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REPOSTED DIRECTLY FROM INMAN NEWS. THIS CONTENT HAS NOT BEEN MODERATED BY WFG NATIONAL TITLE.

In this monthly column, Anthony Askowitz will explore a hypothetical Miami real estate situation from both sides of the broker/agent dynamic.

A mid-career Miami real estate agent is feeling threatened by the rise of Zillow, FSBO, etc., as replacements to the traditional real estate agent, and she is strongly considering a career change.

Agent perspective

Ten years into a productive real estate career, and I can already see the writing on the wall: Leather Zip Around Wallet Summer 10 by VIDA VIDA r16U38A75y
. You think I’m overreacting? Tell that to the former automobile, travel or manufacturing industry employee for whom robotics, automation and other technology simply erased their job.

It is already happening to traditional residential real estate, where giant “disruptors” like Zillow, for sale by owner (FSBO), and our own realtor.com has allegedly taken away, repurposed and redefined what used to be solely ours .

Just a decade ago, my job was pretty simple: help people buy and sell homes.

My main source of competition was other agents, but that was simply part of the business, and it made us all better. The vast majority of my day involved dealing with people : buyers, sellers, prospects, colleagues, competitors, bankers, vendors, brokers, etc.

And most important of all, at the center of my day was the human act of explaining to buyers why they should live in a particular home — as we were actually standing in the home itself. The most technology I dealt with was getting my listing in the MLS, talking on the phone or taking some photographs.

Today, I feel as if technology drives the job, instead of the other way around.

Buyers and sellers have become exponentially savvier with access to the same information we have, and they constantly question the basis for my commission. And with Zillow, FSBO, etc., able to reach more eyeballs and strategically find buyers using crazy-advanced data algorithms, maybe they have a point? I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet, but I am starting to think about a new career path.

Broker perspective

No one said this career would be easy, or that it would always stay the same. And just like all facets of life, the strongest, smartest and best among us learn to adapt and thrive in new situations.

This has always been the case in a capitalistic society, and real estate is no exception. But with respect to technology, I see it clearly enhancing our profession — not replacing it.

Agents who embrace and maximize the technology at their disposal have more power to market and sell than ever before. Clients absolutely do look for agents who are considered the “experts” on things like single-listing websites, virtual tours, drone and high-definition video and photography, and internet/social media marketing.

…And he would tell me like, the people I talk to say there’s not really a problem as long as the models are right. But you know, the models could be wrong. Ha ha.

There was something about the subject that he couldn’t let go of. And then, in the summer of 2007…

…The first big subprime lender collapsed, which was a company called New Century, I think. Then a bunch a bunch of them collapsed after that. And then, I remember Adam sending me this email saying, maybe it’s too late to do that subprime story. I was like, I think it’s still ok.

The 2008 story they made to explain what had caused our economy to virtually collapse is called “ The Giant Pool of Money ,” and it’s among the most listened-to, talked-about, important hours This American Life has ever made.

And that episode, and the reaction to it, is what inspired Adam and Alex to found the show Planet Money .

What’s important here is that the germ of the idea that eventually made Planet Money possible, this weird tingly feeling about mortgages, seemed like a total outlier when Alex started poking at it and developing it.

And then it took four years to come to fruition!

Sometimes that’s just how it is. I know :

…And the tales I could tell about how I struggled to make these works real. In fact, probably I will tell some of them.

It comes down to this:When I have a good idea, I grab on, and I don’t let go. I read and research, I write and I talk, and I keep building material until it clicks into place, like Alex did with the story that became “The Giant Pool of Money.”

I also toss and cull, and strike and annul. I have plenty of ideas that I don’t like, but at the core, the ideas I chase are the ideas that I love .

the ideas I chase are the ideas that I love

I talked to Stephanie Foo, producer at This American Life, about how she approaches finding stories.

You are a hunter for stories. Go out into the wilderness with your bow and arrow and crawl through the brush. You can’t just sit at home in front of the TV.

You have to walk through the world assuming that you are surrounded by stories. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured out that’s not the truth, not everything is a story, but it’s a valuable way to live.

What I like to tell young producers who are starting out is, “Don’t get mad. Get tape.”

The second you feel irritated by something, delve really deep into that, think, why am I irritated right now. Do other people have the same experience? Are other people as pissed as I am?

I used to skateboard around San Francisco and guys would always holler at me, like “KICKFLIP!” That was always the holler. “Kickflip!” So original. “Is that your boyfriend’s skateboard?” And I would get so irritated. So I started carried a recorder around and I would get hollered at every single time I skated. So I started recording the things these guys were yelling at me. And then I started chasing down girls I saw skating. I would interview them about their experience.

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, Volume 3, Issue2 , pp 249–265 | Cite as

First Online: 20 June 2008
Received:
Accepted:

Abstract

The need for environmental and urban planning reached a critical point in the year 2007, when one-half of the world's population could be defined as living in cities. Urbanisation in India is also increasing at a fast rate. Urban chaos in India, emanating from the continuous ignorance of fragile ecosystems, calls for the reshaping of existing cities as ‘eco-cities’. The ‘eco-city’—a well-known concept in the western world—is new to the Indian context. While western connotations of eco-cities should not be discarded outright in the context of India, core concerns vary significantly for obvious reasons. Recognising two facts—firstly, eco-city development is altogether a fresh approach to human settlement development in India, and, secondly, the manifold increase in the vulnerability of cities—this paper discusses documented good practice, reinforcing evolution towards the eco-city vision. Lessons drawn from the examples cited are further deconstructed in the light of their contribution to urban risk reduction, which provides direction to appreciating the ‘disaster-resilient eco-community’ concept in Puri, a coastal city in India. Further, this paper attempts to unravel existing community-based practices in Puri, which are boon to the local environment and invariably reduce disaster risk. These seemingly modest neighbourhood initiatives symbolise immense societal wealth, which can be calibrated appropriately for reducing urban environmental risk as well. This paper also illustrates how a ‘disaster resilient eco-community’ approach is inevitable in the present and future contexts not only to preserve sustainable development gains but also to secure human well-being.

Keywords

Eco-city Eco-community Urban environmental risk Traditional knowledge and practices Local environment
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The authors gratefully acknowledge the valuable comments of the chief reviewer and constant support of the Editor-in-Chief; the authors would like to express their thanks for the very relevant, insightful and explicit comments and suggestions that have helped to prune and refine this paper into its present form. A.K.S. acknowledges support from a Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho:MEXT) Scholarship in carrying out this research. The case study and Field Campus (Casifica) Project of Disaster Research System (DRS) of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) also provided travel grant (to A.K.S.) for conducting field visits during this research. The research would not have been possible without the cooperation of communities, CBOs and local volunteers in Puri. The authors would like to convey their sincere thanks to Ms. Mital Petiwale and Mr. Yashowant Prohit of SEEDS-India; Mr. P.C. Gochhik of PKDA; Mr. Sushanta Tripathy of the Odisha Development Management Program; and Mr. Bibhuti Dalei and Mr. B. B. Gadnayak NUNV-DPOs for their great support during the field research. A.K.S. extends appreciation to Ms. Noralene M. Uy, who returned her useful suggestions on the final draft of the manuscript.

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