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Realtors Don’t Get the Internet

Yesterday I closed on a new office for NotSleepy and while chatting with the two realtors in my lawyers office I made a mistake I’ve made more than once before. I brought up the internet and real estate websites. It was a mistake because traditional realtors don’t like the internet. The entire realtor industry is shaking in their boots for fear that it spells the end for their personal relationship business and if you bring up this topic to them it often results in barrage of defensive comments like “people still need realtors to find them the property that best suits their needs” and “people still need realtors to help negotiate the best deal for them”.

Yes, I absolutely agree that realtors are are needed. I certainly wouldn’t want to enter into a commercial property transaction without a realtor by my side. Whats frustrating to me is that they don’t get it. The internet and search engines are not the realtor’s enemy. Realtors need to embrace these technologies and stand out from the crowd. For instance, in commercial real estate there is no MLS and as a result no one website can show me all properties currently available that meet my needs in the Triangle area. Its extremely difficult to get an idea of what commercial real estate is currently available in Raleigh. Frustrating for me. Goldmine for a realtor! If I were my realtor I would hire up a software consultant and have them compile all current properties into one web driven database even if it means I have to resort to scraping data from other sites. Pull together as much info as possible on the property and show me some pics. Drop in a contact form, show me the agent’s name and picture, and watch the new leads come pouring in. Judging from the activity on Morgan Carey’s real estate software forum, I think some residential realtors have begun to embrace the web and use it to their advantage and down the road they’ll be the ones that survive.

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  1. April 12th, 2006 at 17:48 | #1

    As a predominantly residential real estate broker, my site generated 100% of my commission revenue for the first time in 2005. It was 85% the year before.

    I don’t have to network locally, meet-and-greet or other activities that I find difficult or uncomfortable. I provide great amounts of information, do not require login for property searches and respond to email in hours. That’s really all it takes.

    You’re correct. If realtors┬« don’t figure it out soon, they’ll be in a big hurt in a few short years.

  2. wheel
    April 21st, 2006 at 17:46 | #2

    Congrats on the new office space tony! That’s a nice looking building.