Big News in Real Estate – It’s About Time

It’s been pretty boring in real estate for a while. Not anymore.

There was an announcement by the National Association of Realtors, in conjunction with Cyberhomes and RPR, LLC in the real estate world last week, and likely very few Realtors, real estate agents and fewer consumers knew, noticed or cared. But it’s a big development that is likely to impact nearly every facet of selling homes … and it’s not open to the public; it’s a service by and for Realtors. And that’s very good thing.

Make no mistake, the ramifications are deep and wide.

If you’re interested, read the following stories.

Succinctly, we’re talking about the Realtor Property Resource (RPR) and Houselogic.com.

1000 Watt Blog

Agent Genius

The Notorious R.O.B.

Not to mention Houselogic –

One thing I’m thinking of with regards to Houselogic, after playing with it for a while – it seems to me that it’s aiming to be a Mint.com for homeowners … and that’s really interesting. The possibilities are huge.

Update 10 November 2009:

The Wall Street Journal weighs in.

More at Agent Genius

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7 Comments

  1. Pamela Geurds Kabati November 9, 2009 at 00:10

    Jim, you got it right on the money with the Mint.com reference. As a staff person at NAR who’s been guiding the development of HL for the past 24 months, I can tell you that our plan is to stock the site with lots of great content — from the likes of folks who’ve done editorial work for Money, This Old House, HGTV, and WSJ, among others — and also lots of tools that help homeowners make smart choices about managing their home.

    The concept behind Houselogic is personal home value planning. We did research with more than 4,000 consumers in the process of creating the web site, and so, I can tell you that this is definitely something homeowners said they were looking for and that they didn’t feel was currently available to them in the market. Consumers also loved the idea of a web site about homeownership backed by a 100-year-old, not-for-profit organization like NAR.

    There’s also a special section of HL just for REALTORS, the REALTORS Content Resource, that will make it very easy for NAR members to use the content of the web site in their own marketing and outreach efforts with homeowners. Members can access it at http://www.houselogic.com/members. We really want to help members extend their relationship with consumers through the lifecycle of homeownership.

    Reply
  2. Jim Duncan November 9, 2009 at 13:49

    Pamela –

    Thank you so much for the comment; I honestly can’t remember whether Mint.com was used in the preview webinar or whether I thought of it myself, but I think it’s an absolutely appropriate comparison.

    One question I have is whether consumers will be willing to trust the NAR with their information. They (seem to) do everywhere else, but the NAR is a different organization, for better or worse.

    The quick question is – how does the NAR plan to overcome the trust gap?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Pamela Geurds Kabati November 9, 2009 at 14:40

    Great question, Jim. And here’s the surprise answer: Consumers don’t have a trust gap with the National Association of REALTORS. And I base this statement on research we did with more than 4,000 consumers over two years.

    The general approach in our research — to get a read on whether they would see NAR as a credible source for a web site about homeownership — was to describe or, in later stages, show homeowners the HouseLogic web site, and then let them know that it was created and brought to them by the National Assocication of REALTORS. That uniformly made consumers feel even better about the site — like they could really trust the information at the site, because it was backed by a 100-year-old organization, that had no profit motive, and that was responsioble for setting and policing (in their minds) the standards for the real estate business.

    This was a very interesting finding of our research, to be sure. To consumers, the NAR name equates to a kind of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Had the research gone a different way, it would have meant a serious rethinking of the site and/or its branding, of course.

    Reply
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  5. Albert Clark November 16, 2009 at 21:45

    Pamela, I wonder why no social tools to spread the content for the agent. I spend a lot of time at the booth at NAR and have some other questions. Thanks, I will try to google you. Al

    Reply
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