A few more thoughts on Google Base

Since I wrote about Google Base the other day, and the subsequent comment, the more I think about this, the more I think that this may be a watershed moment for the real estate industry.

There are a lot of search engines out there, and a few that specifically do local search, i.e. yahoo, google, amazon.

How can Realtors differentiate themselves?

– By leveraging existing and emerging technologies and adapting our businesses appropriately. There is no clear way or method of how to do this – the answer changes every day.

– We use our knowledge every day; becoming an expert is a time-consuming task. Anybody can quickly learn enough to be dangerous.

This is a similar situation to that faced by other professionals:  financial advisers, lawyers – all the data is available in the public domain, but not everyone uses it every day. Professionals’ value is in how they use the information.

If I wanted to buy my own stocks, manage my IRAs, money markets, etc. I could; there will always be a market for those who want to invest their time in the most efficient manner for them. I could defend myself in court by doing the appropriate research, starting  at most likely google and nolo.com, but my time is better used elsewhere. Heck, I could probably figure out how to pull my own wisdom teeth, but I’d rather not!

Anything that raises Wal-Mart’s hackles will certainly affect the little guy … and the big guy.

It will also force Wal-Mart, and Walmart.com, to figure out how to keep customers happy beyond low prices and product selection. Wal-Mart might have the leanest and smartest (RFID) supply chain in the works for gaining efficiencies, but Google is building a scalable, massively parallelized, distributed infrastructure for serving billions of users and delivering increasingly targeted content and services on any device. Do you go to Wal-Mart or Google (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) first and last in the product purchase cycle? Good story at the WP as well.

Make no mistake – the market is evolving, more rapidly than ever before. Staying ahead of the evolutionary curve is the challenge.

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