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Can anyone introduce me to venture capitalists?


By Patrick   Follow   Sat, 2 Feb 2013, 4:27am PST   4,139 views   75 comments
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Can any readers introduce me to venture capitalists in Menlo Park or Palo Alto?

I've had so many ideas for businesses that actually help buyers, and I'd like to discuss them with a VC.

You could reply here, or just email p@patrick.net

Thanks!

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Patrick   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 2:47am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 36

PockyClipsNow says

After all these years he never even bothered to try BEING an agent.

It's not that I didn't bother, it's that this whole site is driven by disgust for how our agent system works. It's corrupt from the ground up. Why would I want to be part of that?

PockyClipsNow   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 3:42am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 37

I get it man. I used to also be disgusted by the 6% commisions for seemingly a few hours work. So i infiltrated 'the enemy' got a license attached to a broker took their 3 week sales training class. Used licesnse to get one referral fee, two commissions. Invaluable education. I did it i know all the fees, laws, secrets and the business model. Its actually hard work. Dominated by bored house wives doing 2 deals a year.

Anyway now i respect how hard it is driving looky loo buyers around who end up waiting a year or bad credit cant get loan.

Since you never bothered to cross the enemy lines and check out thier shit first hand that makes your opinions uneducated and you have zero experience to even form one. Everyone thinks everyone else is overpaid and loves to run mouth about it. Like the 'overpaid lazy teachers' meme , i tried teaching in public school and quit that asap - way too hard, endless hassles!

I believe you gotta walk a mile in a mans shoes before you can slam him. I didnt used to think that. It is fun to complain though but its counter productive to making money and banging hot chicks. Look at roberto hes got it ALL figured out. Gov job w/pension, also a realtor, and millionaire landlord. All those jobs are easier than luanching a winner dot com.

Biff Baxter   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 5:23am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 38

Patrick says

It's corrupt from the ground up. Why would I want to be part of that?

Don't be a part of it. Infiltrate it in order to provide a viable alternative. Never hold an open house or wear a mustard yellow jacket. Provide a service on the web that undercuts the shitheads. The idea that taking a class and getting a piece of paper makes you one of them is frankly fucking stupid. The idea that you are on the buyer's side is also fucking stupid. At some point we are all buyers and sellers. Protect the buyers and sellers from the shithead realtors and their monopolistic system. Your logic is so flawed it's almost amazing.

PockyClipsNow says

I believe you gotta walk a mile in a mans shoes before you can slam him.

Not if they are constantly lying to you and it is obvious. I don't have to be a scumbag to know a scumbag is bad.

PockyClipsNow says

Look at roberto hes got it ALL figured out.

You have got to be kidding me. You have got to be fucking kidding me.

Biff

PockyClipsNow   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 6:33am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 39

Wtf biff are you a communist? People here are free to enter into a contract to buy or sell things such as real estate. Or u can FSBO. Its basic freedom stuff.

Patrick   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 7:03am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 40

PockyClipsNow says

I get it man. I used to also be disgusted by the 6% commisions for seemingly a few hours work.

That's not it. I would admire someone who could honestly earn a lot of money in a short amount of time.

What I object to is the inherent incentive to betray the client. The buyer's own agent has a huge financial incentive to work against the buyer. Your agent wants you to overbid as much as possible so that he can quickly get that commission out of you. Screw your future, he wants his money, ASAP.

Horrible model. Could hardly be worse. And our laws are systematically corrupted by realtors in government (the DRE's) who do everything they can to make alternative models illegal.

PockyClipsNow   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 8:00am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 41

Ok i see. But 95% of the population uses agents and most think its ok.
IMO people overpaying by a bit isnt the biggest wrong in the us. If i were to choose a hopeless cause to waste time on it would be to end the war on drugs its the new slavery. Get caught with weed in TX and you might do ten years on a chain gang. (But its equal opportunity slavery so its considered ok)

Anyway i dont see a way to make money off non transaction. The duscount agents been around forever. Flatfeemls, sell for .5% etc. so wats left?

PockyClipsNow   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 8:39am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 42

I can beat your pamplhet with one sentence (for buying):

-->Let selling agent double dip, move into new home.

Been saying it for years. Done it also.

PockyClipsNow   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 8:57am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 43

True but this advice is for winning bidding war. Also note most defects in CA are a tiny percent of home value. Anyway thats the inspectors job not the agent.

Patrick   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 9:54am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 44

robertoaribas says

Agents want the deal to close, period... and that may not always be in the buyer's best interest, but NOBODY thinks "hey if they overpay by $10,000 I'll make an extra $300!!! woot woot"

You're right that the agent doesn't care much about the extra $300.

But he cares a lot about getting a commission.

So his motive is to encourage his client to wildly overbid, because if there is no sale, there is no commission. Now do you see the conflict?

Patrick   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 10:10am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 45

robertoaribas says

PockyClipsNow says

I can beat your pamplhet with one sentence (for buying):

-->Let selling agent double dip, move into new home.

Been saying it for years. Done it also.

real bad advice. the selling agent in that case will NEVER tell you if it is a bad deal.

What? Are you questioning the integrity of real estate agents?

B.A.C.A.H.   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 10:39am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 46

Biff Baxter says

Don't be a part of it. Infiltrate it in order to provide a viable alternative. Never hold an open house or wear a mustard yellow jacket. Provide a service on the web that undercuts the shitheads. The idea that taking a class and getting a piece of paper makes you one of them is frankly fucking stupid.

Last week I saw a show about the Godfather series, reminded me about "keep your enemies closer".

B.A.C.A.H.   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 10:41am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 47

I just dunno about that. I'd be paranoid that the VC's would politely listen, maybe ask for copies of your stuff, promise to get back to you. Then, if they thought the idea(s) may be lucrative, pass them along to businesses they already have equity in. Maybe it's just me, being paranoid like that.

B.A.C.A.H.   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 10:44am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 48

Patrick says

What I object to is the inherent incentive to betray the client. The buyer's own agent has a huge financial incentive to work against the buyer. Your agent wants you to overbid as much as possible so that he can quickly get that commission out of you. Screw your future, he wants his money, ASAP.

Horrible model.

True. What happened to "buyer beware"?

David Losh   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 10:46am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 49

Patrick says

Are you questioning the integrity of real estate agents?

I would have never phrased it like Roberto did, because that isn't true.

The listing agent has a ton of liability if they write both sides, and it's best to be as honest as possible.

People also sue Brokerages for many petty reasons, and in this day of blogs, they can bury you with negativity.

David Losh   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 10:53am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 50

Patrick says

What I object to is the inherent incentive to betray the client.

What incentive would a Real Estate agent have to betray a client?

The Real Estate commission of 3% on a sale of $500K is $15K.

Wow!

You're saying, the same as most people say, that the Real Estate agent only needs to do four deals to make $60K per year.

The problem is that the agent has to build a pipeline of Real Estate tranasctions to keep that income. That takes work, and trust.

Sure, if you are dealing with your uncle Mel, or a bored housewife, it could happen that you got less than you paid for, but why would you hire them?

thomaswong.1986   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 11:18am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 51

B.A.C.A.H. says

Maybe it's just me, being paranoid like that.

actually very true, these things do actually happen.

Patrick   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 12:19pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 52

It's not the worst thing that could happen. At least I would have had some influence in favor of buyers.

mell   Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 12:36pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 53

Why don't we put middle-men in between buying/selling all kinds of things. maybe a car-agent, a jewelry-agent etc., anytime something expensive is being sold they could get a cut for buying/selling something out of their pipeline! And we could have the national association of car-people (tm) and a bunch of other associations! That would create a whole new industry and lots of jobs and there are not enough special interest associations on capitol hill yet! That + printing money = Winning!

PockyClipsNow   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 2:57am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 54

mell says

Why don't we put middle-men in between buying/selling all kinds of things. maybe a car-agent, a jewelry-agent etc., anytime something expensive is being sold they could get a cut for buying/selling something out of their pipeline! And we could have the national association of car-people (tm) and a bunch of other associations! That would create a whole new industry and lots of jobs and there are not enough special interest associations on capitol hill yet! That + printing money = Winning!

This is the way things are headed. They have tried to outlaw fsbo for homes in the recent past. One day they will succeed. There is no way to stop large organized people who are well funded when there is basically almost zero opposition.

curious2   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 5:26am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 55

PBS ran three fascinating films on Silicon Valley recently, including "Something Ventured" about local VC firms:

http://www.sfgate.com/tv/article/3-PBS-films-on-Silicon-Valley-4247528.php

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Something-Ventured-tells-story-of-tech-investors-2374565.php

Here is a trailer:

A few points stand out. Some VCs say the business plan is nearly irrelevant, because everything changes anyway; other investors pay more attention to it especially if they can project the numbers themselves. Some say they have to dispense with the founders within the first two years, while others say they hate firing people and try to avoid that sort of deal. They take a lot of chances, maybe 10% success rate, but they especially enjoy the successes where they do good in addition to doing well. They don't make their work look easy, and they don't pretend to be infallible, in fact they point out some real blunders. The best deals tend to involve strategic investors, e.g. the VC firm that funded Atari included an investor who was a buyer for Sears and could put Atari devices onto Sears shelves in time for Christmas.

Patrick   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 11:51am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 56

robertoaribas says

PockyClipsNow says

They have tried to outlaw fsbo for homes in the recent past.

total bs. no law has ever been made to prevent for sale by owner.

Actually, it is true. The California DRE tried to prevent FSBO.com from operating, claiming that they were an unlicensed brokerage.

Freedom of speech means nothing to the DRE.

http://www.patrick.net/?p=1215664

David Losh   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 12:13pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 57

mell says

Why don't we put middle-men in between buying/selling all kinds of things

We already have that.

The reason things cost so much is there are fingers in every pie, and hands stretched out for the kick backs.

I say banks are the biggest middle men, because nowadays every thing is financed from production to sales.

JodyChunder   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 12:54pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 58

PockyClipsNow says

Anyway now i respect how hard it is driving looky loo buyers around who end up waiting a year or bad credit cant get loan.

Could be those looky-loos (I can't believe you're actually using their dipshit lingo) just couldn't pinch their noses or hold their breath as long as the true believers.

PockyClipsNow says

Since you never bothered to cross the enemy lines and check out thier shit first hand that makes your opinions uneducated and you have zero experience to even form one.

Yeah, because nobody's opinions about any subject outside of their immediate purview is worth jack shit. I think everyone should become a congressman before they express their disapproval for that fetid bunch of stuffed shirts, too.

PockyClipsNow says

Ok i see. But 95% of the population uses agents and most think its ok.

IF everyone is doing it, it's gotta be okay. Fuck...

Whether you side with him, I think Patrick's thesis is well-founded and his reasoning sound.

David Losh   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 1:08pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 59

JodyChunder says

I think Patrick's thesis is well-founded and his reasoning sound.

I know there are good Real Estate agents who care.

The problem I see is that people don't seek them out.

On my buying seattle dot com site I began listing good agent you could trust.

I also refer people to agents I trust for free, my past clients, and people I meet. Everyone has gone with some one else, and on two occasions this past year those people, those buyers, had bad experiences. They called me after the deal was signed around asking what to do next. I say ask the agent, and the whole BS machine starts again.

Every one is a Real Estate expert today. Every one thinks they know what they are doing, and don't want to be told what to do until they are in deep trouble.

So I think this site can give all of the great advice it wants, but buyers won't listen.

mell   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 1:15pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 60

David Losh says

mell says

Why don't we put middle-men in between buying/selling all kinds of things

We already have that.

The reason things cost so much is there are fingers in every pie, and hands stretched out for the kick backs.

I say banks are the biggest middle men, because nowadays every thing is financed from production to sales.

Sure, and I wouldn't mind paying somebody for real estate services if necessary, but it would have to be by the hour and at a reasonable rate. And voluntarily of course.

David Losh   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 1:25pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 61

mell says

it would have to be by the hour and at a reasonable rate.

It's been tried dozens of times that I can think of, but people don't want to pay.

There is a Brokerage in Seattle, run by attorneys that do a very good job, but ask for a $500 non refundable deposit.

OMG!!!

Buyers, and seller take a lot of work, once you saw the billables you'd be shocked.

mell   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 1:29pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 62

David Losh says

mell says

it would have to be by the hour and at a reasonable rate.

It's been tried dozens of times that I can think of, but people don't want to pay.

There is a Brokerage in Seattle, run by attorneys that do a very good job, but ask for a $500 non refundable deposit.

OMG!!!

Buyers, and seller take a lot of work, once you saw the billables you'd be shocked.

How did that work? You'd pay them by the hour but there would be no commissions at point of sale? How much was the average total bill in relation to the price of the property? Also, does non-refundable deposit mean they keep the initial $500 if they cannot find a house for you that you want?

David Losh   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 1:53pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 63

WALAW is a discount Brokerage, but also attorneys: http://walawrealty.com/

They are the ones that charge a non refundable fee.

There was a Broker here in Seattle Michelle Martineau who designed a menu of buyer, and seller services, and I think at the time it was based on $60 per hour. It never got off the ground because, buyers are liars, and sellers are worse.

People burnt up her time then balked at the bill.

Other people have tried to build on her idea, but it really comes down to what kind of commission discount the agent will give to retain the client.

The reason commissions are so high, and I know you have heard this before, is that people shop around for an agent, and leave a trail of hurt feelings behind. Every one is looking for that good deal, and usually end up with the sales person who tells them what they want to hear.

mell   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 2:18pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 64

That looks interesting and is a start, but still somewhat pricey. Now, legal services have their price, but I would separate that from services to scout and show potential properties. I think it should be a low hourly fee that is non-refundable with a very low initial "starter" fee to try out for a limited amount of hours until the regular fee kicks in, so no feelings hurt.

One should be able to figure out soon enough whether they like the service or not and maybe burn a couple of hundred $$ absolute max. Once they zeroed in on a property, somebody else could take over all the legal stuff or it could be done by the same person.

Or, somebody may offer their services at a fixed price for a limited or unlimited amount of time. I still would like to see the commission gone on the buyer side, or lowered significantly.

JodyChunder   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 2:31pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 65

robertoaribas says

I can tutor math for $30 an hour whenever I feel, and not waste the gas!

I'd take playing Pythagoras over Babbit any day of the week!

mell   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 2:38pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 66

robertoaribas says

mell says

I think it should be a low hourly fee that is non-refundable with a very low initial "starter" fee to try out for a limited amount of hours until the regular fee kicks in, so no feelings hurt.

and yet, strangely, I don't feel like driving a client around under those terms... go figure! I can tutor math for $30 an hour whenever I feel, and not waste the gas!

Sure, maybe not everybody realtor could tutor math though. And I think people would be willing to pay significantly more for better service and they would provide good references for future clients. For example there is a similar situation in the SF/bay area where the Cab companies/unions tightly control the market, limit the amount of cabs and sue competitors while providing extremely shitty service and regularly piss off most of their customers. Luckily some companies (such as Uber-cab) have emerged and provide much better service for 150%-200% of the standard fare and they have been doing well so far, but they are limited by "regulations" in how much market-share they can capture. So, I don't buy the notion that customers would just shop around eternally for the cheapest service without committing if they were satisfied with their agent so far.

Biff Baxter   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 3:16pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 67

Here's a thought for a money maker. Charge $50 to kill a thread. For $50, a subscriber can completley delete a thread. I've got my credit card ready.

Biff

Biff Baxter   Thu, 7 Feb 2013, 3:17pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 68

And for $100, you could insult another user. I'd pay $200 to shit on Roberto. I'd bet that there are several VCs who would pay handsomely to flush their plumbing on that dude.

Biff

lostand confused   Fri, 8 Feb 2013, 12:04am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 69

Biff Baxter says

And for $100, you could insult another user. I'd pay $200 to shit on Roberto. I'd bet that there are several VCs who would pay handsomely to flush their plumbing on that dude.


Biff

You are into some freaky stuff, dude/dudette.

David Losh   Fri, 8 Feb 2013, 12:10am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 70

mell says

I don't buy the notion that customers would just shop around eternally for the cheapest service without committing if they were satisfied with their agent so far.

Buying the family home is a far more emotional purchase than a cab ride. People freak out all the time. They may find the perfect house, with the perfect price, just sitting there with all the time in the world to make an offer, and they freak out. They question themselves, the house, the Real Estate agent, and don't proceed.

Other times a buyer freaks out and wants to buy the first thing they see, and the agent has to talk them out of it. Yes, some agents really do care about the buyer who may make a rash decision that they regret later.

Most agent work in a pretty small area, and need a good reputation to build a business.

So on a time based payment people object to the time they don't see. They question the billable time because an agent could be working for more than one person at a time for the same property.

I used to work with about six investors, and if I saw a property that was good I would call the first guy, second, third, fourth, and so on. Over time these guys got upset because one guy had plenty of time, and would show up first, so I started calling him last, he got upset, and hired another agent. These guys would do that to me all the time, or one guy wrote up his offer with his girl friend instead of me. I arbitrated, and took her commission. He wasn't happy, but I am still his buddy, and agent, if need be.

These guys paid me because I would look at twenty properties a day, or as many as I could in a day. I sorted them by what each guy wanted, and was looking for. So no I didn't call each person for each property, but some were smoking hot deals.

These people paid me for my time, but the commissions never covered the amount of time I spent. I could look for weeks, or months before I found something that hit.

Eventually I just shopped for myself, and called guys when I had no more capacity to buy. Then they started in on "if it's such a good deal why aren't you buying it." I was tapped, but all of these guys had more resources than I did.

Real Estate is a tough business, and Real Estate sales is what most people end up with.

People hire the sales person who tells them what they want to hear.

With a time based business model you may have an agent working for months before they find what you want, they hand you the bill, and how do they get paid? What would you be paying for? What if they were just sitting in the office looking at the computer all day, and sending you the bill?

PockyClipsNow   Fri, 8 Feb 2013, 6:12am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 71

Yes if you are smart you might need to pay MORE commission not less to get good deal.

I sold one of my homes in summer 06 for peak bubble price. Well i listed it high, got no offers until i upped the buyers side commision from 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Thats like measley 6k more, but got a ton if traffic and sold house asap.

So patrick - this is one small example of why it pays to be an agent. I would never have done that if i hadnt 'laid with the beast' i woulda dropped price 40k instead. You dont know what you dont know when you refuse education.

Biff Baxter   Fri, 8 Feb 2013, 9:54am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 72

PockyClipsNow says

I would never have done that if i hadnt 'laid with the beast' i woulda dropped
price 40k instead. You dont know what you dont know when you refuse education.

I've got to admit, he does sound educated.

Biff

mell   Fri, 8 Feb 2013, 11:53am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 73

PockyClipsNow says

Yes if you are smart you might need to pay MORE commission not less to get good deal.

I sold one of my homes in summer 06 for peak bubble price. Well i listed it high, got no offers until i upped the buyers side commision from 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Thats like measley 6k more, but got a ton if traffic and sold house asap.

So patrick - this is one small example of why it pays to be an agent. I would never have done that if i hadnt 'laid with the beast' i woulda dropped price 40k instead. You dont know what you dont know when you refuse education.

You could make the same argument for an hourly rate.

mell   Fri, 8 Feb 2013, 12:00pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 74

David Losh says

Buying the family home is a far more emotional purchase than a cab ride. People freak out all the time. They may find the perfect house, with the perfect price, just sitting there with all the time in the world to make an offer, and they freak out. They question themselves, the house, the Real Estate agent, and don't proceed.

Yeah, not for me, I don't want to own a house but could be persuaded if it were a really great deal and on the lower-end side. So I can't talk for the hysteric singles/couples.

David Losh says

With a time based business model you may have an agent working for months before they find what you want, they hand you the bill, and how do they get paid? What would you be paying for? What if they were just sitting in the office looking at the computer all day, and sending you the bill?

There is plenty of people you can pay that sit around in the office most of the time - of they do a good job and justify the time spent (i.e. searching for as many matches as possible, paperwork etc.) I wouldn't care.

robertoaribas says

You spend your whole freaking lives worrying about the commission. It ain't about the commission, it is about the deal.

I can see that from the investors/landlord perspective, but not for somebody who is indifferent about it and maybe just wants to think about buying a permanent place to live. Now, back to the hysteric couples getting desperate for their "dream home", I can see that they might not care that much either as long as they can show off their new home after the commissions are paid.

David Losh   Fri, 8 Feb 2013, 11:53pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 75

mell says

I don't want to own a house but could be persuaded if it were a really great deal

My best story was of a duplex listed by a guy in my office that was way under priced. When I first saw the place I didn't go in because Real Estate agents were literally hanging out of the windows looking at the place. A week went by, with no offers. One low ball offer came in that the seller turned down, on the advice of the agent.

My buyer, looked at it and made a low ball offer. The agent called the other low ball who wasn't interested any more.

Out of the hundreds of agents that looked at the property we were the only ones with an offer in.

So, no, even investors have quirks. You never know what will hit, or what you will miss.

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