As I have mentioned in the past, my wife and I have three small children. Watching the same movies over and over again comes with territory. One of the movies in the rotation for a while was Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. One of the big musical numbers is Veruca Salt, a spoiled brat if there ever was one, signing "Don't care how, I want it now." In many ways, we have become a society of Veruca Salts. We can get basically anything at anytime . Gone are the days of 57 Channels and Nothing On. We now have hundreds of television stations to choose from and if we can't find anything to watch there, we can always watch something On Demand, on Hulu or on YouTube. I refuse to listen to live radio in the car in the morning because there are too many commercials, instead opting to control my content through podcasts and my iPod. I even got rid of satellite radio because I felt it wasn't worth it with free internet radio and apps like iHeartRadio.
We treat our news and social media the same way. We can follow certain celebrities on Twitter, set up Google alerts, choose which friends to follow or block on Facebook, and subscribe to our favorite blogs (hint, hint). And now, we can control our real estate news in a similar way.
With the introduction of The News Funnel, we can customize the real estate news that shows up on our screen and in our inbox. The site allows users to set up preferences for the types of news they are interested in, the geography of interest and even provides the ability to follow companies who have set up news channels. It gives the user the their customized news and press released in their personal funnels. Pretty cool...and free too.
In the interest of full disclosure, The News Funnel was founded by one of my closest friends, Michael Beckerman, and I have made a very small investment in the site. However, Michael isn't interested in just delivering the news to users. The goal of the site is to change the way the real estate industry thinks about the news. In many ways, we are in the dark ages. We pass along news word of mouth and read each other's press releases. It's a model that worked when we still received our news from newspapers and industry magazines.
With the ability to deliver news directly to users who have expressed an interest in receiving it, we should be pushing our news, market reports and other content out faster and more often. Right? Shouldn't we be spending more time and effort developing better content since we know it will end up going to people who actually want to read it? The site can give me what I want. It can give it to me now. But without companies and writers putting their content out there, the site can't direct articles to my funnel.
With more features coming in the near future, The News Funnel is sure add value to those that crave information, myself included. However, we need our industry leaders to step up and start giving us better content. I don't want to see the same press releases over and over about how Landlord A is pleased to announce that Tenant B leased X amount of space in Y building and was represented by Z broker. What I want is the CEO of that landlord to blog about the deal, why it was important and how they got it done. If Mitch Hersh, Steve Pozycki or Joe Taylor had a blog, who would read it? Show of hands? Now that's stuff worth reading...and I want it now!