Why Real Estate Agents Have Good Reason To Fear The Web

from the marginally-useful dept

There have been a number of stories lately about real estate professionals lashing out against online real estate services like Zillow and RedFin, which are seen as threats to their traditional business. A new study done by two economics professors sheds some light on why they might be feeling embattled. In an examination of the housing market in Madison, Wisc., the pair found that homes sold using brokers did not fetch sellers any additional profits after commissions were taken out. What makes Madison interesting is that it has a thriving website of for-sale-by-owner homes, so sellers there don't have to do much legwork if they want to sell on their own. This means that real estate agents may still add value in communities where such services aren't popular, but it's value that could disappear as services like RedFin startt to take hold. Thus the agents' fear seems to have a legitimate basis, and their behavior conforms nicely to the rent-seeking tactics exemplified by similarly organized professional groups.

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  1. identicon
    Darrell Young, 8 Jun 2007 @ 10:11am

    Real Estate and the web!

    As a retired computer programmer and currently a Realtor®; I agree that Realtors® are feeling defensive. Because of my unique background, I'm also an adjunct instructor at a local community college teaching Real Estate Marketing with emphasis on the internet.

    I think there are two schools of real estate; old school, which is the typical model of "get the customer in the car, drive them around, showing them the properties that seem to match what they want" and the other, newer model of "internet centric and web focused", where the agent guides the customer using the web to eliminate the personal involvement. The Realtor still performs a valuable service in the carrying of the transaction, the opening and showing of homes and the overall marketing. In the latter, the Realtor® had better be a little more invovled in the web and have a savvy understanding of what the new real estate customer wants. My personal image is I am one of the most resourceful Realtors® in Amarillo. I provide information as my service. If you use my information, I think you'll use me in the final outcome.

    My recommendation to modern Realtors® practicing today is to get a good strong grip on current marketing trends and what customers want. Customers are getting better at discovering the value added service that the modern realtor can provide.

    Come take my class!

    Amarillo real estate customers, give me a call; let me help you out with some information you may find helpful.

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