The Realtor of the past and the Realtor of today will be changing so much in the next 5 years, more than any previous 5 years, all because of the internet. In my opinion, if a realtor of the future does not do a better job for the buyers and sellers, at lower overall costs, we may be slowly but surely be eliminated.
People already have seen many Realtor sites pop up in the last year or two. Zillow internet now has double the lookers of Realtor.com. Trulia has about the same as Realtor.com. In July according to www.ebizmba.com, the four leading real estate internet sites had the following number of lookers:
- Zillow had 36 million hits
- Trulia had 23 million hits
- Yahoo Homes had 20 million hits
- Realtor.com had a total of 18 million hits
The top 3 sites had a total of 79 million versus 18 million for Realtor.com. Will the Internet eliminate Realtors with us looking in from the outside. What would happen if Yahoo, Zillow, and Trulia all got together and formed a combined real estate alliance? Let's, for just talking about it, add Google. We know that between them all they have billions of dollars to spend; yes, that's with a Capital B.
What are the Realtors doing about this? In my opinion, next to nothing. I think these companies or others like them can easily take over our industry in a given time. I feel in the end, buyers and sellers may suffer also, but if we stand idly by and let internet take over, I guess we will get what we deserve!
What's the solution? Realtors have to become Consultants and Facilitators/Negotiators, probably with a completely different fee and service structure. What will the National Association and the local and state associations do about it? I don't know. But, remember my favorite saying, "Selling a home is easy; doing it right is the key."
We will consider different options in future articles. I am hoping some Realtors across the country will post this article and contribute their ideas and perspectives.
As far as I am concerned, this, being my 40th year next year in real estate, I am writing this for the many who want to continue our great business. I plan to retire in 3 to 5 years, maybe even sooner, and spend time as a Consultant only.
Our industry is evolving. Do you remember going to Travel Agents to get an airline flight? Now you just search for tickets online. We have internet auto buying, Amazon selling everything, Ally Bank, Quicken Loans, e-newspapers, e-magazines, e-books, for sale by owner.com, free Zillow listing, Auction.com and more.
In short, continuing to conduct real estate business like it's been conducted in the past will lead to frustration. However, there are opportunities to thrive in this whole new world as a realtor, if one is willing to look at it from a fresh perspective. And you don't have to wait for the national, local and state associations to lead the way.
Thought of the Day:
Success is getting up one more time than you fall. Life is like riding a bicycle, you don't fall until you stop pedaling!
As always, I leave you with my favorite sayings. "Remember experience isn't expensive, it's priceless!" and "Selling a home is easy; doing it right is the key!"
Lee Amble, Realtor, Consultant
National Realty Of Prescott
Lee's Cell: 928 533-4455
Jan's Cell: 928 533-4488