"Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road."
I've been thinking about the on-going discussion about syndicating listings to on-line sites. It seems to me that we can either surf the technology wave or be washed away by it. But what none of us can do is stop it. Nor would it be wise to try and ignore it.
Does it serve the real estate professional well to post listings on sites like Zillow or Realtor.com?
Maybe, maybe not. But I am pretty sure it is not going to serve Realtors well to try to unring that bell.
Some years ago I worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper here in Montana. Then, I had access to something few other people had access to: a printing press and reams of empty paper just waiting to be filled with what a few of us wrote. Then, children (for the most part) would deliver our finished product throughout the community. Back then, not only did I have a platform, I had an audience.
That was back in the time when real estate agents enjoyed a similar phenomenon of having access to something few other people had - a multiple listing services book.
Well, change happens. For all of us.
For me, the Internet brought blogs and news-based websites. All of a sudden anyone with something to write had a platform for writing it and getting it published for others to read. We privileged few at the newspaper quickly lost our control and some of our value to consumers.
About the same time, third party Internet sites began offering the public another resource for searching for a home. No longer did a potential buyer have to go to a real estate professional for that information. Just as with journalists, Realtors and others lost much of their control and some of their value.
Today, newspaper struggle to survive. The smart ones hope to do so by embracing the changes. Reporters are expected to blog and hours before news is delivered to doorsteps it is published on-line on a newspaper's website. Smart publishers understand their only choice is to either surf the wave or be washed aside by it.
Smart real estate professionals should recognize the same thing. All that can be done is to recognize what is taking place around them and try to develop a strategy for surviving in a new world.
Perhaps the real question real estate agents should be asking is "If I have lost some of my value, what can I replace it with?" Or, on the other hand, you can decide to just spend your energy trying to unring the bell. If that's your choice, let me know how that works out for you.