There has been much talk the past several days about Hitwise’s announcement that Realtor.com is still the reigning champ in the online real estate search arena. (Here are the Top 20) But … the big news is that Realtor.com/NAR are now recognizing the threat to Realtor.com is real. Realogy’s partnership with Google and Trulia is real. Unless Realtor.com does something dramatic AND FAST they may become another footnote in the history of the internet.
What does this mean for consumers? It means that more rich data will be pouring through the internet’s tubes to the consumer. Whether Realtor.com is part of that flood remains to be determined. Assuming that they will remain the default destination for consumers is short sighted and naive. Google’s share of the pie is rising – rapidly; to ignore that until now is pure negligence and arrogance.
As I tell my daughter – whether in sports or business – there will always be somebody smarter, faster, stronger, meaner and more driven than she/we.
All the attention (and online traffic) has spurred rival Realtor.com to respond. The company’s new Real-Time Market Snapshot gives online home shoppers access to more recent sale prices in a particular neighborhood.
But, in typical fashion that contradicts the consumers’ desire to have unfettered access to the information:
In order to get that Real-Time snapshot you have to leave a particular property address and your contact info with Realtor.com, which then feeds your request to a local Realtor. Thus, you’ll get contacted by an agent. On the sample snapshot that I got, the transaction data was more recent, but there still wasn’t a specific estimate of what the property is worth. (Bolding mine)
– Why can Realtor.com provide sold data, but our local MLS cannot?
– When will Charlottesville’s data be available on Realtor.com?
– What good is picking a Realtor at random? There ought to be a way for consumers to pick a Realtor other than choosing from those Realtors who choose to pay.
On a side note, I received a voice mail from a Realtor.com rep today asking whether I was going to renew my “enhanced listings” package, which is really the ability to have more than one picture, and costs several hundred dollars – asking, “I am calling to see if you are ready to pay …”