View Full Version : Brokers Run Amok

May 4th, 2005, 08:31 AM
I'm not sure if it is me, the fact that I'm cranky because I got up too early, or a real problem, but...

In the Real Estate section, I'm noticing that brokers are starting to hijack threads. Orion is the greatest example, but I see the latest post on 325 Fifth is another broker posting.

Just wondering if other more participatory forum members find it annoying. I have no idea of what the Wired New York "vision" is. The "community" aspect here seems to be getting subverted. I'm sure its a sign of WNY success, but, for me, the water is getting polluted.

Anyone else feel this way? Anyone want to snap back and tell me I'm wrong? Is it just me?

May 4th, 2005, 09:47 AM
I think that the Orion thread is a fabulous study in bubble formation. First of all, I think that most people posting to that thread are investors, and not brokers, which makes it more akin to a Yahoo stock bulletin board than an advertising section. Second, I am struck by the similarity between posts of new buyers in Orion and the posts of those purchasing hot internet stocks a few years back.

As for 325 Fifth, I agree with Brooklyn Rider. Whereas in the Real Estate forum, it is OK to talk about purchasing real estate, in the Skyscraper and Architecture forums, we should limit the discussion to, what else, skyscrapers and architecture.

In the end, the community aspect is still in place, just that there are a number of different communities coexisting on this board (note a few posts in Orion stating that the forum will be a good place to keep in touch once the building is completed).

May 5th, 2005, 08:12 PM
I agree that the orion thread is out of control and annoying, but my solution has been to just ignore it. I'm sure edward is happier about the higher traffic, and it seems logical to guess that more traffic would only strengthen WNY, but I don't want to see dozens of self-contained threads. Would be hard to moderate-out boarder-line sales pitches - I think there's a lot of grey there. Hopefully it won't become more of an issue than it is now.

Maybe this would be a good use of a subforum?

May 5th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Many valid points in the preceding posts.

The forum doubled its membership in the last year, and there is no reason why it would not double again a year from now. It is impossible to stop the influx of new members and I think unnecessary.

I believe it is possible in principle for groups with different interests to coexist on this forum. And perhaps enrich each others experience.

The forum software allows flexible permissions and group structure. For example it is possible to have sub-forums where only senior members can post. The software allows to create usergroups with membership based on interests – for example, “Students of Architecture”. Such usergroup might have their own sub-forum where only they can post.

As to specific issue of Real Estate, we can separate the threads into Architecture aspect and Real Estate/Buying aspect, technically it’s easy. As to the brokers participating in Real Estate discussion, I suspect you cannot have real estate without the brokers 

Of course general rules of membership still apply – only one account per person and that could be enforced since every post has IP address of the poster recorded.

May 6th, 2005, 05:53 PM
The forum doubled its membership in the last year, and there is no reason why it would not double again a year from now. It is impossible to stop the influx of new members and I think unnecessary.

Wow! I'm very impressed.

You and your moderators have been very attentive, firm and committed to keep the posting here of the highest quality possible. I've said it many times before: This is the best forum I know of and the only one I participate in daily. Okay, okay - I feel very protective of it as well. I would be disappointed if gureilla marketers exploited or degraded the quality.

Okay - I'm shutting up now.........

June 9th, 2005, 05:18 PM

As a new purchaser in the Orion, I wanted to thank you for providing such a useful forum for prospective neighbors to discuss and share information. Although I wish I had the architectural background to provide something of use to the more senior members, I cannot. And although I too am frustrated by some of the hype surrounding the board (witness "BobThompson" who prefaces each of his posts with "I'm a Real Estate VP") and agree that the messages resemble internet stock message boards on Yahoo from the dotcom era, I intend to live in the Orion and by sharing information with new neighbors, including talking to several offline, I believe I have made some new friends and know more about my investment decision. I currently live in Worldwide Plaza and know absolutely none of my neighbors. So even if the bumble bursts and the Orion board becomes a case study at HBS, your forum will have made my living experience at the Orion more enjoyable. So thank you again.

June 9th, 2005, 06:59 PM
Once and if there's a dozen threads like this, I'd say we'd need to take action. Right now these two threads are causing no harm, there's nothing to worry about.

June 9th, 2005, 10:38 PM
Hi All-

Just a general broadcast. I got tired of always just skipping the Orion thread, so I posted. A little agitation and some offline PM with thread posters (including Zabi, who kindly apologized and talked about his reaction), but I felt like that thread had created an on-line "gated community" and I decided to enter without invitation. Anyway, I feel better about it. I posted an antagonistic, but not uncivil post and explained it further in following posts. I was taken aback when people warned me that BobThompson would "have something to say" about my post - as if he controlled the conversation.

I know I say it all the time, but this is the best on-line community around. Hopefully, my posts add to it and encourage discourse. If I'm out of line, I trust you'll let me know. I'm just preaching the courtesy and "no b.s." gospel of WiredNewYork. Stern has educated me personally on rules, so I think I'm doing ok. Cheers-

March 11th, 2007, 12:21 PM
If any brokers want to chime in on this I'd be curious regarding your input:


March 11th, 2007, 10:02 PM

So sad, as a former NYC tenant myself, to read the story of a p.o'd tenant.

Yes, that broker provided no service to that tenant. Would I ever have been that broker? I'd like to think not; I try hard to provide some kind of value added, because I want my rental clients to be happy and refer me to other rental clients. That broker clearly didn't add value and didn't care, and that's sad.

On the other hand, here's a tenant, who is well aware that the 12% that they're been charged is simply a gatekeeping fee, effectively a tax on top of the apartment rent . . . and pays it anyway.

Poor tenant . . . was there really no other place to rent in all of New York City? Not a single no-fee apartment that was comparable? No way to vote with the ol' wallet at all? I guess not; wait, let's get litigious!

So I really think it is one of those unfortunate stories where the landlord ain't good and the broker ain't good and the tenant ain't good . . . there are no good guys at all, which happens in rentals a lot.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

March 11th, 2007, 10:31 PM
Thanks ...

And since the tenant paid that means there is no recourse for him?

March 11th, 2007, 10:38 PM
I'd argue that, exactly. . . it's not like the tenant signs the lease and then pays the broker . . . the transactions are simultaneous, so when the tenant paid this horrible broker, the tenant knew what he/she was getting into.

If tenant felt screwed by the broker, his/her best way to lift the middle finger would have been to rent a different apartment.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

March 15th, 2007, 10:22 PM
If and when I ever move, this ^ is the broker I am going to. Always honest and perfectly credible.

March 16th, 2007, 09:20 AM
Thanks BR!