In the 1994 movie “Blank Check” a 12 yr old boy’s bicycle is destroyed by a car. The driver involved in a money laundering scheme gives him a blank check to purchase a new bicycle. The kid instead uses his computer to create a $1 million dollar check that he uses to buy anything and everything he can including a castle sized house.
When the movie was made it was not possible to look up properties on the internet and conduct a paperless transaction. In fact, photos of listings were only just becoming available to real estate agents on the MLS websites. The idea that a consumer could find a house and all the information was mind boggling.
I remember grabbing my 12 year old son’s arm.. and saying “oh gads… that is the future of real estate!”
The kid in the movie, Preston, read all the information about the house on the computer. Then he called the real estate agent using some computer technology to disguise his childlike voice. He purchased the house.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just go online, find a house in the area we want, and click on a link on the site and we’d have access? Not only that, but we’d have the contract to read and all the ownership and financial information. The home would already be inspected.
If you go online today to search for a house in a specific neighborhood, you might just quit after a few hours (depending on your attention span.) Every site I went to had different houses listed. Some had the addresses and some had photos. I wasn’t sure who “owned” many of the sites I was on. I kept thinking how great it would be if the information was all available to me on one site. Since I have been a real estate agent for decades, it seemed so obvious that the Multiple Listing Service would be the best resource. Where is the MLS online for consumers? It seems that they let the information be reformatted by those that are members. I never found what I was looking for.
Let’s say I want to know how much my house is worth today on the market. It might help to find out what the neighbor sold his house for. But, that information is also not available from the MLS. The accuracy of the information I got from Zillow was so questionable. I am rather pleased to find out how much my house is supposedly “worth.” It would never sell within 20% of that.
What does it take to sell a house? Is it a big sign, webpage, video tour, homes magazine, large corporate listing company, open house, or the Multiple Listing Service? What if you had to choose one way to get a property marketed?
Do we think that if we hold the information about listings close at hand and not readily accessible to consumers that our job as real estate agents will change? Clinging to the old ways and hiding information from the consumer will eventually lead to the downfall of the real estate world as we know it. Blog about your listings. have other agents blog. Create a facebook page on your listings!
What if the consumer had the information that they needed to sell and buy real estate. What if I “googled” my house and find the best resource? What is the future of the real estate industry?
Should be fight it? Shouldn’t we get our industry more in line with the internet world of the future!