Over the past 10 years I have seen the online real estate landscape change. Some good changes, some not so good. In the early days it was all about providing home search tools for consumers online. That is still a very important aspect and there has been a ton of evolution in the search game. However, at the end of the day the search component is still pretty hard to distinguish from site to site. You enter a price range, location, bedrooms, baths, etc. and get a list or maybe a map with results that pop up and you scroll away. Been there done that! The larger national sites have developed some decent strategies to get you to come back and save homes and searches, all well and good. I still think the best source for identifying property is a knowledgeable local real estate professional. And let’s be honest, some of those big national sites don’t always have the most accurate info. Ever found a house on Zillow that you loved, only to find out it sold 6 months ago? I hear it constantly.
From 2006-2009 I led the launch of an internet based brokerage in California for LendingTree called RealEstate.com. The genius of that site, and what led to us closing over 1200 transactions with customers who originated online, was that we connected them in real time with a local Realtor. That way they got the most up to date information and a local professional who knew the market. I heard over and over from our customers that the local connection was a main reason they transacted with us.
What we missed, like many brokers, was the ability to connect with sellers online. You see my experience showed that many of the buyers also had a home to sell. We totally missed that. Eventually a home value site was developed, pretty much what you see out there now, but without that local connection. Displaying listings online will always draw in buyers…and some sellers looking to explore potential areas to move to. But what about the data they need to determine what their home is worth and what other homes are selling for? That next evolution of sharing sold data, along with the home value reports, is here. However, I caution potential sellers to rely solely on that info. You should connect with a local professional who can help all that data make sense. That is the role of today’s real estate agent, help their clients understand all that information! Here at Smart Realty Solutions we have a new tool to help sellers get the right info, and more importantly understand it all. You can access to tool here. This is a no cost/no obligation report. If you have questions feel free to contact us as we are here when you need us.