What Three Twin Cities Web Entrepreneurs have in common

The EstateSales.net story is similar to the other successful small to medium sized start-up stories I’ve heard from other Internet start-ups.  

  • Rob Buntz  has a story where he was involved in real estate as a investor, then a close relative needed to buy a house and didn’t want to pay a huge commission to a agent, and Webdigs.com was born.
  • Charles Bailey told me a similar story on how he founded ResortsandLodges.com and went on to expand, through acquisitions and growth into TravelNet Solutions. He found a problem he solved the problem, he didn’t mess it up.
  • Daren Cotter this guy…ugh amazingly successful with all kinds of growth awards. Apparently Daren got involved in some early attempts at online customer loyalty sites decided he could do better, and did.  

What all these guys did was get out and participate in the community around them, pay attention, and find a problem with a magnetizable solution that could be repeated over and over, then they didn’t mess it up.  It’s not rocket science, it’s not fancy or glamorous, but it is lucrative & rewarding.

One importance difference between the 3 of these companies is that Webdigs.com has not found an effective way of communicating what they are about in 5 seconds.  In more traditional sales, a pitch is limited to a 30 second elevator speech.  However on websites I think that users only allow for more of a 5 second pick-up line.  Both TravelNet Solutions & CotterWeb do a better job of communicating to users almost instantly why their sites are compelling.

Free Geek – Help the needy get nerdy in the Twin Cities!

FREE GEEK is a 501(c)(3) not for profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, education, internet access and job skills training to those in need in exchange for community service.”

There are a couple of folks looking to set up a Free Geek branch in the in the the Twin Cities

If you are interested in helping out you can contact them here.

Here’s a video with the low down on why this organization is so cool:

Twin Cities Real Estate is a Investors market

I’m not an agent, but I have been working on webigs.com for over a year now as a Developer. From what I’ve seen I feel fairly comfortable shooting my mouth (blog) off saying that the Twin Cities is not a Buyer’s market, or a real Seller’s Market.

I say this because the repo houses are dragging the aggregate numbers down and scaring sellers into lower prices, that are probably more in tune with prevailing wages. At the same time the Repo twisted numbers are causing buyers to make low ball offers and / or be unnecessarily nervous because of the uncertainty in the market.

From the data I see, and my experiences in multiple failed attempts at purchasing a home, decent well built houses at a fair price will sell fairly quickly to people who intend to live in the house.

Where the market gets really interesting is the opportunity to invest in real estate. Right now I think a lot of money has been scared out of the market, and the inventory of Bank Owned houses that that will take some work and 3 months of messing around is up. These barriers to entry are not unacceptable to someone who has bought and sold residential properties before. The upsides are the lower prices for Bank or Corporate owned prices and the good market for good houses.

My advice, for what little it’s worth, is if you’re an investor now is the time to put money into Real Estate. If you’re a home buyer, don’t think you’re going to get some amazing deal, but expect a fair deal. If your selling well the times are not as outstanding as they were, but they’re still pretty darn good.

Whatever you do use Webdigs.com and get 2/3 of the buyers agent commission back, or if your selling a easy flat fee of $2000. It’s hard to screw up when you’re saving that much to start with and you have a whole team of experienced agents working with you the whole way.