CHAOS IN REAL ESTATE--HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT???
I started writing this post back in May and just now getting back to it to get it published...On the heels of PURPLE BRICKS closing their doors here in the US this past week, I can only say one thing: Maybe this is a "bell weather" of things to come!
Please make sure you comment here so we can all see what is happening elsewhere. Please let us know if you are affected?
After reading John M. Giffen's Post in May, I had a little bit of a rant that I want to share with all of you--But please read his post here first: THE ATTACK ON BUYER REPRESENTATION
It is critical that we begin to express our thoughts on these matters asap; we must not let this happen with just a murmur and a prayer!
The "takeover" of our profession is a major assault on an important segment of the nation's economy. Real estate represents one of the largest segments of the GDP and is the leading indicator on the stock exchanges in our country.
If these big technology companies are allowed to dictate how the buying and selling of real estate are done in most parts of this country, we will feel the negative effects for a very long time!
Homeowners won't know what hit them when they are left to be dealt with by the likes of these huge, national websites, run by technogeeks who have no intention to "serve" their clientele. I have heard that the firms who operate lead generating sites and who have the idea that they can "do deals" online (Open Door, and Zillow Offers, to name two) are claiming that this is the way of the future.
On the contrary; those of us who have been in the business for 20 years give or take a few years, have gone through a few downturns and we have cut our teeth on those times! We know what to do to make things happen and we know that we will survive if we just stick to it!
So, now it's up to the homeowners; how they choose to react to the marketplace when it is in such a bad place will be the determining factor in how we end up. Will we survive, become stronger and better at what we do? Or will we collapse in on our doubt and our inaction and let the takeover destroy the housing market--because that is what I see in the future.
A few reasons:
- These companies (Z, T, R and more) are only interested in gaining the most information (content) that can then be sold to the highest bidder--both in the process of building their giant, churning data machines into a valuable commodity that will be spit out at the end as they sell these firms (as in EXPEDIA) for billions; perhaps trillions in the future.
- As non-licensed entities, these companies have no need to see to it that the public is served in a fair and ethical manner. They simply want to bring in the highest amount of money for the least commitment to those who want to buy or sell their home!
- By undermining our all-ready fragile reputations, (Lining us up like a bunch of gargoyles on their website pages, or burying listing agent names at the very bottom of a full scroll on a listing) these firms are working double time now to see to it that class action lawsuits cripple the NAR and the brokerage communities who attempt to protect the rights and the interests of the buying public through buyer brokerage...Another issue that has crept into the public eye recently.
- The goal of these firms, if we are to know the truth, is to be able to freely collect information on personal property. It's much like a Google or Facebook who operate for the mere purpose of gathering as much personal information about people as they possibly can legally or illegally, and then to sell it like a commodity--with nothing required to keep this information private and to no restrictions to protect the privacy of their members. There is no value in that. The value is in the data!!
Below is my "rant" to John after reading his post. It will tell the story of what happened here in the Hamptons, in case you have missed the other posts on the matter.
In my opinion, we are watching as a sea change takes place in the way real estate is perceived, bought and sold and that is taking the whole industry toward minimizing the importance of homeownership. Who needs the hassle and the huge taxes involved in being a homebuyer/owner anyway?
I would like to hear from others what you think about what is happening in real estate right now. I know other market places are feeling the slowdown; if you are feeling it, please comment below. Are you feeling the effects of these internet platforms yet? If not, let us know that as well. All opinions are important right now.
"Hi, John__Am seeing this on Kathy Streibs "What I learned" post and it is uncanny how much in line we are in our thinking...of course if you read my posts I get very heated and maybe too passionate about what is happening to our profession. I see it as a real challenge to get other agents as fired up as I am--I truly believe that those large firms like Z and R are behind the lawsuits that are cropping up all over the nation against NAR and the buyer brokerage, etc...There is a reason I am so outspoken about all this--those "Disruptor's" who are taking us down as we speak here in the Hampton's!
Z is the one whos doing it here and they have done it by buying out the listing databases including our internal database;--I predict that the next thing that happens across the country are buy-outs like Z did here...May even include private MLSs. I believe they are setting up a model that can then be used across the country--a model of how Z owns the data--then they shut down the platforms we were using and they tell us (brokerages) to go whistle...I hear they are now calling our clients and buyers to sell them houses and mortgages--they have all the contact information from our internal database, which was part of another listing platform, HREO.com, now owned by Z.
What we have now is a "backdoor" portal to something they call "OutEast" and it is an unworkable listing platform that is populated with all the data that we worked so hard to gather, except we have no way to access it--all data is theirs now and we are on the outside looking in !... Top that off with a housing downturn here because of overpricing and new property taxes and tax laws--a perfect storm you might say!
There is no business--no buyers--or renters, for that matter (Renters because of AirB&B, VERBO, and STAYMARQUIS) This is a resort town and it is a small second home market that is in the throes of a crash bigger than the housing recession in 2009-10!
We are in big trouble and I suggested that we create a "cartel" of sorts--agents as outspoken as I am to lobby maybe to bring about the changes that are needed to protect the public, now that the licensed agent appears to be going extinct. We are licensed in order to protect the public from unfair and dubious practices--Sorry about the rant but I had to speak up. Thanks, John, for your wonderful and informative post!"