Thursday, March 01, 2007

Oh, those Ups and Downs

Inevitably, the big story of the week was the largest drop in the stock market in nearly six years, when the Dow plunged a teeth-grinding 416 points in a single day. Shocking? Yes. Unexpected. No.

Most of the time the numbers don’t lie – but it’s always healthy to look at the big picture before jumping out a window. For instance, this huge drop has to be viewed as a single shockwave from huge mood swings in the Asian market, as opposed to the beginnings of a recession. Not to mention, the overall trend of the past five years has been one of confident, positive climbs. One bad day a depression does not make.

But that is the nature of markets – of all kinds. Highs, lows, sudden drops, huge gains. Until this week, the real estate market has been the economic whipping boy du jour. With so many analysts adopting the doom-and-gloom outlook on the housing crash, more than one investor (or homeowner) has begged the question, “Did we hit bottom yet?”

My answer: yes.

Bubble burst, dramatic slowdown, necessary economic adjustment – call it what you will. The truth is that the market trend is improving and many of us see clear skies on the horizon.

Speaking of clear skies, I told my friend and partner, Jim, as we looked out the window on a perfect Seattle day, “The suns shining, I guess people will come out and start buying houses again.” He laughed. Now the rain and snow is back again – and so will the buyers be back.

Yes, maybe weather has a slight effect on the real estate market. So do mortgage rates, macro and micro economic hiccups, inventory. But if you ask me, the two major factors that influence the market are employment and interest rates. No matter how many beautiful homes are out there, no matter how strong a buyers market, no one will feel safe buying their dream home without a solid job market.

And that’s one of the reasons I have hope. Overall the economy is strong. Jobs are growing – and in new and exciting areas. Investment in high tech innovation is growing across the country. New companies are competing in arenas never before tapped. Bright young minds are pushing US economics to new heights.

A friend of mine confided in me his worry after losing his job with a local company due to a merger. Within a week he had two solid job offers. The next time he consulted with me was to discuss which of these amazing offers he could afford to let go.

The big players are reawakening and with them the real estate market will follow suit.

So once again I am bullish on the market – especially here in Seattle. A neighbor of mine told me about multiple offers she’s received on her property in Queen Anne. New developments are popping up all across the area. Jobs are plentiful, money is ready to be made, and maybe – just maybe – we will see some sun peeking through the clouds.

As always, discover the latest in IDX tools from and keep up with Seattle real estate news at


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Monday, February 26, 2007

Straight from the Horse's Mouth, Seattle Real Estate horse any way:-)

We talk a lot about being realistic, about working hard, and not promising the moon when you can't deliver it. Well, maybe it's time for a little well-deserved bragging.

Our team at UrbanTango has continued working these past few months updating the Seattle real estate website site structure and getting our innovative real estate IDX Solutions out into the major real estate markets. It looks like the ethical SEO and writing blogs, and all the basics of the old fashioned hard work is helping.

After the dust has settled, we find our XoomPad and IDX tools being consistently ranked on the first page of Google and #1 on MSN. We knew we were good, but careful to claim being the best. But now the numbers show that we are in the top 1% of Search Engine Optimization. We pride ourselves on our open-source philosophy to business - sharing our experiences, failures, triumphs with other professionals to make the real estate market a better place to work and succeed. Now we are ecstatic to learn that we are sharing advice as one of the leaders in real estate SEO. It's our team and our partners that have got us here, and we want to thank them immensely.

But beyond accolades, the real excitement comes in the knowledge of where we are going. is going back to being ranked in the top ten of Seattle real estate websites again, with not far behind for real estate IDX tools. All this and we still have not implemented our real strategy yet, dozens of new markets currently being opened, and a grab-bag of exciting new promotions and features to debut.

It all adds up to a sunny horizon for our tech and real estate agents team. Thank you for all the support and a heartfelt congratulations to everyone involved!

Go UrbanTango Go!