Archive for May, 2012

Remembering & Celebrating Memorial Day in Queens, NY

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer. It’s also a time when family and friends get together for those great backyard BBQs. When celebrating Memorial Day weekend 2012 don’t forget the meaning of the holiday.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. However, may towns all over the country, dating back to 1866, arranged large  gatherings of people to honor those who have passed defending our nation.

Memorial Day quotes

“For love of country they accepted death. — James A. Garfield

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit the freedom to their children. — William Havard

The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. — Thomas Campbell

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers but to praise them. — Francis A. Walker

Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored. — Daniel Webster

Where to go to celebrate and honor our troops?

Check out local parades in the area by clicking the link below.  And have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day Weekend!
http://www.qgazette.com/current/community_calendar

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World War II veteran Loretta Z. Weiss, from Flushing’s Veterans of Foreign Wars, sells the traditional poppys for soldiers at last years Whitestone Memorial Day Parade. 

 

The Results are In… Tim Ho is a 30 Under 30 Honoree

The results are in… 

Tim Ho is one of the 30 Under 30 honorees for 2012.  
Congratulations Tim!
Click here to view the article

Bringing in the Buyers

You may recognize Timothy Ho, SRES, as the “30 Under 30” Readers’ Choice winner who brought in an astounding 250,000 online votes. In addition to having his own brisk sales business, Ho, 26, had a hand in almost every one of the Energized Realty Group’s 170 sales transactions in 2011. As a four-year veteran of the business and manager of the team’s buyer specialists, Ho coaches team members in time management, strategic thinking, and productivity. “I have the ability to step out of the transaction and look at it from a different perspective,” says Ho, a former accountant with Deloitte Touche in New York. To accommodate the team’s varying levels of comfort with technology, Ho devised a prospecting database system that’s both simple to use and sophisticated enough to handle the 200 to 300 calls his office receives each month.

Tip: “Be honest, work hard, keep learning and success will follow.”

Salesperson | Energized Realty Group | Whitestone, NY | www.energizedrealtygroup.com

Age: 26 | 2011 Individual Sales Volume: $10.5 million | 2011 Individual Sides: 20

Zillow program aims to improve accuracy of listings

Brokers, MLSs get more control over display of property data
By Inman News
Inman News®
Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Popular real estate search and valuation portal Zillow is launching a program designed to improve listing data accuracy on its site through what it says will be mutually beneficial partnerships with brokers and multiple listing services.

“Zillow is committed to partnering with MLSs and brokers to get reliable and timely information to its more than 32 million unique users each month,” said Bob Bemis, Zillow’s vice president of industry relations, in a statement.

“We have a common goal to provide accurate listings for the benefit of agents and consumers.”

Zillow recently hired Bemis and Phoenix-based broker and blogger Jay Thompson as part of its partner outreach team in an effort to improve its relations with brokers and MLSs.

Under the Zillow Partnership Platform (ZPP), Zillow makes several pledges toward giving brokers and MLSs greater control over how Zillow displays listing information. These include:

  • Always showing the listing agent and listing brokerage adjacent to their listings and including contact information and links to broker, agent or MLS websites free of charge. Agents who sign up for a free Zillow profile receive prominent placement on their listings. In addition, the name of the data provider will always be displayed or immediately available upon request, Zillow said. Providers can also ask to have their name link back to their contact information.
  • All parties will be clearly identified, including listing agents, buyer’s agents, Zillow Premier Agents who buy advertising on the site, and property advertisements.
  • Zillow will never resyndicate, redistribute or sublicense listings for display on other sites without express written consent. This does not include Yahoo Real Estate, with whom Zillow has an exclusive advertising partnership. Zillow provides for-sale listings to Yahoo Real Estate and sells ads featuring real estate brokers and agents that appear on both sites.
  • Zillow will also take steps to stop scraping and misuse of listing data and monitor traffic to its network. Suspect sites will be cut off from access to Zillow.
  • Broker and MLS feeds will override all others.

“In the current environment, Zillow must resolve discrepancies among a myriad of data sources by removing duplicates and deciding the trump order of listings, which consumes considerable resources for everyone involved,” Zillow said in a document explaining the program to brokers and MLSs.

“ZPP is a clear solution that supports the business objectives of each party by receiving listing data from the source closest to the origin.”

In the document, Zillow emphasized that brokers and MLSs must “work together” to clean up listing data on Zillow.

“The MLSs serve a critical, but often undervalued, function of compliance and rules enforcement, which results in the best listing data available anywhere. But the impact of that data is lost if it is not delivered in a timely manner to the destinations consumers value most,” the company said.

“Frankly, real estate agents and consumers expect Zillow and the brokers (and) MLSs to work together to improve the supply chain. ZPP strives to purge stale data, while entrusting the final decision of where to publish listing information to the broker.”

Zillow also pledged:

  • To remove or correct listings with the wrong status or inaccurate information within one business day of receiving notice. Partner brokers and MLSs will have a direct phone number and dedicated email address to flag a listing for immediate review, Zillow said, and listings will not be reposted unless verified by the source broker or MLS. Listings will be updated at least once a day and as frequently as every five minutes.
  • To honor all intellectual property rights. The company will also honor any broker’s decision to opt out of sending listing data to Zillow.
  • To share traffic statistics on listing pages to the data feed provider.
  • To restrict agents to advertising or claiming only those listings they have a legal right to claim. Listing “piracy” is uncommon on the site, according to Zillow, but not unheard of. Earlier this year, two Orange County, Calif., real estate professionals reported that their listings on Zillow had been wrongfully claimed by other agents.
  • Not use listing data delivered to one Zillow business in support of any other Zillow business without express written consent of the provider. Zillow specifically refers to data fed to its subsidiary Diverse Solutions for use in agent websites that provide Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings. Similarly, data licensed to Zillow for display on the Zillow portal will not be used by Diverse Solutions without permission, Zillow said.

Two MLSs dropped Diverse Solutions as a provider of IDX listings for their members’ websites after Zillow acquired the company in November. The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, which owns the Santa Barbara MLS, cited “concerns of misuse of our data” in ending its relationship with Diverse Solutions, and said “Zillow is not a friend to organized real estate.” Diverse Solutions maintained that it “does not share data with Zillow without MLS authorization.”

Each partner MLS or broker participating in the ZPP program will be assigned a dedicated account executive. As of today, the program applies to all renewal and future MLS and broker contracts, Zillow said.

“The objective of ZPP is to create a strong contractual relationship with each partner (broker or MLS), grounded in transparency and accountability, to build a foundation of mutual respect and trust through a long-term relationship that results in increasing value for all parties,” the company said.

“Zillow is prepared to make commitments to its partners in writing as defined in the data license/contract.”

Zillow and other third-party listing portals, including Trulia and Realtor.com, have come under fire from some brokers in recent months over both listing inaccuracy and ads and lead forms for competing agents that sometimes appear next to listings on the sites.

A few brokers have decided to stop providing listings altogether to third-party sites not affiliated with a multiple listing service or Realtor association. HomeServices of America Inc. subsidiary Edina Realty announced in November that it would pull its listings from third-party real estate search sites, though the brokerage has continued to provide listings to Realtor.com, and last month was still in negotiations with the site’s operator, Move Inc.

San Diego-based broker ARG Abbott Realty Group made a similar announcement in January and, earlier this month, Austin, Texas-based brokerage the GoodLife Team stopped syndicating its listings to Trulia and canceled its advertising on the site because the firm objected to ads for competing agents appearing next to their premium listings.

Trulia has since revamped its broker offerings and in the coming weeks will remove any display advertising for competing agents from featured listings. The revamp is part of what Trulia CEO Pete Flint said was a “major investment” in the interests of brokers and a recognition that Trulia needs “to partner with the industry to be successful.”

8th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids & Family Fun Day

Looking for something fun to do with the family, and help out a great cause…

8th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids & Family Fun Day

Fort Totten Park – Bayside, NY

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Registration: 9:00am
Family Fun Day: 9:00am
Walk: 10:00am

Join St. Mary’s  for the 8th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at Fort Totten Park and help support children with special needs and their families.

Help make a difference in the lives of New York’s most vulnerable children.

Sign up today – Do it for St. Mary’s Kids!

To learn more about the Walk for St. Mary’s Kids, contact Angela Sculti at 718-281-8817 or asculti@stmaryskids.org
http://events.stmaryskids.org/site/TR/WalkforStMarys/General?fr_id=1050&pg=entry


For All Bicyclists… Check Out a Website Just For YOU BikeNYC.org

 

It is Bike Month!  To celebrate, Transportation Alternatives introduced their new website, BikeNYC.org.

BikeNYC.org is your one-stop site for all things that is related to bicycling in New York City.

It offers biking deals, an events calendar, tips for riders, and a map that shows all the nearby bike shops and bike stations.  BikeNYC.org is the go-to source to connect with the vibrant world of bicycling in New York City.

Take advantage of Bike Month, try an event or a route in Queens, NY, if you never rode a bike before, or haven’t in awhile, check out the local stores on this website to see what deals they are having.  Summer is around the corner, so now is the best time to start.  Good luck and start pedaling!