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    « Renter Friendly Cities | Main | Real Estate Consumer Bill of Rights »

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    Ben

    Hi,

    I'm not a realtor (software developer/entrepreneur), but am highly interested in the problem you describe above. Actually, I'm developing a service for people to sell their properties with a little more touch than your average sterile MLS listing, and also a much much better way to shop. My desire to try this sprung up from the completely inadequate way that I as a consumer am forced to shop for houses online. When I checked out cost to list, I was stunned by how much listing fees are. That was my impetus.

    Here's a question I have though, are realtors interested in promoting their properties in a system that puts them right along-side FSBOs (such as ebay, or another non-MLS site)?

    I get the feeling that many realtors may like the idea that somehow MLS data and it's rules and debate about rules protect them from competing directly against FSBOs --- at least regarding competing on the internet.

    In my opinion, protecting, hiding, or "owning" listing data is a concept that does not have staying power. I think it's time for realtors to take the gloves off, resist the urge to hunker down and "own" data, and simply compete online, and market online better than any guy like the one in your article post could do. You must become online marketing experts.

    Using the MLS to list online is a bad way to market, with no differentiation, no conversation, no real highlighting of you as a property promotion expert. Maybe the MLS is great on your side of the transaction,(although the technical cost to list doesn't justify the cost they charge) but from the consumer side, the shopping experience is just plain bad, and when I shop I have no idea who you, the realtor, are.

    Do you think most realtors agree regarding MLS data ownership? Are realtors excited about marketing online? Is the internet still scary? Would realtors be interested in listing in something that wasn't the MLS?(assuming a better web experience)


    I hope I'm able to make a point. Not being a realtor, please let me know if I'm missing any key issues.

    Thanks for the article post and reflections.

    thanks
    Ben

    San Diego Real Estate Man

    While I can see more people trying to sell their properties and real estate direct in the future, there will always be a need, IMHO, for a "buffer" aka agent/broker in the middle. People by nature are greedy S.O.B.s and will kill each other if you let them. Many people don't have the time or inclination to search for the "perfect" home or income property for them. Most people want someone to hold their hand, which is why real estate agents/brokers have a job. It will be interesting to see how the coming months and the likely slow down of the national real estate market affect all of this talk of, "the end of the broker."

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