I have decided to start doing some real estate oriented posts on this blog. I realize many readers are happy in their homes, but others who know me know that I have been a real estate agent since 1996, and I do try to stay very current with the happenings in the industry. If you are currently in the real estate market as a buyer or seller, or if you have done any Google real estate searches in the last few years you have probably noticed that the local real estate companies, even the big ones, are not generally at the top of the search results.
Usually the results take you to the national real estate portals like Zillow and Trulia. You can get all the info you need about properties that meet your criteria as well as demographic, financing, and valuation information, framed by easy links to contact a real estate agent for assistance. Zillow has become the go-to site for consumers shopping for real estate. Consumers can search anonymously, and get a lot of data in one place that might otherwise take a long time to compile, all without the assistance of a local agent. The real estate community has all sorts of complaints about the big portals: inaccurate data, making agents pay for leads, and de-emphasizing the listing agent’s role in the published listing. In my opinion the tipping point has been reached as folks go directly to Zillow to start their search rather than doing a Google search for a term like “condos in 38103”. Continue reading