Scads of aggregators and media companies emerge collecting listings and building bigger, cooler, flashier search sites.
Brokers get on board.
Had anyone Nostradamused this 12 years ago, they would have been stapled to a yard sign and burned as a heretic.
There’s a reason why these sites have won broker favor and get all the traffic they do. Spend some time on Zillow. The thing is, you can. There, you will be entertained. Educated. Impressed. Spoken too in ways most of the industry has yet to figure out.
For the naysayers and non believers, and those who still take arms against these search sites, well, you’re surely missing the point: These "outsiders" are probably doing more right now than any "insider" to keep the fires of interest in real estate stoked.
It’s agreed – the only reason these sites even exist is because they have been given access to broker property. Today, listings are like air. MLS listings, foreclosure listings, FSBO sites, teardown listings. The challenge for the aggregators will soon be all about who can build the most compelling user experience.
"Is this bad for sellers?" was a question I was asked today by a broker via email. I can’t imagine why. If you were selling a house, would you be satisfied if your home were only marketed on a poorly functioning, old looking, self indulgent, broker/agent website? I doubt it.
Okay, so listings are now ubiquitous. That holy grail is gone. Does this spell doom for real estate practitioners? I doubt it. As I poke holes into the future and squint, hoping to grab a glimpse of what’s out there, I honestly do not see a time when homeowners will ever want to handle the rest of the transaction on their own. The need for a skilled real estate practitioner is, as I see it, forever.
If I were a broker, I’d be getting out my bucket of opportunity and start packing as much sand into it as I can and begin building a new castle for tomorrow.
I’d start with a full brand analysis.
I’d make a list of every touch point.
I’d attack each one. Fom the brandmark to the agents who work in my office and everything in between.
I’d make sure that there’s a truth behind every claim, an experience behind every promise.
I’d make sure the every one of my agents is a brand messenger.
I’d make sure that my brand comes to life by what others think of it.
Listings? Set them free. Cling to that which you can really build on: Your brand.