Archive for September, 2006
Any reason at all to write about Elvis and Real Estate. They just kinda go together. I think one of Zillow’s first blog posts was about Elvis’ first home.
Anyway, next week is a seminar called Ed.Con, a Washington State Education Conference and Trade Show.
I’m going, of course. Gotta get those credit hours. There are a dozen or so instructors, teaching classes such as Millennium Marketing, Important Trends in Real Estate, World’s Greatest Sales Techniques, things like that.
Denise is a nationally-known sales and marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and coach. Denise is also a certified instructor for the Department of Licensing, the Master Builders Association, Bellevue College, The Washington State Housing and Finance Committee and the Washington Association of REALTORSÂ®. She also holds the National CSP designation and was the only person in the State of Washington in 1999 to be awarded the prestigious MIRM designation from the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.. But what is her real claim to fame? She’s married to none other than Dino Macris, winner of the Experience Music Project’s “Elvis Invitationals” contest and also the Penticton B.C. Elvis Festival.
My advice? Dustin and Russ need to get themselves a couple of white jumpsuits……
Kevin Boer of In The Trenches, a real estate blog out of the Bay Area, got me involved in some hare-brained scheme to track the accuracy of a random sampling of data from Zillow in each of our markets and compare those to county data v.s. our local MLS.
Ask anyone who knows me…. the first thing they think of when you mention “Marlow” is mathematical theory, multiparameter estimation, statistical modeling and asymptotic approximations. So I jumped at the chance to help.
Interestingly enough, my data and Kevin’s netted almost the same results. He’s looking for others around the country to assist and add to his chart, so if interested, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
In response to yesterdays post “Trulia expands nationwide“, Dustin Luther put together a Excel spreadsheet that examines not only how many listings each service has, but also how many “accurate” listings each service has for one zip-code (98117) in Seattle. He found out several interesting things like (1) Redfin’s zip-code search is broken (i.e. a search on 98117 returns results for other zip codes like 98203 and does not return all the homes that Redfin has with a zip-code of 98117), (2) confirmed that Realtor.com does not have any Windermere listings and (3) Trulia has a long way to go before they are comprehensive. If someone wanted to take this data and add one more zip code in some other part of the country, he’ll post the results. Email him at Dustin@RainCityGuide.com
One of the results I came up with in searching home for sale in “Redmond, WA” was that Yahoo had almost twice as many listings as the MLS, yet Yahoo is using a direct feed from the MLS via Prudential Real Estate. They could be using different search parameters, including “pending” sales or adding listings from other sources (i.e. a feed from Homes & Land Magazine), or not expunging expired listings, but I haven’t figured that out yet. I’ll try to research that and publish my findings here.
** NOTE **
As of 9am 9/27, the Rain City Guide site is down, due to a change in service provider. Dustin had mentioned he was having hosting problems a few days ago, and I expect him to get back up online soon.
Un-freakin’-believable They fought it out neck-to-neck…. 100 posts in 24 hours. Greg is still blogging over there, up to 102 last time I looked, apparently high on his own endorphins. But Ardell’s posts had photos! The King and Queen of the Real Estate Blogs. Fabulous. Thanks, to you both for your determination and inspiration. Now go get some sleep.
Thanks to sellsiusÂ° for instigating that little bit of insanity. I think I may have to quit now, as there’s obviously nothing left to write.
Windermere Real Estate, has had phenomenal growth across the Northwest and now into the Southwest and California. Named after an upscale neighborhood in the Seattle area, it’s made a commitment to community involvement and has managed to maintain an excellent local reputation. By sponsorship of the annual Windermere Cup crew races, they’ve cultivated a slightly upper-crust brand that seems to work well for their client base.
Up until a few months ago, their website was always a bit faster, a bit sleeker than their competitors, their ads were often nicer (or at least had a better graphic design on the pages of the Seattle Times) and their numerous offices always seemed a bit better decorated than their competitors.
Now comes the news that Windermere will be providing continuous feeds of all their listings directly through Google Base, and the new site will feature Google Maps and super-size photos.
In the past, one of the things that set Windermere apart was their refusal to share their listings with Realtor.com. Their choice resulted in a non-dilution of their carefully designed brand and it made their own website only stronger.
It seems that this choice to provide a feed to Google Base has taken their company in a radically different direction. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at that board meeting.
** UPDATE **
Tim O’Keefe at the Real Estate Marketing Blog reports that ERA Real Estate has agreed to feed as a test about 76,000 ERA represented property listings with Trulia Real Estate Search Engine.
Lots of interesting changes and business partnerships emerging lately. I wonder how many more opportunities are still available. I checked MSN and AOL, and they’re both already hooked up with Realtor.com. Prudential has a deal with Yahoo. Seattle’s Real Property Associates is running a feed directly to Trulia (I like watching what they’re doing, as co-owner Gordon Stephenson is on the Board of Directors at Zillow.) I don’t see any reason why our other two local players, John L. Scott and Coldwell Banker Bain couldn’t also run feeds to Google Base and Trulia, but they may have their own reasons not too….
Trulia has announced that they will launch nationwide on Monday, adding properties for sale in 25 new states, detailed neighborhood data and property comparison tools.
Some of the new tools they’re offering are heatmaps that show a comparison of neighborhoods, the geographical boundaries of each, a comparison tool and a “Neighborhood Spotlight” which would include schools and crime stats. The coolest thing will be a graph that I think will show “interest”, I guess by showing how many inquiries a certain neighborhood receives. Matt Marshall in Venture Beat discusses these new features in depth in “Home site Trulia taps into â€œintentionsâ€ to provide real-time info”.
Liz Gannes on GigaOM Trulia expands, gets local” makes an interesting point with understated elegance:
“Opening access to real estate information is not a solved problem; large blocks of listings are not available online from independent services due to legacy relationships and barriers. However, Trulia is smartly realizing that building a near-comprehensive listing database wouldnâ€™t make it stand out for long.”
So, just having a complete data base wouldn’t let it stand out for long. Isn’t that interesting? But having cool toys may be good enough. Tools, mash-ups, heat maps, matrix’s, metrics, charts, graphs…. even without the listings, maybe having these other cool things that a viewer can interact with may be enough to make the site sticky and cause home shoppers to click on an agents ads… which I guess is the whole purpose of the site.
B2Day, the business 2.0 blog, discusses Trulia’s announcement and offers a poll “Which startup will become the Web’s new real estate king?” and allows the user to choose between Trulia, Zillow, Reply or Craigslist. How about “none of the above”?
Created by Erick Schonfeld
They all offer different things to a home buyer or seller, and there’s no comparison, it’s not either/or. It could be “and” or “maybe”. If you’re buying a home, you may check out Trulia or Craigslist to search. Maybe. You might look at Zillow to find out what they think the home was worth. Not sure why anyone would look at Reply. Has anyone used their “Make an Offer” function, I wonder? I’d love to read a success story, if there are any.
Anyway, getting back to Ganne’s point. Trulia can’t compete on inventory, because, unless they join all the local MLS’s (and they couldn’t in some states without becoming a brokerage), they’ll just never have all the listings. But does it have to? Maybe just having some, and having these other tools, is good enough.
But as a point of comparison, how many listings does Trulia and other popular portals & sites have?
To try to figure that out, I searched the town of Redmond, Washington, and got mixed results.
NWMLS public site: 305
Reply: Unable to search
Zillow: Unable to search
So, then I tried using the zip code for Redmond, 98052:
Yahoo Real Estate 255
NWMLS public site: Unable to search by zipcode
Reply: Unable to search
Zillow: Unable to search
Homes.com is the definite loser here, with the least number of listings per search perameter. But Trulia is second on that list. And the portal with the most listings? Yahoo Real Estate. They get their listings directly from an IDX feed from Prudential, so I’m stymied as to how their listings outnumber the listings from the official NWMLS. On their classifieds, they have homes not listed on the MLS, but the IDX feed should be the same for all sites.
It looks like Home.com scrapes only from their advertisers. Trulia scraps from them and also from RPA (owned by Gordon Stephenson, one of the Board members at Zillow), Z57, Inc., Advanced Access and whoever else sends them a feed.
So you can have a laugh at our so-last-millenium public MLS site, but at least our MLS has a public site, something I guess some areas around the U.S. don’t have. No mash-ups or even interactive maps, but it’s still probably the most accurate of websites in our locale. Time will tell if Trulia’s bells and whistles will trump complete market inventory.
(As an aside, the most-visited real estate website in our locale is Winderemere. John L. Scott and the Coldwell Banker Bain site are more sophisticated, using Virtual Earth technology, but Windermere remains king of the heap… though I did read they’ll be unveiling a new map search soon. Windermere, being the largest real estate company in the Seattle area, is the main reason why Realtor.com will never have much value here, as they don’t allow any of their listings to appear on that site, and without the Windermere listings, it’s just an advertising vehicle for real estate agents, not a real player in real estate search.)
Advanced Access, a website service provider for over 30,000 real estate agents across the country, has been purchased by Dominion Enterprises, the same company that owns Homes.com and Best Image Marketing. Founded in 1998 by John Morris, current President – Justin Davis – will continue on under the new owners, along with all of the current management team. Kristina Davis will also continue on with the company as before – providing leadership and consulting for Internet Marketing.
Needless to say, Advanced Access clients are up in arms, as many having migrated over from Homes.com and Best Image #1 Agent websites, and words are flying over on the AA Forums about this move, wondering if this signals an end to affordable websites and excellent customer service.
Oh, this is rich. When Joel Burslem at The Future of Real Estate Marketing first noted several months ago that Redfin had copyrighted the term “Real Estate 2.0″, I thought he was kidding.
I had noted just yesterday the new blog entitled “Real Estate 2.0″.
Less than 24 hours later, the author of that blog shared a letter he received from Eric Heller, the director of marketing at Redfin, asking him to stop using the tagline, Real Estate 2.0, as it is now a registered trademark of the Redfin Corporation.
Are they kidding?
The kings of real estate copyright infringement are going after this guy for a little Word Press blog? Please!
Redfin continuously publishes copyrighted photos on their blog, without permission of the owners. They flaunt and ignore NWMLS rules regarding other brokers listings, advertising them against their wishes and without their permission on their Redfin Blog.
They single out individual agents for purported misbehavior and then turn around and misappropriate listings and photos by that same agent, violating copyright laws.
They have even taken my photos and listings and used them on their blog. (I don’t mind, as I like all the free advertising I can get. Technically, however, those listings don’t belong to me but to my Brokerage, and they have not given Redfin permission to republish or advertise them.)
In our state, only the designated broker for a firm can lodge a complaint against another broker, so I won’t be pushing this issue any further.
However, they must know that someone else could. They’ll probably argue that a “blog” is not really “advertising”, or it’s protected free speech or something like that….
Basic facts about trademarks
Harvard’s overview of Trademark Law
Oh god, it just gets better….
Redfin Does Not Own Registered Trademark “Real Estate 2.0″ from SellsiusÂ° blog
Matt Carter made an interesting post on the Inman blog about Azerbaijan, a country situated on the Caspian Sea between Russia and Iran, that only recently regained its independence after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. He noted that their banks have just now began to offer home mortgages and so far, they’ve issued 86 loans, with interest rates averaging 10.2 percent.
Why is this so interesting? Because the country of Azerbaijan is 93.4% Muslim. And Islam forbids the paying of interest, as it violates a teaching of Allah. What is specifically Shari’ah (forbidden) is taking interest, giving it, writing it, and being a witness to its contract. Azerbaijan’s official stance has been that it is a secular state. This is the first indication that it is really moving in that direction.
Because the paying of interest is Shari’ah, most people in Islamic countries rent or have managed to save enough money to pay cash for a home. They have also devised an unsual paper manipulation to pay more for a house than it is worth and then buy it on time but not paying interest, just paying more and for longer than they would if they paid cash for it.
Can a Muslim be a real estate agent? Yes, if they have nothing to do with the paying or taking of interest. Which, of course, is very difficult in Western countries.
According to Mufti Monzer Kahf, a job of real estate agent is allowed for a cash-only sale, with no financing or bank mortgage.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Being a real estate agent for a certain company is permissible as long as the agent avoids writing an application for a forbidden interest-based loan and avoids selling stolen property. What applies to real estate also applies to refering others to the same real estate company for the purpose of buying and selling.
Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent economist, counselor and mufti states the following:
Working as a real estate agent or owner of an agency is permissible because the main line of business is helping people buy and sell real estate properties. What is prohibited in the Shari’ah is taking interest, giving it, writing it, and being a witness to its contract. It is not forbidden to help people buy and sell properties. Of course, two things are haram: to write an application for forbidden interest-based loan (a buyer may be under conditions of necessity and hence its loan may not be forbidden); and to help sell stolen property. These must be avoided by any agent, whether in real estate or other businesses.
The same applies to the referral because in referral you are also helping in buying and selling, and it is none of your business how the buyer is going to finance the purchase or whether the other agent is going to help in writing the loan application; you are not required to investigate what other people (agent or buyer) are going to do or how they are going to proceed in their relationships.
Thus, in both cases your commission is halal, in sha’ Allah.
Having clarified the above, I would like to add that in referral there is another point that must be clear: When you refer a friend who comes to you on the basis of trust and confidence and you refer him or her and take commission, the referred friend should know that in referring him or her to that specific agent you will get a commission; if he or she does not know that and takes your advice as a friendly trusted advice, such a commission is deserved to the friend not to you. You can’t be a paid adviser without the recipient of the advice knowing that you are paid, that is, that you have an interest in this advice.
I think this is all pretty interesting, especially in light of encouraging home ownership for minorities in the U.S..
Niche banks find growth in Muslim market
Specialized services for Islamic communities help local lenders expand. Big banks not far behind.
Fulfilling the American Dream: Hard-Working Families Realize Home Ownership Dreams
Terry Light, the creator of RealEstateABC, has started a new venture www.HomeSurfer.com. Join in their agent directory, create a profile page, and start blogging and creating reports. Their real estate wiki area includes dictionary/encyclopedia, local market reports, crime, and school districts.
As Terry says in his overview:
“When you type “real estate” into the Google query bar, every site on Page ONE of the results (June 21, 2006) was created by a major corporation with lots of money – except one.
We built that site.
Then we sold it, and now we’ve started a new project, HomeSurfer.com.”
Though there’s been some debate as to whether too many of the wrong incoming real estate links hurts ones rank in Yahoo, good quality links are still a good idea.
From the press release sent to me last week by Haley Boruszak, a PR gal from Fleishman Hillard, an international public relations firm:
“Yahoo! Real Estate provides a complete set of tools and access to comprehensive listings including MLS properties in partnership with Prudential Real Estate, classifieds, apartment rentals, for sale by owner, foreclosures, and new home listings. Yahoo! users can easily access this information by visiting http://realestate.yahoo.com or by utilizing Yahoo! Search or other Yahoo! properties such as Finance, HotJobs, and the Yahoo! home page.”
So, I went to the site to see what all the fuss was about and played with it a bit, but was less than impressed. One can find property relatively easy, but when one wants to view extra photos or get more info, a buyer must enter all their contact information to be contacted by a Prudential agent.
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Why would Prudential waste so much money on a (what I am sure will prove to be) useless lead generator? One can go to Coldwell Banker Bain, Windermere, John L. Scott or dozens of other websites and look at all the information and photos, without sacrificing any privacy. Yet on both this Yahoo site and on the local Prudential site, one must first “register” before viewing.
And when one wants to use the site to find a Realtor, when clicking on the tabs, one isn’t lead to a Prudential site but to Homegain, where one is then asked to enter their personal information to then be contacted by dozens of Realtors, all from different companies, not just Prudential.
I can’t believe that this is a partnership that will last, as I just can’t imagine it will result in enough leads to pay for itself. Why align yourself with another company, pay them a franchise or referral fee, and be at the mercy of them and whatever referral fees they want to charge now and in the future? Better to spend that money on a good advertising campaign, public relations and excellent SEO advice instead. Built a better website, add some good sticky content, perhaps embark on a paid placement campaign, those things would make a lot more sense and pay off better in the long run that tying themselves to a real estate portal whose prices can only go up. It’s short-sighted for Prudential and other real estate firms to affiliate themselves with portals, as it builds the portal’s brand and importance, rather than their own. Prudential should strive to make their local or national sites the “go-to” site for real estate information and spend their money on that goal for the future.
Redfin’s in the news again this week, and the media seem to be having a love affair with this company, including the P.I’s John Cook, as he’s mentioned Redfin 51 times in his blog alone, in just the past few months. What is the fascination?
It can’t be just the venture capital raised. Madrona Venture Group invested in both Redfin and Bag, Borrow and Steal about the same time, but BB&S only got written about a measly 7 times. The President and CEO, Michael J. Smith, is a soft-spoken man, who previously served as president or CEO at four consumer Internet sites, including Land’s End, Nordstrom, LifeSketch and Classmates.com, so he’s got an even more impressive resume than Kelman. But his demeanor is less openly aggressive and seems to be a more serious type of leader. This idea of borrowing, rather than buying high-end handbags could, I suppose be as “disruptive” to handbag manufacturers as Redfin is to the real estate business. And now they’re renting high end jewelry too. That’s pretty unusual and ground-breaking. But barely a peep from the business blogs. So why this fascination with Redfin?
According to Peter Cochran, who’s with Vulcan Capital, another investor in Redfin and who also sits on the board, the reasons 1, 2 & 3 are CEO Glenn Kelman.
Why did you invest in Redfin?
I’ve got a 40-page investment memo that answers that question in dizzying detail, but since I’m not willing to post that document on the web, let me try to summarize:
Reason #1, 2, 3. Glenn Kelman and the Redfin management team. It’s a VC cliche, but for an early-stage VC deal my first three criteria are people, people and people (to borrow an investment philosophy from Jon Callaghan at True Ventures and many others). I have confidence that Glenn will always strive to do the right thing for Redfin customers, employees and shareholders. He has the intellectual aptitude, enthusiastic work ethic, humble confidence and swashbuckling-style that makes Redfin a great place to work for super smart engineers and business people.
So, like a lot of what goes on in business, and real estate in particular, it involves personal strength and a cult of personality. Kelman could be being perceived by these other writers and investors as an alpha-type male, and they are responding in kind with attention and money and are happily playing follower to his lead. The alpha male establishes a hierarchy of domination that manifests itself in aggressive, hostile and powerful domination of their enemies, other less-powerful beta males and business competitors.
Kelmans antics in the press, before the U.S. Congress and documented on his blog, have positioned him as the P.T. Barnum of the new 2.0 real estate business model.
Kelman seems to delight in escapades and the high-profile spoof, lives for the short memorable riff of “crazy addictive” male Valley talk and the quick hot-shot sizzle and spin when discussing his “disruptive” technology and “crazy awesome” website. Other people have noticed and are seemingly immune to his mischief, but there are plenty of other people out there who are hypnotized by his hustle and jive.
Let’s hope that Kelman can learn to use his considerable powers for good rather than evil, and rein in some of his “freaky” impulses and become the better man. Competition is great and is unwelcome only by those who have nothing to offer. Pitting business associates against each other, associates who have come together formally and actually created associations based entirely on the concept of cooperation, however, is bad business.
Redfin should follow the lead of the other online/real estate web 2.0 companies and do the right thing. Take their clients out to view the homes, even if it means raising the price of their services, take the Buyer Agency responsibilities, liabilities and risks seriously, and join in the real estate business with a spirit of helpful assistance and cooperation. It doesn’t have to be “we win, you lose, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, let the best man win”. You can play nice and still be successful, and be admired to boot.
The P.I.’s Venture Blog gives the bully pulpit to Kelman once again by publishing his entire email response to my article in this post “Redfin and the Alpha Male”.
I just want to point out that when Kelman complains of getting letters from the local MLS asking Redfin to remove certain information from their site or blog, it’s because Redfin is violating membership rules that everyone else follows. Redfin doesn’t want to follow the rules and doesn’t think the rules should apply to them. The MLS is a private organization. They are free to try to change the rules or they should resign their membership. To continue whining to the newspapers is tiresome. The bigger story is why David Eraker is gone and why the media haven’t followed up on his departure.
Damon Darlin’s article in the New York Times “The Last Stand of the 6-Percenters?” (with a quote by moi,, towards the end), is a rehash of complaints we’ve all heard before and purposefully provocative. The author was already a little hostile to real estate brokers in some past writings, and he just continues that thread with this little article. (Even Rain City Guide notes that the New York Times real estate blog “The Walk Through” is “surprisingly anti-agent”. Which is odd, as the entire real estate section of the paper would disappear if there weren’t agents to buy the ads. But I digress….)
Anyway, the main thrust of his article is the rising number of discount brokerages threatening the traditional real estate model.
He’s got some good juicy quotes in there about how these discount firms have trouble getting other agents to show their clients houses. Zip Realty, our local area’s largest discount brokerage, doesn’t seem to have any problems, but Redfin does. One of their agents, a Ms. Howard, recounts how she can’t get listing agents to show “her clients” their listings. However, Redfin will show their clients homes for 4 hours for $250.00, but for those too cheap to pay, I guess Redfin expects the listing agents to show the homes for free…..
I, as a general rule, do not show my listings to anyone I don’t know. I will occasionally hold an Open House, but only if the house is on a well-trafficked street with neighbors close by. I will not meet anyone in a vacant house, or even an occupied home, if I haven’t met with them before. They must first meet me in my office, for safety reasons. Between 1992 and 2001, 86 real estate professionals across the country fell victim to violent acts, including 63 that were killed. Between 2001 and 2004, the latest figures available, 25 real estate salespeople and brokers died as a result of â€œassaults and violent acts,â€ according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I have written in the past about this business model and the dangers of meeting strangers at vacant homes.
However, if I refuse to meet a stranger at one of my listings, I run the risk of being listed in the Redfin “Hall of Shame” or having a Redfin agent call my seller to complain. If they cannot reach my Seller by telephone, then Redfin will send them a registered letter complaining about me.
“When that happens, Redfin agents contact the sellers and let them know that their agent will not show the house. When they cannot find a phone number, they send a registered letter. When sellers have moved, they track them down through the relocation service that moved them.”
This is just one of the ways they threaten, intimidate and harass agents who won’t do their work for them.
And they wonder why some agents are less than cooperative? LOL!!!
We all remember the murder of Windermere agent Mike Emert, in Bellevue a few years ago. An agent was murdered showing a house in Dallas just a few months ago, and agents are easy targets for criminals of all sorts all around the country.
I urge all agents to not be intimidated into showing a home if they are uncomfortable and not to be afraid of losing a customer or being intimidated by another real estate company or pushy Buyer. I am under no obligation to put myself in harms way to show a house, and I’m sure no Seller would want me to. Our safety is more important than a commission.
Our office, as do many other real estate firms, suggest that ALL Buyers be met at the office first. It is suggested that we photocopy their I.D., get their drivers license and ask for a letter of pre-approval before showing homes. I think this would be a good policy for all real estate offices to have, to put safety of their agents and their sellers first, before the promise of a sale. If someone wants to complain about that and send a certified letter, so be it.
Real Estate Murders from Mortgage News Daily
Law enforcement officials, real estate boards, real estate trainers, and others routinely advise agents to observe some common sense safety precautions.
Realtor Safety Tips:
Always meet a client for the first time in the office. Introduce him or her to coworkers and make it clear that they know you are taking him out of the office. Try to take separate cars but if that is not possible you will have slightly more control if you drive. Do not meet a client at the property, particularly if he is calling on a yard sign. He will already have had a chance to note if the property is vacant.
Get a license plate number and leave it at the front desk. Just explain that it is office policy; a customer who means no harm won’t mind. You might also leave an itinerary for your house tour.
Don’t identify a property as vacant to a caller on an ad or sign.
When showing property to a stranger, follow rather than lead him through the house. Don’t let him get between you and the door. At an open house, take up a position as close to the door as practical.
Always carry a cell phone where it is easily accessible (not in the purse you left in the car or stowed in a kitchen cabinet.) Make sure emergency numbers are programmed into the speed dial.
Ask the office manager to control keys to the office and to place deadbolts on the doors. If you are alone in the office at night draw the shades and do not admit anyone you do not know well and trust.
Go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, if anything raises the hair on the back of your neck escape the situation immediately. You might feel like an idiot but don’t worry about it.
More comments on the New York Times story by Damon Darlin:
If Bill Clinton ran Redfin on Bloodhound Blog
Work the Numbers: Redfin’s not much of a business by Greg Swann
So weird! Rain City Guide appears to have been hacked by angry Turks.
If it disappears before you get a chance to see it, I’ve saved it on an exterior page.
Exterior page is showing an “error” message. To see page view, see Bloodhound Blog.
Here’s another real estate website hacked, apparently this time by supporters of Palestine. www.LasVegasDirect.com
What’s going on here?
– MORE –
A for-sale-by-owner Web site that is registered to a loan officer in Ohio also contained a cache of information about a suspected al-Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan last year and an Islamic militant movement.
Pages embedded within The For Sale By Owner Association Inc. Web site, at www.fsboa.com, contained Arabic writings attributed to Abu Musab al-Suri (al-Suri translates as “The Syrian”), who is also known as Mustafa Setmarian Nasar. Nasar was reportedly arrested in Quetta, Pakistan, in November 2005 and is rumored to be in U.S. custody, though his location remains a secret.
Alan Isham, the creator of the Web site who is a loan officer for 1st Metropolitan Mortgage in Pepper Pike, Ohio, said he hadn’t added anything to the Web site for two years and had nothing to do with the Arabic-language materials at the site. “Somebody hacked into the site,” he said. The www.fsboa.com Web site was registered in Isham’s name in 1998.
This site appears to have just been taken down.