Buying and selling a home, used to be a very exclusive club. Restricted primarily to real estate agents who were the rain makers for buyers and sellers – the go between.
But now there’s a number of companies and online services who are reducing the standard commission and making it easier and more fluid for buyers and sellers to meet and conduct business with the least need for a real estate professional.
The story ’60 Minutes’ did on Redfin is one of the best examples so far.
Taking this a step further, more like bringing this together, vFlyer’s founder Oliver Muoto put together a list of Web 2.0 companies (left) and services that are changing the way buyers and sellers meet up.
If you are a real estate professional, this list should not scare you, but PUSH you and JOLT you to do two things:
1. Change the way you do business to embrace these new tools and services
2. Get much closer to your customers and ensure you have loyal customers who value your service
Take a look at the travel agent business about 10 years ago. A very closed business with limited access to the product – tickets. Tickets were primarily sold by travel agents who had exclusive access to the ‘black box’ of tickets. Of course one could call the airline or visit their web site, but ticket sales were primarily the domain of travel agents.
Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire, and many other web sites came along and disrupted this nice little club. Now customers could find, book and buy their tickets sans travel agent.
Some travel agents were ahead of the curve and are still in business – others are out of business.
The real estate market is in the same situation. Will you survive, thrive or be pushed out of the way?