If You’re Gonna Relocate To San Francisco, Now You Know A “Best” Blog To Help You

Much to our surprise, we popped up on Relocation.com as one of the “Best Real Estate Blogs In San Francisco”.

We love a good review and you know we’re sharing it with you, so tell your friends:

The Front Steps from Alex Clark [that's me!] is a great guide to San Francisco real estate, including market observations, interesting tidbits on the city itself, nice photography and a snarky style that makes for interesting reading.

This is definitely not your typical real estate agent blog – and we can be thankful for that [Amen!].

Sometimes agents can take the blog thing a little too seriously and never dare show a little leg when writing. Clark has no problem with that. His walkabout category is a particularly fun and insightful read.

Lively comments section as well. It’s the kind of blog I’d read just to see what’s going on San Francisco real estate wise, even if I wasn’t moving there.

We’ll take it! And we thank relocation.com for the kind words. We do tend to be a bit snarky, but at least now I can tell my mom it’s paying off!

-Press release about the best San Francisco real estate blogs too
-Yahoo Finance PR page

Subscribe To theFrontSteps, So You Don’t Miss A Thing

Please Enter Your Email To Receive Real Estate Updates Via Email

Just because we’re not here on the blog posting daily, doesn’t mean we’re not out there hustling real estate. There are many ways to keep up on little tidbits here and there: Twitter Tweets; sfnewsletter; and less and less frequently Tour de San Francisco (real estate); but THE BEST way to know when new content is posted on this here magical, mystery site is to subscribe to our feed either in your feed reader, or via email notification.

Real estate always comes in waves of busy and not so busy, and just as soon as we’re not so busy, we’ll be back to normal programming. So that you don’t miss when that day comes, please take a second and SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CONTENT VIA EMAIL so you receive posts hot off the presses.


Alex (the editor/Realtor)

Welcome to our new site!

Welcome to the new look of theFrontSteps. Although I was hoping to change the site up completely, I learned a lot from my attempt on .ORG to steer me into keeping things very much the same, but changing servers to allow more flexibility on future features, posts, and anything else.

The first thing I have to say is a HUGE shout out and thank you to Reggie Nicolay at My Tech Opinion. Without his help, it’d be another couple weeks before we were able to go “live”. Do me a favor and click through to his site and check out all that they do.

A major change you’ll notice…advertisements. Click some ads and help me put shoes on my kids’ feet, and food on the table…can’t say that. (After all I am a Realtor and if you haven’t noticed the market is in the toilet, so they’re telling me, but I still haven’t seen it.)

The site is still technically under construction and there are a lot of little things that still need to be done. So don’t be surprised if you run into a bug from time to time, and please don’t hesitate to let me know (thefrontsteps@gmail.com).

That’s it. I hope you like it. I hope you come back. And I hope you tell all of your friends and family. Now if you’ll excuse me, after all of this, I need a cocktail!

Mac it is…learning (and vacation) begins

Getting to know the San Francisco real estate market is (relatively) easy, getting to know a new iMac is something altogether daunting. Have no fear, I will prevail and theFrontSteps will be running at full speed come August 25th or so.

Yup, I bought a new iMac, this one to be exact, and there is lots to learn and lots to set up (particularly the annoying little MLS not working on Safari thing), and I (alex) am leaving on vacation… proper vaction. I expect Fluj will do some posts while I’m away, so go easy on the guy, have fun, be civil, and thanks for all the great tips on what to buy when it comes to a Mac. (I got the iPhone too, and will certainly be setting up blog posting from it, so that will be cool.)

Summertime…….. and I’m outta here!

(p.s. Don’t be surprised if I do a post here and there, so make sure to either subscribe to theFrontSteps via email, or set up your RSS feed so you’ll know when new content is on the site.)

(p.p.s. I might be on Twitter tweeting, so feel free to check that out if you can’t resist.)

Horn tooting! theFrontSteps gets accolades (yet again)

Nobody likes a jumpclaimer, especially in these here parts, but every now and then you gotta toot your own horn.

Just as soon as The Registry gets their newest edition up and running online, we’ll link to it, but for now, this is what was said in a recent column “Navigating the Bay Area Real Estate Blogosphere”, where they took a look at (IMO) the best of the local real estate blogs (save for a few):

The Front Steps

Founded and maintained by Realtor Alex Clark, who also writes an independent real estate newsletter (sfnewsletter.com) and a column for the San Francisco Examiner, The Front Steps is a down-to-earth perspective on the San Francisco real estate market. It hosts a variety of features-informative charts, graphs and photos-as well as entries on crime waves in certain areas or debates between Realtors on housing inventory. The blog stays San Francisco-based, which endows endless information for anyone who lives in the city or aspires to do so. The blog provides tremendous data on the market and should be on any professional’s and serious market insider’s watch list.

No…they were not paid or wooed into writing that. But we’ll take it.

Definition of jumpclaimer: Somebody who always points out their best tricks.

What’s up with the silence?

As many of you know, this little San Francisco Real Estate blog (not so little anymore) is a hobby. My main focus is still selling real estate in San Francisco and making sfnewsletter the best it can be. I’m currently working with many clients, as well as enjoying seeing sfnewsletter take off, not to mention we’re in the process of developing a new theFrontSteps. So hang tight, and we’ll be back to normal (new) programming before you know it.


Alex Clark (the editor)

p.s. We’ll still be posting during all of this, but on a less voluminous scale.

Our new comment policy

Take note: comments are no longer moderated.

You can view our new, elaborate, multi-paged, legal document here.

Essentially, “as of 1/16/2008 comments will no longer be moderated. You are free to say whatever you like. We will be reading and watching, but if you get into a heated discussion with someone, be prepared to defend yourself and certainly don’t ask us to take care of it. You’re all grown ups (so we assume), so try to keep things civil, have fun, and share insight.

If you have a story or tip you’d like published to the front page of our site, please send it here. Otherwise, we wish you healthy discussions, and arguments. Please don’t turn this into a Craigslist Housing Forum.


Alex Clark (the editor)

We Made the Papers! But I must add…

Maybe my interview that ran in this article on SFGate, which will also be in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle, wasn’t necessarily the best spin on what I actually said over the 45 minute conversation with Carol, but a little publicity is always good, and Carol does, for the most part, do a very good job reporting on the market and its idiosyncracies, and I thank her for it. However, there are a few things I must add based off of a lot of emails, and all the comments I’ve read around the internet regarding that column.

Yes, I firmly believe the market is still good, but nowhere in that very sentence or article did the words, “it’s always a good time to buy” come out of my mouth, so don’t jump to that conclusion about “all Realtors”. If you’d read the “walk down Lake Street” in its entirety, you would have seen it does represent what is happening in our market…some properties are selling quickly with multiple offers, some are getting stale, and some have had multiple price reductions and still not sold, and that is in a prime area like Lake St. That is what’s happening now, and you’ll never, ever, ever see me predict where things are going. I have no idea, nobody does, but if things continue the way they are, the future doesn’t look all that gloomy. However, to call my mood about the market “cheery” is a stretch, to say the least, but I’m cool with it Carol, really, I am.

Realtor haters (I read the comments on the SFGate article and get a fair bit of your animosity via email and in the comments, so I know you’re out there)… I’m determined to show you that what comes out of this site and the sfnewsletter is not Realtor talk and is truly the most accurate picture of what is happening in this market. By “this market”, I mean San Francisco. If you think all Realtors are created equal, you are so wrong. Any Realtor worth their weight would likely tell you the majority of their business comes from referrals, and you don’t get referrals if you do a shitty job. Continue reading

Redfin reboots, or at least adds a SF Bay Area Page

This is all it really takes to get on our good side, and get us to check out a site…again, “We added you to our real estate blog links because we think your site is a great place for people to read up on the SF real estate market.-Redfin” That and cocktails at any reputable watering hole in the city is a straight shot to our heart.


All joking aside (on second cocktail now), Redfin’s new SF site is pretty slick. Will it help them make more sales in San Francisco? We’re not quite sure, but the site is loaded with information like new listings, neighborhood data, school information (not that it really matters in San Francisco), restaurants, grocery stores, a Forum, and on and on.

Overall, we’d give the site a thumbs up for ease of use, wiz bang features, and general data mashing goodness.

However, they use Zillow for property estimates. In case you didn’t know, Zillow is just a big marketing machine that keeps churning out garbage that really doesn’t help or effect San Francisco and our market. We think Redfin would be better off having a “contact us for an accurate property estimate of this home” button instead of using Zillow. Capture that lead, don’t send them to Zillow. Better yet, direct them to us! (Sorry, had to throw that one in there.) Go check it out.

-Full disclosure: this is in no way shape or form a paid post. Not yet anyway. Depends on what kind of tab we can run up at the bar.

-Redfin [website]

-60 Minuets, $60 billion, and one Redfin lurking in the waters [theFrontSteps]

-Redfin Drowning in Red [theFrontSteps]

-It’s for sale, I saw it first! [theFrontSteps]

-John Colins Cocktails [website]

Comment du jour: “…crap du jour on socketsite?”

This “comment du jour” by “James” was too good to pass up:

Is it me or are the comments and posters on here so much more valuable than the crap du jour on socketsite?

As Kenny said in his reply, “Totally…I feel like the point of this blog site is to try to make sense of the market, and not to TELL YOU what’s going on. That’s huge.”

I don’t know the answer to the question, but I know Kenny provided a good reply. The point here is to make sense of, educate on, and learn how to gauge this market, but also help our readers get in or out of the game of real estate. It is not to be the “anti-socketsite”, as I think SocketSite does, in fact, provide some good insight. However, real estate is a complicated game, and to be told what the market is doing by someone not actively in it (from what we can tell) is…well… a joke. You might as well take real estate tips from the Enquirer. And if you’re a Realtor, you sure as hell shouldn’t be supporting, or providing information to, a site that at one time had FSBO as a goal, clearly supports a crashing market, and freely distributes (read: poaches) information that we all pay for (think MLS), without being a member himself. But I guess some Realtors will do anything for a bit of attention now won’t they? And that’s a whole different discussion.

That’s my two cents. Thanks for the comments, and thanks for reading! Now if you just un-plug from that socket, your lights might shine a bit more brightly, we can all move on, and not have to go over this topic again.

p.s. Hi Adam.

Commenting on our blog

[Update 8/13/07 9:22 a.m.: All filtering, link blocking, black list word catching...everything, has been turned off. WordPress has been notified, and we are not posting any new content until the commenting is fixed. Thank you for your patience.]

We thought this important enough to put up on the front page. A reader just recently commented:

Why does this blog quarantine all commentary? It will never take off with this type of style.

Our answer was/is this, should your comments not show up immediately.

We don’t quarantine anything.We do, however, use wordpress.com and they have spam filters set up and some comments do end up in spam, but we’re usually able to see them and release them asap. We do “edit” some comments that are direct attacks on other readers and really don’t lend to the conversation/discussion at hand, and we show where we took those out. For the most part, we’re very lenient and very open to all comments, and generally try to leave everything untouched.

If you try to put more than 2 links in your comments, it will get blocked initially, but after we read it, it will be released. Other than that, don’t use the words cialis, viagra, sex, cheap OEM software, etc., and you should be good to go.

If you ever have trouble posting a comment please send us an email to thefrontsteps@gmail.com, describing what kind of troubles you experienced posting comments so that we can try to fix it.

We apologize now if your comments do not show up immediately. If it becomes as much of an issue as it appears to be, we will switch from wordpress to another host.


alex (the editor)