Would marketing become more important? How would buyers/consumers find houses/websites dedicated to individual properties? The Search engines. Search engines are already dipping their toes feet are already up to the waists in real estate search technology. Would this not present an opportunity for search to develop their own listing aggregators? All the blogs we do for properties, all the personalized websites, all our personal websites, not to mention our blogs – depend on the search engines.
There is much talk around the real estate blogosphere about the demise of the MLS, how it is for the consumer, a database to which Realtors and subscribers ought to have no real ownership of, that it has nearly become a public utility that is in the public domain, albeit paid for and serviced by those same Realtors and subscribers.
One huge question is one relative to data/content quality: What about duplicates? And triplicate entries? There are at least three services that allow for easy uploading to various sites which are all competing for the real estate dollar: Postlets and VFlyer will both upload listing information to Google, craigslist, eBay … the list is nearly endless. Visual Tour will upload listings to Google among others. (Note: I first learned of postlets from the Tomato) and … the Tomato offers this proposal as well – the internet is traditional marketing. What’s next?
A question I have asked before but have not yet answered – Are we as Realtors undermining the value of the MLS by posting our listing content in all these places? Are prospective buyers looking at these alternatives because Realtors put content there?
Greg puts it succinctly (as usual):
But: It would be a mistake to replace this depth of information with a more-shallow but more-user-friendly substitute. A true home search entails searching for the small details, not the big features.
For those who feel that the MLS is for the public – here is my challenge – work for a week without using the MLS.
Bottom line: Realtors are shooting themselves in their collective feet. But, the die has been cast. How will we be different going forward?
As a Realtor, how would you do business relying solely on the various sites that are in the process of filling the perceived void? How would you run market analyses?
As a consumer, would you rather look at many sites, or a few?