Two quotes I read this morning that are relevant –
real estate has become a habit like going to Starbucks.
and from the Zillow blog:
Some of the most interesting answers to important questions about homes are locked up inside the heads of homeowners, agents, neighbors, and previous owners. It is our hope that if a question is asked about a home, the community will rise up to answer it.
If nothing else, credit the Zillow folks for thinking big. The industry is changing, and the Realtors no longer have nearly the control that they did prior to 1995.
Update: Comments such as this are why FBS Blog is now a must read for me, and should be for MLS providers, Realtor Associations and the like:
What I really don’t get is why they don’t try to get listings from the big franchises, brokers or the MLS. I know Barton and crew have said agents are overpaid, but isn’t now the time to try to make nice? Trulia and Google Base have been successful in getting the listings, perhaps Zillow could too. What might work is for Zillow and Trulia to merge. Trulia has listings and the better user interface and Zillow has the guesstimates technology. Together, these databases would be very useful for professionals and consumers. Zillow has a great idea (the same as the NAR’s PAG report) of trying to document every property in the country, but the flaw in their execution is that they are ignoring the MLS database, which arguably is the richest source for property information. Without the listings, I don’t think Zillow’s new community tools are going to generate much traction.
… Now is the time for brokers, agents, and MLS organizations to realize and increase the value of the MLS data repository.