Category: Elvis

Happy Birthday Elvis

Writing about Elvis so I don’t have to, Seattle/Bellevue Realtor Debra Sinick writes about the recent tour she took of Elvis’ Honeymoon Hideaway in Palm Springs. It wasn’t an agents or brokers open, but an open house for the public to take an inside peek at the home Elvis and Priscilla used as their Honeymoon Hideaway.

Debra works with Windermere and has her own blog Eastside Real Estate Buzz and also writes for the Seattle PI’s Real Estate Professionals.

Her post provides me with the perfect segue to our premiere Elvis event in Seattle, The Elvis Invitationals!

Please join me on January 24th, 2009 for our 12th Annual Elvis competition to find Seattle’s finest Elvi.

Performing again for your viewing and listening pleasure is Dino Macris, husband of real estate educator and marketing guru, Denise Lones.

I know you want to come! It’s on Saturday, January 24th at Club Motor and advance tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets. Also appearing is professional Elvis Steve Adams and his band Kentucky Rain. Visit my website for more information.

Thank you. Thankyouverymuch!

Happy Elvis Death Day

Real Estate Elvis

In my never-ending quest to write about Elvis and Real Estate, imagine my glee when I spotted this life-size gold lame clad Elvis cut-out at the entrance to this home for sale on Capitol Hill in Seattle. This was a few weeks ago, but I saved the photo for Elvis Death Day (tomorrow will be the 31st anniversary of his passing.)

Why? Who knows? But thank you, thank you, thankyouverymuch for giving me, again, this opportunity to combine two of my most favorite subjects in one mindless post.

Graceland Live Webcam

All Hail The King


RisMedia notes How Graceland Celebrates the King’s Birthday.

Elvis, Jesus and General Lee

Become a member of Elvis Candlelight and promote a greater understanding of Spirit through the example and spiritual seeking of Elvis Presley during his life time, and his continuing presence in the world.

Marlow and Elvis

There are many ETA’s (Elvis Tribute Artists) but few PTA’s in the U.S.

Marlow/Priscilla at the Elvis Invitationals

Other agents and real estate folks love Elvis too….

Elvis Real Estate

Elvis Birthday Events at Graceland

Elvis Vogrin, Re-Max Agent

Boston real estate agent, Elvis Doda
Elvis Turkovich, Aspen Realty

Elvis Chin, Singapore Real Estate

Zillow loves Elvis

It was 30 years ago today

Elvis Grave

In my never ending quest to put Elvis and real estate into the same post, today is the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death, and I thought what better way to celebrate “Weep Week” than to write about Elvis Real Estate.

Reno Fontana lives in one of two homes owned by Elvis when he died. The first, of course, is Graceland in Memphis. The second is the home in Palm Springs on Chino Canyon Road that Elvis and Priscilla bought on April 14, 1970.

When Reno and then wife Laura were looking for a bigger house, he was thumbing through real estate magazines on a Friday night when he saw the Chino Canyon home listed. He called at 9 a.m. on Saturday. “Is it really Elvis’ house?” he asked. Assured it was, he responded, “I’ll be right there, and I am buying it.” He bought the house sight unseen for $1,275,000.

“When we moved in, within a matter of hours on the first day people were stopping by taking pictures,” Fontana relates. “We were so thrilled to say, ‘Would you like to come in and see the house?”‘ The Fontanas don’t share most homeowners’ objection to having a lot of strangers coming into their house. “Even though we own the house, we like to think we are caretakers,” Reno says. “It’s open for Elvis fans.”

Elvis Living Room

For the first few months, they invited people in for free. One day, after touring the home, a gentleman said, “It’s really gracious of you, but here’s $50.” After that, the Fontanas fully realized the value of what they had. Ninety percent of the furnishings belonged to Elvis. “You are not just seeing a house he used to live in. You are seeing a real part of his life,” Fontana says.

Because of his dedication to Elvis and Elvis fans, Fontana has researched and gotten confirmation from people who knew Elvis, and obtained written authentication whenever possible. He has a copy of the house title signed by Elvis and Priscilla Presley in 1970, when they bought it for $85,000. The Presleys were not the only famous owners. In 1960, McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc purchased the house; and in 1981, Frankie Valli bought it for $750,000. In 1986, Valli sold it to a Japanese corporation for $2.2 million. From then until the Fontanas purchased it, the home was open for a few weeks.

Elvis Chino Canyon Road on Zillow

Elvis Wedding Photo

The house on Chino Canyon Road is not the only piece of real estate that Elvis enjoyed in Palm Springs.

In 1967, Elvis and Priscilla were to be married by the pool in the backyard of the house. But the arrival of friends and family tipped off then-leading gossip columnist Rona Barrett (who also lived in the neighborhood) that a wedding was imminent. As the media descended upon the house, Elvis and Priscilla changed plans, deciding to get married in Vegas. In the middle of the night, they snuck into an alley behind the house, where a limo took them to Frank Sinatra’s learjet. They were married in the Aladdin Hotel.

The next day they returned to honeymoon in the Palm Springs house, which is how it got its nickname as the “Elvis Honeymoon House.”

Elvis Honeymoon House

Zillow’s estimate of Elvis’ Honeymoon House

Thank you for asking

Well, no one really asked yet, but I’m sure it was just an oversight.
In case you missed it, here are some photos from last week’s “Elvis Invitationals”.

2007 Winner Cliff \"Elvis\" Moody
(Update: Guest Celebrity Judge Cienna Madrid reviews the Elvis Invitationals at The Stranger, “Judging the King“. Thanks Cienna!)

Clark Humphrey’s book “Vanishing Seattle” came out and in an interview he gave to Seattlest, was kind enough to mention me and my site Roadside Seattle as a good place to learn more about the spirit and history of Seattle.

Thanks Clark!

Vanishing Seattle

Vanishing Seattle (WA) (Images of America)

And yes, I AM contributing the occasional news story, blog post, gossip and innuendo to the Inman Blog. I’m sure you would have asked if you’d remembered.

Inman News

Carnival of Real Estate

Real Estate Freak Show

Step right up, Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s a Real Estate Freak Show, the Zillow Carnival of Real Estate! Only one thin dollar, 10 tiny dimes, cheap at twice the price! We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you!

As I had mentioned last week, I was hoping that someone would enter a post in honor of Elvis’ birthday. Several writers stepped up to the challenge, including John Harper and Pat Kitano.

John Harper writes “Elvis on Blogging” on The Harper Team. I haven’t seen your blog before, John, and I enjoyed it. Good job!

Patrick Kitano stepped up to the challenge and presented posted at Excellent. Thank you. Thankyouverymuch.

This has nothing to do with Elvis, but it does include the topic of music. Clifford Jacobson presents “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Realtors”. The Songs Of Real Estate 2.0. posted at WebHomeUSABlog, asking the age-old question, “Should Mothers allow their children to go into Real Estate?”

Jim Cronin presents The Secret To Developing Real Estate Blog Content posted at Real Estate Tomato. It was a good topic, plus he sent me a cool T-Shirt. Thanks Jim! (State regulators note, I can be bribed.)

Jay Thompson presents Phoenix Bloggers Meet; Much Conversation Ensues, Including The Long Tail posted at The Phoenix Real Estate Guy, saying, “The Long Tail and local content blogging in action.” This had absolutely nothing to do with Elvis, but he DID remember to wish E. a Happy Birthday at the end of the post. (See, I really DID read all your submissions!)

This has nothing to do with Elvis either, but it’s interesting nevertheless. Toby Boyce presents What Did You Write? posted at Sadie’s Take on Delaware Ohio, saying, “Society is learning that words are more important than we ever thought — should it be any different in our advertising?” Our broker used to hand out a little sheet with useful words to assist agents in writing useful ad copy. The word “charming” was definitely the most overused word in the real estate ad.

I liked Nigel Swaby’s post entitled Real Estate Agent Tricks – How to Protect Yourself posted at Salt Lake Real Estate Blog. It’s aimed at Buyers, and may not be applicable to all areas, but it’s interesting. It discusses pulling a house off the market to make it look like a new listing. This is not possible to do in our market and would be a good thing to abolish everywhere, if possible. Though playing devil’s advocate, if someone finds a house they like at the price they like, how is “market time” relevant, all other things being equal? Anyway, I digress….

This also has nothing to do with Elvis, but does embrace TV and popular culture, which are two more of my favorite subjects: Tracy Coenen presents Flip This House lawsuit posted at FRAUDfiles. A month doesn’t go by where I’m not contacted by A&E, HGTV or the Fine Living Channel, looking for subject material for their 24-hour-a-day home & garden-themed television shows. They want to film folks but refuse to compensate them in any way, asking them to provide free content so they can continue to sell their on-air advertising. Needless to say, this is a very interesting subject.

In another reference to popular culture and television, Praveen presents Trump Mortgage Boss Inflated His Resume? posted at My Simple Trading System.

And who doesn’t love a weird house for sale? Silicon Valley Blogger presents This Unusual Property Is For Sale posted at The Digerati Life about a real-life fire station for sale.

I’ve often noticed that neighborhood transformation by gay and lesbian residents often has a postive economic impact on neglected areas, a topic addressed by Nina Smith in Ten Money Questions for Mark Brand posted at Queercents, saying, “Award-winning architect, Mark Brand, talks about houses and money in the Queercents series: Ten Money Questions”

So, I’m finishing up here, looking for Elvis, or other funny or unique posts and what do I see but Bryant Tutas’ incredible post entitled “Martin Luther King: Rest in Peace, My Brother“, a beautiful and haunting entry, particularly relevant today, on Martin Luther King’s birthday. Thank you Bryant, for that meaningful and eloquent post.

Happy Birthday Elvis

Elvis invitationals

Ok, so this really doesn’t have anything to do with real estate, but as you can see from my tagline 360Digest is also “popular culture” and Elvis is about as popular as you can get.

Today would have been Elvis’ 72nd birthday. But, um, he didn’t make it. But we celebrate this day anyway and use this is an excuse to have a dance party and maybe a scavenger hunt and play Elvis Bingo.

In conjunction with this event is the 11th Annual Elvis Invitationals and I am honored to be a judge for the third year in a row. Amateur impersonators get one chance to perform a song, in costume, backed by the Memphis Mafia all-star band, while competing for over $1,000 worth of prizes, and I get to be in the center of it all. It’s a beautiful life.

Happy Elvis’ Birthday

Anyway, I hope to be recovered enough from that event by Monday, January 15th, to host the Carnival of Real Estate and anyone submitting an article that somehow combines the subjects of Real Estate and Elvis gets guaranteed publication in that weeks Carnival, no matter how much of a stretch or how many degrees of separation.

If you can’t do it, don’t worry. All other subjects accepted too!

Thank you. Thankyouverymuch!

Any excuse…

Marlow and Dino

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.

One class that’s particularly intriguing is “Baby Boomer Boot Camp” taught by Educator Extraordinaire, Denise Lones.

Denise Lones

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 REALTORS®. 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.

Elvis and Dino

Which brings me to a small dilemma. Dustin Luther and Russ Cofano are teaching a class at the very same time entitled “Realtors and Blogs”. What to do?

My advice? Dustin and Russ need to get themselves a couple of white jumpsuits……

God, I love a good Elvis metaphor in the morning…


Marc Davison’s excellent article on Inman “Time for Elvis to pass the torch” caught my attention because how often can a writer include Elvis and real estate in one sentence? I got a contact high just scanning his commentary.

His article was about Inman’s Connect technology conference. He starts with relating a story about an old-timey broker calling him, but he just couldn’t drop the doobie and take the call.

“His point of view was irrelevant now. His words are bubble gum music and I’d just seen Hendrix. I turned my cell off, opened the window and let the wind cry Mary.”

He was hung over. His head throbbed. His body ached. “Conjure up the day after Woodstock.” So he opens up the newspaper.

“…. Page after page I searched for signs of the award-winning brands, innovators and progressive people I partied with for three days inside the Inmansphere. Something that would deliver me a new and exciting experience. With each turn of the page my post-conference high diminished. Midway through I imagined an announcement over the Starbucks speaker system: “Attention. Testing one, two, three. Hey man, don’t eat the brown acid. It’s bad! I repeat the brown acid is bad, man.”

I ignored the warning. My page turning pace increased as if I had lost something and was frantic to find it. Things like virtual tours, videos, mapping, digital signatures, online estimates, neighborhood data – ideas and services witnessed during the Worlds Fair of real estate. My bad trip included giant agent heads dwarfing tiny shots of homes that all looked exactly alike and carried the same message. One ad freaked me out completely: The Realtor in the picture claimed she “IS the changing face of real estate. She IS the eyes in my community. She IS the ears listening to my needs. She WILL sell my home.” With what? I thought. There IS no link to a Web site, there IS no e-mail address.

Was Connect real or did I hallucinate it? Didn’t I brush up against innovators? Had I not held meetings with the rock stars of our business? If so, how did I end up back here at home surrounded by personalities rather than a real estate reality that doesn’t include Redfin, Trulia, HomePoint, digital signatures, paperless processes, Neighborhood data, TMS, or an Oodle of LocaModa – services as opposed to individuals. It’s wrong, it’s antiquated and it’s whole-heartedly unfair to consumers.”

The Rock Stars of real estate? Man, them are pretty powerful words. They brought me back to earth. I was trippin’ but I crashed and came back from my own contact high.

So who is this Marc Davison who writes so eloquently, and the only other guy who can write about real estate and Elvis in the same article?

His point was that it was time to pass the torch from the traditional ways of doing real estate to this new way envisioned by the CEO’s, venture capitalists and technical writers.

“Two thousand Beatles appeared at Inman’s event last week. These people – the attendees, speakers, vendors and visionaries- are the most important people in this business.

It’s a new era now. The old real estate business, with its million-plus Elvises might be able to find some work in Vegas but as of now, the torch has been passed. There’s no going back”

So, I’ve been thinking about this more and more. Are real estate agents outdated and obsolete? Will they be replaced by the mash-ups and data sites and the do-it-yourself searches and the electronic signatures? Is it just a business of software writers and venture capitalists now?

Marc Davison is vice president of OnBoard, a real estate data provider based in New York. Davison previously served as vice president of VREO, a provider of electronic signature and Web site software for the real estate industry. OnBoard supplies data to companies such as Coldwell Banker and J.L. Scott.

So, I’m thinking…… if he’s one of the rock stars of real estate, are the agents just lounge singers?

His attitude is similar to many other CEO’s of technical and software companies who supply a product to an industry, but this one just happens to be real estate. They seem to get confused about who actually does the work. Rather than seeing themselves as a useful business tool or partner, these guys lose sight of who their client is and what role they perform. Just like coke gives those with low self-esteem delusions of grandeur, the software designer’s high he gets from creating the business’s webpage or supplying some data somehow makes them think that they now are more powerful than the business they were hired to make the webpage for…..

So many CEO’s of these brave new software companies are frustrated that business, not just real estate, remain in what they consider the stone age. They get inpatient with the fact that many people still depend on print advertising as a major source of revenue. From reading interviews with these guys, I get the feeling that they’re frustrated with agents and brokers for continuing to advertise and for buyers and sellers continuing to read that damn newspaper!

“Don’t you see? We’re the wave of the future! We software designers, CEO’s, venture capitalists, technical writers and paperless signature processors, WE are the true rock stars of real estate and all you real estate salespeople are just the, uh…. groupies.” Or something. Not sure. Oh, maybe we’re just supposed to be their clients and pay them to create products they design to “disintermediate” us…. Again, not sure. Many things remain unsaid by these guys.

One thing I do know is that if agents and brokers quit doing what we do, then many guys like Marc Davison and his company OnBoard, could lose much of their client base. If traditional agents and brokers are forced out of the business, then who will be left to purchase his product?

Picture yourself in a boat on a river. With tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, A girl with kaleidoscope eyes…..

Elvis Loved America

Happy Fourth of July.

Happy Fourth of July!

Graceland was honored to welcome two world leaders to Elvis’s home last week. President George Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi toured Graceland in a historic visit. Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley greeted the two leaders along with First Lady Laura Bush upon their arrival. Watch a video to see what the President and Prime Minister had to say about Graceland and Elvis after their tour and see photos here.

Graceland has the honor of being the most visited historic home in the United States, hosting a mega Open House nearly every day of the year.

Elvis & Bush

Graceland is one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the country. But it’s more than just a house, it’s a business. Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises was sold to media mogul Robert Sillerman several years ago in a sweetheart deal for Pricilla and Lisa Marie.

I had the good fortune to attend the Penticton B.C. 5th Annual Elvis Festival last month and met dozens of top Canadian Elvi as they swiveled and shook they’re way to Canadian Elvis infamy.

Elvis Sandwich 

I was thrilled to see Dino Macris perform again, after winning top honors at the Elvis Invitationals earlier in the year at Paul Allen’s EMP, where I’ve been a judge for several years.

Dino Macris

What does this have to do with real estate?  Well, Dino’s married to none other than real estate educational dynamo Denise Lones.  Based in Bellingham WA, Denise has a company that specializes in assisting agents and companies fulfill their full marketing potential with coaching, sales systems, marketing help, business analysis and broker/agent “bootcamp”. I’ve attended several of her seminars and found them super-fab and inspiring (plus, gotta love those clock-hours!)

Denise Lones

Other agents and real estate folks love Elvis too….

Grow-a-Brain loves Elvis

Rodney Hamrick, Elvis Impersonator and ERA Real Estate agent in Mobile, Alabama.

The Cheesy Realtor

Elvis Vogrin, Re-Max Agent

Elvis Nail, Realtor

Elvis Webster, Jonesboro, GA Realtor

Boston real estate agent, Elvis Doda

Buy “Elvis Real Estate” in Turkey

Zillow loves Elvis


Elvis of Cans Architects and engineers compete to see whose team can build the most spectacular structure using little more than cans of food at
Canstruction, the 13th annual NYC Design and Build competition in New
York. The exhibit at New York Design Center is open to the public. At
the end of the competition on 23 November 2005, the 130,000 cans that
are part of the exhibit will be given to the Food Bank of New York

Canstruction is a national charity and has similar competitions each
year in over 66 cities throughout the United States and Canada. For
more information, visit

Elvis Game

Friends of elvis
Karma Physics Elvis is a modification of the first person shooter computer game Unreal 2003. As the viewer camera floats through an infinite pink afterlife, twitching multiples of Elvis are controlled by the original game’s “Karma Physics” real-time physics system – generally used to simulate realistic game character death.