had an in-depth letter about another company similar to Here.co all tee'd up for today, but that will have to wait. We've got some fresh, odd information to make sense of.

  • 37% of US small business were short on their October rent payment. 
  • Opendoor is in big trouble, which will inevitably affect home prices.

There was quite a bit in the news cycle this week; from Elon's twitter takeover fiasco, to the World Series market crash predictions.

To me, those big headline stories (which seem to always compound during an election cycle) are just trees. Mostly distracting trees, in my opinion. In my world, with real estate stuff, I feel like I'm always struggling to zoom out and see the forest: to catch those big shifts in the undercurrent of the industry.

The dead cat that has been suspended in mid-air since we hit the lockdown button is about to hit the pavement again, hard, I'm afraid.

I was talking to my buddy Chuck this week about the fact that 37% of all small businesses in America couldn't make their full rent payment in October; up 7% from last month. As you might've guessed, for restaurants and after-school tutoring centers, that number was well over 50%. 

America's Hat (Canada) is faring even worse, creeping up on 1 in 2 small business tenants being in rent delinquency. 

Wait, didn't big corporations put all the little guys out of business? Why is this news?

Not even close. Small businesses still employ about half the of US population, so the idea that a huge chunk of these employers are (presumably) about to hit a "lockdown" button of their own, which will undoubtedly include mass layoffs, is of great concern. 

In all this, it seems like at least one outcome will be a further consolidation of price/supply controls, by way of replacing mom-and-pop shops with multi-national chains, and a reduction in both consumer choice and product quality, quietly shuffled into the deck in the hopes nobody complains too much. Congratulations, Blackrock!

Moving on...

Opendoor, who could be seen a year ago bragging about embarking on a $9 billion home-buying spree after the utter failure of their Zillow rival, is now feeling the hurt.

For some perspective, Opendoor sold 8,520 homes in the last 90 days and took a $982 million dollar bath. Yes, they had a net loss of almost a billion dollars. 

Just like the way Zillow Offers was behaving right before they imploded, Opendoor seems to have taken on the attitude that it's better to offload their product now at a loss, than wait around for some short-term uptick.

If all the "wicked smaht" analysts over at Opendoor have this outlook, and the numbers are in on many small businesses probably not recovering from this year, I have to then ask myself, is the forest on fire? ....and am I unaware of the seriousness because I'm choosing to only look at a small thicket of "still green" trees that the fire hasn't reached yet?

Anything you've seen recently that's helping you "see the forest for the trees"?

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