Bidding Wars in the Suburbs

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Last week the NY Times published an article on the latest trend to hit the NYC suburbs: bidding wars.  From the article:

The bidding wars that have become the norm in New York City are now also common in select suburbs within easy commuting distance. Buyers priced out of the city are heading for the ’burbs, driving up demand and creating a more fraught buying process in close-in towns that have long enjoyed reputations for good school systems, lively downtowns and ready access to the city.

“The city is this pot of water that’s spilling over on the sides, and that excess demand is going to the suburbs,” said Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel, a New York appraisal and research firm. “It’s all being driven by the lack of affordability.”

Given the increased demand for suburban homes in the NYC area, this trend is hardly a surprise. But how to best ensure you get the best home, in the right town, for an affordable price? We’re hoping that the tools we provide at PicketFencer – including robust town listings, powerful search tools, and concierge recommendations –  can help be part of the solution.

PicketFencer graduates from Founder Institute

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One of the great experiences we’ve had building PicketFencer is our time at the Founder Institute, which bills itself as “the world’s premier startup launch program for talented entrepreneurs.” Over the course of the program, I’ve had the privilege to work with an impressive array of start-up mentors, who have offered invaluable aid in getting PicketFencer off the ground.

We’ve definitely learned a ton, as the program helps participants walk through all the key steps of building a tech business, including customer development, product development, marketing, team-building, and fundraising. If I had to boil down all the lessons we’ve learned to just two, though, here’s the two I would pick:

  • As a start-up, the only advantage you have over your competitors is speed. It’s imperative to move fast, learn quickly, and get products out in front of real customers immediately. Too much dawdling over getting things perfect is a killer.
  • You need to understand, and then laser focus on, the key drivers of your business. What are the metrics of user behavior that will drive your success? If you don’t know, you are setting yourself up for failure.

The graduation ceremony for our FI cohort is happening this Wednesday, and I’m proud to say PicketFencer is one of 12 graduates (out of a cohort that started with almost 30 participants). We plan to continue to work with FI for the long haul and would recommend the program to others looking for help getting their companies off the ground