What We’re Reading: May 24-30

The decline and fall of first time buyers, Google’s new driverless car, and converting internet leads.

First time home buyers are having a tough time of it. Rapidly rising home prices, all cash sales, and tight credit all make it hard for new buyers to enter the market. First time buyers now make up just 29 percent of all buyers, down from 50 percent just a few years ago. And it’s not expected to change soon…

via Google

via Google

Google unveiled a prototype driverless car this week (super cute!). Does this mean the end of road rage?

This week the U.S. Federal Trade Commission took action to reign in the personal data collection that allows online marketers to profile Internet users. Currently, there is little regulation for this type of activity and little transparency into what data is collected. For example, perhaps you are a motorcycle enthusiast: what happens if you need to purchase life insurance and the life insurance company knows about your interest in motorcycles? You might see a rate increase. Some see this type of data collection as circumventing the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Not many people enjoy their commute, especially if it’s by car through gridlock. We all know it costs us something – gas, repairs, wear and tear, not to mention the mental and physical effects. But adding it all up, it probably is costing you even more. Reuters delves into commuting costs and comes back depressed.

The Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) released a white paper this week that explores the strategies and systems being employed to increase conversion of internet leads. It’s important to realize that consumers might be giving out their information much sooner than they are willing to be contacted. Some agents say it can take eight or nine attempts to reach out to leads before they respond.

Some Australians awoke last week to find that someone had hijacked their iPhones or iPads, exploiting a fault in the ‘Find My Phone’ app. The message on their screens asked for a ransom to be paid to get the phone unlocked. If people had set up a password they were mostly able to unlock on their own, but others were out of luck.

Just what we were screaming for: Starbucks to open a burger restaurant.


Senior Information Specialist

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