The WSJ on Google Base

The WSJ has a wide-ranging article this morning on the impact that craigslist and googlebase may have on the traditional-model real estate industry. Read the whole thing if you want to see what I and others have been talking about for quite some time.

I personally take exception with one part –

Shoppers can’t rely on agents to tell them about for-sale-by-owner offerings, because agents often don’t earn commissions for introducing buyers to these properties and find such transactions more difficult to complete. Agents also may fail to tell potential buyers about homes being sold through discount brokers.

I show any house that fits by clients’ needs. If I don’t show a home that is marketed by an unrepresented seller, that is because 1) I don’t know about it due to their ineffective marketing and 2) it doesn’t suit my buyers’ needs.

Regarding google’s entry – the ability of Realtors to rely on the MLS’ dominance is just about over. To quote my daughter – “you’re either in, or you’re old.” I believe the traditional MLS model run by NAR is just about over. While other companies are innovating, NAR is forming work groups to analyze the situation.

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6 Comments

  1. dustin April 6, 2006 at 12:29

    Great find. It’s a very interesting article and definitely touches on a lot of the things we’ve been talking about.

  2. TrvlnMn April 6, 2006 at 19:53

    Browsing available homes and condo’s online is a little bit of a hobby for me. I look at it as groundwork for when I’m eventually ready and able to buy.

    In light of the above post about the new competition to the MLS I just thought I’d toss this out there as something I’d like to see in when searching property listings online- I’d like to be able to search for available houses by neighborhood or street (and/or proximity to).

    To some extent I think this feature is available when searching in major metropolian areas like L.A. and Chicago on commercial sites like realtor dot com. But one doesn’t see anything like that locally, and definately not on mycaar dot com.

    Anyway I guess you can just file this one under Hmm… something else to think about.

  3. Merv April 6, 2006 at 20:55

    NAR has their collective heads in the sand. Study it? NAR is like General Motors. They don’t see the competition coming at them. A wise corporate sage once said: GM sees a snake and they form a committe to study it. We see a snake and kill it. NAR needs to stop studying and get with the 21st century.

  4. Jim Duncan April 7, 2006 at 11:04

    Merv –

    I love the snake analogy.

    TrvlMn –

    I have been pushing my web developer to be more innovative and implement better search. What you are describing is what I and the consumer want – getting to implementation is the challenging aspect. The guys at RCGpretty much have this down.

    I found a great post yesterday regarding Google’s entry – they will change the industry. Those who adapt now will survive. Those who don’t – won’t.

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