Rajesh writes in to point out an article about an online service that wants to charge people $25 to have them send an unsolicited offer on any home you're interested in buying that isn't currently for sale. Rajesh calls it spam, and notes that the system actually encourages you to send out more unsolicited offers, since there are discounts for bulk mailings. However, it is pretty expensive compared to traditional spam -- especially with the relatively high cost per contact (compared to the ability to, you know, drop a note in their mailbox for free). What may be more worrisome (beyond the fact that the glut of homes on the market these days probably makes the service almost entirely unnecessary) is that the company admits its real business model is to hand over its database of info to real estate agents -- who will spam you. They will only do this for users who check off that they're interested, but if that's where the company makes its money, expect many easy opportunities to "opt in." As for the glut in the housing market these days, the company claims that it's not worried since it's building its service "for many years to come." That sounds nice, of course, but for that to happen you actually have to make it through the first few years.
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