This is for brokers more than people looking for real estate who may be reading my personal blog. Although, it is an interesting glimpse into some of what is going on in the real estate business apart from listing and selling property.
There is an interesting legal case in Boston MA. As I understand it, a website has gone from being a place for posting listings to a full fledged real estate company. Some of those who invested in the site were existing real estate companies. They were blindsided by the switch from domain to real estate company.
Why is this interesting? Well, which sites are you putting your listings on? Could they switch from just displaying listings to becoming a competitor? If you are putting your listings on a site other than your own, you may be complicating your business success rather than enhancing it. Byhelping a future competitor establish a stronger presence than you have on the Internet, you may be shooting yorself in the business foot.
Ten years ago, agents and brokers didn't have their own web site to promote. Today, our industry, and the customers who participate in it, are led to believe that real estate listings need to be placed in as many places as possible. Not only are we brokers supposed to promote our own business site, but the sites of all the places on the Net where listings might be found.
The company that invested in the website turned company, had no interest in helping a future competitor pre-establish itself. The investor company was just practicing the idea of another place to put listings. Their investment of time, money, and listings has come back to haunt them, and now they are having to go to court and spend hard earned dollars to reverse their efforts, and to protect their established business.
This example is another aspect of the Internet polluting notion, that listings should be placed all over the Internet in the name of "greater exposure". Actually, real estate is still done locally. Finding the website of a true local professional is much better for consumers, than using a site which may refer them to some agent who might only know a little about the local market but who has paid for the lead.
Happy Selling and Listing!