I loved Mariana’s article the other day and hear many of the same comments from the Realtors in my area I work with. Having attended several conferences, this is definitely a hot-button topic.
I’m not a Realtor. I am an Internet Buyer. I want to utilize my time and yours as efficiently as possible. So I use online resources to look at homes and neighborhoods.
- Portland, OR
- 4+ Bedrooms
- 3+ Bathrooms
- $250,000 – $500,000
And the number of matches:
- RMLS – 179
- Zillow – 112
- Trulia – 98
- Cyberhomes – 1
- GoogleBase – about 240
- Roost – 400
Wow. Quite the spread. The parts I’ve found most interesting are Roost and Cyberhomes. Roost is supposed to have an IDX feed of the MLS so that seems significantly off, even if you take into account listings that may have been taken off the market. Cyberhomes only has 1, even with their new agreement and their existing Keller Williams agreement.
Let consumers do some work
When 84% of buyers are using the Internet during their buying process, 29% of buyers first learned of their house from the Internet and 82% of buyers who searched via the Internet purchased through a Realtor the real estate industry can no longer ignore the fact that consumers, buyers especially, need excellent Internet resources.
My local MLS has a decent search. It’s fast. It’s simple. But there’s no mapping capabilities and as a consumer, I don’t want to have to decipher what all of your little shorthand abbreviation means because your comment section is too small.
In my personal informal polling of people not in, or related to someone in, the real estate industry, only about a third of people know about the local MLS. For Realtors, that’s great, you remain the gatekeeper of all information. But if I were a Realtor and I knew 82% of people who went online were going to use me anyway, I’d rather save my time and let consumers do some searching on their own.
How a National MLS may help consumers
A National MLS may help consumers because it would allow sites like Zillow, Trulia, Cyberhomes and Roost to have the complete picture of available listings. Then, those sites would compete on interface and features (Zestimates, heat maps, community Q&A, value refinement, fast search tools, etc).
As someone who knows I will be moving sooner or later, I want a tool that I know will have ALL of the listings. And if I need to move to Eugene, Austin or St. Paul, I would like to be able to search all the listings from one place.