Friday Flash: Chains, whispers and the Night Train

Yesterday, online real estate stocks popped like a bottle of champagne uncorked above a Las Vegas dance floor. As I write, the combined market cap of Zillow, Move and Trulia is $5.9 billion.

Party. All. Night. Long.

Will it last? Is everybody just drunk? I have no idea. But I am glad it’s happening.

Whether you love or loathe these companies, they do act as a catalyst for innovation and change. And if you’re a good broker, a good agent, or a good software provider, that’ll probably work out well for you in the long term. [see disclosure below] got “unchained” last week.

I believe this is a good thing. But honestly, there’s not much more to say here. The ball is in Move’s court. I hope they run with it.

As an insidery side note, I will give props to NAR for keeping things so hush-hush that even Vendor Alley was left wondering what was going to go down in Chicago.

Redfin released something they’re calling Price Whisperer that allows sellers to “test” a price for their home with buyers. As a seller, you give Redfin some photos of your place and the price you’d like to get, and they send it out to buyers in your area to get feedback.

The company is positioning this as a friendly way to help people make a big decision. But basically, it is a lead-gen play for a company that needs more sell-side business. A smart one.

Considered more broadly, we might discern here, faintly, the outlines of something larger: a parallel transaction universe that bypasses the traditional channels like the Interstate system bypassed small-town America.

The number of pocket listings is increasing. Applications like BuyerMLS that pool a company’s buyers make it easier to get deals done faster within a brokerage.

Now this. Capture a seller lead and “test” their price with your own registered buyers. Before you know it, the deal is done. No muss, no fuss, no MLS, no open house, no Trulia, no Zillow.


I’ve been working really hard lately. You probably have too.

So close your eyes for a moment and imagine you are standing in a dark field, alone.

Then this thing rolls up.

I dunno, it got me out of my inbox for a couple minutes…

Now back to work.


[Disclosure: 1000WATT has provided services to Move, Inc., which owns]