If You Want To Know Your Neighborhood, You're Best Off Going Online

from the ask-the-net dept

As Steve Levitt explains in Freakonomics, the primary power held by real estate agents is their control over information. Bizarrely, he compares them to the Ku Klux Klan (because they also derived their power from information), which is an absurd overstatement that seems mainly aimed at hitting readers on an emotional level. Nonetheless, the point is valid, which is why real estate agents fear the potential for the web to circumvent their control on real estate information. Recently, real estate site Zillow introduced a new offering to provide prospective buyers more information about their communities, while another site, StreetAdvisors, is introducing more tools to deliver the same thing. These have the potential to be significant, since real estate agents are limited legally in what they can say about a neighborhood. Seeing as this is crucial stuff for prospective buyers or renters, knowing that this information is available on the web but not through their agent will only hasten the industry’s shift towards the web.

Filed Under:
Companies: streetadvisors, zillow

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Comments on “If You Want To Know Your Neighborhood, You're Best Off Going Online”

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CricketSoda (user link) says:

Crime Maps

My city (Denton, TX) offers an online crime map. So if you are buying a home you can go online and see all the crimes that have happened in the neighborhood. A blue little dot marks the spot. You can click, and it tells you the date and crime, and has a list on each house that goes back several years.

I admit it is fun to look at, but if I wanted to sell my house I would hope that most people interested wouldn’t check out the map of my neighborhood.

Eliot (user link) says:

Localized Real Estate

I personally welcome it, being a Realtor mysel. My business is all about my neighborhood. My website, is specifically geared towards listings only located in the same neighborhood.

The issue at hand isn’t information about the ‘hood, but more about the professional advise, expertise, hand holding and geographic knowledge a Realtor will have vs what Zillow, or RedFin can provide.

RedFin can help you buy a house in that specific neighborhood, sure but they can’t tell you why they people are moving. Or who the neighbors are, or (in my case) Mr. Ed, and Francis the Talking Mule lived in the Barn in the backyard.

Its the Realtors job to know the area they specialize in.

ikey Benney, On Impact Of The Web On Real Estate M (user link) says:

If You Want To Know Your Neighborhood


The internet has made a tremendous impact on almost every industry, including the Real estate market.

Yes, the Real estate industry has no choice but to shift to the internet because it is more convenient and faster researching a real estate deal online than offline.

Ikey Benney

matt says:

internet is used as tool not feared

Savvy Realtors use the web to their advantage and don’t fear it. Mobile email, online MLS, the ability to find, solicit, and track clients, company websites and the like have enabled Realtors to accomplish more and offer better service to clients. Real estate websites on a grand scale IE RedFin and Zillow will never be a substitute of equal quality to a local experienced Realtor.

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