MLS Associations Seeing Competition Rising
November 4, 2011 Leave a comment
Zillow Buys Diversolutions – an IDX Vendor
Zillow announced it has acquired Diverse Solutions, an Irvine, Calf.-based company which offers marketing and technical services to real estate agents. The deal was worth $7.8 million in cash and stock. Strangely, Zillow doesn’t mention the idx part of the business which leads us to believe they are trying to tone down any competition it is planning against mls associations across the US. Zillow doesn’t currently operate in Canada, which is a relief to realtor.ca.
Zillow may be competing hardest against Trulia (owned by Yahoo) in the battle for the US online real estate market. The companyrecently filed its IPO of 51.75 Million dollars, plenty of cash to establish a big presence online and contribute to political pressure to increase competition in the real estate sector. Many more homeowners have been using for sale by owners services or selling their property on their own and thus avoiding real estate agents and the mls cartels.
The real estate market is such a lucrative one that many new big money players will be appearing on the scene to offer home sellers and buyers alternative ways to discover homes and condos for sale, information about those homes and condos, and to enable negotiations for some sort of fee. These competitors will put increasing pressure on local real estate boards to be more competitive.
Real Estate Agents won’t be able to rely on the local mls to do all the work for them in the years ahead. Additionally, there are too many agents pursuing too few properties and sales. Therefore agents and brokers without a good Internet visibility will suffer in the coming years.
Learn more about the Seattle MLS, San Diego MLS, Los Angeles MLS, Houston MLS, Vancouver MLS, Edmonton MLS, and San Jose MLS property markets. Realtors, plan your 2012 real estate marketing strategy that should include website development, SEO, and video.
What Will Happen Next Year to Give the Housing Sector a Boost?
Will the Obama administration step into the real estate regulatory environment and make it easier and cheaper for home buyers by allowing more competition? Donal Trump has spoken about how regulation is ruining the US and that deregulation is absolutely required in order to compete with the Chinese. Right now, Obama is under big pressure to kick start the housing industry and there are likely no sacred cows.
Already, the banks are handling the sales of a good portion of resale transactions which has resulted in less transactions and revenue for local mls’s and real estate boards. Some real estate boards don’t have much cash to work with now, and aren’t providing their membership with much value. It stands to reason that these boards will have to merge to cut costs and expand services. There’s been talk of a national MLS for sometime and realtor.com is enjoying more success today. Is this too little too late? Local MLS realtor associations have never really tried to deliver value to consumers or realtors so it might be too much to rework their role and purpose.
Online Real Estate – Easy Entry to Real Estate Industry
The Internet is a threat to real estate boards. Nearly 80% of home searchers start their search on the Internet and a good portion begin with Yahoo Trulia and Google. If consumers can find sites with more information about a home on another web site such as Zillow, Trulia, or For Sale By Owner website, which do you think they will use?
In Ontario Canada, the Toronto Real Estate Board has an ongoing battle with the Federal Competition Bureau. The Bureau has charged them with anti-competitive practices. It’s a fight the TREB board will lose ultimately. They’re just dragging their feet right now in complying with competition rules.
Today’s consumer wants choice, information and power in decision making. The MLS boards are not designed with consumers in mind. They are an association of realtors to protect realtor’s interests. They all give lip service to the regulation of realtors as though real estate agents are prone to doing something illegal or improper. Perhaps a new national regulator will bring consistency to the US national real estate industry and allow competition to flourish.
Realtors, learn more about discovering real estate niches, new real estate apps for realtors, and consumer apps for iphone, android and blackberry phones from Realtor.ca, Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com.