They are doing things that no other site is yet doing (that I have seen) – craigslist integration, Google Base, geocoding of listings, Feedburner, Google SiteMaps and Google Analytics for traffic analysis, all email goes through Gmail, framing of my blog … it’s all here, and clearly a continued work in progress.
As I write some of the features, something is becoming more and more clear – all of these features are chipping away at the chinks in the MLS’ armor and fortifying the position of the search engines. How else will buyers find properties if the MLS’ lead deteriorates further? Google. Yahoo. et. al. Google is doing what they have always done – they are providing the tools for the people to proselytize their technology.
As a testament to how fast things move – I have been putting this post together over the past three days. In that time, I came across this post at the Real Estate Tomato about Google Base’s continuing advance into the real estate world. Postlets. Nifty.
Most of the features are clearly targeted to both the cutting-edge Realtor as well as the tech-savvy clientele. Surprisingly, many of these features remain cutting-edge when they have been in existence for well over two years (RSS for one) that MLS’ simply have not yet integrated.
One question to which I don’t have one clear and definitive answer (rather, I have a whole slew of incomplete answers) – Why are buyers searching craigslist, Google, Yahoo, etc?
Am I putting my listings there because they are searching there, because I feel pressured to due to the lack of technology and perceived credibility in the MLS, or because I expect buyers to be searching there now or later?
Credit where credit is due: I learned about Ubertor from the Future of Real Estate Marketing