The future of Realtor.com, etc.

Inman has a simple question:

If Zillow competes with Realtor.com, will (and how will) some of the folks at NAR … position the Seattle company as bad for the industry?

That is an interesting question. With such a vast number of innovative tools, which ones will survive and thrive? The MLS is one of the most valuable tools that we Realtors have. Rather than treat it as such and ensure that it is the comprehensive source of data, we have gotten comfortable and used to having a great source of information; complacency in any profession or industry will inevitably lead to failure. Make no mistake, information is fluid and much more widely available than it has ever been. A potential Seller client made this point to me in no uncertain terms last week.

This excellent post (and subsequent follow-up) details many of the problems of the MLS. It is frustrating to me that so many Realtors apparently see such little value in the MLS.

The MLS is a product, a tremendous amount of information that is leveraged by its owners – Realtors. Simply put, when the MLS becomes just another product, it will lose its efficacy.

My job is to represent my clients to the fullest and best of my abilities. The MLS is a tool, but not the end-all and be-all of my abilities. As technology evolves, professional, successful Realtors will have to evolve as well. Those who have gotten used to putting a sign in the yard and waiting will see some unwelcome changes.

How does this affect the consumer? More on this later.

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