Posts filed under ‘What Customers Want’

Real Estate Talk

Last week, on May 22, the Bob Rivers radio talk show brought up the topic of Refin and the MLS turf war. The debate was mainly about information and consumers affinity for companies that provide it.  You can listen to the show via podcast from the show website.

Listening to conversations, where ever they take place (radio, Starbucks, blogs) provides a look inside the mindset of today’s consumers. If you listen without becoming defensive, you hear what is really being said. Check out The Buzz Machine by Jeff Jarvis and John Cooks Venture blog for more examples. 

If you follow the common thread through these discussions, consumers are saying that they want access to information. They like Zillow. All the discussion about how bad it is – how far off the zestimates are – doesn’t really make a difference to consumers who like using Zillow and its features. Most consumers want to gather information on their own. They like Redfin.  The more information a company gives, the more the consumer trusts them. At this point, consumers are just happy with information. They don’t seem to care that it isn’t “as good” as the agents CMA or the agents great depth of knowledge about the local area. An agents knowledge is meaningless to a consumer if they have to pick the brain to get a piece of it out.

There are conversations happening all around us. Listen closely.

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May 29, 2007 at 10:14 pm Leave a comment

The Tide is Turning

In the class, “What Customers Want” we look at the trends that are shaping public opinion, thoughts, and responses to you as a real estate agent. The overall trend in the way people shop, buy, and communicate is shaped by the phenomenal growth of Internet personalization. Looking  at social networks and blogs, gives us a sense at how fast this trend is growing. 

If we back this up a bit and look at how this trend effects you as a real estate agent, we find the obvious (and maybe not quite yet obvious…but approaching) changes.

This post is going to focus on the turning tide of perception about agents. A growing perception (I’m not saying universal, or even majority…just a new buzz) that real estate agents may not be as necessary in the future as they were in the past.   The other buzz is that the commission structure needs to change. What’s causing this perception?

Here’s some of the things we’ll explore:

  1. The world of DIY (do it yourself). The world of possibilities is exploding. From making your own wine, booking your own world travel, learning how to do your own home repairs and decorating, to self publishing, if you can think of it….you can find information about how to do it. Selling your own home looks pretty simple. There’s no shortage of information and resources to help you do it yourself.
  2. Craigslist. Enough said.
  3. Edgeio – new kid on the block that believes services that try to restrict how users create and consume information cannot ultimately be successful. Could they be talking about the MLS? 
  4. Social media, social networks, and innovation.

At the end of the day, people look at their options. If people have the option to save money, and in the case of 3%-6% of the price of a home, it’s a big savings. Enough to turn the tide.  

Links to some of the availiable search engines and aggregators:

 search engines and aggregators

 http://www.edgeio.com/

http://www.trulia.com/#start

http://base.google.com/

http://www.oodle.com/

http://www.propsmart.com/

April 25, 2007 at 8:30 pm Leave a comment


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