non (without which not) cause of the debacle. I strive to be very precise in my word choices.

      Primus: Do you dispute that the NAR was the pioneer in using legislation to manipulate the residential real estate market?

      Secundus: Do you dispute that the NAR was complicit either in drafting or lobbying for the legislation — for example, to loosen the reins on the GSEs — that made the financial manipulations you quite properly decry possible?

      Tertius: Do you seek to claim that those financial manipulations could have happened in the absence of the legislation drafted or lobbied for by the NAR?

      I don’t think you can answer “yes” to any of those questions. Ergo, we have demonstrated that the NAR was the sine qua non cause of the global economic collapse. Wall Street is not to be trusted, I agree, but it was the NAR that created the weapons we used to destroy our wealth.

      It is possible that the same sorts of things might have happened without the NAR’s intrusions into the quasi-free markets, but the legislation that ultimately led to the collapse of the housing market — and thus to the collapse of the global economy — originated either with the NAR or with its pet congresscreeps.

      What’s worse, frankly, is that, whether its Grand Poohbahs are evil or stupid, the NAR has learned nothing from the devastation it has caused.

    40. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 7:02 pm

      > His message would reach many more and the “organic growth” would be exponential, if he didn’t speak in a tone that makes most people squirm.

      I’ve been doing this for 30 years, John. I know how to make very sound arguments, and I know how to make them in such a way that people who will not accept them can’t get me out of their heads. They have to try to shout me down all the time, and yet my arguments won’t ever stop calling themselves to their memories. I don’t know that driving people crazy advances any objective of mine — or grows anything any which way — but it does seem like a very appropriate flavor of justice to me. Meanwhile, folks in the middle pick one side or the other. To the extent that I’m interested in growth in numbers in my side of these debates, I’m only interested in people like me — people of independent mind. I don’t like or trust people who need to be led, but, even then, people who need to be led are easily led astray.

    41. Sean Purcell November 10th, 2010 7:06 pm

      We come to this blog for the same reason we would watch Jerry Springer…

      I watch Jerry Springer for the girl-on-girl cat fights. Greg, will you be imposing on Teri to actually make your site like Jerry Springer? (He asked with ‘bated breath…)

    42. Greg Swann November 10th, 2010 7:30 pm

      > Greg, will you be imposing on Teri to actually make your site like Jerry Springer?

      Frankly, I would rather seen an exhibition of feminine marksmanship. I’m thinking you might not enjoy that as much, though. ;)

    43. Teri Lussier November 11th, 2010 4:28 am

      SEAN PURCELL-

      Oh my lawz.

      Primus: You do know I can read, right?

      Secundus:
      >Greg, will you be imposing on Teri to …

      Congratulations. You just discovered the second reason I would yank the cord and get off this bus so fast it’ll give you whiplash.

      Tertius: … Happy?

    44. Sean Purcell November 11th, 2010 9:26 am

      Mea Culpa

      I apologize for the confusion in my last comment, I should have broken it into two paragraphs.

      The first stated my puerile and prurient interest in Jerry Springer.

      The second asked if Greg would be imposing on Teri to take her commentary down a notch from its customary level of erudition, as it makes me jealous and at times drives me to bad television.

      The one had absolutely nothing to do with the other. I hope this puts to rest any inference to the contrary…

    45. Sean Purcell November 11th, 2010 9:29 am

      On a more serious note: I read the commentary here critiquing Greg’s tone and wonder how so many people can ignore? miss? the context. When Greg writes about the dozens of innovative ideas he has for agents, he does so with clarity, selflessness and what I perceive to be a genuine interest in giving to whomever wishes to take. On the other hand, when he writes about enslavement, systemic larceny, and the heinous act of self-destruction, he is also… what? Passionate? Pleaful? Strident? Good grief, what should it be: measured?

      “Ahhh, excuse me, Greg; when you point out that the house is on fire, would you mind not being so loud? Oh, and by the way, I’d like a more dulcet tone as you decry the institutionalized raping and pillaging going on around us.”

      What nonsense…

      Maybe what offends is his lack of any willingness to provide cover for compromise; to leave a little “wiggle room” around the edges; to make allowance for any view other than that found in a full length mirror. Whatever it is, try not to get lost missing the forest for the trees.

    46. Al Lorenz November 11th, 2010 12:04 pm

      Greg doesn’t massage his messages to be “politically correct” to the sensibilities or the Realtor community or anybody else. Thanks for that!

    47. Brian Summerfield November 11th, 2010 1:23 pm

      OK, this is going to have to be my final comment on the matter. (Greg, if you’re ever in Chicago, we can discuss this further over drinks of your choice. I’ll buy.)

      There are a few points of disagreement here, but my main problem with your argument is that you claim that NAR is the central (or “sine qua non”) culprit in the economic collapse. Here are a few relevant facts:

      1. NAR did not slice and dice mortgage bonds in a way that exposed investors to levels of risk they weren’t aware of.
      2. NAR did not rate mortgage bonds with lots of garbage loans in them as AAA.
      3. NAR did not swirl up dizzying amounts of artificial capital through derivatives around these investments.
      4. NAR did not perpetuate fraud throughout the lending system.

      I’m definitely not conceding the point, but for fun, let’s say NAR did have as much influence over the housing market as you claim. A housing collapse in and of itself did not have to be nearly as economically destructive as it was. My main argument is that Wall Street, not NAR, inflated and expanded this bubble to a point where a downturn in housing could knock over other parts of the global economy like a row of dominoes.

      Also, FWIW, I have no problem whatsoever with your tone.

    48. Todd Carpenter November 11th, 2010 1:31 pm

      I’m not one who’s generally offended by your tone. The only time you’ve ever made me angry is when you accused me of buying my suits at JC Penny.

    49. Teri Lussier November 11th, 2010 4:45 pm

      Sean-

      Nice try.
      It’s a good thing I’m so fond of you otherwise I’d have to use my feminine marksmanship.

    50. Greg Swann November 12th, 2010 6:19 am

      > The only time you’ve ever made me angry is when you accused me of buying my suits at JC Penny.

      More Greg Swann hypocrisy: I love the menswear department at Pennys. I don’t wear suits, but for slacks and dress shirts, they offer a terrific value for the money.

    51. Greg Swann November 12th, 2010 6:42 am

      > my main problem with your argument is that you claim that NAR is the central (or “sine qua non”) culprit in the economic collapse

      I understand everything you’re saying, and I agree that all of that stuff was bad. But consider this:

      You’re 16 again, back home with the folks. Straight-A student, Ivy-bound, Eagle Scout, part-time job — a model youth. Your parents are going out of town for the weekend, and they decide that they can trust you home alone.

      Bad idea. You invite a few friends over for a little get-together, no big deal, mom and dad will never know. Except your friends invite a few more friends, and one of them invites some bikers, who in turn practice their off-road racing skills inside your parents’ house. Disaster ensues.

      Who did the most damage? The bikers.

      Who is the sine qua non cause of that damage? That would be you. Without which not.

      I don’t think the NAR is anywhere nearly as innocent as you would have been, in that scenario, but it remains that the disastrous policy of Rotarian Socialism in the housing market was initiated, nourished, cultivated and celebrated by the NAR — and still is.

      Again, I salute you for coming here and taking this on. My wish, if we’re going to have the NAR at all, would be for it to discover and champion true free-market capitalism.

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